People. We’re all different, and that’s a good thing! What fun would this world be if we were all carbon copies of our neighbors? No fun at all! Being different from each other means that we have different characteristics, different strengths and weaknesses, different things we each excel (or don’t excel) at, and different talents and abilities.
But what if we were all the same? What if everyone in the world loved fixing toilets, but no one loved fixing human beings? What if no one was interested in building new homes, but everyone loved demolishing the old, falling-down ones? What if there were few electricians, but thousands of light fixture-makers?
Luckily, we all have different personalities that help us prefer and enjoy certain things in life over others. There’s something out there for everyone! A job that’s a good fit for every person. Do most people love their jobs? Maybe not. But why not go after a job that you would love? Why not find out the types of work suited to your personality, and try one of them?
One personality type on the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator is INTJ (Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Thinking (T), Judgment (J) ). This personality type generally only accounts for about 2% of the population and is nicknamed “The Architect.” What types of jobs would be ideal for these people? To figure that out, we need to first look at some of their traits.
Character Traits of INTJ People
You’ve just found out that you’re INTJ? Congrats! You’re ambitious, curious, and highly intellectual. You want to learn everything you can about the things that interest you. You devour books and information by the proverbial boatload. You are a dreamer, but you dream in realities that you believe are achievable through analysis, strategy, and hard work.
You’re confident, rational, and methodical. You may drive those closest to you completely nuts with your perfectionist tendencies, and your habit of taking apart what seems broken (often only to you), so that you can rebuild it into a thing of beauty and efficiency.
Though you are a leader, you don’t enjoy the spotlight. You’d prefer to marinate in your brilliance alone, only coming out long enough to pass on the insight you’ve gleaned to those further down the line in the implementation machine.
(Dr. Gregory House, anyone?)
Teamwork does not WORK for you, though you frequently need to bounce your ideas off of others, if only to hear the echo of resonance (or dissonance, as the case may be, after which you retreat to your cave to come up with something better).
10 Careers for INTJ People
OK, now that we’ve got an idea of the type of person you are, what are some of the career paths that might suit you? Here are a few ideas to get your brain going:
The law is an intricate, and complicated thing. As an INTJ you just might be perfectly suited to studying its intricacies and formulating plans for counseling and defending clients, drawing up contracts, or preparing for a court proceeding. Your INTJ tendency is to stay out of the spotlight, so you might choose a role as a corporate adviser over a criminal advocacy role (which would tend to put you in the courtroom more often than you might be comfortable with). Think less Matlock, and more Harvey Specter!
INTJ tendencies are often compared to moves on a chessboard– analytical, strategic, forward-thinking. What better place to use these talents than in the military? Someone has to be behind the curtain, helping to formulate plans. Why not you? You’ll have to start at the bottom of the bottom, but show your true colors, and you’ll be on your way up to where you really want to be in (relatively) no time.
Sometimes doctors get a reputation for not being very personable. They look at the problem and figure out how to solve it so that the patient will get better, oftentimes not showing much emotion in the process. If this sounds appealing, medical school could be the place for you. Health concerns can cause lots of emotional lows, though, so if dealing with patients’ emotional baggage is going to send you into a spiral, you might want to think again. Maybe consider the research side of medicine?
You mean the personality type called “The Architect” might enjoy being an architect?! Um, yes. Math, problem solving, precise measuring, analyzing, fitting various pieces into one whole: What’s not to love, INTJs? This just might be your own personal heaven on earth, especially if you get the chance to work on your own, or with just a small team.
Whether on your own or with a city police force (or the FBI. Sure, think big!), investigating crimes could be just the right thing for you. You have an eye for detail, you notice things that most might not, and you analyze motivating and influencing factors, coming to a conclusion only after weighing everything involved. You could be the next Adrian Monk!
As an INTJ, you don’t love being in the spotlight, but you do love having a positive impact in your field. Project management could be just the thing. Planning, putting pieces together, figuring out who does what, and what goes where to get a project to completion, all without having to dabble too much on the administrative side. Sounds like a win! One downfall could be the size of the team you work with. Choose smaller projects that don’t need as many people involved, so you can stay within your comfort zone. Or, don’t and let’s just see what happens!
As an INTJ, your analytical skills could be put to great use coding computer programs and mobile apps. Your creativity can jump start some killer ideas, while your attention to detail can help you find and fix problems within thousands of lines of code. Computer programming may give you the individual work environment you seek, with minimal team interactions, depending on the scope of the projects you’re working on. You just might be the next Mark Zuckerberg!
Whether writing the next New York Times Bestseller, or creating content for websites, blogs, and social channels, writing is generally a solo gig. INTJ’s command of details is ideal because writers need a good eye for grammar, sentence structure and editorial style. Creativity is a must (unless you decide to write instruction manuals) and every day can bring varying scenarios and challenges– literally AND figuratively.
Analyzing numbers and financial histories, forecasting trends, and evaluating investment opportunities: sounds like a dream come true for an INTJ! Work on your own without team collaboration (unless you happen to land a REALLY big fish), and use your problem solving and analytical skills on a daily basis. Sounds like a win.
Every city has an infrastructure that needs careful and precise planning to work. This includes transportation, waste management, water and power systems, and building planning. Civil engineers are the people who design, create, implement, and troubleshoot these systems. They need to be logical thinkers with exceptional problem-solving abilities. INTJs are a perfect fit!
Beware the pitfalls before you! What goes up, must come down, right? So, check out the things that might become weaknesses powerful enough to sabotage your success. Wait a minute! How can weak things be powerful things?
INTJs are prone to arrogance. Imagine being the lead researcher on a project to test a vaccine for a prevalent disease. You are the best person for the job. You know everything there is to know about every facet of the project. But what if you called other researchers on your team stupid when they came up with theories or questions? What if you turned your nose up at every suggestion that’s not your own…simply because it’s not your own? Not only will people start to hate and resent you, but you may one day overlook an important breakthrough merely because it wasn’t your idea.
Ever find yourself scrutinizing something to death? If you’re an INTJ, this is pretty normal. You’re an over-analyzer. You need to weigh the implications of every decision, every action, every word. This can become tedious and cause rifts in relationships, especially when your criticisms of others processes frequently seem to hit below the belt. Do this one too many times, and you won’t have many people in your corner when you actually do find yourself in need of help.
Judgy much? Why, yes, in fact, you are! INTJ types are hyper-judgemental. You judge things rationally and carefully, so when others see things differently, well, then they must be wrong. Right? Well, not exactly. Everyone’s got emotions and everyone’s got a history. Put those two things together in any one person, and what you get out may be completely irrational and unacceptable to you, but a reality nonetheless. Dismiss these things too much, and you’ll find yourself living in the Utopia in your head all by yourself, with no one to validate your genius.
9 Careers to Avoid
In general, INTJs won’t enjoy jobs that require sympathetic responses, snap judgments, interactions with large crowds, extreme immediate situations, or having to win others over. Here are a few examples of jobs that might prove frustrating to INTJs:
Go forward and be different! Get out there and give the world what you have to offer. Whatever path you choose, ZipBooks can help you stay on top of the details, especially if you start your own business. Keeping accurate records, billing customers or clients, and keeping track of time you spend will help you keep your business going in the right direction. The stuff that’ll make any INTJ happy!
Tim is Founder and CEO of ZipBooks. He keeps his desk really nice and neat.