The GREATEST post about INFP CAREERS in the history of EVER

Picture of man on top of mountainThis amazing post was written by Aelthwyn on Personality Cafe. I asked her if I could post it because it truly speaks to exactly what I desire in a career and my very feelings were echoed around the board.

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The cunundrum I think a lot of us have is that it’s hard for us to do what we love for a living because it frequently requires us to go by other people’s guidelines and ideas and such, which makes it no longer our own creative expression and cheapens it for us. And if we do that all the time we want to do something else in our free time, so we don’t end up ever really getting into our flow and feeling really alive in the activities we love. However, we also have a hard time doing something that isn’t something we really love and believe in because then we are pouring our time and energy into something that doesn’t matter and that leaves us empty.

Likewise, we are neither interested in directing others nor following directions. The trouble for us with this is that most of the time being in charge of your own work/business requires practical knowlege, organization, and ability to get out there and convince others they need your goods/services – none of which are our strong point. We also tend to like security, which entreprenuership doesn’t often have. Not to sound too bleak, but it feels like a catch 22 as they say.

What we really need is someone interested in helping us in the practical matters of personal business, or as mentioned above being part of a small company where we can be seen as individuals, have a caring family feel, and have a chance to be recognized for our creativity and inginuity without having to be too bold or have authority over others. Other than that, what we need are Patrons, someone rich who wants to help support us so that we don’t have to worry about the mundane money-making aspect of life.

A lot of us Idealists probably find money a rather unworthy goal, and thus have a hard time with almost any job setting (even if it seems initially to be something we like) because a lot of time it starts to feel like it’s all coming down to money – how much work can they get out of us, how much money can we get out of them….and that just clashes with our value system. In a sense it starts to feel like baking brownies every day when you don’t like chocolate – why am I doing this again? I don’t even really care about this!

I think the common reccommendation that INFPs would like to work in people oriented service jobs is a bit off the mark. We do usually care about others and enjoy showing our care, but we are still introverts and we don’t generally like a lot of shallow interactions – which means that service jobs may be fullfilling and draining at the same time. I think we are much more likely to feel fullfilled serving a small number of people that we know well, such as family and friends. Honestly, I’ve always thought my ideal job would be either as a nanny or a stay-at-home mom. I love to invest in a few people who are close to me, and enjoy taking care of things for others – being the behind the scenes support system for those that do go out and do other things.

I definately don’t have any good answers to this Ultimate INFP dilemma, I’m going through this myself. A couple years ago I felt like I’d lost my soul working in a book store (hey it sounded great, I love books and I was back in the stockroom alone wih my own music, sounds good….but the burden of more and more procedures, and pressure to be more and more productive, and negative managers sucked me dry of life and creativity). I’m still attempting to get my own sewing/craft business going, and wanting to look into photography but feeling overwhelmed by that.

I think perhaps a lot of us could use a good career counselor who understands and respects our needs, but knows a lot of possibilities and can make the connections for us that are hard for us to make ourselves. sigh…..

Something I did at one point shortly after quitting my old job was to make a list of things that I really needed in a job – not interests, but practical aspects.

Some of the things I found important for me were (in no paticular order):
Working on Projects Alone – I don’t do well in groups, I either end up doing all of it, or get totally ignored.

Autonomy – I hate being constantly directed, I want to see what needs to be done and do it in my own way in my own order

Projects not Hours – I hate stopping when I’m in the flow, and I hate having to hang around when there’s nothing to do. I’ll put in a lot of extra work if you let me, but don’t make me waste my time pretending to look busy just because you want a body there during ‘work hours’.

Free Schedule – I need to be respected to have my own life and priorities. I will do the work – but does it really matter when? I hate having to eat when I’m not hungry, or not be able to take a break at an opportune stopping point.

Creativity & Intelligence – I need to be allowed to come up with creative solutions and ideas and have them listened to and appreciated. I hate being treated like an idiot just because I don’t have a big pay-check.

Personal – not Impersonal – I hate the impersonal ‘business’ attitude

My Own Space – I need to have a pleasing personal environment, some place I can feel comfortable in order to be able to feel positive and stay energized and focused. Working in drab, company standard environments, or having to listen to popular music all day makes me angry and depressed and distracted and….I just break down very fast.

Ideals & Values – I can’t invest in or promote things I don’t believe in, I can’t be asked to go against my values

Positive People – A Negative critical atmosphere really takes the life out of me, strained feelings in the air make me physically ill. I need to know that I am appreciated.

Security – stress over money is not something I do well with, being afriad of not being able to pay my bills tends to immobilize me and distract me from creative inspiration.

……who knows what job has all these things?

I’ve also considered what seems to be what I’m made to do, what do I do naturally that gives me fullillment in life?
1. Loving and encouraging others
2. Appreciating the beauty in the world and helping others to see it, also reminding people of the simple joys in life
3. Creating – coming up with stories, imagining, designing many kinds of things, arranging, making things beautiful
4. Thinking deeply and coming to an understanding of things

Surely these things are useful. Surely there must be a way to make a living through them???

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Author: Invincible INFP

Hi, I'm Mike!

I'm a life coach, a full-time employee, a single Dad and a writer.

