Career Advice for People With INFP Personality Type

INFP personality careers
Individuals with an INFP personality profoundly exhibit the quality of being selfless and reserved. Naturally, these traits make them suitable to work in certain fields or careers. This Buzzle article offers some career advice for INFPs.
Quick Fact
INFPs can be very sensitive to criticism, but they will not express their hurt or displeasure upfront. This causes them to retreat into a shell, and it takes a while for them to come out of it. Therefore, go easy on the critical front when dealing with an INFP.
One of the 16 personality types as defined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), INFPs are touted as 'the dreamers' or 'the idealists'. This stems from the fact that deep inside, they love to dream, to help others, and to create beauty.

Making a good career choice is particularly difficult for every personality type, and the INFPs are no different. Besides, they too have their own little idiosyncrasies, which they need to evaluate and channelize, in order to choose the best career path. The paragraphs below offer some helpful career advice for the INFP personality type.

An Overview
  • INFP stands for 'Introversion', 'Intuition', 'Feelings', and 'Perceiving'.
  • Introversion is a trait that postpones immediate action. Rightly called 'the dreamers', INFPs portray this quality of thinking before undertaking an action.
  • They are highly intuitive, meaning, they can understand certain notions and feelings that others cannot. This deep-rooted intuition often tends to go against the possibility of exploring practical options.
  • Feelings are top priority for INFPs, they are very caring, compassionate, and selfless. This quality is significantly attributed to the way they tend to behave in relationships.
  • Perceiving is a notable trait here, since INFPs are known to be easily adapt―like water, they prefer taking the shape of the vessel in which it is poured, rather than change the vessel to suit themselves. They change with situations.

Personality Traits

Strengths
  • Compassionate
  • Idealistic
  • Highly creative
  • Introverted
  • Positive
  • Sensitive
  • Quick learners
  • Imaginative

Weaknesses
  • Cannot handle criticism
  • Cannot handle stress
  • Do not take a practical approach
  • Socially inactive
  • Do not have leadership qualities
  • Submissive attitude
  • Very selfless
  • Extra self-conscious

Best Career Choices

Writing
  • Without a trace of doubt, writing is one of the best career choices for people with an INFP personality.
  • They are very creative and are highly passionate about expressing their inner selves―in subtle ways.
  • Since they are reserved, their feelings are best expressed in the form of an art, and what can be better than the mighty pen?
  • They are well-adapted to become writers, authors, bloggers, columnists, freelancers, editors, novelists, etc.

Psychiatry
  • Helping and serving others defines, at its core, a true INFP.
  • They are highly compassionate, kind, sensitive, and loving.
  • They are truly devoted to helping others, whatever the situation. And this does not stop at physical help, they love to help others heal emotionally as well.
  • They tend to be sensitive towards listening to people pouring out their problems, expressing their worries, etc.
  • These are the traits that can help them become good psychiatrists.
  • As they are quick learners and are adaptable as well, they will, no doubt, perform fairly well in medical school. Beyond that, a specialization in psychiatry will help them gain a tremendous insight into many things they can do in order to help people.
  • Psychiatry is, indeed, an ideal profession for these people.

Counseling
  • For the same traits as mentioned above, counseling is also an excellent career option.
  • The field of counseling has tremendous scope, for it is not restricted to a particular niche. We have crime counseling, teenage counseling, career counseling, and many more.
  • As psychologists, INFPs would be completely dedicated to their profession, for it is something they will find solace in.
  • They will talk and find the root of the problem, discuss, conduct group therapy, and engage in many such activities to ensure that their patients are being helped and taken care of.

Teaching
  • Their idealistic and creative traits can create a brilliant amalgamation of sorts to contribute to the field of teaching.
  • A teacher does not just have to be knowledgeable about the subject, but has to impart the right values and principles to the future generation.
  • An INFP who is imbibed with the correct morals and ethics will be a perfect candidate for such careers, like that of a teacher, trainer, private tutor, lecturer, professor, etc.

Physical Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Since the caring nature comes naturally to INFPs, they can be brilliant therapists.
  • People involved in severe accidents tend to lose some of their physical ability as well as mental stability.
  • There are many rehabilitation centers that help such people regain the proper use of their motor skills.
  • This job requires a compassionate nature combined with good knowledge.
  • Helping the patient physically isn't sufficient, one needs to behave kindly and reassure them of a complete recovery.
  • This kind of patience, selflessness, and affection, along with dedication and loyalty towards the job can be found only in an INFP.
  • They can become speech therapists, rehabilitation therapists, physiotherapists, etc.

Worst Career Choices

Politics
  • Arguably, this is one of the worst INFP careers.
  • Though INFPs are good communicators, the communication is largely written and not verbal.
  • Moreover, they are reserved, shy, and take time to open up.
  • They are not social animals, and they loathe putting on an act for the sake of others.
  • Most importantly, they will be unable to engage the crowd in a speech and request for votes.
  • They cannot make pragmatic decisions or be diplomatic, which are certain essential traits required to succeed in politics. Thus, being a politician is definitely out of the list.

Telesales
  • INFPs are patient, but not to the point of convincing a customer to buy products.
  • Telesales is a field that requires you to be very polite, smart, and convincing.
  • INFPs are not very good at expressing their emotions or faking the same, they cannot sweet talk and convince customers.
  • Hence, telesales, or for that matter, any kind of job in the sales department is a 'no-no'.

Event Management
  • This is another field for INFPs to avoid.
  • Event management requires tremendous social networking and people-to-people skills.
  • Event managers have to be on their feet 24X7, and at everyone's beck and call.
  • Even though INFPs can hold themselves strong in the face of an adversity, this is certainly not one of those situations.
  • They lack the ability to handle stressful situations and immediate decision-making, both of which are crucial to succeed in the event management field.
  • Therefore, such jobs will not augur well for an INFP.

Civil Service
  • INFPs are highly idealistic and have strong ethics and principles.
  • Their personalities can undergo a violent change if they discover that they have been pushed into a situation where they have had to compromise on their ethics.
  • The civil service may be one such field, wherein unintentionally, a person may be subject to situations he does not wish to face.
  • Moreover, INFPs despise bureaucracy, making government jobs another undesirable career for them.
  • Another trait of a civil service job is monotony and boredom, which can get on their nerves.
  • Straight and out, an INFP cannot last in the civil service.

Retail
  • Almost similar to sales, retailing is another career for an INFP to avoid.
  • Retailers buy goods from the wholesalers in bulk, and sell it to the general public.
  • This kind of job requires good knowledge of business acumen, and you need to maintain a straight face even if the deal goes wrong.
  • INFPs are not designed to handle such scenarios, the constant badgering of clients and dealers will put them in state of mental turmoil.
  • This is the situation if you are a retailer; what if you are just a staff in the retail business? You will be working in grocery stores, supermarkets, cloth stores, restaurants, etc.
  • The lack of creativity and the constant running about will get to you, thus making it a very bad career choice.
Bear in mind that the above choices are based on observations. It is more of a guide than a detailed, confirmed analysis. Therefore, before blindly following a choice, assess yourself―discover your qualities, your likes, dislikes, your attitude, and your creativity. Carry out a self-analysis, discuss and decide which career will bring you a combination of job satisfaction, money, and most of all, happiness. Then make an informed choice and proceed. Good luck!