When it comes to careers, passion drives INFPs. They can exert extended efforts for a purpose and work many hours as long as they find meaning in what they do. They are compassionate, creative, and honest. Ideally, this personality type works effectively and should have been a good addition to the workforce.
However, according to MBTI® Manual, INFP personality has the most number of people dissatisfied with their career. If you’re an INFP, I know you find some truths in this. Unfortunately, the discontent roots from getting jobs opposite from their true aspirations.
INFP and Careers
The INFP personality is known for its compassionate, reserved, and kind nature. They are peace-revering idealists who dwell in their own dreamlands. Also, they are natural empaths with deep understanding for other people’s feelings.
Moral standards, beliefs, and values are their guiding factors. They revere authenticity above all which means they are nonconformists who can walk independent paths to protect their values.
Read more: 47 signs you’re an INFP.
In jobs, INFP possesses invaluable traits that can create a harmonious, empathetic, and well-organized work environment. If given the chance, their idealism can drive significant changes to improve an organization’s work structure.
Popular INFP Career Suggestions
I know you’re in search of what’s the best job for INFP. Here are a few INFP career suggestions to help you cultivate your strengths.
INFP can take career paths where they exercise creativity, compassion, and knowledge.
Arts, Language, and Communication
- Fashion Designer
- Graphic Designer
- Motivational Speakers
Science and Medicine
- Speech-Language Pathologist
- Physical Therapist
- Speech Therapist
- Human Resource Specialist
- Training Manager
- Social Worker
- Mental Health Counselor
- School Teacher
- Guidance Counselor
- Career Counselor
- Professor or College Instructor
- Special Education Teacher
INFP Jobs to Avoid
Although INFPs are flexible to learn any jobs, it still boils down if a job accords to their core personality.
Generally, INFP may be inefficient when it comes to strict policy implementation, objectivity, and routine work. Hence, here are a few jobs INFP should avoid:
- Air force Pilot
- Military Police
- Navy Operations Specialist
Sales and Finance
- Accountant and Auditor
- Treasury Analyst
- Criminal Investigator
- Immigration Officer
- Forensic Pathologist
- Police Officer
- Legal Secretary
- Law Firm Administrator
INFP Career Dissatisfaction
Oftentimes, INFPs look forward to working long-term and achieving career stability. However, emotional challenges happen, usually in the form of pressure, lack of passion, and routine work, which leaves them an empty and dry soul.
Despite the vision and the hype, many INFPs end up unsatisfied with their jobs.
Job searching is complex for us. Truth be told, it may take a while before INFP achieve real job satisfaction.
From a thread on Reddit, a few INFPs shared how their jobs were soul-sucking despite the great management and work environment.
In fact, they described the jobs as “cushy” and “easy” with astounding benefits. Sadly, they still itch to file their 2-week notice.
And the question is, why? Why would anyone leave a wholesome job? Why do INFPs always leave jobs?
I was guilty of job-hopping, too.
INFP job-hopping happens a lot. As a fellow INFP, I feel you – and on so many levels. I’ve experienced working in customer service, sales, the technical field, and education.
As you can see, these jobs have nothing in common. Furthermore, I’ve been job-hopping for 6 years and at some point, it induced frustrations and self-doubt.
I had unhealthy stages where I compare my achievements with my friends. How do they commit to a job for more than 3 years while I can’t stay in mine for a year?
Long story short, I felt hopeless. I literally don’t want to work anymore. After multiple ventures, no job seems to resonate with me. It scares me that even if I change jobs, I’m only repeating the cycle.
Unfortunately, this story is true to hundreds and thousands of INFP.
I got those mind-racking frustrations, too. Fortunately, I carried a few valuable lessons. In this post, I will shed light on what we experience in common and what I did to overcome the confusion.
Why are INFPs Dissatisfied with their Job?
INFPs are often dissatisfied with their jobs because of two things: Introverted Feeling (Fi) and Extraverted iNtuition (Ne), which we can translate to authenticity and harboring multiple possibilities.
INFPs have introverted feeling (Fi) as a dominant cognitive function. Due to this, they highly rely on their moral standards and uphold a strong sense of authenticity.
Their jobs must resonate with who they are. They must find meaning, or else, the idea of quitting jobs will keep knocking on their doors.
