INTJ Career Matches: Avoid The Frustration Of A Bad Career Match For Your Personality

You’ve probably already noticed that some jobs appeal to you more than others.

And if you know or even suspect you’re an INTJ, you might wonder if the best INTJ career matches are the ones you’re already leaning toward.

Are those leanings your subconscious mind’s way of directing you to the careers best suited to your personality type?

And what jobs might you be overlooking or unaware of?

The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be for a career you’ll love.

What Is An INTJ Personality Type?

The INTJ personality type is an innovative problem-solver with an inward focus, an active and logical mind, and often a blunt, self-assured manner of presenting their ideas.

One of the least sociable types, they prefer to work independently and are selective with the company they keep.

If someone fails to meet their intellectual standards, the INTJ is likely to prefer their own company.

It doesn’t mean they never make friends or that they’re impossible to get close to, but when it comes to relationships, an INTJ presents a greater challenge than their more feeling-oriented brethren.

They spend a lot of time in their own heads and have little patience for those whose arguments emphasize emotion over logic.

That said, getting to know an INTJ who genuinely cares about people is well worth the challenge.

Are INTJs Successful?

INTJs are one of the top two personalities when it comes to income, only beat out by their cousins, ISTJs. In fact, most top business leaders are INTJ or ENTJ personality types.

Because they are so smart, confident, driven, and desirous of achievement, INTJs find that success is a byproduct of their innate characteristics.

Some well-known and highly-successful INTJs include:

  • Seven U.S. Presidents, including Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy
  • Many political figures and activists, including Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Colin Powell, and Susan B. Anthony
  • Augustus Caesar
  • Isaac Newton
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Jane Austen
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Elon Musk
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Jodie Foster
  • Dan Aykroyd

List of Traits of the INTJ Personality Type

Most likely, you already have some idea of your own strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re an INTJ, the traits in the following list will sound familiar — no doubt some more than others, depending on your self-awareness and your personal experience.

Which of these do you identify with the most?

  1. Intellectual
  2. Inwardly-focused
  3. Independent
  4. Curious / Questioning
  5. Innovative
  6. Logical
  7. Reserved
  8. Serious
  9. Blunt or Straightforward
  10. Confident / Self-Assured
  11. Methodical
  12. Achievement-oriented

11Best INTJ Career Matches

Now that you have a better understanding of the INTJ type, you have an edge when it comes to choosing the best INTJ majors.

Aside from the academic work you’re likely to have in college, though, it pays to do some research on what it will be like when you get a job in the area you’ve chosen.

The best jobs for INTJ personality types are those that play to their strengths while also helping them work on their inherent weaknesses.

To that end, let’s look at ten of the best INTJ careers and what makes each of them such a good fit.

1. University Professor

If you enjoy teaching but prefer one-to-one interaction outside class-time hours, this can be a great fit for you — especially if your preferred student age is 18 or older.

As an INTJ, you have a gift for taking in complex ideas and data, integrating it with your own experience and insights, and expressing it with clarity and wit.

If you don’t mind spending a few more years in college (and many INTJs have zero problems with this) to get your Master’s degree and eventually your Ph.D., the years you spend as a university professor can be as enriching for you as for your students.

2. Computer Programmer / Systems Analyst

If you love working with computers, you might thrive as a computer programmer, a computer systems analyst, or a computer repair expert.

In this case, you’ll choose based on the work-life you prefer — i.e., how you want your average workday to look.

Your choice will also depend on whether or not you prefer to work independently (as a consultant or a small business owner) or as an employed professional.

If it helps, plenty of people start with one work model and switch to another down the road.

The more you grow into your INTJness, the better you’ll understand what you need to thrive.

The logical, dispassionate mind of the INTJ makes you well-suited for a law career.

And if you enjoy the spotlight even a little — almost as much as dismantling weak arguments and responding with a devastating counterargument — this could be just the career for you.

Keep in mind the cost of your training in college and law school and the competitiveness of this field.

If the prospect of massive college debt or of stiff competition makes your stomach sour, you might consider a career as a legal assistant or as a writer for the legal field.

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4. Architect

As an INTJ, you think analytically while also being creative, so a career as an architect could be ideal if you enjoy designing structures with precision, balance, and beauty.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to design your own home — just the way you like it.

And you’d love to get paid to design eye-friendly buildings that suit the owner’s purpose.

If you enjoy taking your design ideas and sketching them or using design programs to get your ideas out of your head and onto a page (and eventually standing in three dimensions), give this career some thoughtful consideration.

5. Detective

With your penchant for critical thinking and your ability to understand motives, you might thrive in a career as a detective.

It also helps that you have a knack for problem-solving and for deducing facts from the details you pick up.

