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I'm an INFP

May 10th, 2006 at 10:35 am

Thanks for all of your support. This is such a nice place to visit and express ideas.

I've taken the Myers-Briggs personality test, the Kiersey Personality Sorter test, and many others on the internet for years. I most often get INFP (sometimes INFJ). Interestingly enough, SO is an INFP as well.

Live Career offers a free assessment test if you're interested in knowing what your type is. You have to register (free) and the quiz is 100 questions long - it takes about 20 minutes.

I'd love to hear what your personality test results are!! Post them in your blogs or here in the comments field if you have a chance.

I've been looking up ideal INFP careers this morning and found several interesting websites. If you know what your type is, here's an extensive careers link: Ball State University's personality type & careers page.

There's also a Jung Type Descriptions page that tells you what you're like and what careers would be good and not so good for you, based on your type.

I found this site fascinating as well: Murray State Myers-Briggs information page. The descriptions are very detailed.

I found a few lines from the last website interesting:

- People with INFP preferences have a great deal of warmth, but may not show it until they know a person well. They keep their warm side inside, like a fur-lined coat. DEFINITELY - is that why I've made no friends at my current job?

- They stick to their ideals with passionate conviction. I'm not going to sell my ethics for a $5 book! Stick Out Tongue

- They want their work to contribute to something that matters to them--human understanding, happiness, or health. They want to have a purpose beyond their paycheck, no matter how big the check. although if the check is big, I'm not going to complain!

-In the long haul, what INFPs choose as a career must serve their own idealism. If it doesn't, they can become restless and stressed and their work can become sloppy and counterproductive. restless - CHECK! stressed - CHECK!

According to all of these websites, I'm on the right path with my job search. My "favored careers" are all things I'm interested in. I just have to pick something new and run with it, I guess! What to choose...that is the question.

57 Responses to “I'm an INFP”

  1. scottish girl Says:

    I remember talking about personality tests in one of my classes. I think I might give it a go.

  2. DivaJen Says:

    I am an INFJ Smile

  3. mjrube94 Says:

    I'm an ESTJ...and not one of those "close to the middle types". I'm pretty much at the end of the spectrum! I'm glad you found this worthwhile, and hope it makes your job search easier!

  4. Scott Says:

    I took those tests at work about two years ago. I came out as ISTJ, and given what the descriptions were (I forget them all now) I wasn't surprised. While interesting, I don't see how knowing it helps me all that much. I knew my strengths and weaknesses before. Perhaps for some people this can help though.

  5. baselle Says:

    I took Meyer-Briggs for work a year ago. I'm a fellow INFPer, and I was a bit surprised because I thought I was more of a planner/judger than really spontaneous. Turns out, I guess, that I don't really follow a routine, but rather keep one when nothing spectacular comes along.

  6. allison Says:

    Thanks for posting the Murray State link, the description there was right on.

    Glad to know I'm not the only INFP in my 20's struggling to find a good career, pay off the loans and find the meaning of (my) life.

  7. Katie Says:

    I am an INFP...I can really relate to the lack of friends situation! I too have no "real friends" after 1.5 years of working at my latest job. WTF? I feel like a loser, but I know that if these people go to know me, they'd totally love me...We INFP's are very lovable :+) Good luck in your frien-search. Feel free to send me any tips you might have for us "guarded" INFP's.

  8. Karen Says:

    I'm an INFP too! I've been working for 10 years as an administrative assitant and have been miserable. I'm in the process of taking the plunge and going back to school to earn a master's degree in music so I can teach at the college level. I've been reading alot about personality types today and am extremely excited to read all these things that say being a music professor is spot-on for my personality type! I can tell you from first-hand experience just how hopeless a feeling it is to be stuck doing something that just doesn't fit who you are. My advice to you and to everyone from now on: if you're not happy, get out! Change your life! Make it happen! How can you lose? Smile

  9. Val Says:

    Oh my God. Thank goodness I've found other people just like me. For years, I have felt misunderstood and completely miserable in my work. I am successful by all appearances, but because this work doesn't align with my "ideals and values", it's just not a good fit. I'm ready to stop settling for anything in my life and my career is no different. I'm ready to embrace my idealistic self and do something that matters...just got to figure out what it is...

  10. Santosh Says:

    I am INFP ,

    Contemplating on changing my carrer and move to more satisfying job. I wish I will turn to Academic work.

    Recently I took Kirsey test as a part of Team building workshop and this opened new avenues for me.

    I am reading a lot on career-change online as well as print material. And hope to post some information/summary regarding this online.
    Watch out ...

  11. Michelle Says:

    I also found out I am an INFP.

    I have been working in the accounting field for the last 12 years. I have not had much success with my career. There are too many deadlines, and the work is downright tedious and boring. I do nothing that really contributes to society. I have been miserable with my career for the last 12 years. I have mostly either quit or have been fired, and only once in all my jobs did I have a chance for a promotion, and even that fell through. It's been very stressful on my health. I've been suffering from depression, anxiety and stomach ulcers. I am only 34 years old.

    I have been thinking about a career change, not just a job change. I feel like after getting that accounting degree and the 12 years of experience, I would just be throwing that all away and starting fresh again. This is why I haven't changed careers, and I am afraid of what the future holds. But maybe I would be happier, more successful, and healthier with a different career path.

