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Jobs and Careers for INFPs: Five Tips to Find the Perfect Fit

Deidre has a Masters in applied linguistics and translation for her 20 years overseas. She's worked as a certified provider of the MBTI®.

INFP personality types make for great writers and psychologists.

INFP personality types make for great writers and psychologists.

Are You an INFP?

INFPs favor the two mental functions of intuition and feeling. As an NF (intuition-feeling), you want to empower people! This will shape the jobs that are best for you.

What Do INFPs Look for in a Job?

You want a job where you are regularly challenged to help others to attain a state of being that is best for them.

Not only is it hard these days to find a job, but it can also be hard to know what job or career to look for and how to get started on your search. Personality type provides a way to understand how to approach job hunting, even for the mixed-signals tendency of the INFP.

INFPs creatively express their message.

INFPs creatively express their message.

Two Favorite Mental Functions

As one of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types®, you INFPs use your favored N-F mental functions in your own unique way to be your own unique you.

The fit of your two favorite mental functions is a must for job choice because favored mental functions indicate how a particular personality type is energized. This is the root of how a person is motivated.

Most Attractive Occupations for an INFP

  • Artist or entertainer
  • Psychiatrist
  • Counselor or psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Architect
  • Research assistant
  • Writer or editor
  • Laboratory technologist
  • Consultant (education)
  • Therapist (physical)

1. Job Types

Those jobs and tasks that fit the INFP personality type best are those that involve:

  • Inclination: a concern with human development, particularly one-on-one
  • Skill: masterful facilitation of shifts and changes in people and organizations

Occupational areas with these kinds of jobs tend to be:

  • related to counseling
  • exercise creativity in language arts positions
  • exercise creativity in visual arts positions

2. Job Environments

A good job match for an INFP will include these elements:

  • A unique cause that aids society about which you are very enthused
  • Activities and relationships related to that cause
  • Imaginative methods are used for reaching objectives.
  • Clear deadlines and specific performance feedback on competencies

3. Information to Gather

  • Establish priorities
  • Make a "short list" of the most interesting possibilities
  • Find out facts about jobs in or from a career library
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4. Making Contacts

  • Ask close friends about any job opportunities they may know about, and then gradually widen the network.
  • Practice interviews: Role-play speaking up and "selling" your strong points, and also prepare for hypothetical interview questions.
  • When interviewed by a Sensing type, don't overwhelm him or her with too many possibilities.

5. Making Decisions

  • Don't ignore uncomfortable facts.
  • Systematically consider the consequences of alternatives.
  • Set a deadline for decisions; post it or announce it to friends.

This article combines some information from the two following books, as well as from a seminar I attended.

  • Introduction to Type and Careers, by Allen L. Hammer:

    Discusses personality type and career matching, career trends, tips on goal setting and decision making, and potential obstacles in the career development process for all 16 types.

  • Introduction to Type and Emotional Intelligence, by Roger R. Pearman:
    Discusses the connections between personality and Emotional intelligence (EQ), which is a term used to describe our ability to control impulses, show empathy, and persist in the face of obstacles with resilience and flexibility. Provides specific actions for the development of emotional intelligence in each of the 16 types.

The NF as the Boss

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2010 Deidre Shelden


Deidre Shelden (author) from Texas, USA on October 25, 2011:

Hello Lisa! That *does* sound like a great INFP career... applying the natural creativity to facilitate people moving forward in their career development. Great to have your good book recommendation--I've added it to this article.

Lisa on October 24, 2011:

THANK YOU for writing about INFP's! I am one of them and am grateful you chose 'us' to focus on, when there are so many other types also. I am a Career Services Advisor helping graduates navigate the job search process. I am also a Certified Professional Resume Writer and love the combination of writing resumes that help people in their search, and the opportunity to work 1:1 with job seekers. It is a great career field. A book I recommend to the person who mentioned motivation is Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher... those of us with many interests (but not a lot of motivation to dig into one specific area too deep) fit this very affirming book! Thank you for your great hub.

Deidre Shelden (author) from Texas, USA on August 12, 2011:

Hi melbel! Your question made me realize I'd not added the two links I have now added under #1 and #2 in the above to hub articles for the INFP. If you take a look at those and tell me further questions this brings up about your motivation to meet your goals, ask me there and I will respond in the context of motivation and the look at the INFP profile. It is really tough for the INFP to pare down dream goals into realistic goals.

Melanie Palen from Midwest, USA on August 12, 2011:

Do you have any tips for an INFP to stay focused? My biggest problem getting ANY work done is that I can't motivate myself. I have a billion ideas for hubs but no drive to get them done. I just dream about how awesome it would be if I had them all written!

Furthermore, I'm extremely flaky. My friends call me 'the flake.' I'll made goals, but never meet them. Instead, I beat myself up about making such a high goal and then I get depressed. Any tips would be appreciated. I love reading anything and everything about the INFP personality type, it helps me feel like I can relate!

haikutwinkle on April 14, 2011:

Incredible post about personality types!

Good insights into the strengths and weaknesses of each type!


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