Career Matches for ISFP Personalities

Updated 27 May 2020

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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator 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. It may open them up to a career they may not have thought of before.

There are 16 possible personality types in the Myers-Briggs test. ISFP is the fourth-most common type in the population. ISFPs make up:

  • 10% of women
  • 8% of men

This article discusses their various character traits of an ISFP and how these relate to a professional environment, as well as providing 10 of the best ISFP career matches.

What Qualities Does an ISFP Personality Have?

The ISFP acronym means:

  • (I) Introverted
  • (S) Sensing
  • (F) Feeling
  • (P) Perceiving

While enjoying spending time alone (Introverted), ISFP personalities are energised by this and become approachable and friendly once over their shyness. They like to focus on facts and details rather than concepts and ideas (Sensing). They make decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling) and are likely to be spontaneous (Perceiving).

ISFP personalities are artistic, creative and like to think and work outside of the norm. Spontaneous and somewhat unpredictable, ISFPs are always very loyal and empathetic.

With a very sensitive nature, they are not ones to take criticism well. However, they can be very charming and enjoy connecting with others.

Core Strengths and Weaknesses

Like any personality type, the ISFP personality has its own set of strengths and weaknesses that can help or hinder an individual’s personal and professional lives.

Knowing what these strengths and weaknesses are can help when selecting a job or career that works well for you.

ISFP Strengths

  • ISFP personality types are fun-loving. Friendly, warm and relaxed, they naturally attract others to them. While introverted by nature, once you get to know them and they open up, they are there for you.

  • ISFPs are explorers and are naturally curious. They like to absorb everything they can about people and experiences they come into contact with, and take great care to be fully informed.

  • ISFPs are observant and don’t miss any details. This is what makes them good problem solvers, offering practical, sensible solutions. They can easily identify ways of improvement and will see things others may have missed.

  • ISFP personalities will not be swayed from what they believe in and have no use for liars or cheaters, quickly turning away from those they deem untrustworthy. ISFPs do not enjoy conflict.

  • Whether it is through art, a song, a poem or even a PowerPoint presentation, ISFP personalities are very creative. ISFPs will try to find a way to work art into whatever they are doing.

ISFP Weaknesses

  • Because ISFP personalities love their freedom, they don’t like anything that hinders their independence, such as long-term plans or structured outings. They may find it hard to work with the demands of others.

  • ISFP personalities get bored easily, so do not do well with things that take a long time, are monotonous or have a very strict schedule.

  • As they are friendly and relatable, ISFP personalities are very sensitive to the needs of others, but this can often come at the expense of their own. They are also very sensitive to criticism and do not receive it well.

  • Because this personality type dislikes long term planning, they can be seen as unpredictable. This can also cause stress in their personal and financial relationships.

What is an ISFP like at Work?

The ISFP personality is a good match for jobs that are both creative and require independent working. They love to throw a lot of enthusiasm into their job and express themselves in their work.

They seek careers where they can have a positive impact on others. They enjoy hands-on work where they can see the fruits of their labour.

As creative thinkers, ISFP personalities can be counted on to come up with new ideas or ways of doing things. They thrive in a fast-paced environment and can be easily bored if not challenged enough.

ISFP personalities work well with short deadlines or short-term projects and are quite organised. Introverted by nature, ISFP personalities do not like to be put in front of a group for speaking or leading a meeting.

While they also prefer to work quietly and independently, they are capable of working within a team and expect their teammates to be as engaged as they are.

ISFPs in a Team

ISFPs like to be helpful and supportive when working with others. Because they are natural problem-solvers, they look for ways to help out with useful solutions. Caring and empathetic, they are always there to listen and lend their support.

ISFPs prefer an action-filled role where they can immediately make a difference. They become bored with a project that is taking too long or seems to have no concrete information and facts to work with.

ISFPs do not work well with those who are bossy and looking to compete. They work best with co-workers who are equally as loyal and who contribute equally.

ISFPs as Leaders

Fun-loving and curious, ISFP personalities are great people to work with. However, in a leadership or management role, they may have some issues.

ISFPs want to see their team succeed and will do whatever is necessary to help with that. While that is good in a leader or manager, ISFPs may also take it to the extent that they burn themselves out.

ISFP personalities are not ones who love the spotlight and do not want to get up in front of a group, which could hinder them as managers. They prefer to work quietly, behind the scenes.

Good at creative problem solving, they are the one to turn to with an issue. Known for their loyalty, ISFP personalities will be equally loyal to their workers.

