Employment Trends

Best Careers for Your Personality Type

Written by Kate Lopaze

As you hunt for a job, some things are crucially important: your resume and experience, your skills, and your interview game are all major parts. But don’t forget another huge element: your personality. Your personality is who you are, both on the job and off of it, and it’s majorly important to understand who you are before you pick a career. After all, you want to find a career path that makes you feel happy and productive, not one that fills you with dread because you feel like you’re constantly pulled out of your comfort zone. (A little discomfort can be good and galvanizing for your career as you try new things. Too much just makes you miserable.)

If you haven’t already, take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality assessment, which is the gold standard in personality tests. It’s a little more intense than the “Which Member of The Stranger Things Cast Are You?” quiz you just took on Facebook, but worth it to get a handle on what your personality and motivations are. Each test breaks you down into one of 16 types based on four categories:

  • Introversion vs. Extroversion
  • Intuition vs. Sensing
  • Feeling vs. Thinking
  • Perceiving vs. Judging

There’s an official version of the test that you can take for $49.95, but there are also lots of free version, like this one, that also get the job done. Once you know your type (or if you knew it before, you forward-thinker, you!), let’s move on to see what kind of careers you might want to look at to match your personality type.

ISTJ (Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)

ISTJs are duty-focused people who value hard work and career commitment. ISTJs love their rules. They like to have concrete goals and deadlines, and often prefer to work with hard data or specific processes. Seek jobs that celebrate these skills, and let you put them to good use.

Jobs to consider:

ISFJ (Introvert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)

ISFJs tend to be organized, calm, and practical professionals. They’re big on caretaking, and may not be the loudest voice in the room, but will often be the most logical. ISFJs are good at walking others through processes, and guiding team members toward a particular goal or result. You’re best-suited for positions that need a steady mind and head, even when the going gets tough.

Jobs to consider:

INFJ (introvert, Intuition, Feeling, Judging)

INFJs can be creative types, but are also guided by their own sets of principles and feelings of fair play. Structure and compassion are the two most important career qualities for INFJs. Look for jobs that value these traits—you don’t want to have to hide them, you want to use them to their best potential.

Jobs to consider:

INTJ (Introvert, Intuition, Thinking, Judging)

INTJs are the ones you want on your side when you need a confident, expert opinion. INTJs want what they want when (and how they want it), and demand perfection from themselves and others. Your standards are high, where it’s for you or your client. You won’t be happy unless you find a job where you can refine things to make them better.

Jobs to consider:

ISTP (Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)

ISTPs are movers and the shakers—they like to get things done now, because why wait when you can get results now? ISTPs are practical, dependable professionals who like to use strong methodology to get results. You’re a doer, not a bystander. Find a gig that lets you get in there and get your hands dirty.

Jobs to consider:

ISFP (Introvert, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)

ISFPs are helpers. They like to know that their work is directly and positively affecting others’ lives. They create products or provide services that people can use right away. ISFPs are often active members of their community, personally and professionally.

Jobs to consider:

INFP (Introvert, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving)

INFPs are optimists. They like to have careers that are making a difference to the world via creativity. INFPs are often motivated professionally by their strongly held personal values and beliefs. You’ll want to find a job that lets you channel your energy into making beautiful things and helping people realize their best potential.

Jobs to consider:

INTP (Introvert, Intuition, Thinking, Perceiving)

INTPs like hard evidence, and typically don’t operate on faith alone that something is true. INTPs like to constantly test theories and new ways of doing things, and continually re-evaluate their perspective. They are problem solvers. You’ll want to find a career thats largely cut-and-dry, with lots of facts and problems to be solved.

Jobs to consider:

ESTP (Extrovert, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)

ESTPs can be adrenaline junkies, thriving on process and systems in an uncertain world. They’re great in a crisis, providing practical skills and guidance no matter what chaos is going on around them. You need a steady head and temperament, even when things are crumbling around you.

Jobs to consider:

ESFP (Extrovert, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)

ESFPs feel at home talking to (and working with) just about everyone. They are great team members, who know the value of working together to accomplish specific goals or keep everyone together on task. You’re the friendly face amidst the chaos.

Jobs to consider:

ENFP (Extrovert, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving)

ENFPs are curious about the world around them, and do best in jobs that allow them to interact with a lot of different people. They’re often passionate advocates in their fields. Find jobs that surround you with creativity, one where you’re on your feet and making things happen.

Jobs to consider:

ENTP (Extrovert, Intuition, Thinking, Perceiving)

ENTPs are creative types who thrive on challenges and finding new solutions to old problems. Seek jobs that let you flex your artistic and problem-solving muscles on a daily basis.

Jobs to consider:

ESTJ (Extrovert, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)

ESTJs are often the ones in charge, with their abilities to make quick, logical decisions. They are quickly able to interpret situations and apply information to arrive at the best way of doing something.

Jobs to consider:

ESFJ (Extrovert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)

ESFJs are caretakers. They take pride in providing excellent care, and are often motivated by seeing direct results with their customers, patients, or stakeholders. You’ll ideally want to look for jobs where you work daily with people, otherwise you won’t be fulfilled.

Jobs to consider:

ENFJ (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging)

ENFJs are the gurus. They provide helpful, authoritative guidance, often with the goal of making the world a better (or at least more straightforward) place. You have the gift of inspiring people—find a job where you can use these skills.

Jobs to consider:

ENTJ (Extrovert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging)

ENTJs are leaders. They’re driven by results, and feel comfortable leading teams and setting goals to get everyone on the same page. You’re a natural leader, so look for a job where you can take charge and make things happen.

Jobs to consider:

Knowing your personality type and motivations can really help clarify your career path, especially if you’re not totally sure what you want to do next. What about you? We’d love to hear what your results were, and if you learned anything about your professional options in the process!

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.