Careers to Avoid for INFJ Personality

Careers to Avoid for INFJ

There are different careers best suited for different types of people. We will discuss Careers to Avoid for INFJ in this article. Personalities especially play a big part in determining which positions a person can perform well or poorly. For individuals with the INFJ personality type, there are specific careers to be avoided for better professional growth, work ethic, and work-life balance. These careers would be within the accounting and financial industries, customer service positions, marketing and sales, and business management jobs such as an administrator or supervisor. These are ill-fitting for the advocacy-driven INFJ due to their preferred working conditions, further explained below.

Careers to Avoid for INFJ

Accounting and Finance

Accounting and finance jobs would be a grave mismatch for individuals with the INFJ personality type. This is because according to 16 Personalities, they would have a hard time dealing with work that requires completion of repetitive tasks and is distant from their personal beliefs, goals, and well-being.

  • Repetitive Tasks: Accountancy and finance are known for their constriction and repetitiveness, as each financial report, balance sheet, or income statement would need to be based on mountain piles of receipts and records of a business over the past year. Furthermore, each financial report submitted is checked by an auditor, and any mistake spotted could call for re-checking or re-doing hours of work from the very beginning. 

  • Stressful Conditions: Such working conditions may have also given rise to mental health issues among accountants. ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) has found that “nearly a third of accountants (30.4%) suffer from mental health issues, with more than half (51%) admitting depression and anxiety leaves them dreading going to work”. Stress, workload pressure, and overtime hours are also common experiences among workers within the field.

  • Physical Health Issues: Hours of calculation and creation of reports also call for accountants to stay within their offices, either within the building or at home. This may cause complications to their physical health and overall lifestyle. The Executive Health Index found that “accountants fell outside the top five for physical health” and ranked sixth against other industries. This was measured and based on their waist measurement, BMI, and fitness abilities.

Customer Service

Another career mismatch for INFJ types would be any customer service-related jobs. According to Very Well Mind, one of the biggest weaknesses INFJs have is their oversensitivity and idealism. This would mean they have big goals, dreams, and aspirations, but are avoidant of criticisms and evaluations that would help them develop their skills.

  • Lack of Career Growth: In a Statista Research Department survey, 45% of responding call center executives had no formal career development programs in their companies. This points to a lack of career growth and opportunities for promotion within the industry, which would be challenging for INFJs who dream of reaching greater heights. There must always be a hurdle to go through and a new level to achieve for them, for a sense of purpose and direction as they explore their careers.

  • Emotional Labor: It is no secret that customer service agents or retail employees have to perform emotional labor for customer satisfaction constantly. In a study by Ishii and Markman (2016), they explain that customer service organizations even set strict rules about “emotional display to meet customers’ expectations.” Thus, customer service workers often employ ‘surface acting’ to comply with such rules, leading to “burnout in terms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment.”  This working condition may be the most unsuitable for an INFJ because of their sensitivity; being unable to perform emotional labor may cost them their jobs and any chance of advancing their careers.

Marketing and Sales 

INFJs are known particularly for their introverted and humanitarianism. They mostly lean toward professions that require minimal public interaction and do the most social good. This is why the Career Project has dubbed “high-risk careers” such as those in marketing and sales as the “worst careers for INFJs,” as they demand contact with the public while serving for-profit interests.

  • Sociability as an Asset: Within the marketing and sales industry, your social skills are an asset. From networking to constant proposals of campaigns and strategies, sociability becomes a powerful tool. However, this is not where INFJs’ strengths reside. They are much more suited for work that happens behind the scenes and letting their output speak for itself.

  • For-Profit Interests: 16 Personalities dub INFJs as the “Advocate” because of their helpful, generous, and benevolent characteristics. Due to this, they are more likely to seek out jobs in line with humanitarian efforts and their personal advocacies. This is why marketing and sales would not be a great fit for INFJs, as it serves primarily for-profit interests, feeding off consumers’ needs and desires.

Business Management

INFJs are very understanding people. Their kindness is both strengths as much as it is a weakness. Very Well Mind explains that one of INFJs’ key characteristics is prioritizing others’ well-being rather than remaining objective when deciding on something. This makes them unfit for business management, which may call for tough decisions at times.

