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ISFJ Careers - Best Jobs and Career Growth Advice

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

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With their selfless and empathetic nature, an ISFJ is often drawn to careers that involve helping others. Being a positive change in the world can give ISFJs a sense of joy and success, and there are many different career paths that will allow for this. ISFJs should make sure to balance their work ethic with time to rest, and be sure to ask for help in the workplace when needed.


ISFJ Career Opportunities to Seek Out

An ideal ISFJ career is one that allows them to practice these qualities. When the work matches what ISFJs naturally enjoy, there is a greater chance of success.
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Patient

ISFJs have a knack for patience, which makes them a natural with anyone who wishes to learn! Sharing what they know and helping students flourish fits with the ISFJ's values. As lots of learning is from doing the same task over and over again, the ISJFs are in their element at not succumbing to frustration when repetitive tasks are needed. The opportunity to share knowledge will make for a great ISFJ career.

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Assistance

Aiding those in need can bring a lot of joy to ISFJs. They will be willing to implement new ideas and put in the hard work to improve the lives of others whether in a small or a big way.

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Collaboration

ISFJs enjoy being a part of helping people get together and get along with each other. ISFJ careers which provide them with the opportunity to organise events or assist others in working together despite differences and dislikes will suit and ISFJs desire to bring harmony. This could be anything from organising a small or large event with many unknown people working in the same industry, members of the public, or a more intimate setting between partners who are experiencing some difficulty in their relationship. Big or small, creating harmony and enabling human connections suit the ISFJ to a tee.

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Communication

Similar to before, the ISFJ does enjoy bringing people together making them suitable for roles which require liasing with multiple parties, this could be from setting up meetings to connecting a client with the expert required to address and resolve the client's issue on-site. These roles also satisfy an ISFJ's appetite for using their creativity and imagination to tackle a problem.


ISFJ Career Elements to Avoid

Like all types, an ISFJ is less suited to some tasks and styles of working. If these can be avoided, there is a greater chance the ISFJ can have a happy and productive working environment.
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Senior Responsibility

High-powered people are often the face of a company, and sometimes have to consider angles other than the happiness of others in the name of the business. Harmony-striving ISFJs may not derive enjoyment in such a role that is seen as harsh.

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Inflexibility

ISFJs may find particular jobs stressful; sometimes there is little an agent can do to appease an angry client, which will throw off the ISFJ's desire to please other people. Being able to make quick decisions, such as issuing refunds or vouchers to appease a customer is one example of a company which allows therir employees options to calm dissatisfied customers. Businesses which do not allow for this will make the ISFJs natural desire to help people difficult.

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High Profile

The high-pressure and highly publicized life of a celebrity will likely be an uncomfortable fit for the humble ISFJ. A more behind-the-scenes role in any industry would likely be a better fit for an ISFJ career. There are many high-profile ISFJs who learn to adapt to the spotlight so it is not to be ruled out entirely, but the attention will not be the main appeal for an ISFJ.

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Service

Some roles require complete obedience and following orders from superiors even when the commands go against a person's values. ISFJs will have a hard time overriding their values and compromising when they believe and feel entirely differently to the actions they must take.


Managing an ISFJ at work

Best way to manage and work with ISFJs

Managers with ISFJs working under them should consider themselves fortunate! ISFJs are renowned for being hard workers. They are quick to offer help and problem-solving advice. ISFJs are known for being detail-oriented, patient, and willing to go the extra mile to make sure the work gets done correctly. However, some of the common weaknesses in ISFJ personality types may need the right kind of management to keep ISFJ employees at their peak.

ISFJs are humble, sometimes to a fault. A manager often knows which employees are pulling their weight and which aren't, and it is vital that ISFJs on your team know that you see their hard work. Make a point to recognize their achievements in a private conversation or small group, while the praise will always be appreciated, the center of attention is rarely where an ISFJ wants to be! Writing a note or acknowledging them in a team email may also be a good way to ensure the ISFJ feels valued as a member of your team.

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ISFJs can struggle to ask for help in the workplace. Managers should be mindful of this and check in with ISFJ employees.

Known for their hard work, ISFJs will sometimes take on extra themselves to keep the peace or prevent others from having a harder time. While their co-workers may appreciate this, the ISFJ may find themselves struggling with burnout. As a manager, one should check in with ISFJ employees to make sure they aren't struggling under the weight of additional work. Delegating some tasks to other competent employees will ease the ISFJ's workload and help them maintain their stress levels on the job.

  • ISFJs bring a lot of strengths to the workplace: patience, a solid work ethic, a peacekeeping nature.
  • A good manager will learn how to recognize the ISFJ's accomplishments without making them feel self-conscious.
  • ISFJs may need assistance delegating tasks, as opposed to taking on all of the work themselves.

Responsible Employees

The ISFJ's hard-working nature, kindness, and eagerness to help will make them shine in the workplace. With the right amount of praise and support, ISFJs can prove to be invaluable to any team.


Working with ISFJ Colleagues

Best way to work with ISFJs as your colleagues

ISFJs are known for being team players. While they will be a welcome addition to any workplace, they thrive the most with a small team of colleagues that get along well. ISFJs will always be eager to jump in and lend a hand, but it's vital to remember not to take advantage of them.

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ISFJs care about their co-workers on a deep level and can be incredibly kind and empathetic.

ISFJs enjoy getting the work done. They are attentive, patient, and enjoy sticking to traditions. Putting an ISFJ in charge of a project will ensure that it gets done correctly, and in a good amount of time. The downside to this is that less team-oriented colleagues may see the ISFJ as a pushover. They might put extra work on the ISFJ for their own benefit, leading to added stress and pressure for the ISFJ. Anyone who wishes to be a good friend and co-worker to an ISFJ should try to check in often and make sure the ISFJ isn't overwhelmed with too many projects.

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ISFJs will work hard and ensure that the job is done. They will also be conscious that everyone involved is happy and comfortable.

Although they are warm and friendly, ISFJs can come off as shy or even cold and closed-off. The hardest part of a new workplace for them will most likely be integrating into the team and building social relationships. By welcoming and inviting the cautious ISFJ into the group, anyone can gain a thoughtful, caring friend that will push them to achieve their own success. To strengthen this bond, make sure to tell ISFJs how much you value their commitment, creative problem-solving, and dedication to achieving goals.

  • ISFJs are hardworking colleagues that will work hard to make sure things get done right.
  • ISFJs value playing by the rules, but have a creative way of thinking that helps them solve problems.
  • Recognizing ISFJs and their accomplishments will help them feel like part of a team of co-workers.

Having an ISFJ as a co-worker is very fortunate. Their combination of traits makes them a dream to work with, and ensuring that the ISFJ feels valued within the team will only make them more pleasant.


Data: Careers reported by ISFJs

Survey data on ISFJ career choices

What are most and least popular ISFJ career choices?

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

career choices

What this chart shows

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