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INFP Careers - Best Jobs and Career Growth Advice

What traits accompany INFPs at work, and what are their ideal career opportunities?

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An ideal INFP career is one that aligns with an INFP's high standards, values, and principles. They are big-picture thinkers who are motivated to make a difference. An INFP values meaningful connections with colleagues and managers who are as committed to excellent results as they are. They often bring deep insights into current situations and inspiring visions for the way things could be. They sometimes have difficulty wrapping up projects because they can always see room for improvement.


INFP Career Opportunities to Seek Out

An ideal INFP career is one where they can explore the following characteristics. If the INFP career allows these characteristics then it makes for a great foundation to flourish from.
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Meaningful one-on-one connections

INFPs are frequently found in careers where they have the opportunity to provide meaningful services to clients on an individual basis. They make excellent counsellors, therapists, and healthcare providers.

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Shared values and principles

INFPs believe that they are what they do, so it's important for them to find employment with organizations and companies that align with their high standards, values and principles.

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Making a difference

With their depth of big-picture vision, INFPs can often see down to the roots of major issues that affect society as a whole. They are often active in organizations that seek to make large-scale structural improvements to established institutions.

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Creative expression

INFPs aren't afraid to pursue bold new ideas and explore new directions. They blossom in roles where they have ample freedom to follow their inspirations and where they aren't restricted by tight schedules or hierarchical decision-making. They make excellent consultants, freelancers, and independent entrepreneurs.


INFP Career Elements to Avoid

Careers that require the INFP to work outside their preferences often appear unappealing and not sustainable. Avoiding these qualities in the workplace gives an INFP a better chance at fostering a successful career.
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Relationship management

Due to their tendency to feel overly responsible for the feelings and experiences of others, INFPs may feel burdened and overwhelmed in roles where their duties include addressing large groups or where they conduct numerous brief interactions with people throughout the day. Roles like School Superintendent or Public Relations Manager are not likely to appeal to INFPs.

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Numerical analysis and quantified results

INFPs are not likely to be found in roles where they answer to shareholders or lead large teams to meet production quotas. They would prefer to trust their own creativity and intuition rather than complex data when making difficult decisions.

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Repetitive physical work and rote instructions

INFPs are happiest when they are making progress toward a goal, when they are using their creativity to bring something new to the world, and when they are making a difference in people's lives. When none of this is happening, INFPs are nagged by the constant feeling that there is something better they could be doing with their time.

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Conventional and bureaucratic processes

Roles where the employee spend a lot of time filling or checking paperwork, evaluating budgets, or ensuring regulatory compliance are not likely to satisfy INFPs. Positions in quality assurance are difficult for INFPs because they are more inclined to notice abstract qualities instead of matching a product's attributes to a list of requirements.


Managing an INFP at work

Best way to manage and work with INFPs

Identifying which type each person who you are managing can help significantly in bringing the best out of your team during any project. INFPs are a valuable addition to any team. Their resourcefulness and willingness to contribute can be of great help. Under the right leadership, INFPs can prove to be visionary problem solvers who will not rest until they have accomplished their lofty goals.

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Typically, a prosperous INFP career is one in which they can focus on enhancing the human condition.

INFPs are observant people who think holistically about problems, so they are very good at identifying root causes and articulating goals. Effective methods, timely schedules, and efficient processes may not be their strongest area, but their contributions are essential when it comes to crafting the visions that motivate those who organize the nuts and bolts.

face reading open book

Though INFPs often prefer to work independently, their efforts are often more effective when combined with team members of a more process-oriented type.

When asked how they think a goal or problem should be approached, they may describe a variety of different methods with no clear preference for one over the other. This is why it's often best to team INFPs up with Sensing, Thinking, and Judging types.

Passion

INFPs are passionate about making a positive difference in the workplace and in the lives of their clients.

INFPs can be quite productive when motivated, but incentives such as promotions, achievement awards, and prizes usually leave them cold. Simply telling an INFP that they've done a job well is enough. They don't like to compete much, and they are uncomfortable in the spotlight. A better way to keep INFP employees motivated is to feed their sense of purpose by supporting a shared vision for how their work is impacting clients, colleagues, and the wider community. When INFPs are working behind the scenes, managers are advised to bring it to their attention whenever their work makes a difference that they can't see, such as when a customer expresses gratitude.

  • INFPs can be a wealth of creative ideas and visions.
  • INFPs become highly motivated when they see a situation that they can improve.
  • INFPs are more oriented to heartfelt expressions of gratitude than that standard workplace incentives like awards and prizes.

Working with INFP Colleagues

Best way to work with INFPs as your colleagues

Understanding how different people approach their work and their relationships with colleagues can help make for a more productive and collaborative workplace. Let's see what it's like to work with an INFP.

Perfectionists

INFPs are perfectionists when it comes to results, but they are much more laid-back regarding methods and processes.

INFPs may come across as cool and distant, and their high standards can be somewhat intimidating, but they do want to be sure that everyone on the team feels welcome and valued. When asked, they are happy to provide advice and encouragement. It's important to them that everyone on the team shares the same goals and values.

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INFPs strive to maintain harmony and are usually aware of interpersonal problems before anything is ever verbalized.

INFPs are creative types, and they are also perfectionists. Their perfectionism applies to end results much more than it does processes. The creative process often lacks organization, and messy processes can be as embarrassing and frustrating for an INFP as they may be for colleagues who share their workspaces. If the way they maintain their workspace bothers their colleagues, they are most likely aware of the problem and doing their best. They are highly sensitive to criticism and likely to apologize before receiving any complaints.

  • Although they may seem cool and distant at first, INFPs are happy to share their unique and imaginative perspectives with those who ask.
  • INFPs sometimes prefer to work independently while maintaining a shared vision and set of goals across the entire team.
  • INFPs value constructive feedback, as they are always striving to improve themselves, but advice is best delivered with tact and care.

Data: Careers reported by INFPs

Survey data on INFP career choices

What are the most and least popular INFP career choices?

Figure 1: Survey data of which careers INFPs currently work in

career choices

What this chart shows

This chart shows the percent of INFPs who work in each industry sector compared to all types. This highlights which careers have an above-average and below-average proportion of INFP types working in them.

Notes:
  • 1. n=27985
  • 2. Population: all
  • 3. This data shows self-report data to the question "what is your primary career?". Results do not necessarily imply these are the most or least suitable career choices, just the most and least frequently selected by people with INFP personality type.
  • 4. Live dataset last updated:

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Ellie Simmonds, MSc

University of Bath, Psychology

Ellie Simmonds, MSc in Psychology from University of Bath. Ellie is an associate lecturer on psychometric assessments and has extensive knowledge of the 16-type model.