10 Best Career Matches for ISFP Personalities

1. Chef

A career as a chef offers endless opportunities for creativity for the ISFP personality, plus an energy-filled environment and the opportunity to work as a team or by themselves.

The work is usually fast-paced and varied, so the ISFP is not likely to become bored.

2. Flight Attendant

Being a flight attendant offers the adventure-loving ISFP a new adventure every day. 

Personable and friendly, the ISFP would have no trouble offering great customer service and support as well as solving any problems that could arise.

3. Artist

There are many ways in which the creative ISFP could tap into their arty nature. Naturally creative, the career possibilities are many: interior design, fashion design, musician, photographer, graphic designer or cartoonist.

Most art jobs offer the possibility of working alone and the work would often not be long-term, which would appeal to the ISFP.

4. Nurse

Friendly and sociable, ISFP personalities would excel at engaging with patients and family members. Their empathetic nature would make it easy for them to care for those who are sick and in need of care. They would work as part of a larger group but would still spend a lot of their time working independently.

The ISFP traits of quick decision-making and problem-solving would benefit them in this career choice.

5. Social Work

ISFP personalities like to use their skills to help others, so a job in social work could be rewarding. They can offer their talents in listening, support and problem-solving, not to mention putting their empathetic nature to good use.

With a constant flow of cases, ISFPs will not grow bored. Unlike an administrative role, there would be no strict schedule to follow. Their work would be hands-on and they would be able to see the results of their hard work.

6. Teacher

No other job allows an ISFP personality to share their passion and love for something like the job of teaching. Their creative nature would help them with lesson planning and they would enjoy how varied each day could be.

For those ISFP personalities that like working with younger children, they may try a job in primary school teaching, while those looking for something more formal could try being a professor.

7. Landscape Architect

An ISFP’s love of beautiful surroundings makes landscape architecture an ideal career. They can work in a group or alone and put their creativity to use. Landscape architecture would appeal to an ISFP’s love of hands-on work.

The schedules and timelines for projects will not be likely to make an ISFP personality feel pinned down, with plenty of freedom to do things their way.

8. Jeweller

Being a jeweller appeals to several ISFP personality traits. They get to be surrounded by aesthetically pleasing pieces of jewellery and they get to unleash a great deal of creativity. Being a jeweller allows for a great deal of independent work and is very hands-on.

The work would allow the ISFP to do things their way, while each day would offer up something new to prevent boredom from setting in.

9. Police Officer

ISFP personalities love to help people, and what better way to do that than to be a police officer? Each day is different, with new problems and challenges to tackle.

The ISFP personality will excel at dealing with the public due to their open and friendly nature. There will be a lot of opportunities to work alone and very few deadlines to worry about. The only problem arises if the job becomes a desk role.

10. Fitness Instructor

Being a fitness instructor allows the ISFP to work independently and manage their own day. From creating a workout schedule or routine to choosing what classes to offer, there are many decisions to make.

This career allows the ISFP personality’s caring nature to go to work, helping those in their classes to meet their goals. It’s a high-energy job and one that will never be boring.

Working completely on their own, the classes can be as energetic or quiet as one wishes. ISFPers will excel at dealing with their clients, too.

Three Jobs to Avoid

Not everyone is suited to every job or career out there. Because of the specific attributes of an ISFP personality, there are a few that should be avoided:

1. Accountant

Although this career gives scope for independent working, the set schedule and monotony of being an accountant would be dull for an ISFP. The job also lacks the creativity that the ISFP personality prefers.

2. Sales

While fun and good with people, sales is still not a good fit for an ISFP personality. The highly social environment would leave them feeling drained and they would be less likely to jump in with their own thoughts and ideas.

ISFP personalities do not like to be centre stage and would prefer to remain behind the scenes. They are unlikely to market themselves well as they do not tend to be boastful.

3. Surgeon

Although the surgeon is helping people in one of the best possible ways, it is not for the ISFP personality. The long hours would cut into the spontaneity of the ISFP personality and they would not do well with the many rules and regulations that come with the job.

Surgery is not aesthetically pleasing, nor does it allow for much creativity.

Final Thoughts

Although you should not feel limited by the results of your Myers-Briggs test, it can be a useful guide to help you consider careers you might not have otherwise considered.

As with any career choice or change, think it through carefully and weigh both the pros and cons before making a decision.

Further Reading

You might also be interested in these other WikiJob articles:

What Is The Myers-Briggs Test?

Career Personality Tests

What Is a Psychometric Test?

Aptitude Tests

Industries: A Sector-By-Sector Guide

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