INFJs (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging) are very rare, forming less than one percent of the population, according to 16 Personalities, a free personality testing site where users are promised a concrete and accurate description of who they are and why they do things the way they do.
"As Diplomats, [INFJs] have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait — INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact," according to the site. "INFJs indeed share a unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in."
INFJs typically possess the following traits that they exhibit both in their personal lives and in the workplace:
They also have weaknesses, however. Here are some of their most common ones:
As a result of these traits, both positive and negative, here's what INFJs are like as managers, subordinates and colleagues.
"As managers, INFJs are often reluctant in exercising their authority, preferring to see their subordinates as equals, coordinating and supervising people, leaving the technical systems and factual details to more capable hands, and working hard to inspire and motivate, not to crack the whip," according to 16 Personalities.
That said, INFJs still have high standards as managers. They appreciate the individuals who work for them, but if those subordinates' actions or attitudes undermine their ethics or values, they'll have little tolerance for it. They'll work tirelessly to ensure that their workers feel valued and happy at work, while ensuring that they spread the same vibe around the office.
"As subordinates, INFJs are likely to chafe under hardline rules, formal hierarchies and routine tasks," according to 16 Personalities. "People with the INFJ personality type value diplomacy and sensitivity, and the more democratic and personal their manager’s style is, and the more they feel their independence and input are valued, the happier they’ll be."
INFJs tend to act on their convictions, which means that most of their actions are meaningful to them. If their actions come under criticism, it can tank their morale.
"As colleagues, INFJs are likely to become quite popular, being seen as positive, eloquent and capable friends, identifying others’ motives and defusing conflicts and tension before anyone else even senses a disturbance," according to 16 Personalities.
Because INFJs can't stand conflict, they tend to be great cooperators and helpful hands.
INFJs hugely value a satisfying work environment where they can express their creativity and insight, while pursuing work that has meaning for their own personal growth and helps other people. As such, they're very interested in jobs that align with their values, principles and beliefs.
People with the INFJ personality type, therefore, tend to thrive as their own bosses or in roles in which they have a great deal of authority and flexibility. Given an INFJ's personality traits, here are some of the best ways to find a career that they'll love.
Because INFJs thrive in connecting with others, they'll have a relatively easy time networking even in crowds full of unfamiliar faces.
INFJs are great at establishing rapport with others. They have no problem reaching out to people for help in order to reach their idealistic goals. It'd, therefore, be wise to reach out to employees at companies of interest personally and directly.
INFJs will have an easy time talking with friends and family who can help connect them with people in their professional circles who may be looking to fill opportunities.
Here are some of the best job roles for INFJs.
INFJs need to find meaning in their work and, as such, saving lives as a nurse is a great career for them.
Like nursing, becoming a doctor is an ideal choice for INFJs who look for meaning in their work.
INFJs make wonderful psychologists since they're out to help others for the long term. They also would rather be in noncompetitive roles working for themselves where they can grow personally and make a difference — and psychology has a lot of room for self-employment and personal growth.
INFJs make inspirational and motivational career coaches since the work is both meaningful and productive.
Holistic healing is a very rewarding career path for INFJs.
Not all careers are great for INJF personality types. Here are three that may not be the best fit for them.
INFJs look for meaning, which means that they prefer to be out connecting with other humans and creating change. Plugging numbers won't typically be too appealing to INFJs.
"Accounting and auditing, data analysis and routine work will leave people with the INFJ personality type fidgety and unfulfilled," according to 16 Personalities.
INFJs would rather work for themselves than fulfill supporting roles in larger corporations.
Where INFJs fall flat is in work focusing on impersonal concerns and mundanity. So unless an INFJ is selling something of meaning to them, typically, sales isn't a very fulfilling career path for them.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.