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice
  • High Likelihood of Confrontation: Business managers often need to do the hardest parts of the job. That is, firing and letting people go. This creates tension between the manager and their employees and may create an unhealthy power imbalance. Such work environments would be detrimental for the INFJ, whose weakness is confrontation; either from the receiving or giving.

  • Responsible for Micromanaging: Over the course of business management, one could fall into the trap of micromanaging. This is the act of very closely managing a team while observing and critiquing the smallest and insignificant details, which do not even affect their overall work productivity most of the time. The very definition speaks as an antithesis to everything that INFJs prefer and demand from their own jobs–freedom, growth, and protection of personal well-being.

  • Bureaucracy & Long Processes: Bureaucracy has earned itself a negative reputation with its unnecessary chain of command, restrictive rules and regulations, and categorization of tasks that stunt employees’ growth. The long processes that accompany such a corporate setup would only hinder INFJs’ progress and true potential. They would better fit an environment that encourages a free exchange of ideas, brainstorming, and positive teamwork for one project at a time.

Better Career Options for INFJs

  • Helping Professions: Truity cited multiple ‘helping professions’ as top careers for the INFJ, as they often want a profession that reflects their beliefs and personal advocacies. Careers such as those in health care (nutritionist, therapist, medical researcher), counseling and social services (social worker, psychologist, counselor), and education (teacher, professor, school advisor) perfectly fit INFJs’ preferences for a socially impactful line of work.

  • Humanitarian Professions: Similar to helping professions, INFJs also do well in humanitarian work. These include careers within the human rights sector (human rights lawyer or legal aid officer), non-government organizations (coordinator, grant specialist, advocate), as well as social sciences (sociologist, political analyst, or public administrator).

  • Artistic Professions: INFJs are also known for their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. These traits fit artistic professions best, like an artist, designer, theatre actor, and musician! These jobs would bring out INFJs’ strengths the most, as they also encourage freedom and originality, open communication and collaboration, and new challenges to overcome along the way.

Conclusion

INFJs’ strengths lie in their creativity, passion, and empathy for others. If any of these traits were to be watered down, suppressed, or silenced from their personality, it would greatly hinder their professional growth and productivity. This is why accounting and finance, marketing and sales, customer service, and business management careers are unfitting for the INFJ personality type; such professions are counterproductive for their advancements and bad for their overall well-being. For accounting and finance, multiple mental and health issues upon workers of the industry and the repetitiveness of tasks are directly against INFJs’ liking for creative freedom and spontaneity. As for customer service, having to act out emotions in contrast to what one is actually feeling can trigger an INFJ’s oversensitivity and tendency to burnout. On the other hand, marketing and sales is another career mismatch for INFJs because of their introversion and advocacy-driven mindset. Lastly, business management careers are unsuitable for INFJs due to their high likelihood of confrontation, proneness to micromanagement, and bureaucratic processes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I know, as an INFJ, if a job is a good fit for me? List down your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and professional goals. By converging all of that information, you will formulate a clearer and better understanding of what you want as a career. This way, you won’t try to see if you fit the requirements of a job; instead, you will be focused on attaining the job that you know is within your standards, skillset, and interests.

  2. Can INFJs pursue a job in mass communication and journalism? INFJs can surely pursue a mass communication, and journalism job, especially since aspiring to be a journalist is often a calling, not simply a profession to take up for its compensation. However, as INFJs are introverted and quiet most of the time, they’ll need to equip themselves with the necessary skills for communicating with the masses, acquiring necessary information, and properly delivering said information clearly and concisely.

  3. Will INFJs suit corporate office jobs? It is unlikely that INFJs will thrive in corporate office jobs. This is because of their aforementioned weaknesses: repetition, confrontation, oversensitivity, and public communication. Incorporate office jobs, each one of those weaknesses is needed to continue growing within the industry. INFJs could either have a hard time overcoming such weaknesses or eventually getting left behind and stuck in one position for years.

Also read ISFJ Careers: Best Jobs for ISFJ personality

Careers to Avoid for INFJ Personality

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