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ISFP Careers - Best Jobs and Career Growth Advice

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

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ISFPs excel in organizations where their creativity is valued and where they have the freedom to set their own schedules, methods, and structures. The ISFP likes to help and support others, and they also like to work independently. They value opportunities to make practical contributions, using their skills to make a difference in people's lives. Sensitive to environmental stimulation, their ideal workplace is active enough to keep them interested but not so busy that they get overwhelmed or lose focus.


ISFP Career Opportunities to Seek Out

An ideal ISFP career is one that allows them to practice these qualities. When the work matches what ISFPs naturally enjoy, there is a greater chance of success.
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Artistic Crafts

Many ISFPs express themselves through creative crafts that range from woodcarving and knitting to carpentry and fashion design. Working at home and selling their crafts online can be quite satisfying for this type.

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Nurturing and Supporting Growth

With their openness and curiosity, one can say that ISFPs never really lose their connection with their inner child. Children are often drawn to them, and they love to nurture others, so childcare is a natural fit.

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Love for Animals and Nature

ISFPs have a deep appreciation for the natural world, and this includes animals. They have the ability to perceive what an animal feels and needs without verbal communication.

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Team Leadership

ISFPs make up about 9% of the general population, but only 2% of managers are ISFPs. They don't usually see themselves as leaders, but when they do step into management roles, they are often pleasantly surprised to see how effective their leadership skills are. They encourage subordinates with respect and care, and they tend to lead by example.


ISFP Career Elements to Avoid

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

ISFPs have a tendency to withdraw in high-pressure environments and they find competition stressful, so those who enjoy sales professions are few and far between.

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Public Speaking

ISFPs don't have much interest in influencing others, so it's rare for them to develop techniques of persuasive communication.

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Repetitive Tasks

Roles in office administration don't often appeal to ISFPs. They would much prefer to do work that engages their emotions or sense of aesthetics and has meaning for them.

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Corporate Leadership

Strategic, long-range thinking is necessary to succeed as a leader in the corporate world, along with the ability to persuade and provide structure for an organization. ISFPs tend to be motivated by values that don't always align with profits and bottom lines.


Managing an ISFP at work

Best way to manage and work with ISFPs

Identifying which type each person who you are managing can help significantly in bringing the best out of your team during any project. ISFPs are a valuable addition to any team and their unique preferences can be of great help. Under encouraging and supportive leadership, ISFPs can prove to be dedicated team members who bring fresh insights and put their whole heart into their work.

ISFPs blossom when they are entrusted with ample freedom, so do allow them to set their own schedules, arrange their own workspaces, establish their own methods, and set their own pace when possible. Offer a variety of tasks for them to choose from. Avoid introducing stressors such as competition among teammates, detailed instructions that must be followed, and tight deadlines. If an ISFP is required to follow a particular method, they might relate better to a demonstration rather than a verbal explanation.

The optimal work environment for an ISFP is pleasant and stimulating enough to keep the employee engaged but not so overstimulating that they become distracted and lose focus. ISFPs like to work behind the scenes without a lot of attention.

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ISFPs have the rare ability to look at themselves and their work objectively. They welcome constructive criticism as they are always striving to improve their performance.

Successful managers will make a special effort to find out what motivates their ISFP employees and offer appropriate incentives, particularly when it's important for the employee to meet deadlines. Many ISFPs are quite modest and have hidden talents that won't come to light unless supportive managers discover them. Encouragement and appreciation are important to these employees.

  • Get to know each ISFP employee's unique strengths and encourage them to share their talents.
  • Offer encouragement and incentivize goal completion. Show appreciation for dedication and a job well done.
  • Allow ISFPs to choose tasks, arrange their own workspaces, and follow their own methods.

Responsible Employees

ISFP employees take their responsibilities seriously. As long as proper instructions, tools, and space are provided for the ISFP employee to work, you can entrust them to fulfil each requirement down to the last detail, no matter how tedious the tasks may be.


Working with ISFP Colleagues

Best way to work with ISFPs 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 ISFP.

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ISFPs may become the peacekeepers in the office trying to smooth out conflicts between other colleagues.

Respectful and cooperative, ISFPs are easy to get along with in the workplace. They like to offer help and support to others, although when it comes to their own responsibilities, they often prefer to complete tasks independently. They value diversity and harmony, and they avoid conflict. They are particularly good at finding pathways to win-win solutions whenever there are disagreements. To keep the peace, they are sometimes reluctant to let others know when something isn't right, so co-workers may want to check in with them in order to verbally clarify any misunderstandings.

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ISFPs prefer working through a task with their own method rather than what's traditional or expected.

It's not unusual for colleagues to want to offer helpful advice and tips to help each other and to help improve team performance. ISFPs don't focus as much on whether there are right vs wrong or better vs worse ways to do things. They may find it more comfortable, interesting, or fun to do things in their own way, and so they sometimes take it personally when a well-meaning colleague corrects them or gives them constructive feedback. When such feedback is necessary, it's best delivered in a positive way and with ample encouragement.

  • ISFPs are curious and open-minded people who often go out of their way to keep things amiable.
  • Although ISFPs enjoy being helpful and supportive, they prefer to work independently and may have difficulty giving and receiving feedback.

Data: Careers reported by ISFPs

Survey data on ISFP career choices

What are most and least popular with ISFP career choices?

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

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What this chart shows

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