    I always loved animals a lot (I own 2 cats and a fish), nature and anything with medical science. I thought about studying veterinary science. I would be helping people's pets, so I would be contributing to society in a meaningful way. Seems like a more interesting avenue, and I would be doing something I enjoy more. Better than punching numbers into a calculator or computer all day - so boring.

  12. Santosh Says:

    Oh Michelle ,

    You can think of teaching Accounting to younger kids , may be part-time that will really help.

    Further you can think of helping as a accountant part-time for some NGO that works for animals that will give you access to these fields and you can transfer your skills.
    Slowly you can switch to another area.

    am thinking on similar lines -

    Hope this helps.

    Santosh

  13. Krista Says:

    Wow! Fellow INFPer here, I'm 28, stuck in a sales position right now and doing some professional photography part-time on the side.
    I was considering a career in photography, but the more I get into it, the more I realize that it would not satisfy my drive to help people, eventually I would grow to hate it. I would prefer to keep it a part-time hobby that makes a little money.

    Considering going back to school but also having to pay off debts, not sure if I want to put off having a family to go back to school or if my husband and I will have a baby first, then go back to school about 2-3 years after that.

    I am still not sure exactly what program of study I want to pursue. Most appealing to me is Counseling Psychology, eventually going into private practice, however my research tells me that that would require a Ph.D. (approximately 9-11 years of school). I'm not sure I'm prepared to be in school until I'm 40! So I'm researching other options that would still involve helping people one-on-one.

    Krista

  14. Krista Says:

    Oops.
    Smile

  15. Lyta Says:

    My career counselor had given me the Myers-Briggs personality test a couple of years ago. I was surprised to hear that the description seemed to fit me bang on. I've been fascinated ever since. I was then 20 years old. I'm now 22 and still struggling with the decision of what to do as a career. A lot of people don't believe in personality tests, but from my own personal research I found out that this personality test was actually designed by INFP's. Makes sense now, doesn't it? Studies show that people may often change between 2 different personality types when taking this type of test multiple times, but lean more towards a certain personality type than others. Which is probably why people question the validity of this test. In my case I find it to be very helpful in my search for my so called ideal career.

    For my creative side I'm thinking about taking drafting and design. Maybe photography as a hobby. Somewhere I read that INFP's do not like details, but I really am someone who is into fine details.

    For office work, I'm thinking about Human Resources or Career Counseling.

    Other careers I think I'd be interested in are nursing or teaching.

    Someday I do want to settle down and have a family, but for now the focus is on myself. Sounds funny, but I am really looking forward to being a soccer mom type and be very active in my kid's lives. I can see family being a top priority in my life.

  16. Robert Blomquist Says:

    Thanks for the links. I am an INFP, and after working 10 years thinking I was something else, well, I am trying to find a career that fits my personality. And I will be 47 next week. Sigh.

  17. Sam Says:

    I am an INFP and have known for years. I never thought I matched "all" of the INFP description (we rarely fit all of it) until this summer when I went to work at a summer camp where I knew no one and found out that I am VERY guarded when it comes to new people.
    I feel like there is no "real friends" almost. But I won't abandon hope.
    I am 22 and still looking for that "perfect" career. I feel so restless and like I will never settle down. Love is a completely hopeless issue. I have never been in a relationship - is it because of ideals? No, I don't think so, I just want to feel something.
    I am so frustrated. Good to know I'm not alone. Smile

  18. Honey Says:

    Sam: You are not alone Smile

  19. Lyta Says:

    Hi Sam, I feel the same way about friends and love sometimes. Just the feeling of loving someone and to feel like you are loved and appreciated in return. Shakespeare is an INFP and he seemed to be very good at writing stories which illustrated flaws in relationships that resulted in tragedies. I don't think it is a bad thing to have these ideals, but it would also make us feel very lonely sometimes.

  20. Sam Says:

    Thank you Lyta. Yeah, I think maybe I was just at my wit's end when I wrote too. I read your previous entry and see that you are 22 also. I went to college and studied Literature with a History minor. I have been working with kids and really enjoy it. I have found a lot of personality information on the internet lately and see that most INFP's feel lonely when there is no reason to. I found a quote by Thoreau that basically said If you give more in a friendship than another, don't worry because the sun is not mad or jealous because he shines on the whole world without anything in return and some of his light falls in vain. It was neat and helped give me some perspective.

  21. Cheryl Says:

    I'm an INFP too!! Reading your blog has been interesting. Is it a trait of INFPs to be lost career wise? I've been working in desktop publishing for 3 years and just feel like the corporate world is not for me at all. Office work in general has bored me to death and the fast-pace and cut-throat-ness doesn't gel with me.

    I am now looking at retraining as a massage therapist, make up artist or something else more holistic! I am 26 and used to just chase the highest pay. After dropping out of several jobs I realise it is more important to work with things you actually like otherwise you will never stick with it. I feel like I have been very flighty, but eventually I am sure I will find a better path.

