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Career Planning: Personality & Careers: INTJ


Introvert, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging - INTJs represent approximately 1% of the population. INTJ's tremendous value and need for systems and organization, combined with their natural insightfulness, makes them excellent scientists. An INTJ scientist gives a gift to society by putting his/her ideas into a useful form for others to follow. It is not easy for the INTJ to express their internal images, insights, and abstractions. The internal form of the INTJ's thoughts and concepts is highly individualized, and is not readily translatable into a form that others will understand. However, the INTJ is driven to translate their ideas into a plan or system that is usually readily explainable, rather than to do a direct translation of their thoughts. They usually don't see the value of a direct transaction, and will also have difficulty expressing their ideas, which are nonlinear. However, their extreme respect of knowledge and intelligence will motivate them to explain themselves to another person who they feel is deserving of the effort. INTJs (1,2,8).


INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead. When they are in leadership roles, they are quite effective, because they are able to objectively see the reality of a situation, and are adaptable enough to change things which aren't working well. They are the supreme strategists - always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against their current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency. INTJs are critical, autonomous, demanding, independent, logical, systems-oriented, and visionary individuals (1,2,8).


An INTJs Career Choice Should Probably Include...

  1. A position in academic, scientific, theoretical, or technical career that requires prolonged periods of solitary concentration and tough-minded analysis so their strengths in this area will be utilized.
  2. The opportunity to work independently, thinking things though at great depth, and preparing fully before presenting their work.
  3. Creative and intellectual challenges that keep them stimulated and involved with their work.
  4. A position involved with planning, revising, or designing the future.
  5. Evaluation and compensation that is based upon their perseverance and accomplishments, where they are respected by others in their field.
  6. The freedom to take a task and run with it, maintain control over its outcome, and use their judgment and creativity to complete it according to their own high standards of success.
  7. Projects that let them constantly increase their knowledge and competence and develop original solutions to new problems.

An INTJs Strengths are...

INTJs have creative minds and an independent spirit. Logical and ingenious, they are confident in their ideas and their ability to meet or exceed their goals. They tend to aim high with everything they attempt and are driven to be competent and original in all they do. They have a keen sense of what is possible and have a global perspective. INTJs are good strategic thinkers, looking beyond what is known and seeing the inter-relatedness of elements (1,2,7,8).


Critical and demanding of themselves, with incredibly high standards, INTJs are not deterred or intimidated by opposition. They have great powers of concentration, and are so determined to see their vision become a reality, they will work with tireless energy to turn out a flawless idea or product (1,2,7,8).


INTJs are good at...

  • being task-oriented and getting things done
  • brainstorming and strategizing new ways of doing things
  • working alone for extended periods of time with great depth of focus
  • analyzing technical problems and using logic to understand them
  • looking into the future, seeing trends, and engaging in long-range planning
  • understanding complex issues and difficult problems
  • taking on intellectual challenges and using creativity to develop ingenious and original systems
  • being intuitive and knowing what will work
  • troubleshooting projects and finding solutions

An INTJs Weaknesses are...

Because of their sometimes impossibly high standards, INTJs tend to be perfectionists. They are such complex people that their ideas are sometimes too complicated for others to understand. They have trouble communicating in more simple terms and can grow impatient with people who don't catch on quickly enough. They may not take the time to communicate appreciation or encouragement to those around them and can be harsh in their criticism They need to learn to accept the feelings of those around them as valid and important, even if they don't "make sense" (1,2,7,8).


Most interested in their ideas and plans for the future, INTJs can miss some of the important practical concerns or realities that need to be considered to make their plans really workable. Their unwillingness to share their thoughts with others before they are fully formed places them at risk for completing a project before they have noticed an essential error in fact (1,2,7,8).


Things to watch out for...

INTJs’ precision thinking and need for accuracy causes them to be inflexible at times. Having thought out a strategy, the INTJ may stubbornly disregard those who they think have not spent as much time reflecting on an idea as they have. This, along with their drive to produce something significant, can make them demanding and difficult. If their plans and solutions fall short of their high standards, INTJ's feel pressured — as if everything is on the line. "Everything," for an INTJ, is the competence and ability to produce something significant. Fear of not living up to this expectation will increase their stress and possibly dissuade them from risking or trying out their ideas. They may then find themselves thinking about ideas that do not have a meaningful or productive end (1,2,7,8).


When stress increases, the INTJ can become argumentative and disagreeable. Social interaction, which is not their strength, becomes increasingly difficult for them. Not trusting their own abilities, they become preoccupied with obsessive notions. The INTJ may then find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time fighting horrible thoughts, tempting absurdities, and feelings of worthlessness. Fearful of others recognizing their perceived failure, the INTJ incessantly ruminates about mistakes, inadequacies, weaknesses, ineptness, and incompetence. Because this distracts them from risking what little confidence they may have left in themselves, it therefore keeps them from obtaining the success and achievement they so desperately need (1,2,7,8). Other concerns to watch for:

  • failing to communicate warmth and diplomacy when dealing with others
  • losing interest in projects after the creative problem solving is over
  • not inviting outside involvement in projects
  • having unrealistic expectations for themselves and others
  • becoming single-minded and missing other opportunities
  • being impatient and disrespectful of those considered less competent
  • being unwilling to adapt to other environments or work styles
  • holding rigid personal viewpoints and dismissing opposing ones
  • developing an adversarial attitude when under stress

Developmental Needs: It is important for INTJs to pay close attention to the subject of their judgments, and their motivation for making judgments. They tend to judge something without properly understanding it, and with the intention of dismissing it. Seek first to understand, then to judge. It might be helpful to be more open and less stubborn when others present ideas. Work on follow-through rather than letting things go once the creative process is done.

Careers INTJs Might Consider





BulletComputer Programmer

BulletNews Writer

BulletElectrical/Electronic Technician


BulletEnvironmental Planner


BulletCollege Professor


BulletInvestment/Business Analyst


BulletBiomedical Engineer


BulletAttorney. Litigator/Commercial


BulletManagement Consultant

BulletStrategic Planner


BulletChemical Engineer


BulletScientific Researcher

BulletMilitary Officer



BulletAeronautical Engineer

BulletCity Manager

BulletHuman Resources Manager

BulletSocial Scientist


BulletNews Analyst


BulletDesign Engineer

BulletComputer Systems Analyst

BulletPhysical Scientist

BulletLife Scientist


BulletEducation Consultant


BulletMortgage Broker


BulletCorrections Officer


  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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