You question things that many others overlook or take for granted.

You have an eye for clues and an ear for errant notes or inflections. Details matter to you, and you notice them.

If you love solving mysteries by finding the missing pieces in a story and putting them all together, give detective work a serious look.

6. Mathematician

Your gift for analytical thinking might make you the target of “robot” jokes, but it’s a definite asset in the life of a mathematician.

The latter makes a career out of using logic and analytical thinking to solve a variety of problems; INTJs do that all the time already.

If you enjoy higher-level math and would love to spend hours playing with it in order to solve real-life problems, consider becoming a mathematician.

If you decide at some point you’d rather teach it to others, you can always pivot and pursue work as a university professor.

7. Engineer

As with architecture, your analytical thinking and creative mind make you uniquely well-suited to a career in engineering.

The track you choose will depend on your personal interests as well as the types of problems you want to solve.

Whatever unique perspectives you bring to this job, they influence your designs and your approach to problem-solving, without flouting logic or trampling facts underfoot.

You’re not a machine, but your attention to detail and willingness to work doggedly until a project’s completion make you stand out.

You don’t expect more of others than you do of yourself. That said, you’re happiest when working alone.

8. Nonfiction Writer

There are so many ways you could contribute and excel as a nonfiction writer.

You have a gift for soaking up new information and presenting it in a logical and easy-to-read manner.

If your writing can be dry at times, it’s at least clear and clutter-free.

Yet your appreciation for beauty also finds a place in your writing — in the words you choose, in the pictures and stories you create, and in the cadence of your writing.

Everything has its place. Everything belongs.

As a conversationalist, you might have difficulty avoiding the impression of stiffness.

But in your writing, you come alive. Your readers may know you better than anyone.

9. Accountant / Financial Planner

You have an appreciation for numbers and for planning, so you might enjoy managing your own books and designing your own financial plans — to pay off debt, to save for a house or a trip, or to plan for retirement.

Friends and family might ask you for help with their taxes or with creating a budget.

After all, you’re adept at money management and keen to help others improve their financial situations.

If you enjoy keeping your own finances in order and helping others make their money stretch as far as possible, consider a career as an accountant, a financial planner, or a finance analyst.

10. Small Business Owner

As an INTJ, you’re a maverick at heart.

With your love of independence, it’s not enough for you to be a well-respected cog in someone else’s machine.

You need to steer the ship.

And since you’re a quick learner, you dive in, soak up the information you need, and apply it day in and day out until your business takes on a life of its own.

Being at the helm of a small business does require some socialization, and you’re up to the task, as long as you have the freedom to withdraw when necessary for some much-needed solo time.

Once you recharge, though, you return at full capacity, getting more done than the average high-powered executive and loving every minute of it.

11. Top Executive

Speaking of executives, you may find a small business isn't enough. Whether leading in government, business, or any organization, INTJs are perfectly-suited to being the top dog. Your natural intelligence combined with an ability to persuade and influence others makes you rise to the top with ease.

More than likely, you've had your eye on the top spot for many years, knowing that you could handle it and steer the organization in the best direction. You're a natural leader and can make the tough decisions that make others feel intimidated.

INTJ Careers to Avoid

The following are examples of the opposite of INTJ career matches.

The first job on this list is probably an automatic “No, thanks,” for you.

But it makes sense to consider the paths best avoided.

For INTJs those include any job that requires intense and prolonged social contact as well as those in which an INTJ would be expected to submit to rules they consider unnecessary or counter-productive.

Here are a few that shouldn’t surprise you — and a few that might:

  • Telemarketer
  • Call center representative
  • Social worker
  • Daycare provider
  • Nurse or certified nursing assistant (CNA)
  • Receptionist
  • Foodservice team member
  • Retail employee
  • Sales representative
  • Dental hygienist
  • Home health aide
  • Advertising salesperson

To be clear, these jobs aren’t listed as a warning against INTJs ever trying them.

You might find that you do fine in one of these jobs on a part-time basis or working with a particular group of people (i.e., people you enjoy working with).

But if you’re looking for a career to focus on for the next decade or so, you’ll likely be happier with something better suited to your personality type.

Which INTJ career is the best match for you?

Now that you have a better idea of the best INTJ career matches, which ones appeal to you the most?

Keep in mind that even if something strongly appeals to you now, you’re not obligated to do it for the rest of your life.

No matter what you spend on your education, don’t allow yourself to remain trapped in a job you dislike or that doesn’t meet your needs.

The happier you are with your work, the better your relationships will be, too. And those are what will make your chosen career worthwhile.

May every career choice give you space for growth and then gently lead you to your “What next?”