  22. Sam Says:

    Cheryl, I think it is an INFP trait because everything I have read about INFP's and careers says that we want careers beyond the paycheck - I know that is how I feel. My last post was in September. I have been working at a job I really like even though it is part time and really a dead end, I started working it after college so that I could take some time off. I've never minded the pay is low because I love doing the job but now we are under new management and... well, what management does and their decisions go against what I believe (this goes back to the violation of INFP morals & values, I think) so I just want to quit. I may leave in December. But I am dreading that because it means I have to search for meaningful work all over again. I have always been a little flighty as well when it comes to jobs, I get bored or restless and I leave before the year is up. Good luck to you and let me know if anything I said has helped you! Smile

  23. kashi Says:

    I love, love, love that people are still commenting on this post over two years after I wrote it. Since INFPs often feel alone and isolated, it really helps to know that - hey! - I'm not alone. I hope it makes all of you feel a little bit better, too.

  24. Cheryl Says:

    Hi !
    I love your blog and having found similar minded people? Yes I often feel alone and isolated. The winter blues doesn't help either. Kashi I hope u managed to find a better job? Hi Sam - thanks your advice has been comforting. Sorry to hear about your job. You sound like me, I always leave, theres a horrible pattern on my CV. It's taken me a while to realise why I've been a quitter, I am probably chasing the wrong career. At the moment I am reading "How to get the job you love" and I hope it will help me find a new action plan. I have a telephone interview to train for a part time massage therapist, I am very excited by this, doing something involving health, beauty or fashion. Or writing! I will keep you posted.

  25. UKgirl Says:

    It is SO good to know there are others in a similar position.

    My situation mirrors that of Krista. I'm now 27, having just left my course to become a medical doctor because I was too unhappy with it. I stuck by it for three years because i was training to help people. However, it didn't satisfy my need for creativity. My ventures into photography is not satisfying my need to help people/the environment.

    Right now working in a temporary secretary role just to get the money in and have no idea which way to go. I don't fancy more study because I already have to pay the student loan from my medical studies!

    What about things issues like procrastination, difficulty starting projects etc? I was reading into attention deficit disorder because I seem to fit a lot of these criteria (http://sharischreiber.com/ADD.html) but I'm curious about what other INFP'ers think about overlaps with an INFP personality. Any thoughts?

    As for relationships, I am relieved to know that INFP's tend to feel lonely when they have no reason to! It's not only me! So thanks for that, Sam.

    With love, I've tended to wait until I feel a certain depth with someone before I get into a relationship with them. My last relationship was with a guy who was sensitive to others and perhaps even an idealist, though I'm not sure. Seems like I'm not willing to settle for the mass majority of personality types! Smile

  26. Sam Says:

    I am curious to know where everyone is from, no specifics of course. I am from Texas. I just applied for a couple of jobs, like you said UKgirl, I keep procrastinating and looking for the "perfect" job where I will be "perfectly" happy but I know that attitude has a lot to do with it. I am going to apply for these jobs and see how it goes.
    I completely sympathize with the working just for money issue. I've worked as a secretary and a few other jobs as such but I get burned out before a year is up!
    Okay... I've read a lot about INFP's looking for the "ideal" mate. I didn't think I did that but... maybe I do. Does anyone else feel that they do this?

  27. Cheryl Says:

    Hi ! I see your in the UK too. Smile
    Well it is a brave thing to leave a course/job you don't like and at least the process of elimination gives you more ideas about the reality of different jobs.

    I feel I am getting more of an idea of what I like and dislike but the process is still very unclear. Basically I mean that today we have so much choice - you can really do whatever you want to do, but the problem is finding work that makes you happy!

    LOL I can definitely relate to procrastinating. Do you also find that you are enthusiastic at the start and then can't see it through? I guess this applies to many plans or projects.

    Relationships geez that's another big thing - well don't we all have problems.. but one thing I noticed is reluctant to trust people. Tendency to be too sensitive or passive. How about you?

    I don't like someone who is as sensitive as I am though. I love the opposite, a real manly macho man! lol!

  28. Val Says:

    As I revisit this blog/comment thread, I'm still left feeling home...understood. Thanks to all of you for sharing of yourself. Strangely for me, I find it so easy to share myself when I can type and so difficult when I need to speak...I'm sure I'm not alone there either!!

    Just to update, I did quit my cushy job (in Arizona) in May after saving enough cash to feel comfortable doing so. In the meanwhile, I have attempted to carve out a spot in the creative fields. I have done photographer assisting, photo shoot production, wardrobe and prop styling.

    Like others on here working with the creative fields, I feel creative and inspired, but sort of empty. I crave more "meaning" in my life. Working with photographers, fashion and models is fun, but I know that ultimately, it doesn't matter.

    I also feel a little icky about working in fashion because it's all about creating an image, a fantasy...but that fantasy is something that many people aspire to create in reality and find they cannot do. Basically, the message is that if you aren't a tall, unusually slim 15 year old with perfect skin wearing $2000 boots, then you clearly aren't the ideal of beauty and you are too poor to dress fashionably. Not my cuppa.

    So now...I'm finding myself still searching. Perhaps it's my inability to follow through? ADD? Glass is half empty? Who knows?

    I'm not depressed about it, just frustrated that I'm STILL searching. My whole adult life I'm searching...will that ever stop???

