Many people discover the Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator (MBTI®) in college. Many of us have sat in classrooms and been handed the MBTI® and a pencil and then gushed with our classmates about the answers to our personality preferences. For most people, your personality discovery starts and ends in that classroom. But for some, this knowledge is just the seed that starts a whole journey of learning about personality.
One way that personality type often comes into play is in your career struggles and preferences. Perhaps you’re an introverted type who hates working in a bustling office and craves more solitary work. Or maybe you’re an intuitive who wants to innovate and feels lost in a job that focuses on working within firmly established guidelines. In today’s article, we’re looking at one of the things each personality type craves in a job, as well as the thing that will be their kryptonite. Let’s get started!
Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 19 minutes
What You Need (and Despise) in a Career, Based On Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type
Needs: Variety and independence
Despises: Repetition and having to give criticism
For the ENFP, a fulfilling career is one where they can innovate, explore, and get creative. As the consummate idea-people, ENFPs need to follow the spark of inspiration in order to improve projects, take on new and exciting tasks, or imbue meaning into their work. They need to feel like they’re constantly learning and growing in their career, or they’ll quickly become bored. As the Walt Disney’s of the world, they need to be able to see the big picture and where their work is going, or they’ll quickly get frustrated.
The ENFP’s kryptonite in a career is anything that stifles their creativity or violates their need for independence. They can’t stand having to do the same thing over and over again, or feeling like they’re stuck in a rut. They need to be able to take risks and experiment in their work, or they’ll quickly become unhappy. Giving criticism is also a major drain for this type as they prefer to focus on the positive things people bring to the world over the negative in most situations.
Read This Next: 10 Things that Terrify ENFPs
Needs: Independence and innovation
Despises: Repetition or nitty-gritty detail work
For the ENTP, creativity and innovation are the name of the game. They enjoy focusing on the future and thinking up ideas and possibilities that could earn a company bigger profits or make a big impact on a far-reaching goal. As perceivers, they are inspired by change, variety, and novelty. A job that gives them a lot of unique and unexpected challenges will excite them! These are the types that won’t mind traveling for work, switching modalities regularly, or working on multiple projects at a time. It’s natural for ENTPs to switch between tasks, giving some tasks time to simmer in the back of their mind while they work on others. They often wait till the last minute to finish a project because they want plenty of time for their creativity and inspiration make last-minute flourishes.
The ENTP’s kryptonite in a career is anything that makes them feel stifled or boxed in. Having to pay attention to a lot of bureaucratic rules and regulations makes them feel like tearing their hair out! They need to be able to take risks and experiment and they need a challenge that utilizes their imagination and ability to think quickly on their feet.
Read This Next: A Look at the ENTP Leader
Needs: Meaning and autonomy
Despises: Work that violates their values. Busy, high-pressure environments.
For the INFP, a fulfilling career is one that has personal meaning and contributes to the greater good. They need to feel like their work is making a difference in the world and that their talents are being put to good use. Driven by curiosity, they enjoy knowing everything there is to know about a job so that they can be sure they’re making the right decision. As ethically-driven people, they will look at a company’s values before applying for a position to make sure that there won’t be any conflict between the company’s goals and their own. INFPs can be visionary and creative, so a career that allows them to tap into their imagination and come up with new ways of doing things is ideal. They also prefer to work independently rather than being micromanaged or placed in the center of a busy, high-pressure team.
The INFP’s kryptonite in a career is anything that violates their values or stifles their creativity. They can’t stand feeling like they’re stuck in a job that has no personal meaning or big-picture impact. If the company is merely driven by dollars and cents and profit margins the INFP will be miserable. They also can’t stand working in high-pressure environments where they’re constantly being micromanaged or told what to do (and to do it faster).
Read This Next: A Look at the INFP Leader
Needs: Independence and intellectual stimulation
Despises: Being rushed or dealing with people’s feelings
The INTP is driven by curiosity and a need to understand how things work. They’re constantly seeking out knowledge and understanding, and they enjoy having time to reflect on what they’ve learned. A job that allows them to work independently and gives them the space to think through problems is ideal. They’re usually not interested in leading or managing others, but they’re often the go-to person when something complicated needs to be fixed or figured out. Having freedom to think critically and analyze data will allow then to come up with revolutionary ways to improve efficiency and progress in whatever job they choose.
The INTP’s kryptonite in a career is anything that stifles their intellectual curiosity or violates their need for independence. They can’t stand having to do the same thing over and over again, or feeling like they’re being micro-managed or forced to micro-manage others. Taking risks, experimenting, and getting creative inspires them and allows them to do their best work. Jobs that force them to manage other people’s feelings and emotions, particularly if they’re volatile are also frustrating for them. The exception to this would be an INTP who has taken an interest in psychology or counseling, as they may find the challenge of understanding people’s emotions to be intellectually stimulating.
Read This Next: A Look at the INTP Leader
Needs: Teamwork and meaning
Despises: Dealing with impersonal details and working in isolation
The ENFJ is a people-oriented person who loves working with others towards a common goal. They’re often natural leaders, and they have a gift for seeing the potential in others and helping them to reach it. Working towards something bigger than themselves is crucial for them; they want to feel like their work is going to make an impact and positively influence someone beyond themselves and their own pocket book. They’re also very good at understanding people and their emotions, so a job that allows them to utilize those skills is ideal.
The ENFJ’s kryptonite in a career is anything that makes them feel isolated from others or like they’re not part of a team. They want to feel like what they’re doing is aligned with their overall purpose and values. Chances are, they’ll be checking out a company’s causes, background, and mission statement before applying for a job. They need to know that they’ll be able to work with a team of people who they can trust and build relationships with. Detail-heavy work tends to overwhelm ENFJs, so a job that’s all about crunching numbers or moving paperwork from one place to another is going to feel like torture for them.
Read This Next: 10 Must-Read Books for ENFJs
Needs: Independence and opportunities for advancement
Despises: Inefficient leadership and micro-managing
ENTJs are decisive, visionary leaders. They’re always looking for ways to improve and streamline systems, and they’re not afraid of change. You’ll often find them drawn to careers in business or management, where they can take charge and put their stamp on things. They need a certain amount of independence in their work, and they prefer to be able to delegate tasks rather than having to micromanage every detail. Opportunities for advancement are also motivating, so a job with clear paths to promotion is ideal.
The ENTJ‘s kryptonite in a career is anything that stifles their independence or prevents them from moving up the ladder. They need to feel like they’re in charge and they’re able to make the decisions they feel are best for the company or organization. They’re not interested in jobs that involve a lot of grunt work or busy work; they want to be able to see the big picture and make strategic decisions. If things are being run inefficiently, chances are, they’ll step in and start taking leadership, even if they aren’t asked to.
Read This Next: What ENTJs Do When They’re Stressed Out
Needs: Purpose and independence
Despises: Loudness, interruptions, and busywork
INFJs are long-range visionaries who enjoy work that they feel has meaning and purpose for their lives. Ethically minded, they tend to investigate a company’s ethics and values before they decide to apply. As creative types, they enjoy a job that allows some creative freedom and experimentation. They’re often drawn to jobs in writing, counseling, or the arts. As introverts, they also prefer to work independently rather than being micromanaged or working in a highly social environment.
The INFJ‘s kryptonite is anything that makes them feel like their work is pointless or without meaning. They need to believe that what they’re doing is going to make a difference in the world, even if it’s just a small one. Working alone or in a quiet setting is also preferable, as lots of noise and interruptions make them lose their focus and become stressed. INFJs tend to be highly sensitive to noise or distractions, so a job that’s chaotic or involves a lot of multitasking is going to be overwhelming for them.
Read This Next: 10 Reasons Why INFJs Feel Misunderstood
Needs: Independence and achievement
Despises: Lack of control and inefficient, invasive co-workers
INTJs enjoy ideating and conceptualizing new ways of doing things. As the Nikola Tesla’s of the world, they are strategic and innovative. Learning new things, mapping out goals, and being on the leading edge in a company project satisfies them. They need to feel like they’re in control of their work and their destiny. They’re often drawn to careers in business, science, or technology.
The INTJ‘s kryptonite is anything that makes them feel like they’re not in control. They need to be able to see the big picture and have a clear understanding of how their work fits into it. They’re also highly independent, so a job that requires them to be in close quarters with others or to be micromanaged is going to feel stifling for them. And they have zero tolerance for inefficient systems or people, so a job that’s bogged down by bureaucracy or needless rules is going to drive them insane. Lazy co-workers, chatty people in their vicinity, or a lack of vision will have them heading for the exits.
Read This Next: Your INTJ Personality Type and Your Enneagram Type
Needs: Variety and teamwork
Despises: Isolation and needlessly-complicated procedures
ESFPs have a gift for including people and creating a dynamic, upbeat energy wherever they go. Careers that involve interaction, creativity and hands-on work are a natural fit for them. They think quickly on their feet and enjoy a lot of variety. Because they are naturally curious they enjoy opportunities to learn and grow as long as the learning isn’t excessively abstract or done for long periods in isolation. They often excel in customer service, public relations, marketing, and the arts.
The ESFP’s kryptonite is anything that makes them feel isolated or bored. They need to be around people and they need a lot of stimulation to stay engaged. They also prefer to learn by doing, so a job that requires them to read a lot of manuals or sit in front of a computer all day is going to feel like torture for them. And they have zero patience for needlessly complicated procedures or systems, so a job that’s bogged down by bureaucracy is going to make them highly irritable.
Read This Next: ESFP Cognitive Function Guide
Needs: Action and independence
Despises: Boredom and stagnation
ESTPs are natural born entrepreneurs. They’re quick thinkers with a gift for understanding how to make deals, persuade, and achieve goals in the moment. While the risk of entrepreneurship can be daunting for some, ESTPs enjoy the rush and the challenge. They’re excellent at thinking on their feet and coming up with spur-of-the-moment objectives and tactics. Careers that allow them freedom to take charge and get things done in their own way will appeal to them. They can be highly productive when they’re allowed to work in bursts rather than at a slow and methodical pace. Careers in sales, marketing, and emergency response are ones they tend to excel in.
The ESTP’s kryptonite is anything that makes them feel bored or trapped. They need to be able to move quickly and take action. They’re also highly independent, so a job that requires them to be micro-managed or closely supervised will be a no-go for them. Lots of rote busywork and repetitive procedural tasks will send them running for the exits.
Needs: Creativity and purpose
Despises: Rigidity and disharmony
ISFPs are the free spirits of the world. They’re creative, compassionate, and highly attuned to the world around them. They need a career that allows them to express their creativity and make a tangible difference in the world. One of the skills of this type is integrating various bits of information, ideas, or materials into a creative product, project, or plan. They just need time and freedom to mentally piece together their ideas or creative visions. When they’re given time to perfect their work they are capable of high-quality output. They often excel in the arts, design, health care, and social work.
The ISFP’s kryptonite is anything that stifles their creativity or hampers their ability to complete work to their standards. They need freedom to express themselves and to follow their own moral compass. So a job that’s excessively structured, rushed, or lacking in purpose is going to be a major turn-off for them. They also can’t stand disharmony, so a work environment that’s rife with office politics or infighting is going to be intolerable for them.
Read This Next: 10 Things You Should Never Say to an ISFP
Needs: Independence and competence
Despises: Incompetence and needless rules
ISTPs are the quintessential “fixer” personality type. They have a knack for figuring out how things work and aren’t daunted by a crisis or a complex problem. They’re often excellent at troubleshooting because they’re able to quickly zero in on the root cause of a problem. It’s crucial that they have a career that allows them to work independently and use their hands-on skills to solve problems. They often excel in careers such as mechanics, engineering, art, and IT.