On the other hand, INFP’s extraverted iNtuition allows them to visualize a wide array of routes. This instigates an INFP to think, “I could’ve done better elsewhere” or “there are more opportunities outside rather than here.”
As a result, an INFP will indeed switch to a job where they think will give them more fulfillment.
Moreover, the inability to show their strengths sway the INFP motivation and makes them feel useless.
Sad to say, many companies aren’t built to fit an INFP. It was the other way around. INFPs try to be someone else to fit in a job. Getting a job sounds plausible at first, but not in the long run.
Here are a few more reasons why INFPs become dissatisfied with their jobs:
- Inappropriate jobs cage INFP creativity.
- Disregarding authenticity empties their soul.
- They have a low tolerance for conformity, structure, and routine.
- None of their strengths were ever put into use.
- Consistent pressure
- Toxic workmates and poor management
When a job doesn’t satisfy INFPs, they give in to frustration and self-doubt.
Intentionally changing our personality takes huge damage not only physically, but also to our emotional and mental health.
When INFPs can’t be at their best, they feel useless and start to act like it. Drained INFPs become clumsy and slow. The critical-thinking INFPs become shallow and dysfunctional when they stay in the wrong career.
Should INFP quit job when they’re dissatisfied?
Should an INFP quit job when they’re dissatisfied? It’s a huge dilemma especially when the quote, “Quitters never win and winners never quit” keeps knocking on your door.
Moreover, your loved ones are against it, too. You can’t even defend yourself because you also see the irrationality of leaving your job. But what else could you do if a job sucks your soul?
If the only thing you’re thinking about is to quit, every morning and every second, I believe that’s already an indication to quit your job.
But to give you better insights, consider the following below.
When Should INFP Quit Jobs?
Should INFPs quit jobs just because they’re dissatisfied? Here’s my take on this issue:
1. Quit when a job doesn’t make use of your strengths.
I’ve hopped from one job to another. Overall, it’s 4 jobs excluding the business ventures. Right now, I’m happy to take my work experiences as lessons. Although, during the time I was there, it was full of cries, exhaustion, and trauma.
Now I’m on a better standpoint to find a common ground among my past experiences.
Why did I feel so demotivated back then? Why does dissatisfaction never leave me? I thought it was brought by immaturity back then. But heck, I’m now a physically and mentally equipped adult and I’m still circling in the same storm.
Thankfully, I realized a significant fact along the lines. It’s that INFPs must find a job that utilizes their strengths.
Many INFPs have a knack for:
- giving advice
- helping friends cope up
Unfortunately, many INFPs overlook these strengths and find jobs that work the opposite. They get stuck in an office job doing analytic work. Some people answer phone calls in routine and resolve issues for angry customers.
These are awesome jobs, however, the idealistic INFPs will gradually decline to these types of work.
The ugly truth is INFPs enter jobs according to what society presents them. Worse, they land on jobs that utilize their weaknesses which makes the whole experience in limbo.
I’m not a fan of “working out our weaknesses.” Why try to overcome your weaknesses when you can grow and excel with your strengths? I believe that if a job hinders your strengths, then it’s not a suitable job for you.
Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
In other words, amplify your strengths more than your weaknesses. Focus where you’re good at, and not where you’re losing.
2. Quit when a job drifts you away from values and morals.
INFP’s dominant cognitive function is introverted Feeling (Fi). Our Fi cognitive function adheres to our moral standards and values. INFPs value honesty and loyalty and only give their trust to a few chosen people.
Now, if your current job doesn’t align with your values, sooner or later, dissatisfaction will pile up.
- Does your job force you to lie? Ex. letting customers shoulder an illegitimate higher price for extra profit.
- Does your workplace tolerate bullying and toxicity?
- Does your company ignore employees’ sentiments?
I once ventured into multi-level marketing. Although the benefits were promising, it didn’t take me long to drop the “opportunity”. Their business model involved blatant lies to get recruits. As an INFP, such dishonesty is a heavy cross to bear.
If a company forces you to do actions that oppose your values, try raising the issue. But if no changes were made, then you may opt for a different job or organization.
Should INFP have part-time job instead of a full-time one?
Since INFP wants flexibility in a job, you probably thought that trimming off your hours would be advantageous. It could be. However, fewer working hours isn’t always the solution.
As an INFP, I experienced venturing as a part-timer in 3 different jobs. One of them was transitioning from a full-time job to working 4 hours a day as a customer service.