I'm here to try to help you navigate the waters of career happiness so you can enjoy your life.

346 thoughts on “The GREATEST post about INFP CAREERS in the history of EVER”

  1. I’m almost 24 and I have no idea what to go to school for. I went to university for a year for Biology and I hated it so I dropped out. I also went to college for a year for a General Arts and Science program and another year at college for a Biotechnology program. Both of which I disliked. I am trying to find what my purpose is. 🙁 It’s so frustrating knowing that everyone else knows what they want to do and I’m stuck. I’m hoping something will come my way. Interesting reading everyone else’s comments and happy to hear I’m not the only one living in this strange world.

  2. I agree with everybody else here that this post described oneself really well, if not perfectly. I haven’t read all the comments but many many of them and it is very helpful and interesting to read them as I can recognise so much in myself. I am a very clear INFP and did a test with a counselor recently and a test on internet a long time ago, although not acting upon it then which I regret. I am also a highly sensitive person (HSP), but I think all INFP’s are highly sensitive even though all HSP´s are not INFP´s. For those that are not familiar with the HSP-concept it is ca 20% of the population who have an extra sensitive nervous system taking in more sensory impressions than the majority which is good, useful and rewarding but on the other hand can make oneself drained, tired and burnt out, especially in today´s world of extra stress, pressure and speed etc. You can find more about HSP if you google it.

    I agree that we INFP´s have difficulties finding our place and belonging in this world, and trouble in choosing career as we as idealists want to work with our life task or calling (which I think we should be proud of and need to aim for). This is probably difficult for others to understand, and generally we never really get understood by others, although we really want to be understood and long for it. I think it would be a good idea, as someone has said earlier that we join forces together as an INFP-community and start things together, working for what we believe in, whatever it may be. If we stand up and give each other a voice we will be heard and others will take us seriously. I would love to be able to work together with other INFP´s or just get the support and have a fruitful correspondence with you all regarding things in life and what I believe in. It doesn’t have to be big things, e.g. just how to unite the whole world :-).

    My life story, especially regarding jobs etc. is as follows:
    I am Swedish, grew up there and my childhood was good, but still I struggled to be understood completely I think. I did well in school, but was an imaginative child living in my own world, very early on a philosopher, feeling and thinking a lot. I happened to do and finish a degree in biology at University, while at the same time I saw myself as a poet starting to write a lot (published a book with financial help from a friend much later). Also without an active choice I just saw myself starting a PhD in marine ecology completing it in 1998 with a quite good record (mainly because of my good writing skills, many new intuitive ideas, analytical sense and stubbornness). But this was not me. Some of my poems were included on pages between chapters in the thesis, and I had started to become interested in eastern spirituality such as taoism and zenbuddhism etc doing tai chi, qigong (wild goose qigong) and meditation. The year after my doctoral degree I started together with others the University for Global Well-being, which aimed to integrate science, ecology and spirituality, but it didn’t quite succeed and I left it after half a year being quite discouraged in my soul. I did small odd jobs after that before going for a 3-weeks course at Schumacher College (on ecophilosophy, holistic science and spirituality) and that’s the only place I have truly felt at home in throughout my life. After that in year 2000 I went back into marine ecological science doing postdoctoral research in South Africa for 3,5 years (met my Indian wife there; now we have a daughter who is 6 years old). I liked this time a lot, and research can be a very free and good activity for an INFP (although the F-trait is not of any use), but the competition is fierce as well as the uncertainty regarding funding and positions. When we left South Africa going back to Sweden I was unemployed for a while, later getting some job in an energy company, then getting research funding again for some years, and later a position as a researcher in Finland until a couple of years ago when we thought we had to go back to Sweden so that our daughter gets closer to her cousins etc and I got a permanent position in a county government in Sweden as a marine biologist. But this just made me got burnt out with a depression to follow, and with my wife having no job and me being forced to bring in the money even if I cannot stand my present job. I miss the rocky shores of the world. I have recently started writing more again, on something I call “By the world’s waters” (in Swedish), that I am putting out on a blog. I am 47 years old now and I still do not know what to do in my career. I really want to save the world, and if I cannot somehow work with something meaningful it is no point working, even if I need to bring in an income. I am thinking of working in fields like ecophilosophy, ecopsychology and ecobuddhism (but this would probably mean studying again on the side and I do not know if I have the energy), i.e. teaching and/or writing within these fields, writing on the side, or become a qigong teacher, reiki healer or similar. I have also other thoughts such as film script writer, learning how to sing (my musical talent I have never developed although it may be there), acting, working for a humanitarian or similar organization. I have many more ideas, but these will do for now. Does anyone have any advice or have similar ideas as me and would like to discuss them? Then please do not hesitate to contact me.

    For all of you INFP´s that have written here, I can just say that I fully understand you, and perhaps the best advice I can give you and myself is to try to follow ones heart although it can often feel difficult. Meditation could be a good solution to get more energy, and that doesn’t have to mean that you do “proper” meditation but any activity that makes you more present and conscious about yourself and the world around you without a lot of disturbing thoughts. These activities may include gardening, kayaking, running, cooking or whatever you might enjoy.

    Warm hugs to you all!

