What Does an INFP Need to be Happy at Work?

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on September 16, 2022

Your unique personality type is suited to particular kinds of roles in the workplace. INFPs – people with preferences for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling and Perceiving – seek work that aligns to their personal values and allows them to help others. 

When your career choices are driven by your values, without actually trying them out, it can be hard to know which jobs or careers might actually suit you. Let’s explore what INFPs need in a job and some of the careers that meet those requirements. 

Watch our video about top careers for INFPs on Youtube. 

What should an INFP look for in a job?

INFPs are imaginative idealists, guided by their own core values and beliefs. They are sensitive, caring and compassionate, and are deeply concerned with the personal growth of themselves and others. 

When looking for a career that fits your INFP personality, consider roles where you can:

  • Search for meaning
  • Explore ideas 
  • Understand the needs of others 
  • Encourage personal development

When you think about your previous jobs or volunteer positions, how have they met these requirements? How have they missed the mark? What did you learn about yourself and your values from each one? 

What satisfies INFPs at work?

To feel satisfied in their work, INFPs need to fulfill at least three of the following factors. 

To do work that:

  • Is completely aligned with your personal values
  • Gives you time to develop your ideas and control the process
  • Allows you to work how you like with few interruptions 
  • Inspires you and imposes few rules or constraints on you
  • Happens in a supportive environment surrounded by creative and caring people

Do a quick check in on these factors:

  • What does each factor look like in real life for you?
  • Which of these does your current job satisfy?
  • Which isn’t being satisfied and how might you change that?

What are the top careers for an INFP?

Some careers are more likely to meet those requirements than others. Use this list to help you narrow down your options even further, based on your values, interests and skills you are keen to develop. 

Some of the most satisfying careers for INFPs include the following.

In the arts that includes:

  • Animator
  • Translator
  • Fashion designer
  • Graphic designer

In healthcare that includes:

  • Midwife
  • Holistic health practitioner
  • Massage therapist 
  • Speech pathologist

In science that includes:

  • Anthropologist
  • Psychologist
  • Genetic counselor 
  • Sociologist 

In education that includes:

  • Preschool teacher
  • Librarian
  • College instructor
  • Public health educator 

In business that includes:

  • Fundraiser
  • Recruiter
  • Mediator 

To see more top careers for INFPs, take a look at our detailed list here. In summary, you are looking for jobs that are aligned to your values, are self-directed, and allow you to work on inspiring projects with caring people.  

What careers should an INFP avoid?

And while any personality type can be successful in any career, some occupations require INFPs to operate outside their natural preferences, which can be draining. 

Careers like financial manager, cost estimator and materials engineer may not meet enough of the INFPs career satisfiers. 

Next steps

Whether you are just starting on your career journey, thinking about a career change, or are just frustrated by the process of trying to find a career that makes you feel alive and aligned, it’s worth taking the time to figure out what your career needs look like in real life and how you will meet them. 

To learn more visit our INFP personality page or take our free test here.

Samantha Mackay

Samantha is a certified Enneagram coach at Individuo and educator at Truity. She has found knowing her personality type (ENTP / Enneagram 7) invaluable for recovering from burnout and for working with her anxiety, chronic illnesses and pain. To work with Samantha visit www.individuo.life

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.

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