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Personalities in the Workplace
ISFP Careers: Find the Job That Fits Your Personality
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AnnaMarie Houlis
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Journalist & travel blogger
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ISFPs (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perception) are artists, but not always in the traditional sense, 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.

"[ISFPs] use aesthetics, design and even their choices and actions to push the limits of social convention," according to 16 Personalities. "ISFPs enjoy upsetting traditional expectations with experiments in beauty and behavior – chances are, they’ve expressed more than once the phrase "Don’t box me in!"."

With that said, let's take a deeper look at how this personality type behaves in the workplace.

What Are ISFP Personality Types Like in the Workplace?

"ISFPs live in a colorful, sensual world, inspired by connections with people and ideas," according to 16 Personalities. "ISFP personalities take joy in reinterpreting these connections, reinventing and experimenting with both themselves and new perspectives. No other type explores and experiments in this way more."

As risk takers, ISFPs push their passions to the fullest. That's why people love being around them, even though they're highly independent individuals. ISFPs typically possess the following traits that they exhibit both in their personal lives and in the workplace:

  • Charm
  • Hyper-Sensitivity
  • Imagination
  • Passion
  • Curiosity
  • Artistic Talent

They also have weaknesses, however. Here are some of their most common ones:

  • Independence
  • Unpredictability
  • Easily Stressed
  • Overly Competitive
  • Fluctuating Self-Esteem

As a result of these traits, both positive and negative, here's what ISFPs are like as managers, subordinates and colleagues.

ISFPs as Managers

"The position that feels most unnatural to ISFPs is management," according to 16 Personalities. "They are not a domineering personality type, and take no joy in exerting control over others, planning long-term goals, or disciplining unsatisfactory behavior."

That said, just because ISFPs aren't necessarily natural leaders doesn’t mean that they're not good at leading. Their curiosity, passion and imagination still make them motivational bosses.

ISFPs as Subordinates

"People with the ISFP personality type don’t like to be controlled, and this can be quite clear in subordinate positions — they loathe being micromanaged," according to 16 Personalities.

At the same time, however, ISFPs are notorious for losing focus, for their spontaneity and for being risk takers to a fault because they often break the rules. 

ISFPs as Colleagues

"Among their peers, ISFPs feel most comfortable," according to 16 Personalities. "Working with equals and giving some advice in order to solve practical problems is right where ISFP personalities like to be."

Excessive social interaction can be exhausting for ISFPs, so they do need their time to do their own thing, too.

How Can You Find the Right Career for Your Personality Type's Strengths and Weaknesses?

Given an ISFP's personality traits, here are some of the best ways to find a career that they'll love.

1. Search Job Board Sites

ISFPs are fiercely independent, which means that they might perform best in their job hunt if they spend some time alone searching for careers online that really intrigue them.

2. Reach out to Employees

Because ISFPs display such a sense of confidence as risk takers, they do well reaching out to people directly. Cold emailing someone at a company of interest isn't easy for everyone, but ISFPs are comfortable doing it.

3. Reach out to Immediate Social Circles

ISFPs are surrounded by friends and family who feed of their energy. As such, they have tons of people on whom they can turn to help them in their job hunt.

What Are the Best Career Choices for an ISFPs Personality Type?

"In the workplace, ISFPs seek out positions that give them as much wiggle room as possible to do things their own way,"  according to 16 Personalities. "Button-down environments that revolve around tightly held traditions and strictly enforced procedures are unlikely to appeal to ISFP personalities. Spontaneous, charming, and genuinely fun people to be around, ISFPs just want a chance to express those natural qualities, and to know that their efforts are appreciated."

With that said, here are five jobs in which they will likely thrive.

1. Artists

 ISFPs crave outlets to exercise their imaginations and express themselves artistically. As such, a role as a traditional artist is fitting.

2. Musician

Because ISFPs are so artistic, they make for great musicians, as well.

3. Activist

"ISFPs loathe sitting idle in colorless, unchanging environments," according to 16 Personalities. "They are free souls and need flexibility, opportunities for improvisation, and immersive work that engages every sense."

As such, ISFPs are strong activists as they know themselves well and are analytical of their surroundings and social situations. They can express themselves and their concerns for the social atmospheres in which they live well.

4. Photographers

ISFPs have an eye for creativity, which makes them skilled photographers.

5. Designers

Because ISFPs seek creative authority, they thrive in design careers such as in jobs like architecture and interior design.

What Are the Worst Career Choices for an ISFPs Personality Type?

Not all careers are great for ISFP personality types. Here are three that may not be the best fit for them.

1. Finance

Because finance is largely logical with little to no room for creativity, ISFPs may not be fulfilled in this field. Plus, they're more focused on day-to-day rewards than the rewards that many people in finance spend time working towards.

2. Engineering

ISFPs believe that life’s too short for us to bore ourselves, and jobs that require extensive certifications and schooling to get started can move too slowly for them. Engineering is one of those slow-built careers that takes a lot of education and time to grow. Plus, they seek creative authority, and while they often have creative authority in the engineering field, many of them value independence over working with teams.

3. Career Coaching

While ISFPs don't want to settle for just any job for themselves, they're considered unpredictable and unreliable, which means that they're not the most trusted personality types for planning careers or helping others set goals for their futures. Plus, because ISFPs often feel that they have little control over the future and tend to live in the present, they're not the go-to people for working out long-term goals.

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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.

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