    On a random note...in response to Cheryl. I too have a tendency to be too passive and I'm extremely reluctant to trust people. AND I am attracted to manly, macho men myself. Luckily, I found one who is a great complement to me and really GETS it!

  29. M Says:

    Wonderful blog... love you cute INFPs. The career thing continues to baffle me at 25. The Myers-Briggs is a nice framework from which to observe the clockwork of a "personality type" to see how our tendencies and preferences shape our perspective. INFP is quite a process to work with! Intense, I'll say.

    Anyway, after a cruising through a linguistics-social science degree obtained from study in 3 countries, I've gone from hospitality to photography to promotions to market research and now massage therapy... all somewhat brief and coinciding with travels and circumstance and plain ole luck-of-the-draw.

    So basically I've had some opportunity to discover what works well with my vibe. And what I've come to accept is that no one particular "job" is my salvation. I think "career" is just another lens to see ourselves through, and being the diverse, interested, multifaceted creatures that we are, we essentially crave this exploration as part of our fulfillment. "Career" is optimally an extension of one's natural gifts, abilities, and interests.

    I'd like to share an amazing book I picked up last year that seems to me the most progressive and yet is such "a practical guide to creative career design". At about 600 pages, this book is "the most innovative, unconventional, and profoundly practical career guide you'll ever read". At least that I've (mostly) read.

    Zen and the Art of Making a Living
    by Laurence G. Boldt


    Basically what I like is that it deconstructs "life work" in a very multidimensional way so as to imagine a career more holistically, and not just as a revenue tap (AKA paycheck). It encourages and inspires a vision of fulfilling, personally meaningful work. Which means acknowledging that we deserve to wake up to doing something that fuels us plentifully on many levels, while at the same time representing a sincere contribution of service. All in all, a great bit of help to rearrange your brain if feeling stuck.

    Good luck Smile

  30. mike Says:


    Newly discovered INFPer here.

    Thanks for everyones comments. I can completely relate to everything that has been posted. Its such a relief to find out that im a INFPer and that theres others like me. I am currently working in high pressured office job, that is well paid, has great benefits and prospects but is ultimately very unsatisfying. I am actually amazed i have lasted two years in it!

    I initially started purely for financial reasons, as I finished my degree in art & design and had my student loan to payoff and a new mortgage. Even though I know that I wont be doing this for the rest of my life, i feel lost and as if my life is not aligned and being fulfilled.

    My distain for the corporate world grows everyday and I cant stand how are company exerts maximum amount of profit from our hard work while treating us like robots. I would say that 95% of people in my office are overworked which leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. As an INFPer, my environment and the people around is very important. Everyday I witness office politics, people trying to outdo the next, people forming alliances to screw over others in order to get a promotion. To me this greed and behaviour represents the worst aspects of human characteristics and the potential we have. This is also from some of the people that I actually like, which disappoints me even further. I try and view the bigger picture and avoid conflicts and battles of the egos but it just seems impossible.

    I think its now only at matter of time how long I can mentally sustain this type of environment. No about of money is really worth this emotional anguish. I guess im not cut out for the rat race after all. After looking at careers options for INFPers on the web, I quite like the idea of teaching primary school children or some type of counselling work. I guess life is a journey, maybe we are not where we want to be right now but different paths leads us to new realizations. A good book on this is Paulo Coelho's- The Alchemist. Goodluck with following your dreams!

  31. UKgirl Says:

    Wow, it's so affirming to meet like-minded (literally) people Smile
    M, thanks for that insight into careers. I didn't get that before. I now realize (sort of) that I need to do something creative (not necessarily in the creative fields!. It's not what I create that I value, it's the how and why I create something. Also, my work environment is extremely important too. I can repeat Mike's sentiment on that. But even if I find that perfect work environment and have a creative output, will I find that fulfilment? I wonder ... then there is a search for the romantic partner too. I don't think it's just an INFP thing to be dissatisfied with life.

    Val, I know what you mean about taking pictures of models. I've thought about photography as a career choice myself, but after a lot of thought have decided to take photographs for my own pleasure. I've been asked to take pictures for musicians etc but that sort of photography just didn't make me happy. I don't think I'm prepared to work in the photography field to get to where I want to be and I actually feel okay about that.

    Anyway, life gets better the older I get, so I must be doing something right!

  32. Cheryl Says:

    Hi wow so many posts.

    Val - I can completely relate to how you feel about the creative fields. It is supposed to suit our types very well, but for me after 3 years I have no desire to do anything art/design related. I prefer it best when I appreciate art in my leisure time as a Hobby, and not commercially. Like you I saw how shallow it can all feel, I'm not sure why I didn't find it fulfilling?

    Apparently INFPs have a tendency to be attracted to sad things, what do you think? I definitely THINK too much, probably too cautious. At least this past couple of years I've been more proactive in trying to DO more and give it a shot rather then wonder forever Big Grin It's really paying off and I am finding new passions all the time!

    Hi M - I am also thinking of trying some of the things you've done especially Massage Therapy - health/beauty/leisure industry. I have an appointment with a Recruiter who might be able to find me work in a health club, I love this kind of environment. I also need to be good at selling spa products and I never thought I would do sales, but I will soon find out if I am any good at it, LOL!!

    Mike - Sorry to hear you're not enjoying the corporate world. I hated all that bullshit so much, it wore me out, I am obviously not built for that - I care too much! I also got quite ill in those environments, now I am trying to avoid them. You're right though an office job usually pays well. But now I can't imagine wasting away in a 9-5 for the next 5 let alone 10 years. I am making it my resolution to change.

    UKGirl - I agree with you ! I think it's not necessary that you have to work in a creative field to be happy, but I think some degree of flexibility in your role is important. I really hated regimented management, lol.

    Glad things are getting better for you too, I think career is largely trial and error. I hope I find a more comfy path soon! Good luck ! x

  33. Sam Says:

    I agree that INFP's are attracted to sad things - i recognize this from when i was a child and listened to sad songs all the time. But people would probably describe me as upbeat & positive. It is because I am constantly thinking about others and how everyone can get along. Kinda like Cheryl mentioned (always thinking)
    For those of you keeping up, I just quit my job and am trying to make a move. Finding a new job has been hard thus far though. I think it is part of the INFP's impulsive nature - it seems impulsive but i've thought about it for a long while.

    I am curious as to what all of us INFP's are going to do in the new year. Safe journey to all! Happy New Year.

  34. Val Says:

    Happy New Year to all--

    Update on my "career"...I am still working with photography in various capacities, but with the economy downturn, my boyfriend and I don't have the business to support ourselves. So, reluctantly and with heavy heart, I am back searching for a job. Just a job, not a career.

    I'm trying to get a job with a university so that I can earn a master's without footing the bill for it. I find myself drawn time and time again to teaching/training/developing people, so I think a master's in education could help open doors in that arena and allow me to follow my passion of making a difference with others. We'll see...

    On the subject of doing a "creative" job...I those of us who have worked in those fields are discovering that the term "creative" is somewhat of a misnomer for those kinds of jobs. That's because once it's for money, it's not truly our self expression and we aren't really "creating". It's using our creativity to bring to life ANOTHER's vision, so it's not our creation at all. We simply become a tool for making money, both for ourselves and our clients. It sucks out the meaning and expression entirely. That's what DOESN'T work for us.

    I think the only types of creative jobs that would work for us is if we were so hot and in demand that we were hired for our vision and ideas, not just our ability to bring someone else's idea to life. But to get there usually requires a lot of time spent making "corporate art", because the reality is that we have bills to pay.

    I agree with you (Cheryl and UKGirl) that my preference is to use my creativity to make art that is just for me and loved ones. It is simply to express myself and share of myself, not to make a living. I prefer to keep my art truly "creative".

    So...I'm back to the quandary of how to earn money to support my wide and various interests without losing my temper or mind! I think I'm onto something with education. I know that no matter what vocation I choose that I'll have to surrender some self expression due to the money making machine, but at least with education, I'll know that I'm contributing directly to another human being's development. I'll keep you guys posted ;-).

    Create an amazing year for yourselves and try not to take yourselves or life too seriously!

  35. Cheryl Says:

    Hi Val and all, Happy New Year for you!

    Was interesting reading your update. Yes it is even tougher at this time, I am also now searching for any job while I figure out a longer term plan.

    Today I had a trial day at a Health Club to do Sales and I just couldn't see myself doing that at all. I told them there and then that I don't think it's for me. It doesn't help to just like the subject of health, you must enjoy selling. I really don't like being put on the spot and I probably have zero sales ability lol. :0)

    I am still going to try a Massage Therapy course.

    Back to the search...!

    I hope we all have a great year Smile

  36. Rachel Says:

    Hi all,

    I just came across this thread after searching for "INFP Careers." It's a very refreshing thread to read!

    Similar to everyone here, I've found myself a bit "flighty" in terms of jobs. In the past year, I've had 6 jobs - all in the same office setting, although different industries. I figured internet marketing was my career and that maybe I was just working in the wrong industries, but here I am four months into a new job, already looking for a way out.

    Similar to some of the posts mentioned above, I'm looking into massage therapy and then physical therapy, but I'm afraid that I'll go back to school for those only to figure out that that's not what I love either.

    For the person(s) in massage therapy, what attracted you to that profession and how are you liking it now?


  37. Cindy Says:

    I was also searching INFP careers and stumbled across this thread. I really would like to thank everyone who has posted so far, your information has really helped me to understand myself. I've been frustrated with myself for years and never could understand why, at my age, I wasn't finding a career that I could stick with. I started out wanting to be a fashion designer because I loved art and designing, but then realized that this just felt so shallow. Like, in this world there are people dying in famine, children suffering from child abuse, wars, illiteracy, poverty... and I'm all consumed with what length a skirt is. This didn't feel right. So I tried nursing. Now, I'm helping people but this is totally wrong for me too. Nurses need to be strong extroverts and excellent at multitasking. There is really no opportunity to be creative or plan anything. I just feel stressed and miserable all the time. So I'm wanting to know if anyone has (or knows anyone who has) tried working in gardening or landscaping design. It seems to me like this would be a great fit for an INFP. You use your artistic skills in designing gardens and landscapes. But you also would be working hands-on with living things, with the goal of healing- solving problems with erosion, restoring native landscapes etc. I haven't actually seen this career on any INFP career list, but I'm thinking it's sounding darn good to me right now. Any thoughts or ideas?

