INFP Careers: Is Your Personality Right for the Job?
written by: N Nayab•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 3/1/2011
INFP, the acronym for “Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception" is one of the 16 personality types in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and represents about one percent of the population. Read on for the best career choices for INFP individuals.
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Individuals with the INFP personality type display strong traits of commitment, compassion, creativity, and empathy. They are idealists and perfectionists, and espouse a strong personal value system, which they feel would make the world a better place. They have strong and unflinching notions of what is right and what is wrong, and usually do not compromise on such convictions.
INFPs constantly seek purpose in their lives and make judgments on each encounter and experience they undergo through the lens of their value system. Situations where their inner ethics clash with reality, cause them inner turmoil.
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Are You an INFP?
The strong attachment to values and rigid convictions on what is right and wrong, means INFPs are unsuited to many of the traditional corporate jobs. INFPs change jobs frequently when they find they have to make compromises on values and ethics. INFPs however, have many strong points that make them well-suited for a wide range of other jobs and careers.
INFP individuals are usually creative, and establish goals based on their value systems that are rooted in ethical values. They strive hard to attain such goals. They enjoy solving challenges that impede the accomplishment of such goals. They grasp complex problems and concepts with ease, and thrive in applying creativity to solve complex problems.
INFPs excel when they work independently, setting their own pace, and without much supervision or interruption. They also thrive in a cooperative environment with little or no bureaucracy.
The strong sense of what is right and wrong notwithstanding, INFP individuals do not impose their views on others and remain egalitarian. They put others at ease, relate to them, and empathize with them, remaining tolerant of others viewpoints even when these viewpoints cross or violate their own personal values. They remain reserved in expressing their own emotions and appear cool and detached. They also try to avoid conflict as far as possible.
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INFP individuals are best suited in careers that espouse a cause, allow them to uphold their values, and work for public good. Some of the best career choices for INFP individuals include:
Writers, editors, poets, novelists, and journalists. All of them work independently, apply creativity, and espouse causes for the greater good of humanity. Almost all the great writers in history have been INFPs.
Musicians, designers, actors, and other artists who primarily thrive on their creative skills, make for another set of good INFP careers.
Among the best careers for INFP are religious jobs such as minister, priest, missionary, clergy, educators, and others that require strong personal conviction, and zeal, and aim to spread what they consider the "truth."
Medical and quasi-medical professions aimed at helping others, idealistic in nature, and requiring a strong moral and ethical fiber, rank as another good career option for INFP. Examples of such professions include counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, therapists, speech pathologists, health technicians, and public health nurses.
HRD specialists, trainers, career guides and counselors, teachers, and other specialists who develop individuals and their career, are yet another good career option for INFPs
The job of social scientists who identify and resolve social problems remains another good INFP career choice.
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While the above-mentioned career options remain the best career choices for INFPs, the major danger is such people trying too hard. Their strong personal values and the obsession to achieve goals they value may, at times, make them lose a sense of perspective, and set impossible to attain standards and targets, causing them disillusionment and disappointment.
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Wayne State College. “Career Planning. “Personality and Careerrs: INFP." http://www.wsc.edu/advising_services/career_planning/exploration/personality_careers/infp/. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
"Portrait of an INFP." http://www.cs.utah.edu/~gregoryn/infp.html. Retrieved 28 February 2011.