The INFJ at Work
Although they are typically driven by lofty ideals, Counselors gain the most satisfaction from their work when they can turn their ideas into reality, creating constructive change for other people.
INFJs are typically organized and prefer work that allows them to complete projects in an orderly manner. They are often independent and tend to prefer a quiet environment that allows them the opportunity to fully develop their own thoughts and ideas. An INFJ may be a little lax with the details and sometimes require the assistance of a more meticulous co-worker to make sure they don’t forget anything. But they compensate for this tendency with their intense dedication to the task at hand and commitment to doing their best work.
The ideal work environment for an INFJ is harmonious, industrious, and oriented to a humanitarian mission, with co-workers who are similarly committed to positive change. INFJs are team-oriented and expect achievements and accomplishments to be recognized and appreciated — including their own. They do not do well in highly competitive, “survival of the fittest” environments where people are pitted against each other for power or prestige. Instead, they prefer a workplace that prioritizes cooperation.
The ideal job for a Counselor allows them to use their creativity in an independent, organized environment to develop and implement a vision that is consistent with their personal values. As long as their jobs bring them satisfaction and contribute to the greater good, things like status and salary will remain secondary for INFJs; they will not turn down promotions, but they are primarily motivated by their desire to serve others. For this reason, many INFJs seek positions as counselors, educators, social service workers, therapists and coaches. These jobs give them ample opportunity to offer advice and instruction to those who need intelligent and compassionate assistance.
The INFJ on a Team
The INFJ as a Leader
While INFJs are not a type that commonly seeks leadership roles, many INFJs find themselves in positions of leadership or choose to strike out on their own as independent entrepreneurs. In either case, INFJs bring a quiet strength and a passion to leadership roles that can inspire their team members.
In leadership positions, INFJs motivate others by sharing a positive vision. Counselor leaders are often quiet and unassuming, but win other's dedication through their own hard work, strong principles, and inspiring ideas. They are at their best when guiding a team to commit to a common vision, and when creating organizational goals to benefit people. They are insightful and creative, and bring a sense of confidence and commitment to projects they believe in.
INFJ leaders are patient and attentive listeners. When others come to them with complaints, concerns or fresh ideas, they are always ready and willing to listen and will go out of their way to do what they can to help co-workers deal with their personal or professional issues constructively and proactively. INFJ bosses want their employees and co-workers to trust them; to see them not as superiors but as allies when difficult circumstances arise.
Because INFJ leaders are often motivated by personal values, they do best in organizations with a mission consistent with these values. Their challenge is to keep their ideas and initiatives realistic and to consider practicalities as they plan for change.
Top Careers for the INFJ
The top driver for INFJs in choosing a career is the opportunity to do something that is consistent with their values. Often, INFJs choose careers in helping professions like health care, education, or counseling. INFJs are thinkers by nature and appreciate careers that allow them to use their intellect on problems that interest them. Often, these are people problems, for instance in psychology, but INFJs can also be found in other areas of the sciences and even engineering.
Many INFJs have a creative streak which can be seen in the top INFJ career trends. Working with language is especially popular for INFJs, but they can also be found in various fields in the arts.
Top career choices for INFJs include:
Health care careers are a wonderful opportunity for INFJs to combine their deep caring for the welfare of other people with their often formidable intellectual capabilities. Many INFJs enjoy the sciences and find it extremely satisfying to put their scientific knowledge to use in helping others. Sample health care careers for INFJs include:
- Physical Therapist
- Public Health Educator
- Family Physician
- Occupational Therapist
- Physician Assistant
- Massage Therapist
- Medical Researcher
Counseling and Social Service
INFJs are typically wonderful listeners and deep, insightful thinkers when it comes to personal problems. They have a high degree of intuition about people and a deep well of patience in dealing with sticky emotional situations. All of these qualities make them talented, compassionate counselors, social servicepeople, and religious workers. Sample counseling and social service careers for INFJs include:
INFJs often enjoy the intellectual challenge of the sciences, and can be found in scientific careers that relate to their values. Sample science careers for INFJs include:
Business & Law
INFJs are often found making the business world a little more human, in HR, training, or the more humanitarian professions within the law. Sample careers for INFJs in the business and legal fields include:
Although teaching in front of a classroom is a typically Extraverted activity and can be a challenge for more Introverted INFJs, they often find it deeply satisfying to help children and adults grow and develop. Education careers that involve working with smaller groups, or one-on-one, are an especially good fit. Sample education careers for INFJs include:
Language and Arts
Many INFJs love the expressive quality of language, and they typically have the focus and concentration necessary to be excellent writers and editors. Other areas of the arts appeal as well. Sample artistic careers for INFJs include:
INFJ Careers to Avoid
It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the INFJ, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to this type. Occupations that require the INFJ to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to Counselors who are choosing a career.
The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among INFJs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.