Updated 27 May 2020
The INTJ personality is one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs assessment, a personality test commonly used by employers to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of applicants.
The Myers-Briggs test provides insight into how individuals work and learn, and allows employers to assess how a potential candidate would fit within their organisation. It can also be a valuable tool for individuals, helping them to develop an awareness of their character and the career paths best suited to their personality type.
This article is aimed specifically at those that have been identified as an INTJ personality. It discusses their various character traits and how these relate to a professional environment, as well as providing 10 of the best INTJ career matches.
The INTJ personality is one of the rarer types identified by the Myers-Briggs test. As with each of the 16 personalities, the acronym relates to four key characteristics which, when combined, paint a picture of an individual’s persona. This includes how they relate to others, what motivates them and how they prefer to work.
In the case of the INTJ personality, these are:
INTJs are creative thinkers who prefer logical reasoning. They value facts over feelings and tend to eliminate emotional responses from their decision making.
They have analytical minds, the instinctive ability to understand complex ideas and theories, and constantly look for ways to improve the world around them.
The INTJ personality type is also known for intelligence and ambition, with a tendency to focus on the future over the here and now. Despite being social introverts, INTJs also have a high level of self-confidence, particularly when it comes to their intellectual capabilities.
INTJs think inwardly, preferring to process information strategically and by themselves. They are motivated by abstract concepts and theories, and are good at deciphering meaning based on fact.
If you’ve been identified as an INTJ personality, it’s likely that you are reserved, preferring to spend time alone rather than in a social setting, although you will form close bonds with a small group of people that share your values.
As with every personality type, INTJs possess strengths and weaknesses that affect both their private and professional lives.
In the workplace, the INTJ personality is determined and hardworking. INTJs thrive in a challenging environment and crave intellectual stimulation. They find no pleasure at all in mundane or repetitive tasks, though they do value structure and stability.
They are self-starters that are motivated by implementing effective change through logical problem-solving. As a result, the best INTJ career matches are those that involve cause-and-effect analysis, innovation and creativity.
INTJs strive for high standards, particularly in their own performance, and prefer to work strategically towards measurable goals. They appreciate independence and autonomy in their job role and remain focused on the task at hand, often avoiding social interactions in the workplace.
Whilst INTJs prefer to work alone, they also perform well in small teams of like-minded individuals. They respond to colleagues that they view as valuable contributors and that share their level of intelligence and work ethic.
When working as part of a team, they are fair and open to new ideas, but will assess these from a logical standpoint and only support those that deliver improvements. They can be highly persuasive and often help to move a team forward. INTJs prefer to keep discussions on topic and tend to avoid office small talk.
When employed in management roles, INTJ personality types tend to take a hands-off approach. Their preference for solitude means they would rather steer clear of the limelight, instead delegating strategically and inspiring action among their direct reports.
As INTJs are goal-orientated, they often work to a clear vision. However, they can sometimes struggle to articulate their ideas and this can lead to confusion among those they manage.
Ultimately, it is their focus and commitment to achievement that makes them strong leaders. INTJs will not suffer fools and will not tolerate those who lack efficiency.
A team led by an INTJ personality will get the job done in the most effective way possible.
The characteristics of the INTJ personality type complement the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and, as such, related fields rank highly in the top INTJ career matches.
That said, several creative disciplines are also a strong match. Below are some of the best options for INTJ careers across a diverse range of industry sectors.
Due to the nature of the profession, accountancy is one of the most logical INTJ career matches.
As highly organised and disciplined individuals, INTJs are well suited to any role that involves precise record-keeping and maintenance.
Also, accountancy requires in-depth financial analysis and strategy, allowing the INTJ personality to use their passion for problem-solving to improve both processes and financial performance.
Accountants also spend substantial time alone focusing on figures, a match for the INTJ's preferred method of working.
The complexity of the UK’s legal system makes law an appealing career option for the INTJ personality. Their ability to understand and retain large amounts of information makes them well suited to this demanding profession.
Successful lawyers are ambitious, committed and highly analytical. They enjoy research and creative problem-solving, and can formulate a persuasive argument. As professionals, they are also required to separate emotion from their work.
As these are all traits strongly associated with this personality type, legal roles are among the most popular of INTJ jobs.
The INTJ personality type takes great satisfaction in seeing the results of their work, making project management another of the top INTJ career matches.
As individuals that take a logical view of the bigger picture, INTJs are adept at planning and overseeing the finer details required to achieve a larger goal.
Project management allows them to strategize, budget and plan, whilst adopting creative problem-solving techniques to find and implement increased efficiencies.