    1. Hi Johan

      I’m an ‘environmental scientist’. Have been pondering for some time the path of ecopsychology / ecophilosophy. Have you moved any further in that direction, or have any thoughts?

      Jude

  3. First of all, I’d like to say that you are all incredible people. I’ve spent hours just reading what you’ve all had to say during some of my work hours, and I’ve never been as reassured by anything more than other people who think the same way as I do. I had a great time looking and seeing so many people who reacted the same way I did to such a well written article. I’d also like to add that I have no room to talk, being only 17.
    I stumbled across this wonderful post looking for careers because I was told by college counselors, parents, and even my younger sister, “You have to know what you want to do for the rest of your life!” After seeing you all with the same kind of mindset as myself doing the same things as I am (I’ve been searching for colleges and majors from June until now and not being totally satisfied with anything I’ve seen), I’m more inspired to follow what I want to do, rather than what makes more money in the end. A teacher of mine said that I should study what I like, not what I feel like I should. I think his words are a good example for all of us here! Again, I don’t mean to sound like I know all the answers to life’s problems, since I don’t.
    I forget who posted that we as a personality type are a bit self-indulgent, but I can agree with that. I play way too many video games XD But someone else probably said at some point that we like to explore, imagine, and create, and I think that gaming is a great place to get all of that. Art, interactivity, and a good market are all very appealing aspects to me. The prospect of running an indie game design company sounds good to me as well. Working with a lot of creative people and being my own boss sounds good so far.
    If anyone had any ideas as to areas I should explore for career fields, please don’t hesitate to email me @ johnandrelczykmusic@gmail.com! To all of you fellow INFPs, I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors and may you always be a beacon of happiness in an unforgiving world!

    1. Hi John,

      It must be very interesting for you to get this email over a year later from when you were writing about what you should do with your life. This post is over a year old so maybe I’ll email you too. You may have some completely different ideas now or a different perspective. But I wanted to reach out and tell you and others how it was a great pleasure and surprise to read your post. I feel my 10 years of self-exploration and experiences has lead me to also believing that I’ll be happy making video games and I want to share with you why.

      When I started college I was all over the map in terms of what I wanted to do. First I was undeclared, then a music major, a double creative writing and film major and finally I got a BA in psychology. I really wanted to do something creative but I thought I would be more in touch with my values by helping people and thought psychology would bring me to that direction. After going to an expensive private university, I went to community college to get a degree in something that would provide me with some practical skills and a job. This year I finally graduated and received my license in occupational therapy assistance thinking it would combine my creativity and desire to help others.

      I have had three jobs and it has been disheartening. I went from a corrupt company with a negative attitudes but with a good mentor to a place that paid very well, wasn’t corrupt but had no mentor and was very disorganized and stressful and had very low standards. Finally I found my dream organization that believes in intrinsic motivation of every employer and has intelligent staff who value growth and compassion and are willing to help guide you when there’s time. But that’s when the truth started settling in and I knew it wasn’t hidden by poor management. I started realizing how challenging it is for me to make fast decisions on the spot and be assertive and authoritarian in a fast paced and somewhat chaotic environment. It is difficult to create trust in my patients when I don’t know what I am doing since I don’t have time to plan. It seems that all my strengths of creativity, building rapport, problem-solving, finding the right balance of skill and challenge were all unable to manifest in that environment even though those are exactly the skills you need to use as an OTA.

      Soon I started dreading going to work everyday and being afraid that those four years of building expectation, identity and community around this career path have been destroyed by my pessimism within less than a year after graduating. Not to mention that everything in terms of work-life-balance, pay and security is something that is hard to find in this current economy. I’m trying to stay open to other settings within the field and understand that competence and confidence takes time but I keep finding myself looking at other options. It also doesn’t help to see that my peers all seem to be already content with their jobs and life when they are at the same phase and setting as me. It was in a desperate job search I came across a job posting for video game writers. It clicked that maybe I could fulfill my dreams of working in the arts and writing by making indie video games and it seems like a great fit for my personality type. Seeing that post made me question why I have been forcing myself to be extroverted and improvise a performance of leadership. I am yearning for a small creative group, collaborating with them, then going off and getting obsessed with my project. All my life I have never been paid to work on a project but instead worked at camps, schools and nonprofits under the gun of an exhilarating adrenaline rush. That was such a great experience for me and I have learned a lot, however most of those jobs were short term and I’m not sure if I would be able to handle that type of energy rush sustain-ably over the long run. So now I have come full circle. In a way I wished I committed to at least one or two of those majors because it would have been a very useful way to build my portfolio, repertoire and skills that I started a long time ago and then apply it to video games. Though it’s not necessary to have a degree to do that, it is nice to keep going with something and have the faith and courage to let it grow.

      I’ve just begun my quest for becoming a video game writer/designer reading books, watching videos, listening to pod casts, playing games, writing game ideas as well as making plans to advance my progress and start a blog to share the journey with others. I’m curious to know where are you now and what have been your thoughts in the direction you want to go. It seems that my value for bringing joy, wonder, fun and inspiration to people and sharing the exploration and fascination of the imaginative and emotional worlds is at the core of everything that brings me purpose and happiness. This core value seems like it is more at the heart of being a video game writer/designer than with of occupational therapy.

