What Is A Suitable Job For An INFJ And HSP?

d.jpgThis is a blog post I have been meaning to write for quite some time. It all started with my first part time job back in 2011, and how I came to realise that certain jobs were not suited for me. I believe that some INFJs and HSP (highly sensitive person) may feel the same, and I hope that you may be able to relate to parts of this article. When I was in high school, I was a lot more quiet and extremely private. There were only a very few people that I would open up to, and even then I did not like to give too many details. Over the years, my main barrier is searching for a job where I feel comfortable being in. The first part of this article I want to start with, is the jobs that are generally not suited for someone who is INFJ, HSP and has anxiety.

The environment, people and tasks a person has in a job will affect how the person feels in their daily routine. The jobs that I find were not suitable for me were hospitality and customer service jobs. I have previously worked in 3 cafes and 1 yogurt store. As someone who is stimulated by alone time, it can be exhausting to put on a constant smile and be somewhat energetic. I learned a lot in the process, in terms of how to talk to customers and be quick, concise and clean when making food. However, as an extremely sensitive person, having to deal with all kinds of customers really took a toll on myself.  It also meant having to engage in small talk all the time, which understandably is expected. The second job that I found I was highly uncomfortable in was an administration position. It was in an open office environment and having to talk to people took a lot of energy for me. In the end, I left. Simply because I was not enjoying the tasks and I felt completely not myself.

From my experience, what I feel the desire to do is something that either allows me to express my creativity or makes me feel that I am contributing to make a difference in the world (big or small). The jobs I previously had were also music teaching and freelance writing. It made me realise that I am more suited for a job in which I am able to work independently, being able to communicate with one person at a time or within an environment where I don’t feel uncomfortable. For many of us INFJ, our relationship with people are extremely important, because we want to get along. Our deep dislike for being surrounded by gossip is real and if we feel ourselves surrounded by it, we want to remove ourselves from that situation. Which is why finding the right work environment and job position is so vital (which goes for everyone). I find that as a HSP I can take many words to heart and I can be hard on myself as a result. I will feel that I have not strived to do good enough. The importance of having a good boss really does affect INFJ’s.

At the end of the day, I feel the most suitable job for INFJ’s and HSP’s is something with meaning. We seek something deeper. When we can feel useful and use our abilities to make a difference. It is somewhere we feel safe and connected, whether that’s at home, hospital, church, library or private office. Whatever it may be, the main thing is to not feel disconnected. The best job depends on the individual. However, I feel that becoming a freelancer could be one of the INFJ’s dream job, because he/she can become their own boss. The INFJ can also have their own space to think and create ideas without disruption. Whether it’s becoming a freelance writer, photographer, graphic designer and so forth. Being able to manage your own time is something we INFJ’s are generally good at. Perhaps something in the creative industry, non-profit sector or medical sector. I believe many of us are also suited to becoming a counselor as we are great listeners and highly empathetic.

From experience,  a few of the most draining environments is one that contain ongoing phone calls, human contact, loud noises, movement and don’t follow your values. Find something where you are able to work alone or have a supportive team around you. An environment that allows you to feel calm and something that makes you feel that you can make a difference or express yourself within. We will spend most of our lives working, which is why I find that it is so important to discover, experience and keep searching until you find a job that makes you feel that you are not simply doing it for the money. As most people, we work to earn money, but as an INFJ we crave something we can be passionate about. We need more of the sensitivity, creativity, caring nature and empathy that INFJ’s and HSP are able to give.

Are you an INFJ and HSP? If so, what do you do as a job – or what would you like to have as a job? Let me know in the comments down below :)

36 thoughts on “What Is A Suitable Job For An INFJ And HSP?

  1. I am an INFJ, HSP and have worked on living less anxiously through my life. I love my work as a teacher; however, it is very draining. I have found that teaching part time allows me to work meaningfully and gives me the time I need to be creative and with myself.

    1. Hi Alana, thank you for sharing your experience. I’m glad to hear that you love your work, and I can relate to the feeling of being drained. We do really need that alone time to recharge and it sounds like working part time really helps that too!

  2. Hi Katie. It saddens me when I think about INFJ HSPs and jobs. We have so much to offer the world, and yet we seem to have such a difficult time finding a place in it. I’m an artist, a maker, but I’ve paid the bill mostly through computer work and graphic design. In the past three years, we’ve been very unsettled, moving here and there because of life circumstances. Now that we are settling finally, I would like to see if I could do art full-time.

  3. Hi Joe, I really believe that too. There are so many ideas and creativity that we have to offer, but finding the place and opportunity to do it is the difficult part. In the past, my difficulty with interviews, is that most people can instantly tell I am an introvert, and most people are looking for someone outgoing. In these situations, being seen as an introvert can often mean that people won’t be able to see our abilities. I’m happy that you understand that feeling, as well as many other INFJ/HSP’s too I’m sure. I hope that you will get to do art full time (let me know when you do :) The best thing is to be able to do what you love as a full time job.

  4. I work in a very busy office in a social care organisation, and it’s incredibly exhausting, even part-time. Open office, constant phone calls and conversations and plenty of stress and drama around me. I’m quite artistic and would love to do more in that direction, and the one thing I have always wanted to do (and have always been doing as much as I could) is writing. I need silence and solitude to really get into it though, but I do need some job to pay the rent. Looking for quieter options, and have been for some time.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I can really understand the feeling of being in an open office. It’s not a comfortable feeling and it’s often a stressful environment, with a lot of people and gossip that we don’t want to be involved in. I’m happy to hear that you can find peace in writing. Writing is such a wonderful way to express everything. All the best with your journey and all the best in finding a job that can allow you to express your creativity :)

    2. Possibly become a massage therapist to pay the rent? I’ve worked as a LMT for 1o years now and I love it. I loved it even more when I decided to become a nurse then recently left that position due to my HSP/INFJ nature (you guys get it!;) Now I appreciate my massage therapy job SO MUCH. I use it to pay my rent, but I’m also working on a few side hustles, such as freelance writing and selling my crotchet work, in my free time.

