What Career Should You Choose If You Are an INFP?

Your Myers Briggs Personality Type

Social worker with client
Social worker may be a good career for an INFP. SilviaJansen / Getty Images

Have you found out that your personality type is INFP? Perhaps you learned that from a career counselor after he or she administered the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or maybe you determined it yourself after reading about psychiatrist Carl Jung's personality theory. Never heard of Carl Jung and his personality theory or the MBTI? Here's some background.

The MBTI is based on Jung's theory, and it is often used to help people make career-related decisions.

Career experts believe that knowing what your personality type is can help you choose a career and decide whether a particular work environment is right for you. They use this instrument to help you learn what your personality type is. 

According to the theory behind the MBTI, your personality type is made up of your preferences for how you do things, such as energize, perceive information, make decisions, and live your life. Individuals energize through Introversion (I) or Extroversion (E), perceive information through Sensing (S) or Intuition (N), make decisions by Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and live their lives by Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).   

Jung theorized that while we each exhibit aspects of both preferences in each pair, we show one more strongly than the other. The four-letter code assigned to your personality type is derived by putting together the four letters that correspond to your stronger preferences.

Let us now take a look at what your particular four letter code means.

I, N, F, and P: What Each Letter of Your Personality Type Code Means

  • I: You prefer introversion. In other words, things within yourself, such as your thoughts and ideas, energize you. You tend to be quiet and reserved. This could mean you risk not interacting enough with others.
  • N: You process information using intuition, or insight. You don't have to have physical evidence of something to know it exists. You consider future possibilities and look for patterns in details to see how they affect the big picture. If a new opportunity emerges, you are inclined to take advantage of it.
  • F: Your feelings and personal values guide your decisions. If you feel strongly about something, you may not consider the consequences. You are a caring person who is adept at understanding others.
  • P: You are flexible and spontaneous, and you tend to take life as it comes. You are curious, and you want to be able to explore. You aren't much of a planner. This means deadlines sometimes approach more quickly than you have anticipated which leaves you rushing to finish projects on time.

You should realize that these are only your preferences—they aren't set in stone. While you may prefer to energize, process information, make decisions, or have a particular lifestyle, you can adapt to doing things differently when situations warrant. In addition, your four preferences interact with each other. Finally, your preferences can change as you go through life.

How to Take Your Personality Type Into Account When Making Career-Related Decisions

Knowing your personality type can help you make career-related decisions such as those involving career choice.

You should also take it into account when deciding whether a particular work environment is right for you.

Even though all the letters in your code are significant, when it comes to career choice, the middle two letters are the most important. Your middle letters "N" and "F" indicate that you should look for occupations that let you develop and implement new ideas. This would let you take advantage of your preference to look toward the future and the possibilities that exist there. Since your feelings and values are important to you, be attentive to both when choosing a career. Some options for you are psychologist, mental health counselor, librarian, interpreter or translator, dietitian, physical therapist, occupational therapistteacher, actor, graphic designer, social worker, and writer and editor.

Consider your preferences for introversion and perceiving as well, especially when evaluating work environments. As someone who receives motivation from within yourself, you would enjoy working independently, so choose a place of employment that allows you to do that. Be attentive to your need for flexibility and your difficulty with meeting deadlines. If you pick an occupation that is typically oriented toward having to meet deadlines, for example, graphic designer or writer, find an employer that places less emphasis on this.

Sources:

  • The Myers-Briggs Foundation Web Site.
  • Baron, Renee. (1998) What Type Am I?. NY: Penguin Books.
  • Page, Earle C. Looking at Type: A Description of the Preferences Reported by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Center for Applications of Psychological Type.
  • Tieger, Paul D., Barron, Barbara, and Tieger, Kelly. (2014) Do What You Are. NY: Hatchette Book Group.