The INFJ personality is considered to be one of the rarest types. In fact, reports show that just 1% of the world’s population belongs to this category. INFJ stands for ‘Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging’ and those who identify with this kind of personality are often misunderstood. For example, even if they are introverts, they are still great verbal communicators and have pleasant and easy conversation styles. They can even be very sociable and are even mistaken for being extroverted. However, they won’t usually wear their heart out on their sleeves and it may take them some time before they can open up about themselves. This is because they tend to be quite protective about themselves and fear being judged. They are highly principled individuals and are driven to see their ideals become reality, and they wish to find meaning in their work (knowing that what they do is making a difference somehow).
Work-Related Challenges for INFJ Personality Types
1. They cannot ignore their humanitarian instinct.
The humanitarian instinct is inborn in INFJs, and as their personality continues to develop and mature, they will find it harder to ignore this instinct. They will find the urge to express their humanitarian side will become stronger and they may experience great inner tension, especially if their job or field is not related to helping humanity in any way.
2. They find it difficult to work in unorganized, corrupt, competitive, critical, and high-stress environments.
As highly idealistic individuals, INFJs will be helpful in identifying and helping to resolve problems in the structure. However, it cannot be avoided that some organizations will already have bureaucracies and processes that they are not open to changing, no matter that they are failing systems. If INFJ personalities choose to continue working in such a work environment, they must learn how to find balance and cope with the help of stress management techniques.
3. They easily get bored with routine and mundane work. 4. They need a good balance when it comes to career autonomy.
INFJs want to work independently but also need interaction. They are able to thrive best when they are given the freedom to set their own working conditions according to how they see fit. A good mix is usually 40% human interaction and 60% solitary work since too much interpersonal connection can burn out INFJ personalities while too much solitary work may cause them to feel lonely and depressed.
Careers to Avoid for INFJ Personality Types
INFJs are generally known to avoid career hopping and prefer to lay down roots as much as possible. This is usually because they find it unsettling when there are changes in outward circumstances. Sometimes, this fear of instability and economic uncertainty leads them to choose mediocre jobs and forego opportunities to pursue higher education or another career. But they can still end up unhappy, unfulfilled, and unsatisfied with their ‘stable’ job because it isn’t the best fit for their personality. Just as with anyone, it is best to find a career that provides true fulfillment, happiness, and satisfaction and avoid those that will make you miserable and regretful. Here are some careers that INFJ personalities should think twice about before pursuing.
1. Sales, Advertising, Marketing, Customer Service
The corporate world is a place where INFJs can find it challenging to fit in because it is too focused on material gain and status. Financial rewards and recognition cannot match with living out their principles and values. And since sales, advertising, marketing, and customer service are usually profit-driven rather than value-focused, INFJ personalities will be struggling as they are faced with possibly throwing away their ideals and principles just so they can increase their sales and quota.
Politicians are public figures, and being approachable and available all the time is a requisite of the job. They need to socialize and interact with various personalities, and doing too much of this will be hard for INFJs. Also, being a player in politics means you need to learn how to manipulate the game in your favor by pushing the right buttons and people. This will not sit well with INFJ personalities who are highly principled and refuse to cross certain lines.
When you serve in the army, air force, or navy, you will be trained to follow orders without question. You follow rigid schedules and rules. And because INFJs are highly creative and principled, blindly obeying commands and being restricted will serve to be extremely difficult.
4. Finance and Clerical Work
These professions require many hours sitting at a desk and doing routine work. They also usually don’t involve much innovation and opportunities for intellectual growth. This can make INFJ personalities feel unfulfilled and fidgety.
Finding the Right Career for INFJ Personality Types
For INFJs to be able to get more out of a career than just a job, they need to choose a profession where they are able to live every day in accordance with their values and principles. They need work that supports their journey towards doing something meaningful and helping others, and at the same time giving them creative freedom and growth.
There is no one job fits all for one type of personality. Finding the perfect career will be an individual and different journey for each INFJ person. However, by getting to know your personality better, you can also find what type of work can give you more happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction. Also, don’t forget to factor in your personal goals as this will help in narrowing down your options and keeping you practical at the same time.
Keith Miller has over 25 years experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entreprenuer, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.