If you have recently taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and discovered that you are an INFP personality type—congratulations! You are about to change your life—and your career—for the better.
If you are an INFP, then you likely have a natural tendency to inventory the different parts of your life, including your career. Finding a career that’s the right fit for your personality can often mean the difference between a successful professional life and one that is unfulfilling.
If you are an INFP personality type, the next step to building the professional life you have always wanted is to find the INFP careers that are the best fit for you.
What is the INFP Personality Type?
The Myers-Briggs test is a great resource to identify something as amorphous as a personality type. However, the test doesn’t really identify personality as much as it identifies the key traits and preferences specific to different personality types. The test asks an inventory of questions to best determine your preferences and interests, and then places you into one of the 16 different personality types.
INFP stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. The nickname for INFP is “The Healer.” INFPs are people with an inferior function. They are characterized as sensitive, compassionate, and caring idealists who are constantly in pursuit of the truth. INFPs are also known for their intuition, and can effectively pick up on non-verbal cues and communication. INFPs are also known for their artistic flair. Self-expression is very important to people with this personality type.
INFPs make up only 4 percent of the general population. Only 5 percent of women are identified as INFPs, and 4 percent of men are INFPs. This is one of the more rare personality types and its unique qualities can be quite the asset in many workplaces. However, there are specific INFP careers that are better suited for this particular personality type.
Some of the more famous INFPs include people like Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, William Shakespeare, and even famous Humanist Carl Rogers.
INFP Personality Traits
There are several different personality traits that characterize INFP types. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) manual notes that INFP people have the following personality traits and characteristics:
INFP types value autonomy and creativity, and enjoy the freedom and independence to do their own thing, complete tasks in their own way, and work at their own pace. INFP types also tend to manage themselves. The right INFP careers offer a level of independence that appeal to these introverts.
One of the biggest issues INFPs face in the workplace is that they are the personality type that is most likely to be dissatisfied with their work. Because INFPs are introspective, idealistic, and creative, they are constantly searching for different forms of expression.
As compassionate beings, INFPs are also naturally inclined to spend their time being empathetic, and as such when they do their self-inventory and find that their career gets in the way of being an empathetic, sensitive being (their most natural state), they tend to get wanderlust and look for a new career path.
INFPs also tend to struggle with personal relationships. In fact, many INFP types are dissatisfied with relationships or marriages. Some experts believe that the conventional ideas of success and happiness do not necessarily fit with INFPs due to their independent nature, introverted feelings, and other personal values.
INFP-T vs. INFP-A
There are two different INFP types: INFP-T and INFP-A. The difference between INFP-Ts and INFP-As is the T and A refer to Turbulent and Assertive. INFPs typically do not rock the boat when they are upset. Because they are self-reflective and sensitive, INFPs are quite empathetic. In many cases they will talk themselves out of conflict as it goes against their “healer” personality type.
The highly assertive INFP-A type has a well-developed sense of self and for them, being assertive is standing up for themselves in a way that does not disrespect the other person. It’s a form of self-actualization. The INFP-A is less likely to be stressed or rue their past actions. In certain jobs, if an INFP-A feels they have done good work even if external goals were not met, he or she will not lose sleep.
On the other hand, the INFP-T will… INFP-Ts are perfectionistic types and are more prone to “turbulence.” This means stress is a part of their lives and they are always striving for perfection. INFP-Ts are consumed with internal motivation.
In an example where an INFP-A doesn’t have time for external goals, the INFP-T could exceed all those goals but still feel they failed if they don’t meet their own personal standards. INFP-Ts tend to rue past actions and stress about the future. Whereas the INFP-A is more directly assertive, the INFP-T tends to handle conflicts in passive-aggressive ways.
Neither INFP-A or INFP-T is better than the other; both come with unique traits that can lead to success jobs and careers—when fully understood.
What Job is Right for Me? INFP Careers List
For INFPs, there are many different career choices available. However, the money isn’t always there. INFPs average roughly $31,000 per year in salary. This puts them near the bottom in income among personality types. The good news is there are a lot of different careers for INFPs and INFP majors.
Additionally, INFPs are more likely to become self-employed than other personality types. Known as “The Healer” and have a sensitive, empathetic nature to them, healthcare or service-oriented careers are the best choices for INFPs.
INFPs in the healthcare field can include:
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
INFP careers also include:
- Pre-school teachers
- HR specialists
Depending on the career path, these fields may require different levels of education, such as a Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree.
INFP Careers to Avoid
As the careers profiled above require much in the way of self-direction, there are many careers INFPs should avoid in a job search. Although a great deal INFPs can be found in the healthcare industry, as mentioned above, few end up in doctor or nurse positions. Since these careers deal with external forces guiding their success, INFPs end up feeling dissatisfied or unfulfilled. This is why INFPs are more successful as therapists and less so as a medical doctor.
Furthermore, in the mental health industry, INFPs are wonderful counselors, but would feel too constrained as psychiatrists.
INFPs also won’t likely be found in any career that doesn’t allow them to expand on their introverted feelings, work independence, creative problem-solving, and hands-on approach to their work. For example, INFPs are not the ideal people to be accountants. The work is too routine with rules about how to handle numbers. INFPs are people who like to make up their own rules and pursue their own degree of satisfaction within their construct.
While INFPs have many great qualities, avoiding careers in the military, as data analysts, and other careers with rigidity built into the job function will lead to increased satisfaction.
Make it Work: A Rewarding and Fulfilling Career Path for INFPs
There is much for INFPs to enjoy in the working world. Since INFPs are less motivated by financial rewards and more motivated by their intrinsic examinations, the careers profiled above will give them a greater sense of satisfaction.
INFPs are people who have a deep sense of purpose and are motivated from within. Now that you have a firm understanding of the INFP personality type, we hope this aids you in your career path decision-making process.
If you identify as an INFP or you know someone who is, using the knowledge of the personality type will lead to greater career satisfaction and a happier, fulfilled life.