The ISTP’s kryptonite is anything that makes them feel trapped or surrounded by idiots. They need to be able to work with their hands and they need the freedom to come up with their own solutions. They’re also highly independent, so a job that requires them to be micro-managed or closely supervised will be a no-go for them. Lastly, they hate being surrounded by incompetence; whether that means chatty, unproductive co-workers or a leader who doesn’t know how to run a company efficiently and logically.
Needs: A harmonious environment and clear structure
Despises: Disharmony and lack of job security
ESFJs are skilled at taking care of the emotional and practical needs of the people around them. Warm and outgoing, they handle logistics while getting people involved and making sure everyone is at ease. They often make strong trainers because of their ability to simplify instructions, anticipate people’s feelings, and get people moving forward. Management, healthcare, and teaching are three fields where ESFJs often thrive.
The ESFJ’s kryptonite is anything that makes them feel like they’re not making a tangible difference or that their work isn’t appreciated. They need to feel like what they’re doing matters and that their efforts are recognized. They also require a harmonious work environment; a place where they can get along with their co-workers and feel like they’re part of a team. They’ll do best in a work environment that has clear structure and expectations, as well as a good support network.
Needs: Measurable goals and a sense of accomplishment
Despises: Lack of security or efficiency
ESTJs are natural leaders who are driven to organize and streamline the world around them. They’re excellent at coming up with systems and plans, and they have a knack for spotting inefficiencies and finding ways to fix them. If a business isn’t being run competently when they come in, they’ll quickly take charge and get things back on track. For this reason, they often do well in management, finance, law enforcement, and politics.
The ESTJ’s kryptonite is anything that makes them feel like they’re not in control or that their efforts are going to waste. They need to feel like they’re making a tangible difference and that they are respected in their position. Job security is also crucial, as they’re not the type to take risks when it comes to their career. Lastly, they need to be in an environment that’s efficient and well-run; a place where they can put their organizational skills to good use.
Needs: A sense of purpose and a supportive environment
Despises: Disorder and feeling unappreciated
ISFJs are gentle, supportive, and loyal people who take their responsibilities very seriously. Often the glue that holds a team together, they’re skilled at taking care of everyone’s needs and keeping the peace. They’re incredibly patient and they have a knack for creating consistency, stability, and direction. Staying focused, working methodically, and showing up on time are all things they tend to excel at.
The ISFJ’s kryptonite is anything that feels chaotic or out of control. Routine-oriented and stability-seeking, ISFJs hate feeling like they can’t know what to expect when they show up to work. Ever-changing schedules, complicated instructions, and unclear expectations are all things that will stress them out. They also need to feel like their efforts are appreciated and that their work is making a difference in people’s lives. Lastly, they perform best in a supportive environment where they can rely on their management for clarity and guidance when needed.
Needs: Consistency and competent leadership
Despises: Incompetence and interruptions
ISTJs are hardworking, detail-oriented, and reliable people who take their responsibilities very seriously. They have a knack for understanding systems and procedures, and they’re often the ones who keep things running smoothly behind the scenes. Consistent routines and logical leadership are crucial to their well-being. Throwing them in an unexpected situation every day or being wishy-washy as a manager will only serve to frustrate and overwhelm them.
The ISTJ’s kryptonite is anything that feels chaotic or out of their control. They need to know what to expect when they show up to work, and they prefer predictable schedules and routines. They also need competent leadership; someone who can give clear instructions and provide adequate support when needed. Anything vague or ambiguous will only serve to frustrate them. Lastly, they need a calm and orderly work environment; a place where they can focus on their work without interruption.
Read This Next: The ISTJ Leader
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you agree with the needs and dislikes associated with your type? Let us know in the comments!
You can find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!