We have all pondered the inevitable question, “What career would suit me best?” And some of us have wanted to change the trajectory of our career and start walking on a fresh new path. This article will explore various favorable careers for the INTJ personality, unfavorable careers to avoid, and a list of college majors that INTJs might want to consider.
INTJ or The Mastermind is among the rarest MBTI personality types, making up a total of 1.5%. The reason behind their nickname ‘The Mastermind’, is their analytical, flexible, and objective minds. An INTJ person is confident in their knowledge and private about their plans. They have the ability to look beyond a person’s behavior and understand their motives. They think outside the box and know how to get what they want. They are people of high standards, always looking to improve themselves and everyone around them. In other words, they are perfectionists.
Now that we have established their personality traits, let’s see what career choices would fit this description the best. Despite the INTJs’ wide range of exceptional qualities, we shouldn’t overlook the areas where this personality type needs work, and what occupations they should avoid. And for those who are about to begin their higher education journey, we have prepared a list of college majors you might want to consider.
You can find all of this information — and more in the following article!
INTJs at Work
A peculiar personality type, the INTJ shines brightly credits to their profound intellect, wisdom, discipline, and perfectionism. One would assume that finding the perfect career match would be an easy task for The Mastermind, however, this personality type is likely to struggle in the quest for the right job. The perfect INTJ jobs should be infused with an optimal amount of intellectual stimulus and problem-solving, as well as the freedom for creative expression. They have grand ideas about the world and require the space to execute them, and wish to be recognized for their talent and skills.
INTJs are very structured and organized at work. Thomas Jefferson (a famous INTJ) once said, “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” This applies to INTJs even when they aren’t in a state of frustration, for they prefer to think before they act. They are extremely reliable and are known to give honest opinions. Although they are good at handling criticism, there’s not much one can criticize them for. When it comes to weaknesses, communications skills pose a challenge for this Myers-Briggs type. As introverts, INTJs prefer being left to their own devices over social interaction.
Given all the INTJ traits, it shouldn’t surprise you if we say they are born to be leaders in their preferred field. A good percentage of company founders, politicians, and executives share the INTJ personality type. They are sincere and can be counted upon. There are a few misconceptions about the INTJ type though, some confuse their introverted attitude for antisocial behavior. Others might view them as emotionless, when in fact they’re just rational thinkers. And while some might think that they’re narcissistic, in actuality they’re simply achievement-oriented. INTJs are thick-skinned and prefer to do things their own way, without worrying about what people might think of them.
INTJ Career Matches
When looking for the right career match, it’s really important for INTJs to note down their top priorities. When we are armed with the knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses, we can better understand our personal values which further advances the search for the most rewarding career path. The perfect occupation for this intellectual MBTI personality type is one that allows them to express their greatest strengths. They are ingenious, innovative, resourceful, and have high standards of performance, both for themselves and those around them. INTJs have a longer attention span and find reading and studying pleasant and rewarding. Most career choices they prefer require years of proper education, and once mastered, they can easily start impressing everyone around them.
Such careers usually involve grasping complex theories and analysis, applying superb problem-solving skills, and long-term commitment to a specific field. Here are some popular job alternatives for The Strategist type:
INTJs can maintain their focus for a long time so a career in computer programming, IT, coding, or even robotics may be very suitable for this introverted and logical personality type. Not everyone has the patience to spend their time on a single demanding task as an INTJ can. Nevertheless, sticking to a strict routine with little intellectual reward can quickly become problematic for an INTJ, as it begins to feel monotonous. INTJs may have trouble with the idea that they have to gradually build their way to the top, for example, starting as team members and slowly moving up the professional ladder to General Managers. This is largely due to their lack of extroverted skills, their disinterest in titles and hierarchies, and detachment from their colleagues.
INTJs are aware of their abilities in a professional environment and know they have the self-esteem to be knowledgeable leaders. So they might feel they have wasted time on a job that gives them very little stimulus or satisfaction. Their bosses and managers need to understand that INTJs are valuable team members, who can put up with serious and intense tasks without any complaints. Their high standards and aim for perfection are necessary components for a leader’s resume. Overall, some of the issues described here are invalid when working as an IT programmer, making this a viable career option for INTJs.
Ability to work independently? Check. A calm and analytical career? Check. A combination of knowledge and efficiency? Check. Typically, INTJs are considered to make good scientists and medics as they don’t have trouble with ‘serious’ professions that require years of study and practice. Their Thinking (T) preference makes them extremely good at memorizing and comprehending facts. They evaluate most situations based on logic and the knowledge of their past experiences, so a career as a dentist would be especially suitable for INTJs. They also enjoy being their own bosses, because they’re not particularly service-oriented. They want the freedom to schedule their days as they like, having one-to-one appointments, is excellent for The Strategist. Not to mention attending to people’s teeth doesn’t leave much room for dreadful small talk…
INTJs are serious critical thinkers. Their affinity towards problem-solving makes them apt to become successful lawyers. They have the necessary perseverance required for the job, they are powerful defenders of the truth. Their Intuitive (N) preference helps them understand hidden motives and to read between the lines. All of these, including their ability to elegantly overcome challenges, are more than the necessary requirements for this career. It is highly likely for INTJs to feel satisfied with this career path, given their calm, collected, and analytical nature; all considerable strengths for a career in Law.
