You’re principled, organized and driven – so why, as an INFJ, are you not encouraged to pursue leadership roles?
The INFJ’s steady reputation often earns us positions of responsibility such as life coach, counselor, or employee relations officer; but positions of actual authority tend to evade us (or we avoid them). It’s an odd one, and it may have as much to do with the way our culture understands hierarchical structures as it does with our abilities.
INFJs are sensitive, compassionate people who care about other people’s feelings and want to make the world a better place. But they are also deep thinkers with a clear sense of logic and, often, a love of science. This combination of artistic vision and fact-based reasoning can make INFJs appear to have two distinct personalities, and can confuse even INFJs themselves, especially when it comes to making career choices.
It’s early on a Wednesday morning and even though I would like to sleep longer, I have already begun to prepare for the day. I got up long before dawn to prepare for a weekly task that I could never have imagined myself doing during my shy days: hosting a radio talk show at the University of Winnipeg.
On the 16-type scale, I type as an INFJ. This is one of eight introverted types, and it’s not a common type of Introvert. Yet do an internet search on “INFJ,” and you’ll see that it’s promoted as the holy grail of personality types. The way some commentators describe my personality, you’d think it transcends humanity itself!
It’s not just INFJ, either. Many types have this hyperbolic appeal to them. It’s their relative rarity that gives them their appeal.
In many cultures around the world, youth is associated with energy and passion. Reflective and calm personality traits are associated with being older and wiser. We are comfortable with these stigmas; however, we are slightly less comfortable when someone flips the switch.
You’re telling the room: any type can do anything. Personality theory is about understanding yourself better, playing to your strengths and broadening your horizons. It was never intended to pigeonhole anyone.
On the inside, you’re thinking. How can I, someone with a preference for Introversion, train groups of people as my job? My energy comes from in-depth, one-on-one conversations, not noise-filled, overstimulating group work. I’m much happier working and spending time alone.
Are you a hard worker who feels like your work regularly goes unnoticed or underappreciated? Do you set many goals but keep most of them to yourself for fear of judgment and failure? Are you desperate for success but get exhausted just thinking about attempting the traditional routes to getting there — networking and ladder climbing, among others? If you found yourself nodding along to each of these questions, you may be a sensitive and ambitious Introvert.
THE FINE PRINT:
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