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The ISFP at Work

ISFPs want to feel personally engaged with their work, and seek careers which allow them to express themselves or participate in a cause they believe in. ISFPs typically enjoy hands-on activities, and often gain satisfaction when they can create a tangible result from their efforts. An ideal job for an ISFP allows them to clearly observe the fruits of their labor, in a context that feels significant and consistent with their values.

ISFPs like a courteous, cooperative work environment where they can work quietly, with support when they need it. Because ISFPs are so tuned to their physical surroundings, it's often important to them that their work environment is aesthetically pleasing.

ISFPs generally prefer to keep a low profile and do not usually like to be in positions that require them to speak publicly or lead large groups. Although they often prefer to work independently, when they do work with others, ISFPs want their colleagues to be flexible, supportive, and loyal to the team.

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

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

The ISFP on a Team

ISFPs are sensitive, helpful team members who look for opportunities to contribute in an immediate, practical way. They want to assist other people and provide support, and often take on the role of listener. Oriented to cooperation, the ISFP will look for ways to compromise and accommodate others. They tend to step in when others need help and are often prepared with specific, relevant data that can help the team understand the facts of the situation.

ISFPs are at their best when they can work with others in a supportive, action-oriented role. They excel at creatively solving problems to meet people’s immediate needs. ISFPs shy away from theory and future projections, and may become impatient with ideas that have no concrete benefit for people. ISFPs are characteristically unassuming, and may be reluctant to advocate strongly for their own perspective on a team. They can become frustrated with team members who are domineering or competitive, and do best on a caring, egalitarian team where everyone’s contribution is appreciated.

For more information: What's Your Type of Career?

The ISFP as a Leader

In leadership positions, ISFPs are driven by a personal mission and interested in helping their teams cooperate to accomplish realistic goals. Their strengths lie in understanding the needs and concerns of the people they work with and adapting gracefully to changing circumstances. ISFP leaders are practical and down-to-earth, good at sizing up resources and assessing the requirements of the current situation. They are good at building trust and leading by example, preferring to be quietly supportive rather than authoritarian or domineering.

ISFPs often prefer not to be in a leadership role, but are sometimes motivated to take the lead when the project is personally significant to them. When they do lead, they do best heading a small, cooperative team to achieve practical and tangible results.

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About the Author

Molly Owens is the CEO of Truity and holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. She founded Truity in 2012, with the goal of making quality personality tests more affordable and accessible. She has led the development of assessments based on Myers and Briggs' personality types, Holland Codes, the Big Five, DISC, and the Enneagram. She is an ENTP, a tireless brainstormer, and a wildly messy chef. Find Molly on Twitter at @mollmown.

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