  38. Rachel Says:

    Hey Cindy,

    I actually have worked in landscaping before - it was during college, a few years ago, but I did enjoy it.

    I worked an hourly position back then so the pay wasn't great (I think I capped off at $10/hour), but it was enjoyable. You got to be outside, alone for the most part (my boss would tell me which flowers should go where), and your mind is able to wander without getting you into trouble.

    What you're talking about is a few steps above what I did, but I don't see why landscaping wouldn't be a great move for an INFP.

    Good luck!

  39. Sam Says:

    I've never considered landscaping but that sounds beautiful, dreaming in a garden all day and you get to see immediate results from your labor. Smile

  40. Cindy Says:

    You guys are great- thanks for the support! Rachel, I also thought about massage therapy or physical therapy. I think massage therapy might be the better of the two, in general, for a person with INFP personality. Physical therapy could be very rewarding in that you work one-on-one with clients and often really do see results. But beware that this is a career that requires you to be persuasive and motivating (really like a job in sales)a lot of the time. People don't always want to do their therapy and it's your job to convince them to get up and do it. I found from working in nursing that some days I was great at this kind of thing. But then there's those other days when I'm not feeling well, or I'm stressed or something and it's really tough for me to put on that sales/cheerleader personality. But that's just me. If you really believe in what you're doing, this might be a very rewarding career. I would think massage therapy would be nice- your clients would be people who want to be there and the atmosphere would be more relaxing.

  41. Katie Says:

    Hi all! I stumbled across your blog tonight, while feeling at my wit's end with my administrative assistant job. I have known since high school psychology class that I was an INFP, but continued to try to pursue a course of study to become a medical professional. I found out I just didn't have the extroversion factor that these types of careers demand, and have felt totally lost ever since. After high school many people tried to pursuade me to go to college, but I refused since I didn't want to put myself into debt without a clear vision of what I was going for.
    I ended up working as a cashier and then transitioned to a job as a "residential counselor"/medication tech basically a lesser paid CNA type job in a group home for people with MR. I somewhat enjoyed this job, but the bureaucracy just wasn't for me, and didn't allow for flexibility in how to care for the folks we worked with. I then moved to a new city and took what skills I had from the counselor job and started work at a closed pharmacy as a pharmacy tech. I was really quite good at this job, but again the management did not allow for any flexibility. Then off to working in a medical office as an admin assistant. Fast forward to about 5 years later and somehow I find myself working in an office for non-profit low income housing as an admin assistant. One would think this would be in line with the ideals of an INFP in the helping people category, but I seem to have problems with all the office politics. I feel sick from being there. But I feel so stuck there since the pay and benefits are good. It's encouraging reading your posts though that I am indeed not alone, and I do hope to make the jump and find something new soon. I've been scanning for a new job each day, but feel like I don't know where to go from here. Even a course of visits with the career counselor a year ago didn't quite seem to focus my career search.
    Silly ideals... I think they may be my undoing.

  42. Another INFP Says:

    Firstly, thanks for this blog. I recently discovered I was an INFP. However, I have strong traits of ENFP as well. Although I haven't exactly landed the perfect job or career, but I feel that I am getting closer to it. I had a 10 year successful career in telecom industry. Although I did engineering (to make things worse - I did my Masters - highly analytical and objective) I knew I didn't want to have any of it as soon as I got out of Grad school. So I naturally gravitated to Marketing and selling, meeting people, selling ideas, and feeling that I was making a difference and bringing value to people. But as I did more of that I got bored, so I changed countries and markets - Australia, New Zealand, Hong kong, India, Romania....even after that I was still bored. And then my marriage fell apart - also kinda due to boredom and monotony. That started a very personally introspective process and I think that largely turned me into an INFP. That was 6 years ago. I began to practice yoga, meditation, did a lot of social work - Hurricane katrina, Tsunami, Mumbai blasts...it goes on and on...just changes and changes...and of course, relationships have been just as elusive and strange. The sense of loneliness goes away for a little time and then just comes back intensely and then I get clingy or totally distanced from the other person(s). But over the last few years I have been making small progress. My inner practice of meditation and spirituality has helped me find peace with myself and learn to accept myself more and more. I am not completely there yet, but I am slowly moving in that direction. And the more I have found acceptance for myself, the more I have been able to accept the people I love and care for.

    Practicing sketching, going to museums, having friends that are artist, listening to music and being around creative people who have a lot of depth has been very healing. None of it was planned - it just happened...and life kinda naturally took me there. For the past year or so I have been working with a non profit that teaches education programs to create awareness about one's personal capacities and strengths and about the world. It's mission is to uplift society by empowering individuals. The only thing that has kept me going has been the fact that I have seen people experience change and aha moments...

  43. Joey Says:

    Another miserable, lonely INFP here. Smile I'm only seventeen but the comments here already have me worried that I'm going to be lost career-wise! I have contemplated being a humanities professor or a veterinarian, and can see myself being both satisfied and miserable at different aspects of either careers. What is a teenage INFP to do?