      When I was younger I felt I “should” help people and that it’s the right thing to do. For one thing that value was imposed by others around me and another thing is that the idea of helping people is so vague. Even the more specific value I mentioned earlier could be applied in many situations besides video games but I feel so excited and driven that it doesn’t matter because I feel I’ve gotten so much closer to the truth. I’ve realized it’s okay whether I want to help people or not. Being true to yourself is more important to me than that because even the people you are helping and working with will see right through you and may even tell you before you tell yourself that it’s time to find something you truly love.

      So that’s my story. You actually have helped me start the first post on my blog by inspiring me to write this email to you. I don’t want to be apologetic for the length because I am actually very thankful for it. If you are still interested in creating video games and want any resources about them or want a fellow INFP collaborator feel free to contact me.

      I’m so glad I ran into your post in the ocean of the internet and I hope this brings a slight bit of clarity to other puzzled INFP’s out there.

      With warm regards,

      Anna

  4. I discovered that I’m INFP today after searching “career changes for registered nurses” and taking various personality questionnaires. Nursing was a bad career move in hindsight. I’ve worked across many places and specialties. I always end up having issues with the sick systems I work in and feel the injustice of the conditions we work under…don’t even get me started on the rules, group-think problem solving and disengaged management. My last ditch effort is to do immunisations/ travel clinic nursing which I hope is more autonomous, fulfilling and less political. Failing that, it’s time to look for something else…more creative.

    Thanks for all your posts, it’s heartening to know it’s not just me who struggles to find my calling in life.

  5. I like how things are in southeast Asia.. the culture and way things run are a lot less sj and make more sense to me. I think the perfect career path for me will be teaching English out there.. I would get to travel and as a teacher there I would have a lot of freedom and space as well as a chance to see and share beauty with kids.

  6. Alot of these posts were like i could have written it. I am a forest firefighter and I hate it. I have yet to stay at a job for more than 4 months. I keep trying to find one that i fit. but I think by its nature, I can never like a job. I get bored easily, I feel I have so much in the world to explore, to see, so much to learn, so much culture to experience beauty to see. I have a fear of settling down getting stuck in a 9-5 routine. But mostly because I disagree with the way my workplace and ever workplace I’ve ever seen sees things. I feel like I have to hide how I think because its unacceptable at the workplace.. for me to think in my own way. I dont agree with how structured workplaces insist on being, i value my freedom and independence, the whole framework, whole structure, the whole idea of how everything needs to be organized so in order goes not only completely against my nature but actually hurts, it feels wrong to me. it goes completely against everything iibelieve in. my strongest belief is in letting people be who they are, not trying to influence or train, you can give people knowledge but the way society is about training minds to think a certain way goes against every fiber of my being. it seems like where i work peole are striving to be exactly what theyoe told to be. It doesnt need to be this way. i know why they do it. and maybe its harder to explain why i am so opposed to it. my first year fire fighting I kept it a secret how deeply opposed to every last way that they operated. when i say it i am met with so ,much opposition and lack of understanding so i keep it inside. and that build up makes it worse. i feel very disconnected from my job, from the world and people because of it.

  7. I am so happy I found this today. Like most of you I found this while searching for careers that work well with my MB personality. I currently work in an academic research lab. I have been doing similar work work 16 years… I am now 42. I do not want to spend the rest of my life doing something all day everyday that I don’t enjoy. There were certain aspects that I used to like, but years of doing this has left me with a lot of ligament issues in my wrist that make everyday painful. After 2 surgeries, I am still not able to lift a beer with my left hand…. makes it hard to do fine dissections, and other delicate movements needed for cell and molecular biology.

    Where do I go from here? That is what I am trying to figure out. I want to do something that I enjoy, that contributes to the world, and at least allows me to pay the bills. (my current position provides none of these) I am a caregiver by heart I think. I raised my daughter, took care of my father at the end of life, I foster cats & dogs, care for local wildlife. I love being outside, and traveling. Any suggestions for career options? I am at a loss right now… thanks… I have enjoyed reading all these posts today!

  8. I have done so many personality tests and never understood the “most suitable career options” for INFP, until I found this post.

    Im in medical school now, which couldnt possibly be a worse position to be in while desiring to change careers. Im halfway through, $200,000 in debt and want out. Of course this sounds totally unreasonable and crazy to friends, family, psychiatrist. Just finish school and it unlocks so many careers options for you is the only response I hear. Being an INFP I completely understant their argument. Of course I should stay in, it would be completely irrational to drop out, both financially and respectably.

    But, like all of us, I can’t stop listening to my feelings! I’m so drained everyday, tired of exams which always crush my very being, and getting home with no energy to do any of my life fulfilling hobbies. I hate the stress, constant heavy responsibility and critisism, and most of all staying in a career where I will be spending the rest of my adulthood in a career with extreme lack of creativity and the need to constantly be studying only one aspect of my interests!!!

    You couldn’t have spoke truer to my desire of career environment. Im also so happy to learn that there are others who feel shame in regards to always wanting to change careers, and who’s ideal job would appears “lazy.”

    Truly there is a career option out there, and I hope we all find it soon.

