You're one of a kind.
Doesn't everyone want to hear that?
But for the INTJ type — Introversion, INtuiting, Thinking, Judging), known as the Scientist, Architect, or Strategist depending on the source — it's likely to be true. This rare type (just 2% of the population according to 16 personalities, and only 0.8% of women) often forges her own path in life which results in interesting, unique careers.
Jane Austen, Michelle Obama, Tim Ferriss, John August, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Susan B. Anthony, and Augustus Caesar are all said to be INTJs (as well as some "evil geniuses," such as Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, and Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars).
Often characterized by possessing the ability to see the big picture as well as apply creative thinking to complex problems, the "Strategist" has plenty of advantages for succeeding in their career of choice. That said, an INTJ jammed in the wrong career path will be miserable, and likely make all those around them feel their pain, possibly through ruthless logic and nitpicking of redundant or inefficient processes.
So if that sounds like you, let's put you on the right track to where your personality will shine. Without further ado, a rundown of all things related to INTJ careers:
INTJs in the Workplace
If you're an INTJ, you're likely known as an independent, strategic, (sometimes intense!) individual. You take the initiative to fix things (with or without permission sometimes), have no problem assuming more responsibility, and can handle a large workload.
Your ideal workplace environment values constant learning, logic over emotions, minimal repetitive work, creative problem solving and independence, according to Career Planner, a career testing and planning platform.
In general, most INTJs prefer to work alone or with small, skilled groups of people. Workplaces with rigid processes and bureaucratic structures are a huge turn-off for this systems-minded personality. Without the access to tweaking workflows for maximum efficiency, INTJs can become impatient, frustrated, and lose whatever amount of tact they possess (which is usually not a large amount).
INTJs are known for rising to the top of their fields, or for becoming a specialist in one or more areas.
While the extroverted sister to this type, ENTJ, is known as the "CEO" and the natural leader among MBTI types, INTJs hold their own as leaders too. They may not be as charismatic or as outgoing as their extroverted twin, but INTJ's long-view vision abilities and high-level expertise allow them to lead extremely effective teams.
If your boss is an INTJ, you'll be rewarded with independence and ownership over your work from the start; however, if you don't deliver results or if you have a core incompetency, expect to be called out immediately. Above all, INTJ leaders respect those who ruthlessly execute their jobs with autonomy and skill. You won't find an INTJ boss who enjoys hand-holding their employees; they expect self-motivated workers, and can't tolerate those who don't attempt to solve problems on their own before asking for help.
Lastly, don't expect to pal around with your INTJ manager; this type usually prefers to keep work and private lives separate, especially with their subordinates.
Given INTJ's natural love of independence, most will struggle in highly defined roles where there is no room to experiment or improve systems. Managers of INTJs in these types of roles will likely find themselves at odds with INTJ's impeccable logic which challenges the status quo. This type often finds it hard to follow prescribed or rote instructions if the logic behind them isn't sound, and have no qualms at voicing their disapproval. Naturally, this can lead to INTJs being labeled as a know-it-all, stubborn, or even perceived as aloof, because of their inability to conform to what they consider stupidity.
INTJs loathe micromanagers; the happiest subordinate INTJ is one with a boss who allows them the freedom and trust to execute on their own, in their own way.
Best INTJ Career Choices
As an independent, disciplined, and self-motivated type (all valuable traits for workplace success), INTJs have a slew of career options available to them. The trick is finding an environment that welcomes innovation, intellectual curiosity, and is free from nonsensical bureaucratic processes.
A few prime career choices include:
INTJs enjoy diving deep into research, sussing out new bits of information, and then applying them to theories in novel ways — which is a key aspect to this career path.
Fiction-writing INTJs love the ability to create entire worlds with words, while journalist and editorial minded INTJs enjoy the challenge of research and crafting a story.
The competitive environment and challenging work of law allow INTJs the stimulation and achievement craved by this type.
• Strategist (in many different industries)
Developing creative solutions to complex problems is the bread and butter of INTJs, so any job requiring strategic vision is an excellent fit.
Similar to strategy, INTJs enjoy solving intricate puzzles, which is inherent to engineering.
The lone-wolf, driven persona attributed to this type aligns with the stereotypical inventor. INTJs find that tinkering on their own projects and solving the problems they've noticed in the world is satisfying, intense work.
This career feeds INTJ's desire for meritocracy. Code either works or doesn't; it's not influenced by personality or other subjective means, and this career allows for ample creative thinking.
How to Find the Right Career for Your Type’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Unfortunately for INTJ's reserved personality, networking remains a central aspect of job searching. Schmoozing with strangers irks INTJ's craving for rewarding talent with opportunity rather than connections, but for some seeking positions in competitive environments, it's a necessary evil.
Luckily, INTJs often find success using job boards and applying directly to open positions. This type's careful logic and strategy help with crafting resumes and cover letters which address the central needs of the companies they apply to. With the type's inherent quest for knowledge and mastery, finding a job is usually easy as they'll come armed with many qualifications.
INTJs know how to sample different careers as well, through internships, job shadowing, and side hustles as experiments. As one of the more independent and careful signs, most INTJs will make sure a new career is viable in all aspects and will construct a sturdy safety net before moving on to a new endeavor.
The Worst Careers for the INTJ Personality Type
Any career with high levels of interaction with people — such as customer service, sales, and nursing — will sap INTJ's limited patience and be at odds with the type's introverted tendencies. Repetitive tasks and micromanaging environments are also not ideal, as an INTJ will want to improve and change the organization and crave the freedom to do so.
• Human Resource Manager
While an INTJ could do an excellent job at this career (or any that they put their mind to), it's not a happy fit with the people-forward requirements of this career. That, along with the repetitive data-entry heavy duties often required of this position is a recipe for a burned out, unfulfilled INTJ.
The care and compassion (as well as extended time working directly with people) required of nurses doesn't suit INTJ's temperament and isn't inherently attractive to INTJ's natural capabilities
With no room for creativity given the requirements of tax law and finance, INTJs will find this career dull and mind-numbingly repetitive. Without an outlet for INTJs quest for evolution, frustration mounts quickly, which is bound to happen to an INTJ in this field.
Patience is not an INTJ virtue, unfortunately. While INTJs may make steady, disciplined caregivers to their own children, rearing the offspring of others is not their forte.
Nina Semczuk, Head of SEO content here at Fairygodboss, is an INTJ.
Before she really even knew what the Meyers-Briggs types were, she was voted "Future Scientist" as her senior superlative. While she didn't pursue STEM in college or after (opting instead to get a degree in communications with a hope for a writing job one day), she was relieved to find many successful writers also share her type.