As project managers operate across multiple industry sectors, it is also one of the few INTJ careers that offers the potential for job diversity.
Another career well suited to the introverted INTJ personality type is that of the computer programmer.
The focus and creativity required to design, write and test code allows INTJs to thrive in an autonomous working environment. Also, the troubleshooting aspect of this role requires the type of problem-solving that INTJs excel at, analysing cause and effect, and formulating appropriate solutions.
As most computer programs are designed to allow users to work smarter, this profession also appeals to the INTJs desire to continually improve processes and systems.
Architecture brings together the two disciplines of science and art. As INTJs are logical thinkers with a creative flair, this makes the profession another strong INTJ career match.
Working to design and build an end-product that meets the specific needs of a client appeals greatly to the INTJ personality, as does having control over a project from start to finish.
The profession also plays to the INTJ strengths of organisation, precision and strategy.
Detectives piece together individual elements to uncover the bigger picture and land on a resolution. They analyse, research, observe and assess evidence, all of which play to the strengths of the INTJ personality.
Detective work is also well suited to INTJs due to the value they place on seeing a project through to completion and their persistent nature when working towards a goal: in this case, the solving of a crime.
Whether in the physical or social sciences, the INTJ's continued thirst for knowledge and discovery means they tend to excel in research roles.
Another of the INTJ career matches that makes good use of their analytical and problem-solving skills, scientific research is also all about improvement. This could be through the development of new medications, or through obtaining a deeper understanding of human behaviour.
Either way, this profession fulfils the INTJ's desire to contribute to the implementation of effective change while continually learning.
Though less analytical than other INTJ career matches, the writing profession is still a good fit as it offers almost complete autonomy and privacy at work, particularly if undertaken as a freelance role.
Technical writing, in particular, is well suited to INTJs, as it requires a high level of intelligence and the ability to convey complex information clearly.
As a career, technical writing allows INTJs to use both their creativity and their intellect while working independently.
Engineering is essentially analysing a problem and working to find a creative solution through the application of technology, science and maths. As this matches many INTJ strengths and personality traits, engineering is a popular choice for INTJ careers.
Engineering will also appeal to the perfectionist in the INTJ, since it requires accuracy, attention to detail and impeccably high standards.
Whilst some areas of the medical profession are unsuited to INTJ personality types, others – such as general practice – are a good match.
A GP predominantly works alone and applies analytical skills to identify problems and prescribe solutions, an ideal role for the introverted and logical INTJ.
The INTJ's aptitude for understanding complexity also makes them well suited for a career where the needs of each patient are unique, and can only be understood when assessed as part of a bigger picture.
The main benefit of identifying your personality type is that it provides you with an insight into which careers your strengths and weaknesses are best suited to. However, it is also a useful tool for eliminating job choices.
The following are three of the worst careers for INTJ personality types.
Whilst some aspects of the INTJ personality are well suited to sales, such as persuasiveness and the ability to handle rejection, the social aspect of the profession makes sales one of the worst careers for them.
A good salesperson works to build an emotional connection with potential customers and may spend substantial time in idle conversation in an attempt to build a rapport. INTJs do not enjoy small talk and prefer to keep discussions focused on the task at hand.
Any role within hospitality is generally unsuitable for the INTJ personality type. The industry requires strong teamwork and, whilst INTJs work well in small groups of like-minded people, they are uncomfortable collaborating with large and varied teams.
The nature of the industry also makes it an unpredictable environment to work in, whereas INTJs prefer structure.
Hospitality tends to attract sociable, outgoing individuals that enjoy the thrill of meeting new people and, as such, is an industry unsuited to the introverted INTJ personality type.
While detective may rank among the top INTJ career matches, a role as a police officer is one best avoided.
Unpredictable and rarely providing measurable outcomes, the nature of the work is unsuited to those that prefer to achieve quantifiable results in a structured environment.
A police officer also needs a strong command of their emotions, showing empathy where needed and remaining clear-headed and calm in an emergency.
INTJs are long-term thinkers that enjoy working towards fact-based solutions and lack the emotional intuition required for an immediate response on the front line.
As one of the less common Myers-Briggs personality types, INTJs bring unique talents to the workplace. Their creative logic is a rare skill and their problem-solving capabilities are a valuable asset to any organisation.
They offer a dedicated work ethic and a commitment to excellence that ensures the highest standards.
However, they are best suited to roles that function behind the scenes, working strategically and independently towards a measurable goal.
You might be interested in these other WikiJob articles: