The best jobs for ISFJ personality types
Are you caring, organized, and dependable? If the answer is yes, you could be an ISFJ.
The Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) test groups people into 16 different personality types.
13.8% of people are ISFJs, and they often work in healthcare and educational settings.
But what does this all mean? What's an ISFJ, and what are they like at work?
In the following guide, we'll answer these questions. And we'll give you a list of the best careers for ISFJ personality types, as well as which ones ISFJs should avoid.
Not sure if you're an ISFJ?
Follow these two steps to find the best job for your personality type:
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If you are an ISFJ, read on to find out what career would be best for you.
What is an ISFJ?
The 16 Myers-Briggs personality types are based on a combination of personality characteristics.
Each personality has a mix of the following:
Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E)
Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
ISFJ stands for Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging. You may also hear it called ‘The Defender’ personality.
ISFJs enjoy social interactions, but they’re also introverted and prefer a close circle of friends. When they aren't focusing on the needs of others, they appreciate having time for themselves.
They're generous and practical, and they like to follow the rules. ISFJs prefer to stick to a routine, and they like to plan out their time.
Famous ISFJs include Mother Teresa, Kate Middleton, and Beyonce.
What are ISFJs like at work?
ISFJs are detail-oriented and can be perfectionists in the workplace. Their personality traits suit roles that are structured with opportunities to help others.
An ISFJ may be an introvert, but they usually have strong social skills. They’re excellent communicators and excel one-on-one or in small groups.
They have difficulty saying no, and some people may take advantage of their generosity. Most people with the ISFJ personality type feel comfortable in a repetitive work environment.
Core strengths of ISFJs in a working environment
Here are some of the most prominent strengths of ISFJ people that’ll boost their performance in the workplace.
Defenders have attentive personalities and pay serious attention when others are speaking. As a result of their good listening skills, they tend to remember facts and details — which leads to higher levels of efficiency.
Hard-working and loyal
ISFJs are hard workers who don’t just get their work done but take pride in it. They often form an emotional attachment to the projects they do and the companies they work for. Thus, they won’t rest until they feel like they’ve done the best they can do.
Furthermore, they don't need to be the stars of the show, and even without recognition, the ISFJ will always go above and beyond.
Time management is vital in the business world, which is why it’s no surprise that out of all workplace management applications, time management, and attendance apps are the ones that are mostly used — with these apps having generated around $2.4 billion in revenue in 2020.
Defenders are great at managing their time and getting all their projects done before deadlines. They also excel at prioritization, meaning they have no difficulty differentiating between the most and least important tasks.
Employers love this trait and will often hire ISFJs because of their organizational skills.
As The Defender, the ISFJ will protect others and offer support to anyone who needs it.
They have an empathetic nature and great interpersonal skills — which often makes them a favorite among friends or coworkers. This is especially true when there’s conflict, as ISFJs will always try to get a win-win outcome.
Core weaknesses of ISFJs in a working environment
Here are some of the weaknesses of ISFJ people that they can work on improving to have a more fulfilling career.
High personal expectations
Defenders have extremely high expectations for their work and deliverables. This means their expectations are often unrealistic and unattainable — even if they work overtime.
They place a heavy weight on their shoulders and can be very unsatisfied with the work they produce if they believe it isn’t perfect.
ISFJs try to avoid conflict at all costs. As such, they’ll steer clear of an issue even if it needs to be resolved for the good of the company. This can lead other workers to believe they’re incapable of defending themselves — so they’re easy to take advantage of.
Don’t consider their own feelings
Because they’re so focused on helping other people and keeping the peace, this leads to them neglecting their own feelings. ISFJs forget to put themselves first — making them feel unhappy and unable to express their feelings, emotions, and thoughts.
Since they’re so concerned about other people’s feelings, they often allow others to take duly earned credit for their work and contributions. They also tend to downplay their efforts entirely when they think that a minor aspect of their work could’ve been done better.
What are the best jobs for ISFJs?
Let's take a look at some of the best ISFJ careers:
1. Administrative assistant
Administrative assistants work in the offices of businesses of all sizes. They answer phones, open emails, and schedule meetings. Some administrative assistants also work as bookkeepers.
Office work is a good career choice for ISFJs because they're reliable and pay close attention to detail. They don't mind the repetition of filing, word processing, and invoicing.
ISFJs work well in a team, and they like to make sure everyone is happy. They care about customers and colleagues and appreciate the stability of a nine-to-five job.
You can browse administrative assistant positions on Jobcase’s job board.
Paralegals assist lawyers. They prepare documents, sit with witnesses, and help the legal team during trials.
