Discover Your Personality

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Careers for INFJs and ESTPs.


In this issue we'll look at two types and specific jobs for both. The purpose here is not to list all the jobs that might be interesting. Instead, we're going to focus on what about the jobs is appealing to both types. I picked opposite types to illustrate the differences and why one career could appeal to one type yet be a poor choice for another.

Let's start with INFJs. For this type I selected the career of English teacher. What makes this career attractive for INFJs? Well, language, writing, and literature are interesting to many NF types. Many INFJs have strong interpersonal skills and want their jobs to match their values. They tend to be organized and good at seeing possibilities. Their personal style is frequently warm and sympathetic, great assets for teachers. Often they want to work in fields that help humans develop their abilities and teaching certainly fits that requirement. Many INFJs have good concentration skills and enjoy studying a subject in great depth. Likewise, many have quite active imaginations, which help in writing and teaching others to put thoughts into words. Artistic expression can be important for INFJs as well, and writing is one possible outlet for that creativity. Many INFJs have lofty goals for themselves and others, and tend towards idealism and philosophic reflection. Teaching English helps them grow personally, as well as doing the same for others. They are more likely to be attracted to creative writing as opposed to teaching young children basic grammar.

Let's contrast the above with a career suitable for an ESTP: smoke jumper. For those who don't know what they do, they are the people who parachute out of airplanes to fight forest fires in remote locations. Why is this kind of job appealing to ESTPs? First, it's an action job: no sitting around the desk, doing paperwork, or going to boring meetings. No endless talk about what would be best under ideal circumstances that will likely never occur. ESTPs frequently excel at troubleshooting. As a smoke jumper, you're basically on your own. The job is to put the fire out. How you do it is not as important as getting the job done. Sure, there are standard ways of doing things, but if they don't work, improvisation and flexibility are more important. Quick thinking and action are important. Using tools in a skilled fashion is an asset. ESTPs usually like solving concrete problems as opposed to abstract ones. They tend to be pragmatic and results oriented. They often are cool under pressure, a real benefit when fighting fires. Many ESTPs enjoy dangerous jobs, and thrive on excitement, energy, and risk. Generally, they follow the rules only if they make sense. Many have a good memory for facts and details, which certainly helps in this profession.

You might be one of these two types and never have considered either profession. That's perfectly okay. It's more important to see what makes these jobs attractive to these types. Conversely you might be an ESTP and English teacher. There's certainly nothing wrong with that. If you ask enough people, you're bound to find every type represented in every profession. Again, finding a career that matches your interests is more important than picking one from a list for your type.


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