When choosing a career path, it’s likely that you’ll consider your interests, goals and abilities. You may seek the advice of others, too. Another factor to take into consideration could be the results of your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) questionnaire, which provides insights about a person’s psychological preferences and decision-making process. By understanding the characteristics of your personality type, you can look for INFP careers that are a good fit for your natural strengths and preferences.
INFP Personality Overview
INFP stands for Introversion – Intuition – Feeling – Perception, characteristics identified by the Myers-Briggs test. Because INFPs are highly curious, inquisitive and innovative individuals, they are usually optimistic in their world view and can be an inspiring team member. INFPs comprise just 2% of the population. They are highly creative, easily find connections in hidden patterns and enjoy abstract thinking.
In professional environments, INFPs tend to focus on the bigger picture and aren’t as concerned with the details. They aspire to change the world and seek to learn new things. While INFPs typically bring enthusiasm and intensity to projects, they can find it difficult to sustain their excitement over long periods of time.
Careers for INFP Personality Types
Like ENFPs, research suggests that INFPs perform well in jobs that are both creative and tied to personal meaning. However, unlike the extroverted ENFP, INFPs don’t mind time alone. Because INFPs are sensitive to the emotions of others, their supportive nature makes them valuable members of any team.
Here is a list of the best INFP careers:
Arts and Humanities
To others, INFPs often seem reserved, especially by those who do not know them well. Success in the Arts comes naturally to INFPs due to their seemingly endless creative talent, but their desire for solitude usually finds them backstage or crafting their art in solitude. For those considering INFP jobs in an artistic field consider the following:
Commercial Media and Communications
Because they are skilled at making connections, INFPs enjoy reading and discussing complex topics. They are also drawn to creative problem-solving and can be talented at foreign languages and visual arts. These skills make them well-suited for many careers within Commercial Media and Communications:
Business and Technology
Today’s businesses are diverse and, often, technology focused. While INFPs tend to avoid high-stress sales or customer-facing roles, there are many functions within a business or non-profit organization that rely on their creative, sensitive and big-picture thinking. Here are some careers to consider:
Education and Healthcare
INFPs are highly attuned to the emotions of others as well as their own. They will make an extra effort to ensure others’ emotional needs are met and are well-suited for both education and certain fields in healthcare, such as counseling or therapy. INFPs are comfortable in quiet spaces and they naturally enjoy one-on-one conversations.
Which Careers Should INFPs Avoid?
Matching your career path with your natural abilities and personality type may give you a better chance at overall professional satisfaction. While any personality type can succeed in any environment, INFPs may want to avoid open office environments found in many corporations. They often crave alone time and may be more productive in quieter spaces. They often find sales positions draining or stressful, and fields such as law enforcement or performing for large audiences can also be challenging for their disposition. If you’re considering INFP careers, avoid these positions:
- Sales manager
- Police officer
- Attorney or judge
Making the Most of Your Myers-Briggs
Every personality type has traits that manifest differently depending on what’s happening around you. As you apply your understanding of your personality type to the workplace, it’s useful to consider how you might react on good and bad days.
INFP on a good day
- Working alone on creative, long-term thinking and planning.
- Evaluating creative work such as the design of a new webpage or book cover.
- Having meaningful, one-on-one conversations with colleagues, clients or patients.
INFP on a bad day
- Working on budgets and other highly detailed tasks.
- Feeling unprepared for a high pressure meeting with a large group.
- Facing rejection for a creative idea or proposal.
When determining the best careers for INFP personalities, the path to success involves integrating their strong internal value system and creative instincts. Their values and intuitions guide INFPs, and long-term success will be best achieved by finding jobs that naturally rely on these strengths.