  9. I’m curious….. Can I get some feedback or opinion on how an INFP might fare as a member of a clergy? Priest, monk, minister, pastor, friar, religious brother….?

    1. The research says very well. You’d be giving to people, dealing with big, meaningful ideas and would work projects, rather than hours.

  10. I just spent an hour reading every one of these comments, and I have been literally close to tears throughout the whole of it. I have never in my life felt more connected to other people. I mean, TRULY connected. I feel like I’m part of some alien race and just discovered I’m NOT the only one on this planet! I’ve often wished I could somehow ‘upload’ my exact feelings and thoughts to others because I could never explain them ‘just right’ to the people around me, and the only way they would really ‘get me’ is if they could actually experience what I feel. Or that I could live in a primitive civilization…just live as part of a small tribe, self sustained, because I feel like I was born in the era of humanity. Or escape to a deserted island with just a handful of people. Maybe clones of myself haha? Except I’d really like to live in a giant house with all you other INFP’s now that I know you actually exist!
    I’ve always been a “flip flopper”, going through waves of motivation and intense interest in something only to have it fizzle out, wanting perfection and hating the thought of settling. I value creativity, understanding, curiosity and honesty immensely, and am quick to search for and applaud those traits in others but constantly over analyze myself and my own motives.
    Throughout my life I’ve wanted to be a writer, a dentist, an artist, and now I’m currently a 21 year old college student, studying Speech Pathology, a year away from graduating and feeling panicked that I don’t know what to do with my life. Speech path is interesting, but I don’t wake up thinking “I can’t wait to do this today!” The idea of doing anything, ANYTHING, 40 hours a week, every week, for the next 2 years (let alone the rest of my life!) makes me want to jump off a bridge unless it is something I adore. Problem is, I don’t seem to know what that is. My family and friends are starting to get weary of my constant roller coaster rants of enthusiasm followed by self doubt and fear of unhappiness.
    I came across this site after a disheartening skype session with first my mother and then my best friend trying to explain the push-pull of wanting stability and spontaneity, connection and independence, in a career and fearing that I will never find it (I’m currently in Spain as an English tutor, staying with a host family with room and board in exchange for tutoring…its just one in a long line of experiences that, while I’m glad I did it and learned a lot, looks great on paper but is never as fulfilling as I hoped it would be). I thought there must be something wrong with me, that maybe I was crazy feeling the way I did all the time. This post made me feel like I found a soul-mate or something, and I feel understood for the first time in my life!

    1. I agree with everything you said. I never felt like I fit in this world until I discovered this personality test things and discovered there are others like me. My friends think I’m crazy that I’ve become so obsessed/ok with letting a personality categorization define me but I really was blown away by how accurate it was. We make up only a very few percentage of world population apparently. That explains why it’s so rare to connect. I am 21 myself, should be graduating but instead still working on my undergrad FOR THAT VERY REASON (being unable to settle and pick a program). The program I am in is great but still feeling dissatisfied. Ever since I was 4 I’ve always wanted to be a dancer/actress and as I got older I realized I wanted more than just actress but stick in that field. I want to tell stories..I wanted to write books, direct/produce movies. most say that profession is close to impossible. So I am not sure what I should do either. But I can’t imagine life doing anything but that.

    2. I know this is from a while ago, but would you mind me asking what path you ended up taking with SLP? Fellow INFP here and I’m planning on applying to the program as well, but I already have a bit of that panicky feeling you mentioned. I’m also worried about having to do so much one on one interaction. On the plus side it is a career where empathy can shine through and you can make a difference in someone’s life. Also, it seems like a career that allows for a decent work-life balance and the ability to work with minimal supervision once you’ve made it.

  11. Hello, fellow INFPers! I’ve been on the same path so many of you have been on, trying to match work with what I am. One field I have fond satisfaction in is radio broadcasting, but like any arts type profession, that can be problematic. In 2002, after a decade in the civilian broadcasting world, I decided to take a chance and rejoin the US Army as a broadcaster. When I had a chance to do my radio thing, I was very much a success, the pinnacle of which was a show I had while with AFN Europe, where I got to make my own playlist and structure my own show, talking about what I wished. Eventually, I was made an NCO, however, and the Army wishes it’s broadcaster NCOs to be more broad, more “standard” NCOs and the broadcaster skills are valued a little less. A couple of bad NCOers are forcing me to leave the Army at 14 years, but to be honest, the further up in rank I got and the further I got away from what I loved, the less I enjoyed it. This current situations has forced me to make a decision that I really was angling towards the whole time. Fortunately, between Separation Pay and savings, money isn’t going to be an issue, a least for awhile. I’ve the resources to finish my degree. Now, on the other side of that, I plan on resuming my civilian broadcasting career and pursuing a side business in voiceover work as well as writing. Also, I will likely be preserving my military active duty years as a National Guardsman.

    So, if things work the way I plan, it all should be ok. Perhaps not ideal, but as ideal as one can reasonably expect in this world. At this present time.