  44. Joey Says:

    Ha, recently I have also begun my fateful and drawn out descent towards wringing out meaning in life. :P I envision a long road ahead...

  45. Ms E Says:

    Sometimes being an INFP - with all the idealism - makes it hard to adapt to a world that is driven by money. I just got a government legal job with a good salary. I hate it. My family and friends think it's a great job. The thought of doing this for any length of time depresses me. I've felt the need to do something meaningful and now feel like I've betrayed myself. It seems INFP's have great ideas and potential, but are not that good at developing and carrying out realistic plans. Recently, I worked as an Event Manager and loved it. (The company went out of business.) The job was positive - creating meaningful events for people. Maybe INFPs need a lot of change in their job, along with autonomy. It allows for creativity and avoids the feeling of being in a rut.

  46. Grethe Says:

    I was teading about INFP and careers. I haver never been able to feel that I belong in my jobs, I get bored and I always has been unlucky with the places I have been working. When I checked carrers that could be suitable for INFPs I became happy and angry with my self. Angry with myself because I don' believe that I can be good in anything.

  47. Helena Says:

    I feel that way too Grethe. I want to be perfect at everything I do all the time and get discouraged when I don't reach my standards, which happens often. When I feel like this it helps me to step back and look at my accomplishments and the things that I do end up doing right. It's never too late to get a career in something you love, even if you have to work hard to get good at it. I'm sure that you'll be able to find fulfillment in a career that you enjoy and will magnify all you do with your enthusiasm! Best of Luck!

  48. Dee Says:

    As an INFP, 22-year-old: I doubt the job recommendations for INFP people are very good. I've thought quite a bit about being teacher, social worker, hr manager, etc. They all sound great... until I consider the dreaded routine aspects of those fields. Thanks to the people in people administrative jobs speaking out about their own dissatisfaction. I myself am working part time in administrative work, for an elected official. I believe in her - but I still find my own tasks depressing.
    As for the creative career option go - I already act and paint. I'm decent - even good - at both, but I'm simply not remarkably talented. I do not think I could make a decent living at either. Additionally, people in these fields have expressed the dissatisfaction because their work does not contribute enough to society.

    We don't seem to function happily in the arts and we hate the corporate rate race. I think it might be best to start your own business or highly specialized nonprofit. As a business major, my advice is not to worry too much about not having the business background. It's not rocket science.

    Scarily enough guys, seems like the only person happy with a specific job at any time on here was the event manager. I think I'm going to take the cue and consider starting my own business in event planning (I've been thinking about it for a while..) Bad economy for it nowadays.... maybe I'll go get that degree in social work until it blows over. Take care folks. Smile

  49. Trevor Says:

    Hello everyone! I am 27, and an INFP. I am currently working in the dreaded office environment doing technical support. It is very repetitive and structured; definitely not for me. I am going back to college starting this summer to finish my degree. The only reason I haven't finished yet is because I have changed my major a few hundred times...lol. I cannot decide between two paths though. I am interested in doing a double major in political science and history, and gaining some language skills and maybe work for the government as an analyst. I am also interested in biology, and going into genetics and help to find treatments for diseases. I definitely want a career where I am working towards the betterment of others in some way. Biology would be great because I have seen quiet a few suffering from disease, and I would love to help alleviate that; but I am also very interested in the future of humanity in terms of the social and political spheres, and gaining an understanding of the causes behind war and violence. Just not sure

  50. DJ Says:

    I too was searching INFP profiles when I stumbled across this fantastic and encouraging thread of fellow INFPs.

    As an INFP, it is so exciting and encouraging to hear how much I have in common with so many, if not all, of you. Perhaps, it was also the feeling of some loneliness that was also the driving force of me getting on the internet at such a late hour to look up the INFP profile. I feel that have found a home away from home.

    After reading the thread and especially the comments on careers for INFPs, I would like to share a bit of my experience and to tell you all that I LOVE my job!

    I am a photographer and have been for the past 10 years. It is the longest that I have ever worked in the same profession. Before discovering photography, I did a number of things---EMT, admin assistant, proposal coordinator, banking, ect., --- I just seemed to try everything I could and would always get bored and restless in all my jobs, eventually waking up the next morning and deciding to quit. I was miserable and very unhappy. I didn't believe that I would ever find a job that I could love and wake up every morning feeling good about going to work.

    I know that some have posted here about their unsuccessful or unfullfilling venture into photography but I also think it could depend on the kind of photography you do as there are several types and I certainly do not find all photography enjoyable. I work in editorial photography--i.e., newspapers, magazines, etc. which lend themselves to documentary work and more.

    Recently, a friend and fellow photographer shared a beautiful story with his images to our very large community of readers (paper circulation over 100,000) about the story of a great grandmother raising her kids. The images helped or actually told the story about the issues of aging grandparents having to raise a second generation of kids because of other issues. Anyway, while it may not seem on the surface that an INFP who is a photographer can contribute to the social issues/causes of the day and have an impact to change things as a result of their images that is far, far from the truth. As a photographer, you can be effective in change and social issues. After the story ran, their was a huge outpouring from the community to help this great-grandmother and her great-grandchildren. The images moved a community to get involved, take action, care about others who were strangers to them and to create active dialogue for active change that was previously dormant.

