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INTP Careers - Best Jobs and Career Growth Advice

What traits do INTPs bring to work, and what should they look for in their career?

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Understanding how INTP traits manifest themselves in the workplace is useful for successful teams and a fulfilling career. What is the ideal INTP career? What's the best way to manage an INTP? What should a colleague be aware of working with an INTP?


INTP Career Opportunities to Seek Out

An ideal INTP career is one that allows them to practice these qualities. When the work matches what INTPs naturally enjoy, they will be more likely to succeed and grow professionally.
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All about Data

INTPs thrive in environments that are data heavy. They love to look at numbers, logistics, spreadsheets and anything else that contains a vast amount of information. They are excellent at boiling down this information into something that is useful. INTPs can look at walls of information and see a fun challenge.

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Ingenuity

Solving problems is at the core of an INTP's personality. Any problem that is brought to them will be solved with creative fervor. INTPs know that they are skilled at problem-solving and are quick to show it off. They work particularly well in group problem-solving situations where they can discuss different ideas and take cues from their peers.

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Constant Growth

Originality is another skill in an INTP's toolbox. They love to share their ideas and suggestions with people. They will always look at their workplace and their tasks and look for ways to improve it. They are not satisfied with the status quo and will constantly work towards improvement in everything they do.

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Different Perspectives

INTPs are experts at looking at all sides of a problem or an argument. They don't let their own feelings get in the way of cold hard facts. They are always willing to offer their own opinions, but are also keen to listen to other ideas. INTPs know that listening to all of these different viewpoints can help them come up with new and interesting solutions that are the most productive.


INTP Career Elements to Avoid

Like all types, an INTP is less suited to some tasks and styles of working. If these can be avoided, there is a greater chance of success and happiness in their chosen INTP career.
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The Spotlight

INTPs love to talk to people and they love sharing their ideas, but they do not love being in the spotlight. They should avoid jobs that require constant, individual presentations. INTPs do better behind the scenes, allowing their work to shine rather than their presence.

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Repetitive Work

The daily grind is something that is rarely satisfying to an INTP personality. They enjoy challenges in the workplace and they thrive off feeling a sense of accomplishment when they've finished a task. INTPs will struggle in jobs that require a lot of repetitive work like factory work or data inputting.

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Matters of the Heart

INTPs are logisticians. They like when things fit together neatly and have tangible solutions. They do not handle emotional challenges or decisions well. Being vulnerable and having to confront how they feel, or how others feel makes an INTP feel very uncomfortable and out of place. INTPs are the problem solvers of a group, not the emotional support.

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Overbearing Management

INTPs can take direction well, but not when that direction is heavy-handed or contradictory. They do not hold themselves back because their bosses are in charge. If an INTP thinks that something is a bad idea, they will tell their boss so. INTPs are independent individuals and they don't handle being micromanaged well. They have confidence in their ability to complete a task and will do it in a way that makes the most sense to them.


Managing an INTP at work

Best way to manage and work with INTPs

Good managers know that a successful team needs lots of different types of people. They also know how to keep everyone content and put them in a role that will be the best for them and the workplace. INTPs bring a lot to the table and as long as you can meet their basic needs, they will be a loyal, hard-working part of the team.

INTPs are incredibly innovative people. They will come up with unique solutions to everything from product design to improving workflow. They are able to take apart a problem, look at all the pieces and put it back together better than it was before. In order to do this, however, INTPs require freedom. They do not like a manager hanging over them all of the time. They are confident in their work and feel that their managers should be just as confident without having to micro-manage.

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Teamwork can be tricky for an INTP and a manager working with this personality type should be aware of that. INTPs work well in groups as long as everyone is working towards the same goal. INTPs like contributing their ideas to group work, but they prefer to stay out of the spotlight when it comes to things like presentations and parties.

Constructive Feedback

INTPs will thrive in an environment in which they are encouraged to grow and learn more. They are always searching for new ideas and information. Giving them access to new resources and information will ensure a better product. INTPs love to learn more about their career and will always be open to continuing education classes or going to work related conferences. This will bring out the best in an INTP employee.

  • Reduce micromanaging an INTPs. Share their confidence in the tasks they are confident in doing.
  • INTPs work well with a team, but would rather avoid being the main focus of attention.
  • INTPs are likely to take up opportunities presented to grow professionally.

Working with INTP Colleagues

Best way to work with INTPs as your colleagues

INTP co-workers can come off as a lone-wolf kind of person. They don't engage in workplace gossip or polite conversation and have a tendency to keep to themselves. However, INTPs also love having people to talk to about the projects they are working on and often find that their work is improved by bouncing their ideas off of someone else. If encouraged to come out of their shell, INTPs can prove to be very helpful and loyal colleagues.

INTPs might seem a bit blunt when they first enter a workplace. They are very forward and don't always know when their opinion is wanted. This straightforward attitude should be met with direct communication. When working with an INTP person, communicating feelings bluntly is the quickest way to resolve any workplace tensions. They appreciate direct communications and will respect established boundaries.

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Analysis and understanding are important to an INTP. Allow them time with their own thoughts so they can work through problems in their mind.

When working with an INTP, people may notice that they have a tendency to get lost in their own mind. When INTPs get stuck trying to figure out the perfect answers, it's best to talk the situation out with them. They will be able to explore all of their ideas and come up with something that works well for most people. Having a second opinion can help get an INTP back on track when they are mentally stuck.

INTPs are practical logicians at heart. They don't understand why they should engage in office small talk when they don't feel it's necessary. Colleagues of INTPs shouldn't take their unwillingness to chat to heart. It isn't personal and colleagues can help by not drawing them into similar situations.

  • You may find INTP colleagues prefer to avoid smalltalk.
  • INTPs may appear blunt in conversation as they tend to get straight to the point. Avoid mistaking this for rudeness.
  • INTPs can get stuck in their own minds and may need a colleague who is willing to pull them out of it.

Data: Careers reported by INTPs

Survey data on INTP career choices

What career is best for an INTP?

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

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What this chart shows

This chart shows the percent of INTPs who work in each industry sector compared to all types. This highlights the most popular INTP careers, and may help you find your perfect INTP career.

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 INTP 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.