It seems fairly obvious that choosing a career path that matches your personality type is a good idea.
The nicknames given to each personality profile by 16 Personalities can be a good hint of where to start. For example, an INTJ is referred to as ‘The Architect.’
But is that the only role suitable for INTJ? Far from it!
In this guide, we’ll examine what makes an INTJ unique in the workplace and outline seven potential career paths suitable for those with an INTJ personality type.
We’ll also tell you what careers an INTJ should avoid and what majors they should pursue in school.
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The Architect. The Mastermind. The Genius.
This Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) personality is perhaps best known for the many great leaders and thinkers who have it (Elon Musk, Michelle Obama, and Friedrich Nietzsche, to name a few).
But aside from being destined for greatness, what are INTJs like?
The typical INTJ is:
Rational and decisive
Focus on learning and knowledge
Capable of tackling complex ideas
INTJs often self-isolate because of their introverted nature and their unwavering dedication to lofty goals. As a result, INTJs are often defined by the feeling “it’s lonely at the top.”
With all of this said, how does this Myers-Briggs personality type fare in the work environment?
INTJs are big picture thinkers (owing to their high openness), and their intuitive nature makes them quick problem-solvers.
Their great analytical skills allow them to solve complex problems with ease, and although they are more than capable of abstract theoretical thinking, INTJs prefer to turn their ideas into tangible results.
INTJs crave a work environment that provides constant challenge (no mundane or repetitive tasks). They do best with career choices that allow them to identify causes and effects, owing to their highly-developed rationality.
In a team, INTJs are great at defining group strategies, critically reviewing workplace problems, and quickly identifying the best possible solutions.
Their introversion means that INTJs don’t always work well in large or buzzing teams, though they are often far from shy and enjoy having intellectual conversations with others.
However, INTJs struggle to have patience for colleagues who might not be as quick at decision-making.
In the eyes of the INTJ, once a decision is made, the conversation is over. It can be challenging for INTJs to continue having conversations past this point.
They may also struggle with colleagues who place a high value on relationships (typically feeling-type personalities, such as INFJ or INFP), as INTJs are more interested in objective truth and freely exchanged ideas.
INTJs are often strong leaders. They have great problem-solving skills, hold their organization to high standards, and think very strategically.
However, they can sometimes be accused of being a perfectionist (the INTJ knows when something is done right and when it isn’t).
Though they are fairly diplomatic, INTJs do not often tolerate misbehavior and often have no issue making this known to co-workers. They expect their employees to work hard and won’t accept any less than their best work.
So, what are the best careers for INTJ personalities?
Let’s take a look at seven careers that an INTJ may excel at.
Product management is one of the best INTJ career matches around.
Because they pay close attention to detail and are perfectionists, they are ideal at developing and managing products for a company.
INTJs are great at creating long-term plans and are typically high in orderliness, so they’re pretty good at sticking to deadlines and staying organized.
INTJs wishing to pursue a career in product management will need to assemble an equally conscientious team, as they’ll run into challenges with team members who are less efficient or productive than they are.
It may be unsurprising that because they are introverts, one of the best INTJ careers is computer programming.
But it’s more than just the social isolation that makes this a great choice for the INTJ.
Software engineers need to have keen problem-solving skills and the intellectual capacity to understand complex computer systems, two areas where INTJs typically excel.
Technical writing is a growing industry that can provide a lot of fulfillment for INTJs, particularly those who love working alone.
This career involves gaining a deep understanding of a given product or service (often in the software space) and writing technical documents such as whitepapers about it.
Many INTJs are great written communicators, so this is a promising avenue.
Of course, one of the best jobs for the architect personality type is architecture itself.
This career choice doesn’t typically require a whole lot of social effort, and it taps into the INTJ’s knack for numbers and spatial reasoning.
Another great career option for the INTJ is to become a detective.
With great problem-solving abilities and a quick intellect, INTJs can do particularly well in this career choice, although it might be better suited for those who are a little more extroverted.
Another ideal career for INTJs is working as a finance professor.
INTJs communicate effectively, are great with numbers, and will have no problem putting together a semester-long lesson plan.
The last of our INTJ jobs is to work as a lawyer.
INTJs excel at analyzing and interpreting facts and tend to have a knack for legal jargon.
More than that, they have no problem with conflict or pulling long hours, all of which are personality traits that are required for a successful career in law.
INTJs are introverts, so careers that typically work best for extroverts (such as sales and hospitality) typically aren’t a great fit.
Also, jobs that require employees to be deeply in touch with the feelings of others (such as child care or counseling) probably won’t be a great fit for INTJs either.
The top INTJ careers to avoid are:
Real estate agent
Of course, not all INTJ careers require a college degree.
This said, most INTJs are dedicated lifetime learners, so it’s likely they’ll want to pursue higher education.
If that’s the case, some great choices of majors for INTJs are:
Computer information systems
Urban planning and development
So, now that you know which career paths are going to work best with your personality profile, it's time to ask one last question:
Which one seems best for you?
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