The Craftsman
The ISTP personality type is Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving, which means they are energized by time alone, detail oriented, logical and objective, and flexible. ISTPs work well with their hands, have excellent technical and mechanical skills, and are remarkably good at fixing things and solving practical problems. They can be very reserved, sometimes coming across as insensitive or impatient. ISTPs love to be active at work and play, especially with an element of risk or competition involved, and their adaptability and responsiveness make them excellent in emergency situations.

The ISTP at Work

At work, the ISTP is motivated by a desire to achieve and utilize technical expertise. ISTPs enjoy mastering and manipulating the tools of their trade, whatever they may be: the traditional hammers and saws, or the more modern tools of business or technology. ISTPs prefer tasks with a tangible result, and typically feel most satisfied when they have built something concrete. They enjoy troubleshooting and often look for occupations that allow them to apply their skills to solve practical problems. Many ISTPs enjoy occupations that involve physical activity, often with an aspect of risk or danger, and dislike being stuck at a desk. They are most often energized by action, and want to jump in to get things done rather than spend much time planning or theorizing. ISTPs value efficiency and logic, and want flexibility in their work. They prefer a job where they can be practical and action-oriented without being overly burdened by rules, procedure, or bureaucracy.

The ISTP on a Team

ISTPs are practical, task-oriented team members who are usually more focused on the problem at hand than the people involved. They tend to look for ways to contribute with immediate action, and are talented, straightforward troubleshooters. ISTPs rarely demand attention from the team, preferring instead to observe and jump in where they see an opportunity to get something done. ISTPs bring an efficient energy to a team and usually take it upon themselves to take practical action where they see the need. Their rational analysis often cuts straight to the heart of a matter and helps others see how to move forward. However, they don’t tend to have much patience for abstract discussion, and may neglect the niceties of working with others. In fact, many ISTPs prefer to just do what needs to be done, rather than having to spend time informing or including others.
For more information: What's Your Type of Career?

The ISTP as a Leader

In leadership positions, ISTPs tend to be flexible and hands-off, and expect their reports to be independent as well. They are practical and concrete in their approach, and will prefer to lead teams on projects where tangible results are seen quickly. Good in a crisis, ISTPs are energized by situations that must be acted on immediately, and will jump right in to get the job done. ISTPs have a strong action orientation, and their understanding of tasks is often more kinetic than verbal. They often find it much easier to simply do something themselves than to explain it to someone else, which can create a challenge for ISTP leaders attempting to delegate. ISTPs often find it more natural to lead by example rather than explanation, and typically do best heading up teams of experienced, self-sufficient workers.

ISTP 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 ISTP, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to the ISTP. Occupations that require the ISTP to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to ISTPs who are choosing a career.

The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among ISTPs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.