  12. I have just read a lot of your comments and felt a sadness for us all. We live through our hearts first, intuition and learn to use our minds more because of being hurt along the way. INFP’s tend to pick dominating and controlling partners yes? We need to teach beauty to the harder types, yet we need the harder types to provide that sense of security, yet it’s dangerous to hand over our responsibility of looking after self to another, people come and go. I am very strong yet at times I want to curl up in a ball and ask someone to please show the way safely. I cry at night, I work hard, I love hard, I give myself fully to everything. Yet it’s not a perfect world, sometimes things are awesome and then there is that reminder you always have to be fully self sufficient, wise, keep your eyes open, don’t lead fully from your heart. Learn to use everything you have. I have psychic experiences often, dreams etc. I have felt 100% sure of an outcome which didn’t occur then I doubt my instincts, psychic abilities. One tool I really feel is important for INFP is to learn to trust ourselves fully.

  13. This is weird! I Just found out I was an INFP recently just because I felt like it, but what this articular said about starting a small individual company and getting someone with money to help you is dead on!!! Iv started my own firm and Iv got investors, which takes the stress away a lot (don’t have to think about money). But dam this articular is about the past me, more scared introverted me! If you want to loose the shackles that this INFP personality puts on you, you just have to force yourself to get out there and realize your are your own worst enemy. Put that crazy imagination and never ending ideas to use and you’ll be unstoppable. We feel people and I think being introverted is good because you can think about how to become more extroverted, mind processes can be changed just takes belief and persistence. People should not think of this as a definite personality, it’s a generalization of peoples cognitive thoughts. I was shy, felt moody all the time, was always in my head, got depressed and was always wondering why life was so hard sometimes for me, but for everyone else it was going great. They were happy at their jobs, but I could not stand the idea of ever working for anyone. So one day I said fuck it, I’m sick of being like this, the world is mine to mold the way i want it to be, no one can take that from me. So I got up put all bullshit aside and am now relatively enjoying life, its fun as soon as you stop thinking like a wet towel hahaha

  14. Have any of you ever woke up, got dressed, ate, went to work, sat down for 8 hours, drove home, ate dinner, went to sleep, and thought a few times during that mundane routine that “there has to be more to life than this”….that is me.

    I will sum it up in one word….alien. Yes, I feel like i’m from outer space. The way I think, speak, write, etc. I am 30 and I think of so many creative ideas/inventions throughout the day that would help the world be a better place for us all. For instance, I’m considering real estate. Now after that thought….i begin to think that absolutely NOONE SHOULD BE HOMELESS when there are THOUSANDS OF VACANT HOMES. That’s how my brain works. There is nothing on my left side lol…my right side is like a beautiful island surrounded by blue waters, dolphins, butterflies, and my children and I so happy to enjoy it all…without the rent, bills, deadlines, cellphones, arguments, one day sale advertisements, mindless music, poisinous food, fake politicians, zombie employees, etc.

    I love to write…… I write to love….. I write for peace….. Possibly my calling? Not sure….. but one thing I do know…. and that is to ask yourself, “what do i love”…. it may be something different from what your parents want you to do…..DO IT ANYWAY….. it may be something you’re afraid of….. DO IT ANYWAY…. live each day with no regrets…..

    One thing to also remember is…..you are never alone…. we exist…. we understand…..i understand….. but always turn a negative into a positive.

    With Love from my heart,
    Mo

    Interested in getting to know an INFP? email me… mowilson1982@yahoo.com

  15. Wow. I just googled my personality type and found this article.
    I see the very same problems at my career – I’m fed up with B2B business and definitely want to do something more meaningful as a ‘money making thing’.
    I’m a bit disappointed not to see career choices or recommendations here, but I understand that everyone has to find his own way.

  16. I have so loved reading everyone’s posts. I can relate to the delights of being an INFP as well as the stuggles.

    I have been on a huge journey to connect the pieces of my life’s puzzle and it is so lovely to find out there are many beautiful souls out there just like me.

    I think it is helpful to look at your life as a tapestry of delicately woven threads. If you can find the threads you have the key.

    Money is something the INFP loves to hate and the interplay is a careful balance. In one exercise I decided to look at where in my lifetime had I directed my funds. I think if you all try to the same exercise you will find the threads.

    In a deeper sense INFP are a creative breed so also look into the things you have created and how you have directed them.

    Jut to giive you an overview here are the results of my findings

    I had these threads:

    Healing – homeopathy, flower remedies, crystals, theta. EFT, travel to beauriful temples and places

    Environmental – beach clean ups, holistic education, eco living, conservation, enviro travel etc

    Sick kids – Paediatric Nurse, Child Disability, Special Care Baby Unit, Charitable Trusts,Child Cancer Foundation, Starship Hospital etc

    Creativity; Fundraising money for all the above, creating beautiful gifts and baskets, creating fun events, therapeutic play for sick kids,creating beautiful gardens.

    You may relate to the fact that for most of this time , love and energy I asked for nothing in return except for the nursing which was government paid.

    I am learning now that to not include one’s own well being and comfort is not the way to go.