While some ISFJs may not enjoy working as lawyers, they'll likely embrace paralegal and legal assistant roles.
3. Social worker
Social workers help clients deal with difficulties they are facing. They often work in crisis and emergency situations.
ISFJs are well-suited to healthcare roles. As social workers, they'll feel fulfilled as they make a difference in the lives of others.
Social workers can be there for those facing mental health issues, poverty, and abuse. As The Defender, an ISFJ will support their clients in a calm and caring way.
They're approachable and kind, and clients will likely feel at ease sharing their personal stories with an ISFJ. Plus, they're organized and will try to follow the correct procedures.
You can browse social worker positions on our job board.
4. Nurse practitioner
Nurse practitioners offer patient care. They work with other health care professionals to diagnose and treat patients.
Nursing is one of the top ISFJ career matches. Because ISFJs are both responsible and compassionate, they're well-suited to nurse practitioner positions.
ISFJs will work hard, and they'll try to give their patients the best advice and care. They enjoy helping others, and their communication and listening skills are a good match for this role.
As an ISFJ, you may also be interested in working as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), midwife, registered nurse (RN), or nurse anesthetist.
You can browse nurse practitioner positions on our job board.
5. Childcare worker
Childcare workers supervise and care for children. They often work in childcare centers with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
ISFJs are protective, caring, and trustworthy. These personality traits are essential for childcare workers.
ISFJs will enjoy working with children and helping them learn. Their patience, organization, and attention to detail will be an asset to any childcare center.
They’ll likely be well-liked by their colleagues, and they’ll make sure the work environment is safe.
6. Showroom designer
Due to ISFJs’ structured nature and attention to detail, they’ll often choose careers that require exacting, detailed methodologies.
As such, those who seek a career within the arts and humanities field may consider becoming a showroom designer.
Showroom designers offer a wide range of services and need to be exceptional at organizing. They’ll often need to handle orders, answer questions, oversee deliveries, and more.
This makes it the ideal position for Defenders since they’re both hard-working and great at organization and time management.
ISFJs may also be interested in working as archive librarians, museum curators, or historians. Browse showroom designer positions on our job board.
7. IT administrator
ISFJs enjoy taking on complex projects and are comfortable working alone and out of the spotlight. This makes the information technology field a great option for them.
Their ability to focus and solve difficult problems makes them the ideal fit for a position such as an IT administrator.
As an IT administrator, they’ll be responsible for overseeing companies’ computer systems and managing IT teams.
Since they’re more than happy to roll up their sleeves and get the work done, they’ll ensure their teams aren’t only managed properly but that they support them whenever necessary.
8. Office manager
Due to their hard-working and hands-on nature, ISFJs can find many opportunities for success within the business environment — especially in large businesses.
They have a respect for structure and processes, and their organizational skills allow them to fit easily within the hierarchy of an organization and become exceptional office managers.
Since they’re also extremely reliable, senior management will be able to trust them with high-level tasks and will see them as valuable members of the team.
9. Corporate trainer
ISFJs are both supportive and practical by nature, which means they’re excellent at instructing people and helping them improve their skills.
This means they make not only great teachers (in a school environment) but also in a business environment.
As a corporate trainer, they’ll be responsible for conducting work-related training and development programs to help improve employee performance and abilities. This involves managing the training, identifying the correct programs, evaluating their success, and more.
See what corporate trainer positions are available on our job board.
10. Rehabilitation aide
Rehabilitation aides help people maximize their independence and employability while coping with social, personal, and vocational difficulties, including accidents, illnesses, aging, birth defects, daily life stress, and more.
Defenders are extremely empathetic and supportive, which makes them the ideal person to help these individuals overcome their problems and have fulfilling lives and careers.
They’ll also be able to remain enthusiastic and give these individuals the drive to reach their goals.
Browse rehabilitation aide positions on our job board.
What jobs should ISFJs avoid?
Not all career options are a good fit for ISFJ personality types. As introverts, most ISFJs will grow tired of sales and marketing positions. And technical and science roles may leave them feeling unfulfilled.
Here are a few jobs most ISFJs should avoid:
Getting a job as an ISFJ
If you're caring, hard-working, and introverted, you may be an ISFJ personality type. In this guide, we told you what an ISFJ is and what they're like at work.
To help you find the right job for your personality traits, we gave you a list of top ISFJ career options.
Our list included administrative assistants, paralegals, social workers, nursing practitioners, childcare workers, and others.
Finally, we shared some of the careers that most ISFJs should avoid.