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Career Planning: Personality & Careers: INFJ


Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging - INFJs represent approximately 1% of the population. INFJs place great importance on having things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and redefine the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk (1,2,8).


INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get "feelings" about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some of them report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJs often don't understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive. INFJs are sensitive, reserved, intense, creative, conceptual, concerned, compassionate individuals (1,2,8).


An INFJs Career Choice Should Probably Include...

  1. Using their intense inner vision, ability to establish harmonious relationships with others, and their skills in oral and written communication to obtain their goals.
  2. Work that they believe in which allows them to use their imagination and creativity daily.
  3. A caring and supportive environment where they are encouraged to learn, grow and develop their talents and skills.
  4. Human contact and working with abstraction, symbols, and imagination.
  5. The opportunity to work on a variety of issues, creating new programs, services, or solutions to challenging problems that help others.
  6. A position where creativity and tending to human development are their primary focus.
  7. An environment where their integrity is respected and where they are appreciated for their unique contributions.
  8. Plenty of time to prepare and produce work they are proud of, organize their own time, and retain control and responsibility for their projects.
  9. A position that does not entail a great deal of technical, hands-on work work or attention to details.

An INFJs Strengths are...

INFJs are complex, creative people with deep feelings and strong convictions that guide their lives. They are fascinated with original ways of looking at the world and are inspired by innovation and the chance to solve problems in creative ways. They are good at leading others toward positive changes with their gentle yet unswerving example. INFJs use their own inner vision to find meaning and new possibilities all around them (1,2,7,8).


Often somewhat reserved, INFJs have a capacity for great warmth and empathy but are most comfortable sharing those feelings once they feel they know the person. They are thoughtful and careful decision makers, often needing plenty of time to reflect on issues in depth and consider the many implications before taking action. Bound by their convictions, INFJs are people of great integrity, willing to face resistance from others without backing down. They value harmony and cooperation and use praise and affirmation to motivate and win the loyalties of others (1,2,7,8).


INFJs are good at...

  • understanding how others are feeling
  • being insightful and seeing new ways, that are not obvious to others, of approaching problems
  • using their creativity and encouraging it in others
  • always striving for the best
  • Expressing ideas in ways that excite and inspire others
  • understanding complicated issues and simplifying them for others
  • grasping difficult ideas and concepts
  • creating and maintaining a harmonious and caring team spirit
  • seeing problems from many different angles
  • listening to the concerns of others and helping them see alternatives

An INFJs Weaknesses are...

Because INFJs are so committed to their ideas and vision, even when others disagree, they can be stubborn and single minded. They are much more excited by their own ideas and may not bother to notice the realities around them. They can become frustrated when they finally realize that their ideas are not workable. They are least interested in details and need to pay close attention to their facts to avoid making mistakes in judgment (1,2,7,8).


Since INFJs are very aware of the feelings of others, they are sensitive to criticism and adversely affected by unresolved tension or unhappiness. Because INFJs have such passionate feelings, they can be very strong-willed and may run the risk of being judgmental and riled in their views. Once they've made up their minds, they sometimes have trouble seeing any conflicting information (1,2,7,8).


Things to watch out for...

The agreeable nature and quiet personality of INFJs makes them particularly vulnerable to hurt feelings. Distress within close relationships can shatter the INFJ. Like all NFs under stress, INFJs feel fragmented and lost — as if they are acting out a part rather than simply being themselves. This disassociation can be related to physical symptoms for the INFJ, whether real or imagined. Feeling split off from their physical natures, INFJs may become virtually immobilized by repressed feelings (1,2,7,8).


Although INFJs may feel like remaining still and stationary until the chaos and confusion of a stressful situation dissipates, it would be best for them to actively sort out their needs from others. Being excessively cooperative and agreeable, the INFJ has a tendency to adopt values and beliefs of others as their own. When external conflicts grow, so does the INFJ's sense of personal disharmony. Disassociating themselves from others takes a great deal of effort for the INFJ (1,2,7,8). Other concerns to watch for:

  • being cuttingly derisive and sarcastic towards others
  • spending more time considering possibilities than acting on them
  • ignoring the less interesting but important practical concerns
  • not admitting an error and resisting changing directions when appropriate
  • quickly dismissing input from others without really considering it
  • holding grudges and having difficulty forgiving people
  • focusing only on personal goals and missing other opportunities along the way
  • expressing personal values in ways that pass judgment on others
  • being inflexible about plans and arrangements

Developmental Needs: It is important for INFJs to become more active in both giving and accepting constructive criticism instead of seeking harmony above all else. Ideas that conflict with their values should be reviewed for merit instead of being dismissed out of hand. They need to consider a full range of facts, figures, and problems and avoid a single-minded concentration on personal vision.

Careers INFJs Might Consider



BulletEnglish Teacher

BulletCrisis Counselor

BulletMedia Specialist

BulletJob analyst

BulletDoctor: Osteopathy

BulletSocial Scientist


BulletSocial Worker

BulletEducational Consultant

BulletMental Health Worker


BulletHuman Resource Manager



BulletDirector of Religious Education

BulletOrganizational Consultant

BulletJob Analyst

BulletEnvironmental Lawyer


BulletHealth Care Administrator

BulletPsychodrama Therapist


BulletSpecial Education Teacher


BulletOccupational Therapist


BulletHome Economist

BulletSales Manager

BulletGraphic Designer

BulletPsychiatric Rehabilitator

BulletTeacher: Humanities/Arts

BulletSocial Services Director


BulletEAP Coordinator




BulletCareer Counselor


BulletDental Hygienist



BulletCollege Counselor



  1. Looking at Type and Careers, by Charles R. Martin, Ph.D., Copyright 1995 by Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT)
  2. Looking at Type: The Fundamentals, by Charles R. Martin, Ph.D., Copyright 1997 by Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT)
  3. Jedi Girl: Careers and Jobs - The Jedi Girl Internet Community - Concept and Design by Robert Jon Religa
  4. Career Manager (US Department of the Interior)
  5. The Virtual Office - may no longer be at this URL
  6. Hardcopies from an Internet resource based on the Kiersey Bates material - URL unknown/no longer available
  7. Personality Types Under Stress
  8. The Personality Page

    Bullet"What Can I Do With A Major In...?" Bullet Personality & Careers Bullet



Ron Vick, MA, LPC
Counselor / Academic Advisor
Int'l Student Advisor



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