    Hope this inspires you to look at the threads of your life,

    De

    Just as a side not for most of this work

  17. It took me a long time, a lot of writing, and many sleepless nights, but I finally figured out the best career path for me–that doesn’t interfere and ruin my life.
    I was driving along with my husband in the car when suddenly inspiration struck and I blurted out that I wanted to run an at-home childcare business. He immediately told me it was a great idea, and even though I spent the rest of the day trying to take it apart and find the holes, my ever-logical husband turned out to be right (again).
    I can’t stand 90% of adults, but I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t have a heart of gold. In my state it’s legal to care for up to six children at home for pay, and need no licensure whatsoever, so that keeps my need to be free of a controlling boss met. My creative side gets to shine when the kids and I do projects and play games, and then my perfectionistic side gets to shine when I’m cleaning and making sure everything’s safe and organized. Since I watch kids only after school, I get to spend time in the early afternoons with my husband, who works second shift. Then after school my only-child has kids to play with. It was extremely important to me not to have to trade my family time for money. Now, instead of it seeming like I sacrificed for the money, it almost feels like people are just giving me money and I’m like “Well…ok.” Things just couldn’t be any better.
    Except they are. In the early morning I work on my novel(s). With e-readers and Amazon, I’ve hired myself as an indie fiction author and publish free, then watch as money hits my bank account. Because I have a second income otherwise, I don’t stress about how much I make or how long it takes–I let the stories bloom naturally and write and research a little every day, pressure-free. A novel averages about $300 a month. Eventually, I will have a completely passive livable wage that will allow me to travel and satisfy the spontaneous, adventuresome side of me too.
    I too wish you your true path, my kaleidoscopic friend.

  18. I recently discovered that I am an INFP a couple of weeks ago. I just turned 25 yesterday and the last few months have been hell. Its like I’ve just woken up from a dream, I don’t know where the last 4 years went. I am from the UK and I still live with my mum. I have always worked but its been seasonal work at a job I never liked and always tried to do something else along the way. I love photography and went to do a degree at a local college but dropped out due to family issues, my other passion is skateboarding so last year a friend and I decided to open and start a skate shop business, I am typing this from the shop as I speak. unfortunately I don’t make much money at all from the shop and I still work part time at the same seasonal job, it recently hit me that if the shop fails then I am going to have nothing! I have NO idea what to do, I’ve gone over a million things in my head, try to apply for an apprenticeship and become a silent partner to the business, volunteer in the evenings maybe work with youth as I read that could be a good career for INFPs. I have recently fell into a deep depression and don’t know where to start or who to talk to, careers advisor? seek a therapist? I hate being so far behind in life I don’t know where the time has gone. I just want a stable career and to be able to save for a deposit and move out. so many things going through my head.

    any advice would be appreciated! I’m thinking about seeing a career counsellor and also giving in to seeing a therapist. anyone used either and thought it was worthwhile spending money on it??

    1. Hi Darren,
      Just saw your comment about career coaching. It is extremely valuable, though not cheap!

      It seems though that you found something you’re passionate about and made a job out of it at the skate shop. I wonder if you’ve thought about why you’re not making enough money, and perhaps if there are things you could do to market yourself or make additional income (if you sell skateboards, do you repair them, too? do you have events at the shop that would bring people in to buy?).

      INFPs aren’t great at that part of the business, but perhaps you can find someone to help advise you?

      I wish I could think of a business that I feel would be successful and allows me to follow my passion (food/wine/books – i know, it should be easy!).

    2. It sounds like you’re on the right track, just make sure to choose psychological and career counselors who are right for you. Good luck!

  19. This describes me so well! I went into music teaching, which is a recommended career, but I don’t feel comfortable asserting authority so I can’t control a classroom, and hours of private teaching are draining because of having to be constantly interacting with another person. Plus most students are beginners, and it’s just so boring to me to continue going over the fundamentals.

    I also have another part-time job which offers a lot of freedom but it is very repetitive.

    I am trying my hand at acting and actually booking some work, so that’s nice, but I really need to develop a fallback in the meantime that doesn’t completely drain me the way teaching and repetitive work both do. I am looking into being a fitness and nutrition coach, and I love writing and am trying to come up with ways I can monetize that. I’m not interested in technical writing or anything like that, that’s boring.

    I know that sounds spoiled, but I was sold the bill of goods that if I worked hard and got all As and went through graduate school that I would get to do work that interested me and that would provide at least a living wage. If I had spent my high school years having fun and partying and getting Cs, I’d feel like it was a reasonable consequence that I would have to spend all my time doing work I disliked in order to keep my head above water. At least, if I had to work long hours at work I hated, I’d want it to provide me with a terrific standard of living.

    1. What a coincidence, I was told the same thing growing up! I’m trying to decide if the degree I’m pursuing is right for me. I’m getting really frustrated with being enthusiastic about a degree, using all of the pros to convince myself to go into it, then noticing how the cons outweigh the pros. You’d think by 26 I’d have my career all figured out, or at least more figured out than I did when earning my B.A. Maybe midlife crises hit me early, it sounds like I’m not the only one who has this problem. Any suggestions?

    2. I have been thinking about going into music teaching as well. But I fear the same thing. I won’t be able to control the classroom. I couldn’t do it as a substitute teacher, so how would I do it in a full time position? I got my Masters in Music, but it was for performance, which I highly regret. I have the talent, but hate being the center of attention and having to constantly promote myself. I am currently teaching private voice and piano and I am drained and dread it frequently. Mostly because a lot of the kids walk all over me or don’t want to be there in the first place. I also am teaching many beginners and it can be frustrating.