INTJs are independent and have little regard for workplace hierarchies. They don’t care for titles and because of that, they might seem disrespectful to their managers at times. That is not at all their intention, of course. Sometimes the best solution for an INTJ would be to become their own boss. It might sound easier said than done, but an INTJ’s inspiring attitude definitely proves it completely feasible. After all, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and even Isaac Newton are famous INTJ entrepreneurs who have, at numerous events, proved to the world the stretch of their capabilities. They all exude confidence, they are rational thinkers, and unafraid of taking risks. Each has influenced the world in some life-changing way. Of course, we are not here to talk about who we like or dislike as a person, but instead, we want to build you a picture of the endless possibilities that INTJs can manifest around them.
Entrepreneurs are rarely okay with starting from the bottom, and similarly, INTJs would dislike the slow and steady path towards success. They have very high standards which they apply to themselves. Their brilliant, out-of-the-box ideas are typical of ingenious innovators and would make them great businesspeople. Overall, INTJs find a special kind of thrill in developing a world built on a string of their imagination, so any career that can help them achieve that is fitting for The Strategist. We should always expect to be surprised and delighted by INTJ entrepreneurs.
5. Police Detective
INTJs like to be known for their mastery and achievements. They want to make impactful changes to people’s lives, and what better example than the thrill of solving a crime? INTJs don’t mind when the stakes are raised high for them, and the kick from getting a job done is a different feeling for them. Their ability to see deep connections that don’t seem visible on the surface is hugely important for this career. With this, they are brilliant at grasping complex ideas. They find nuance and deep satisfaction when solving a problem. They are sort of built that way – always seeking the next challenge, always thinking ahead, always solving puzzles. They work first and play later. They are dedicated workers.
Police detectives also need to be somewhat emotionally distanced. Their careers are very demanding and detectives are constantly faced with difficult-to-stomach situations. In this case, an INTJ’s neglect for emotional expression or socializing can be very useful, as jobs in this sector require the absence of emotional attachment, in order to make way for logical and resourceful thinking. That is not to say INTJs don’t care, they just value knowledge and efficiency even in extreme situations.
- Military Leader
- Medical Doctor
- Business Administrator
- Business Manager
INTJs need to view their potential weaknesses as strengths and apply them in their search for the perfect job. Just because others are extroverted and outgoing doesn’t mean INTJs need to follow the herd. INTJs can shine brightly and have impressive careers when they understand the individual advantages they have. What makes INTJs stand out? So long as they are prepared to be different, they will be able to embrace their unique personalities. After all, every train has its passengers!
INTJ Careers to Avoid
A job that requires non-stop communication with people surely isn’t the best match for INTJs. Especially one that requires them to put on a fake smile and chit-chat for hours on end. INTJs might get bored of this mundane routine pretty quickly. They don’t want to be part of any job void of deep impact. Let alone one that’s repetitive and gives them no room for intellectual development. And let’s be honest, INTJs are not often considered the most outgoing or approachable people, especially compared to extroverted types. Soon enough they’d find that even the smallest amount of structure this job brings to their lives isn’t enough to keep them behind the desk. Don’t be surprised if this personality type gives their notice in the middle of a shift on the quest for their true professional purpose. They probably won’t hesitate to add that it’s “nothing personal” and that they’re just on a journey for something truly life-changing and grandeur.
Similarly to the receptionist position, it’s highly unlikely that an INTJ would feel comfortable staying at this occupation for a long time. Of course, like any job, waitressing may teach certain useful skills to the employee, such as great verbal communication and teamwork. After all, this job’s main requirements are all connected to having some advanced people skills, a sign of extroverted behavior, atypical to INTJs. And let’s be honest – INTJs don’t usually stress over the opinions other people have of them. We all know it’s useful to make a great first impression in customer service, otherwise, the desired gratuity may be on the line.
It’s not just people skills that make this career option undesirable for INTJs. They may also feel trapped or stuck in a job that involves very little “strategizing”. INTJs, as discussed before, feel the deep need to absorb complex material and add to it with their brilliance and original ideas. There’s very little wiggle room for this kind of behavior in customer service. And finally, INTJs just wouldn’t be fond of being told what to do by their bosses all the time, an absolute mood buster for the independent Strategist type.
3. Customer Support in a Call Center
Communication simply isn’t the INTJs forte. Doing a job that is founded on one specific verbal skill has every chance of becoming a living nightmare for this personality type. It’s hard for these people to talk to strangers for extended periods of time, let alone having to deal with grumpy and unsatisfied customers. INTJs are not service-oriented and they wouldn’t be able to empathetically respond to the needs of a frustrated customer. If anything, many of these customer support positions require reading directly from a script, while embodying an optimistic and rather fake role, which adds another element of undesirability to the job. INTJs are lone wolves on a search to glorious undiscovered worlds. They pave their paths with the fruits of their personal knowledge and skills. In the end, an accomplished INTJ would realize the true challenge they have had to overcome was in fact understanding and honoring themselves.
- PR Specialist
- Primary School Teacher
- Production worker
- Literary Critics
INTJ College Majors
INTJs are motivated to set high standards and goals for themselves and dedicated to achieving them at all costs. Their determination, dedication, and unbreakable focus are extremely rare among other personality types. INTJs aren’t programmed like machines, in fact, they have exceptional creative and innovative energy. It’s important for INTJs to be allowed to express this energy even in the most complex professions. They need to find a happy balance between desire and ability when choosing their career path, and this requires some planning – right from choosing a college major. Planning has never been a fault to INTJs, as they have no trouble looking at the big picture and making informed decisions. INTJs need to be given the trust and independence to choose their unique paths.
We have formulated a list of college majors that can be great starting points on the way to discovering the most suitable INTJ career:
- IT, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
- Environmental Science
- Physics and Astronomy
- Computer Science and Programming
- Urban Planning
- Biology and Neuroscience
- History and Politics
- Environmental Law, or Law in general