    This is just to say that I do believe that their are places in the creative work fields for us and as creative people, we have to look outside the box for creative ways to have fun at what we do while also doing meaningful work that can change and better the lives of others.

    I think Ms E in her post was on to something when she said that INFPs need a lot of change in their job .... to avoid the feeling of being in a rut. That is another reason I love my job as an editorial photographer---no two days are the same and I have a great deal of flexibility. I am rarely in the office so less op to get caught up in office politics, I am outside a lot and can work alone.

    I would encourage you all to take a look at one website (mediastorm.org), as one example, of powerful, creative storytelling that brings to life many issues and, sometimes, brings change.


  51. DJ Says:

    One more note regarding the above entry. Many of the photographers I either work with or know are also INFPs.

  52. Cheryl Says:

    Hi all
    I have not posted here for a while.

    How is everyone doing on their search for a suitable career?

    I am working in a call centre at the moment it is draining me so much.

    I have done nothing but office jobs since leaving college 3 years ago. I want a job that involves travel, experiencing different cultures and foreign languages.

    I am learning Spanish and it has made me want to use this more and more. Hoping that my interests will eventually become a career.

    I thought about doing Cabin Crew for an Airline maybe? But everyone tells me it is so tiring!

  53. Pauline Says:

    I just took the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and I got the role of an "Idealist". I also already took a couple of tests like Jung personality-based tests and Myers-Briggs personality-based tests and I often get INFP or INTP. I got INTP for like who-knows-how-many and have gotten INFP like for 3-5 results only. But I doubt that I may be an INTP simply because I feel so. So it's either my normal mode is: INFP and my reversed mode is: INTP or vice-versa. But if I'll ask myself and how I feel about this matter, I have to go with INFP.

    Much love, Pauline.

  54. Pauline Says:

    I just took the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and I got the role of an "Idealist". I also already took a couple of tests like Jung personality-based tests and Myers-Briggs personality-based tests and I often get INFP or INTP. I got INTP for like who-knows-how-many and have gotten INFP like for 3-5 results only. But I doubt that I may be an INTP simply because I feel so. So it's either my normal mode is: INFP and my reversed mode is: INTP or vice-versa. But if I'll ask myself and how I feel about this matter, I have to go with INFP.

    Much love, Pauline.

    P.S I'm currently a first year college student hoping for the better to help people and become a humanitarian if possible. Looks like I just have to give it more of my best Smile I'm currently taking up BS Nursing and hopefully will take a Pre-Med education after the graduate on the four-year course. I really want to be a Doctor, or a Psychologist and help counsel people. But I'll leave it all to God and just pray for the best Smile

  55. Jane Says:

    Hey fellow INFPs. Is searching for the "perfect" career really the healthiest way for us to search for jobs? That puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on the situation. We like change - variety. I feel more calm when I see that instead of one perfect career, I'm going to have many different ones throughout my life. I'll do this for a while, then that for for a few years. . . something else later. I'm going to be trying new hobbies and jobs out when I'm in my seventies probably.
    I'm 33 and have worked in theater - acting and writing mostly (and waitressing/temping for $); I've been a Montessori pre-school teacher for six years; I'm now going to school and considering speech-language pathology. If I do that, I'll probably do it for ten to fifteen years, then look for something else to do when I'm bored. And that's cool. No pressure. Doesn't need to be perfect. And I liked all of my past careers (except temping)and learned great skills from them that I will take on to my future ones! They were "perfect" for me then, and now I'm moving on. But because I didn't stick with them forever doesn't mean they were a waste of time, we're always learning and growing with the different occupations we do.
    Someone else mentioned the book Zen and the Art of Making a Living. I totally recommend it too!! It helped me choose Montessori teaching (A good job for us. Check it out) which I really liked doing for the years I did it.

  56. Dave Says:

    I'm also an INFP.

    I relate to most of the comments above. I am 41 and have struggled with the whole career question my whole adult life. I have never had a satisfying job - ever.

    I have considered doing a university course in a field that would suit me better, but it would need to be a external course and so take twice as long. Also, the university courses are different now to what they were like years ago. They are a lot more 'corporate' than they used to be.

    (Hell, when I enrolled my daughter into Kindergarten last year I listened to the teacher give a presentation on the expectations placed upon the kids, and I thought I was at a conference at work.)

    I wished I had done Uni back when it was tolerable and my time, lifestyle and financial commitments allowed.

    To all of you teenages and twenty somethings out there, just pick any field within the ones that truly appeal to you (make sure they fit with INFP to be safe) and go to Uni. It mightn't be perfect, but you need to make a living somehow - and please don't get stuck working in a damned bank like me - waiting for my INFP qualities to either make me quit or get the sack.

  57. sorter Says:

    I read your blog.interested blog such as great blog Thanks......

  58. FC Says:

    I have just resigned from an in-house graphic design job after a 7-year stint. Not that I dislike creativity but I realised I needed autonomy and growth! And without autonomy, it makes the job meaningless. So I am switching to photography and floral design which I believe can give me lots of creative control!

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