  20. In my experience working careers as an INFP the fulfilling aspect is always related to the people I work with. If I work with a group of people I can care about I’m happy a lot of the time and if I’m not working with a group I care about I’m not happy most of the time. By nature my interests shift and change and circle back around but the people I’m with help ground me on a day to day basis. I’ve done primarily freelance work for a while now and while the money has been good the lack of committed relationships I get to be a part of in the work has been the big struggle.

    I think much of the struggle INFP’s have is because the work world is shifting toward shorter term employment with companies which leads to looser social bonds. We need people to appreciate us over time and deep connections are becoming a thing of the past in this modern work environment.

  21. I guess, like a lot of INFPs, I tend to jump into things in a bout of excitement and inspiration, and then that inspiration fades and I am left questioning why I chose this or that path.

    I had this experience recently (mid last year) when I was deciding on studying at university. I decided on Public Policy. While I had wanted to seriously research and find the right course for me, my enthusiasm (which tends to be high at the beginning), perhaps overrode my better insticts; basically, I ended up jumping in head first without really being patient and considering whether it was right for me.

    Now, there may be a career out there that I can use the PP Masters for, but my instincts right now may be correct; i.e. it may blow up in my face as it just won’t fit no matter how hard I try. I had this problem with my bachelor. I stuck to it and graduated with Labor Relations, but then when I went into the workforce, I got fired (not pretty to admit, but it happened twice) – my employers found me to be unenthusiatic and disinterested – and to be fair, they were right! Since then, I have had various jobs but no great career path. Which leads me to where I am, again facing what another individual in here has called an ‘existential crisis’.

    Ok, so that was a long background and some of it not relevant to my question, but here is my question – if indeed we are flippant people and are just destined to chop-and-change over and over, should we just stick with something when that time arrives, and our instincts tell us to change direction? I guess this comes down to everyones individual perspective.

    By the way, I am only 2 subjects out of 8 so far (and working 4 days a week in another role). So I guess that changes whether it might be logical to drop out.

  22. Wow. I just read every comment searching for a perfect career choice. But what I found was a feeling that others are just the same way. Thanks, everyone. I’m thinking of returning to college for either environmental studies (big organic farm advocate), or massage therapy. The search of our lives is really exhausting, but it’s nice to know you’re not insane because of it, just INFP.

  23. Hello all. I enjoyed reading this and allll of the comments. I’ve had the same struggles myself with finding where I belong and jobs seem mercilessly rigid and unforgiving. I graduated from liberal arts school, but never fully fit in there either. After several encounters with “the man” and real life, I thought ok, this is it, I’m doomed to misery and stagnation.

    That all has changed, but not magically. I went back to school to take classes and am now a “non traditional” second year medical student. It is an ill-advised career choice by many standards, and often times I wonder if it’s worth “going against my grains.”

    I’m a 29 year old girl, so it’s naive advice, but I can offer what worked for me. My circumstances had pretty much beat me down to the point where I had no other choice but to accept the fact that I would never fully fit in anywhere and that life would choose for me if I didn’t just do something. So I let go of my safety and certainty, all my fears and the disapproval of others. Sounds like settling, I know. But I actually found a kind of unexpected freedom.

    Think about our strengths. We see good and beauty in even dismal situations. We care deeply and connect ideas and use them for growth. We search for truth and meaning, and that often means finding it in unlikely places. I hate so many things about med school. The competition, the petty things, the narcissists, the drudgery, the rules. The white coats. But on the flip side, daily exposure to this regimented world has taken away a lot of my fear and even re-solidified my strive to do things in a just and kind manner, even when I’m “outnumbered.” I can be kind to a stranger in the hall, even if I’m late to another “life or death” exam. That’s an infp strength, folks. Perspective.

    Medicine is not for everyone, and I have doubts all the time. I should be studying now :). But for those of us who are stuck in real-life, inflexible situations, our ability to adapt and absorb richness from the mundane is a real asset that can work in our favor. Like a silent, secret rebellion. Infiltrating the enemy. You don’t have to love it, but you’d be surprised how far you can push yourself if you let go of the fear of not loving it. We’re infps. Life is going to be rough. But we’re deeply strong as a result.

  24. Hello fellow INFPs. I’m 43. I have a degree in Art History. Most of my adult life I’ve worked as an admin assistant–meanwhile pursuing creative endeavors in my spare time. I’m also a career student, constantly retraining for “something” better. Recently, I completely programs in photography and arts administration.

    This is what I think will work for me going forward: cultivating a lifestyle that will support two or three part-time jobs. It’s kind of like being freelance, but a little more stable. One thing I’d always hated about my full-time employers in the past is that they OWNED me. I felt locked in. Begging for everything from time to use the bathroom to when and how to use the vacation time they promised during the interview process.

    I’m currently working part-time for a museum, a gallery and a nonprofit.

    Maybe we INFPs don’t have to settle on a single career/employer. Maybe we can pull together a menu of opportunities (both paid and unpaid) that will fulfill us and keep the landlord/mortgage company happy and the wolf from the door.

    xo,
    Shannon

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