I told my manager I wanted to quit because I can’t balance work and school life well. But I used that reason to mask my real issue. It’s that I’m unhappy with my job.
But instead of letting me go, the company was generous enough to give me a more flexible schedule.
Although they fixed it in my favor, I wasn’t ecstatic about it. Because truly, whether I’m in a full-time or a part-time job, I struggled the same. INFP don’t like jobs where they find no meaning.
What matters is growing their strengths and a job that aligns with their values. Sadly, I can’t find mine in that job. I was impassionate and I grew to become more unproductive and useless each day.
Having a part-time job instead of full-time may seem advisable. However, INFPs commit to authenticity, passion, and values more than flexibility.
INFPs can work 12 hours a day with something they truly love. But they can’t expend 2 hours in a tormenting job. Whether you work part-time or full-time, make sure it’s a job you find purpose in.
How to find the right career?
What’s harder than soul-searching? It’s the job search. While seeking a job is difficult enough, finding one that truly fits your personality is even harder.
I assume you’re an INFP who ventured into different jobs already. So, you have enough job experience to realize that many are not working for you. Fortunately, these experiences are crucial to pinpointing what you can and can’t tolerate in a job.
So let’s proceed on what to take note of to avoid landing on the wrong one once again.
1. Stop pointing fingers. Look at yourself first.
Have you ever desired to leave a job because you dislike the people you’re working with? You have co-workers who infuriate the veins and vessels out of you.
Or does your company have poor management and administration? And you can’t take how they’re running the business?
I bet you did point fingers, even once. You often use excuses such as, “I need to leave for school” or “I found another job” etc. But you very well know you’re leaving because you didn’t like either the job or the people.
While these situations and emotions naturally happen, we need to step back to address the real issue.
Instead of looking at the shortcomings of other people, start looking at yourself first.
Why do people tolerate such poor management, and I can’t? Why do my co-workers connect, and I can’t?
Start turning the eye towards yourself. Instead of pointing out their bad behavior, poor management, and the toxic environment, start looking at why you can’t stand such situations.
This correlates to our number 2.
2. What are your core values?
So what are the values and situations in a workplace you can and cannot negotiate with? What are your strengths and my weaknesses?
I’ll set myself as an example. Here is a table to show my most important work values.
- Work Hours
- Toxic workmates
Strengths/ Talents/ Skills
- Social Skills
- Busy Workplaces
From what you can see above, I listed “Work hours” and “salary” under negotiable. Looking back, I never quit a job because of the money. So far, the offers I received were decent, so it’s negotiable.
“Work hours” is in the same category. We never know. A 2-hour job may be as stressful as your 9-5. Or a 12-hour job may be as lovely as a part-time job. So for me, it’s negotiable. List down what’s negotiable for you, too.
Under non-negotiable, I wrote honesty, nonconformity, and toxic workmates. When you understand which values are non-negotiable for you, you receive a clearer sight of the jobs you should be involved in.
- Honesty – Because I value honesty and authenticity in my words, I wouldn’t be a good saleswoman.
- Nonconformity – I want to lead instead of conforming. Maybe I can become a solopreneur or freelancer.
- Toxic workmates – As an introvert, I want a job with little supervision and alone time.
As to strengths and weaknesses, it may take a few rough turns to realize what you’re good at. But use your experiences to redirect you to a better career path. It’s trial and error.
It took me years of job-hopping to find out where I belong. To be honest, I’m still open to more opportunities. But right now, learning my core values gives me significant insights into where my career should go.
Lastly, what are your interests that you consider as strengths? What do people say you’re good at? As for me, it’s writing and teaching. I don’t consider myself an expert, yet. But I’ve been enjoying these activities and I could do this all day.
What’s yours? List down that skill or talent you’ve been enjoying all through these years. You will start from there.
Your “dream job” isn’t always the “perfect job”.
“Dream jobs” sometimes blind people from their true strengths. We tend to follow a course although we don’t carry the essential skills and passion for the craft.
Here’s an example:
When I was a kid, I wanted to follow my father’s footsteps and become an engineer. I don’t have special connections to the craft but adding “Engr.” to my name has an awesome ring to it. For years, I carried that dream.
In college, I had the opportunity to study Automotive Engineering and excelled in some aspects.
However, I soon experienced the minor details no one talks about. Working in tech requires analytics and keen observation. Furthermore, the environment is often aggressive and stressful.
