Best Career and College Advice for INFJs from Three Successful INFJs

INFJ

INFJ stands for Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging. If you are an INFJ, you already know: it’s the rarest of all the 16 personality types, comprising an estimated 2% of the population. INFJs are insightful, creative and decisive. Work that fits: INFJs often choose professions that in some way helps others, typically, education, or counseling. They work hard for something they believe in. Sometimes intellectually challenging jobs in the sciences will draw them into that profession. INFJs are “thinkers” and therefore are drawn to jobs that offerproblems that interest them (bored in jobs with no interest). Some famous INFJs in history, and now: William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Björk, Johnny Depp, Julia Roberts, Lisa Kudrow, and Tom Hiddleston (Loki, in the Thor movies).

Looking for the best schools for this personality type? We’ve surveyed thousands of programs and ranked them in our personality-type college rankings. Check out the ranking of the 25 best schools for INFJs here.

Interviewee 1:head_two

Age: 33

Gender: Female

Location: St. Paul, MN

Job Title: Editor and Elementary School Teacher

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?

A: I have a writing degree from Bethel University, a small private school. I also have a K-8 teaching license from St. Mary’s University.

Q: What is your current position at work?

A: I’m the editor of an online publication. I also teach 4th grade full-time.

Q: Do you feel like your education was a good fit for your personality?

A: Yes. As an introvert, I don’t think I would have enjoyed life at a large college. Attending a small university allowed me to form some deep friendships. The school was also able to be more flexible about the requirements for classes needed for my major– so I had more control over what I studied.

Q: Do you feel like your current role at work is a good fit for your personality?

A: My role as an editor is a great fit for my personality, because I get plenty of control over my work and schedule. I also get to work for long, uninterrupted periods of time. I will actually not be returning to teaching next year, and the reason is that this field is NOT a good fit for my personality, in my opinion. As an introvert, being around people all day is draining.

Q: What are strengths in work and school that you’ve gained from your personality?

A: Teaching has helped me refine my people skills.

Q: What are weaknesses in work and school that you’ve felt due to your

personality?

A: Sometimes I can be a bit of a perfectionist. In both editing and teaching, there isn’t time in the day for perfectionism! So, my jobs have forced me to lower my perfectionism a bit– which has been great for my mental health!

Interviewee #2:head

Age: 44

Gender: M

Location: Pennsylvania

Job Title: Penn State Cooperative Extension field agent

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?

A: As you might guess from my job, I attended Penn State, which has one of the best agricultural-farm programs in Pennsylvania, if not the country.

Q: What is your current position at work?

A: I’m a field agent in western Pennsylvania. Translation? I help farmers develop best practices. I’m an environmental engineer. I not only work with farmers, but I also advise municipalities on such things as pest, mosquito infestations. I am available to answer questions that the press might have (and they do call me).

Q: Do you feel like your education was a good fit for your personality?

A: The Penn State campus is huge, and being an introvert, I hated the idea of the thousands of students around me. But really, you can be an introvert at a big school if you think of your particular department, which might be small, as one segment of the larger whole. I wasn’t going to class with 60,000 students. Actually, less than 100.

Q: Do you feel like your current role at work is a good fit for your

personality?

A: Yes. I’m very much a loner and my job allows me to be my own self, and also help others. I make my own schedule. I’m out in the field a lot, often alone, or with other scientists. But I make a difference every day in the lives of local farmers. And really everyone who lives in my assigned territory. If people are having trouble with their personal gardens, they can call on me. I’ll have the answer or know where to find it. When the state demands environmental compliance of farmers, I advise and help. Here’s the thing: my work has led to very strong friendships with the people I deal with, and that includes Amish farmers.

Q: What are strengths in work and school that you’ve gained from your

personality?

A: I don’t always “fit in” with groups or make friends easily, but when involved in something I really care about, yes, I can be your best friend. I’ll go back to my working with farmers. They don’t make friends easily. Nor do I. But intuitively they know that I’m there to help them.

Q: What are weaknesses in work and school that you’ve felt due to your

personality?

A: I’m a perfectionist, sometimes to my detriment in a social situation. By the way, I hate social situations. LOL. In school back then, and at work now, I always want to do my best and focus on the task at hand, sometimes to a personal weakness. I’ve stood out as somehow being “different.” Once people realized it was just that I like to work alone, solve problems alone, be alone, and yet still I was focused on a problem at hand, I was OK.

Interviewee #3:head_two

Age: 39

Gender: Male

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Job Title: vice president for a company that designs employee work-incentive

programs

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?

A: Wish I could be of more help here. For the longest time I was at a total loss as to how to hit upon a career that I would like. In school, I tried many courses, switched majors, but nothing held my interest for too long. I was a business major, then a psych major. That eventually led me into work in human resources and engagement/motivation program development, which is pretty satisfying. I’m a graduate of Utah State University.

Q: What is your current position at work?

A: Vice president at an international company based in Utah. We design employee incentive programs. It’s very human resource-oriented work and I’m on the front-line in terms of making company policy. We have freelance agents all over the world.

Q: Do you feel like your education was a good fit for your personality?

A: Not in the beginning. I was at a loss for what to do. Had great high school grades, but my teachers and counselors thought I was strange. I am not a joiner. My parents, baby boomers, let me do my thing before I knew what my thing was.

Q: Do you feel like your current role at work is a good fit for your

personality?

Yes. Because of the challenge and my goal of improving productivity. But sometimes I hate my job (glad this is anonymous) because I am not a corporate type. Where the job fits my personality is that I get a chance to work with similarly motivated people. I read a lot, which is required in my field. Research is always being done.

Q: What are strengths in work and school that you’ve gained from your personality?

A: I was exposed to an entire field of research, human resource development that I wasn’t aware of. I delve into this stuff for hours. Close my door, spend hours on my laptop, talk to workplace researchers, such as the top guy at the Incentive Research Foundation. My strength, which was developed at school, once I realized what interested me, is an absolute determination to study and solve human problems in the workplace.

Q: What are weaknesses in work and school that you’ve felt due to your

personality?

A: I over-analyze everything. And I’m not the easiest person in the world to work with. That said, at the firm where I work, if I’m on a task, get out of my way, leave me to the challenge and I’ll meet it. As long as I don’t have to speak publicly, something our C.E.O. has to do at conferences, I am OK. One more thing: Nothing pisses me off more than someone who argues a point based on their internal feeling-judgments and isn’t able to separate themselves from their emotions to discuss an issue logically.