Insights

Jobs for your personality: How to Own Your INFP Career

Oct 5, 2018

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When searching for the perfect job, we take a lot of things into consideration. Money, travel, responsibility. The usual. But there’s one thing we often overlook. Something that shouldn’t just affect our job choices, but also shape our entire career.

I’m talking about our personality type.

According to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, the most popular personality test of its kind, there are 16 personality types.  Not sure what type you are? Take the test for yourself.

This article focuses on INFP personalities or INFPs for short. But what makes an INFP? Well it’s defined by four key character traits:

·         Introversion

·         Intuition

·         Feeling

·         Perception

Sensitive, caring and compassionate, INFPs can see the best in any situation and are deeply concerned with the wellbeing of themselves and others. As such, they are often called ‘The Mediators.’

And while they make up just 4% of the population, INFPs are everywhere in society, from physicians to poets.

But if you’re an INFP, what careers should you consider? And what skills can you offer? Let’s take a look.

INFP Careers Advice

INFPs are known for their creativity and passion but there’s more to them than meets the eye. Let’s explore some of their strengths and weaknesses in the context of jobs and careers.

Do any of these resonate with you?

INFP Strengths

·         Open minded – INFPs are always looking to break the rules. Naturally flexible, they steer away from stuffy conventions and seek alternative ways of thinking.

·         Hard working – As INFPs usually think in terms of the bigger picture, they are great at seeing a target and striving towards it, even when the going gets tough.

·         Imaginative – INFPs are blessed with rich imaginations, meaning they can often find creative solutions to everyday problems.

·         Intuitive – Not only can INFPs read emotions in others, their ingrained sense of right and wrong can help them use their ‘gut feeling’ to make tough decisions.

 

INFP Weaknesses

·         Overly sensitive – Some INFPs can take criticism too personally. Naturally averse to conflict, they may alter their principles to fit those around them.

·         Impractical – Though not true in every case, some INFPs can neglect simple tasks if they don’t fit in with their wider objective.

·         Unanalytical – INFPs tend to steer clear of facts and data and instead rely on their emotions to make decisions. This could be conceived as reckless. 

 

Best Jobs for INFP

So what’s the bottom line? INFPs thrive in positions where they can put other people’s needs above their own. And the best jobs are often ones that facilitate expression and communication. INFPs are also drawn to occupations that involve a personal touch.

It’s no surprise then that famous INFPs include William Shakespeare and Bjork. Many INFP people explore careers in the arts as actors, writer or musicians, but there are a range of paths to consider. Here are just a few.

·         Psychologist – Excellent at dealing with emotional problems and encouraging others, INFPs make fantastic psychologists. 

·         Architect – While architects need solid logic and analytical skills, INFPS can put their creative and idealistic tropes to great use.

·         Physical Therapist – Also known as ‘The Healers’, INFPs are comfortable with physical intimacy and can invest personally in the wellbeing of their patients. 

·         Graphic Designer – INFPs with artistic flair make perfect graphic designers. Not only can they be creative, they also have a big say in the overall vision of each project. 

·         Curator – At home in quiet spaces and great with one-on-one conversations, INFPs are well suited to the demands of archiving and curation. 

INFP Careers in Business

With many traits that are traditionally less prevalent in commercial settings, you might be wondering:

Can an INFP thrive in a business environment?

The answer is yes. While some business ideologies – high pressure, tight deadlines, extensive teamwork – may clash with the INFP personality, their skills can be invaluable. 

And while the rigid structure of a 9 to 5 may not appeal, there are a great selection of INFP careers in business worth considering.

·         HR Specialist – Human resources is pivotal to any business. INFPs’ natural empathy means they are phenomenal at keeping employees happy.

·         Training – Working as training managers allows INFPs are able to use their creativity and compassion to energise and motivate a workforce.

·         Marketing – As INFPs make great writers, they often make great marketers too. By understanding the wants and needs of their audience, they can create campaigns for maximum emotional impact.

Careers to Avoid

While you shouldn’t feel restricted by your personality type, there are some careers that may not quite feel right. 

·         Sales – Unless an INFP is morally on board with a product, they may not be able to invest their energy into selling it.

·         Law – Similarly, working in law may challenge an INFP to go against their moral compass for the good of a case.

·         Finance – INFPs are rarely motivated by money. So if reaching set targets isn’t your cup of tea, then finance is to be avoided.

Putting INFP to Good Use

Personality types are a useful starting point when planning your career.

But here’s the thing:

Any personality type can thrive in any career. Finding a profession that aligns with your personality, however, may help you achieve long term job satisfaction. So how can you make the most of your INFP personality?

·         Remember your strengths – Focus less on the things you can’t do. Instead, List your positive attributes and let them guide your career choices.

·         Be proud of your values – You shouldn’t feel the need to change your beliefs for the sake of work. Look for opportunities that complement your ideals.

·         Seek out creativity – Above all other traits, INFPs have phenomenal creativity. Don’t let yours go to waste!

And remember, just because a certain career path works for your friends or family, it doesn’t mean it will work for you. That’s fine. In fact, it’s great.

And don’t forget:

The recent startup boom has given birth to a completely new attitude to the workplace. The depth and variety of career options are much broader than they were twenty years ago. Plus more and more employers are encouraging creative approaches to the traditional work model.

In short, INFPs could help shape the future of work.

So take the test for yourself or, for more careers advice, visit our insights page.

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