There, I realized, this isn’t what I wanted to do my whole life. The “dream job” was merely one goal. “Dream jobs” aren’t always the “perfect job” you thought it would be.
Normally, you wouldn’t expect an INFP to work in tech. But because INFPs are flexible, jack-of-all-trades even, they can venture into numerous career paths.
But remember, it all boils down to your core values. What are your strengths? What are you interested in the most?
The better approach for INFPs is to collect experiences until they can sort out their core values.
So don’t sulk in frustration when you’ve been in multiple jobs and nothing seems to work. Take a step back and observe what did and didn’t work for you. This way, you will know where to go next.
INFP and Jobs
Can INFP become a teacher?
Yes, INFP can become great teachers. INFP in teaching field is one of the most passionate and creative teachers.
Not only they are kind, but they can take in information from a wide array of resources and make it more comprehensible to their students.
INFPs as teachers are great motivators. Aside from delivering the knowledge and facts, they also drive their students to act on ideals. They love instigating ideas and proposing purposeful projects.
INFP teachers tend to look beyond their students. They track their actions, where they’re coming from, and address where one might be lacking. They make good and inspiring mentors.
However, if there would be cons for INFPs entering this field, you can watch out for the following:
- Constant implementation of policies
- Having to be readily available for student inquiries
- Paperwork and grade calculations
- Having to teach subjects misaligned with your expertise
- Could override your vacant hours with load work
Although INFP has innate strengths for teaching and education, you must also be wary of the simplest details in the scope of work. Now, the question becomes, how much can you tolerate? What’s negotiable and nonnegotiable for you?
Can INFP become an entrepreneur?
In the rise of the digital age, entrepreneurship has never been easier, even for INFPs.
Here are the following skills and characteristics that make INFPs great at business:
- Value authenticity in their products
- A great leader that can create a work-friendly environment
- Creativity to innovate new plans and take new routes
- It’s an assurance that you’re leading your cause
Even the gentle INFP can become great entrepreneurs. However, it’s not always a smooth-sailing process. INFP may look whether they can endure and triumph in the following situations:
- Pressure to keep up with the changing society
- Social skills to expand your network
- Having to work even 8 hours and more per day
INFP has always been a dreamer regardless of their age and career. They are bound to jump from one idea to another and there’s nothing wrong with it. We’re idealists.
Unfortunately, other people see our spontaneity as an INFP weakness and position it side-by-side with instability. Such disagreeing opinions make INFP more frustrated and dissatisfied with their career.
As an INFP myself, I still am having a hard time making people understand my reasons. It’s not that I can’t say it, but it’s more on they can’t accept it. INFPs comprise 4 to 5 percent of the population. Our minority makes it easier for people to invalidate our dispositions.
However, to become happy as an INFP, the first thing we need to do is accept who we really are. We should excel in what we already have.
For INFPs, carry your experiences and self-reflect. Don’t press yourself too hard. Just keep on moving. Try new things and discover what truly resonates.
Dream jobs may fulfill your cause, but they may also become the worst job for INFP. We’ll never know unless we take a step forward into it.
After all, it’s you who will decide what careers are best for INFP. We’re categorized based on our preferences, but we’re still individuals with different tolerance and interests.
As long as you’re courageous enough to take your own path and defy what others think about you, you will get there. I hope the line, “stay true to yourself” resonates with you significantly. Because for me, it does.
Thanks for reading. God bless!
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What if you still don’t know what your strengths are, what you’re good at, or what makes you damn happy even if it means sleepless nights?
Don’t be afraid to discover. 🙂 It may mean you have to try different jobs, or deal with some frustrating interest hopping. I know it takes time, patience, and exhaustion. But that’s the only way INFPs can land on what truly resonates with them. By gaining experience. By trying. Until they can firm up their decisions, and learn the things they can let go of. Because, without experience, INFPs’ introverted Feeling (Fi), their dominant function, really can’t evaluate what to choose. Help your Fi by feeding it lots of experiences to evaluate.
Aside from experiences, you can do in-depth research so you can somehow picture an outcome from other people’s results. Then, take action.
Best regards. 🙂
I loved reading your article Margarette ! Very insightful and thorough, Thank you very much for the work you put on it 🙏🏻
Thanks for reading the piece, Gaelle. 🙂