      I know they offer massage programs for as short as 8 months if you can wing it! Just a heads up, don’t do the degree if it is offered. They certification will suit you just fine and is way cheaper! Best of luck!

  5. Namaste Beloved Angel, I am a International Intuitive Reader and healer and I love the space that I am in. I love the freedom that I get doing distance healing and guidance, I have my PhD in Metaphysics as well as I am a metaphysician (medical intuitive) anything in the healing arts.it’s been a struggle getting here but I made it and I don’t see myself doing nothing else but being of service.Thanks

  6. I’m happy to know that you finally found the job where you are in and love doing it.
    I thank you also for sharing your experience. This is so helpful for me, to have more courage for taking a new steps again to find my true passion. As this past few days I’ve been searching and searching about INFJs/HSP personalities (it just so happened a week ago when I took that MBTI personality test and got an INFJ result, and so this make me understand and realise what/who I am).
    I feel lost and indifferent, that no matter how I’ve tried to fit in.. I won’t fit. Same as you my first job was in a customer service and hospitality, I learned a lot of things in that field ..one of it was how to deal with different types of people and was really a big challenged for me for I am not that person who interacts a lot with people. Second, I was a secretary in a private company and sometimes doing a multitasking job.. coordinating/meeting with clients, answering phone calls, providing inquiries, being able to be flexible at all times..and still feel exhausted and unhappy, having an attractive salary won’t matter.. so I left.
    And now an administrative in an open office . Nothing has changed , I feel I’m stock and want to escape from it. I thought of myself like being indifferent though I don’t want to be (for I avoid people to think or say that I am weird), sticking on something what I’m not is a horrible feeling. My heart’s longing for an environment where I can be more of myself , where can I can feel that I’m contributing and more useful.
    Now, at my age (25), I think that it’s not to late for me to have discovered my true self. Being able to know that I am an INFJs makes me feel so happy, knowing that I am not alone.

    1. Hi Aki, thank you so much for your comment and sharing with me your experiences. I really appreciate your comment and I feel many people may be able to relate to it. I really relate to what you said “I feel lost and indifferent, that no matter how I’ve tried to fit in.. I won’t fit. ” There are many times I still feel that way, but over the past year as I’ve understood more about being an INFJ/HSP, it can be really great because you grow an understanding that ‘I’m not alone on this, there are many people who feel this way too!’

      I understand, dealing with different people can become overwhelming (at least I know for me it does!), and it can cause us INFJ to need our quiet time. The second job you had is something that really shows that money does not buy happiness. I can imagine it must of been very tiring. Open offices are definitely not the easiest environments to be in, and I completely understand the feeling and need to contribute and do something useful. It’s something I am still searching for too :)

      I can tell you from reading your comment, is that there is nothing wrong with being weird, strange or different. It makes us who we are! I think you’re wonderful for staying strong and keep on going in different kinds of jobs, and as you said, it’s never too late. Know that you are not alone and you are capable of lots of things! Wishing you all the best with your journey :)

    2. Hi Aki, I resonate a lot to your comment. I’m an INFJ by nature but INTJ by nurture.

      I was born and raised in China until my teenage years, then immigrated to Canada. I’m the single daughter in my family and my parents sacrifice a lot for me to get better education in Canada. To satisfy my family’s expectation, I completed my education in science and business, but I know I love art deeply in my heart. I have been going through quarter life crisis over the last few years and not knowing what I should do for my career. I slowly realized that I had probably gone through anxiety during my university years since I struggled a lot in doing science…I tried to seek help from my religion but I felt very empty inside often for I had not fulfilled what my heart really desired.

      My dream was to become a designer when I was a kid, which was not supported by my traditional Asian parents. With different pressure and stress of overcoming language barrier and adapting in my Canadian life, I abandoned my hobby in drawing during my teenage years and focus on technical studies. But now, 8 years after I first switched my path to science, I am finally brave enough to go back to school and pursue my dream as a designer! I also go back to art studio to practice drawing and painting again, which makes me genuinely happy inside.

      Although I’m going through career change now, I’m so excited to start my path in design for that’s what my heart truly longs for. =)

      P.S.
      Katie, thank you so much for sharing your blogs! I recently discovered your site and truly found it a healing space for me. Reading your posts help me to learn more about INFJ and feel that I’m not alone! =)

      1. Hi Jessalyn, thank you for your comment, and I’m glad my blog is a healing space for you! I’m so incredibly happy to hear that you are going for your dream, that’s a wonderful thing. Doing something that makes one feel genuinely happy is what living life is really about! We all go through different journeys, and it’s amazing to hear these stories and realise that nothing (or very rarely) is ever a straight line to our dreams. Many of us go through struggles, and I definitely think those moments helped us become stronger and taught us something! Look forward to your design journey :)

  7. Ive been an engineer for 4 years plus 4 years of schooling previously. I finally quit my career being HSP and INFJ. Not easy, it was my burnout and boreout that did it mostly. Was hoping to switch to something else later. Not sure what Ill do, but it will likely be hospital chaplain after working at hospital for a year and seeing what they do. Ill have to study a masters in theology first. Im thrilled however bc Ive become more and more interested and fallen in love studying with my religion, which I had once abandoned. I spend most of my free time reading theology, praying, or anything spiritual aligned with my beliefs. I also find cooking relaxing, and hanging out with my INTJ husband at home or walks in the park. My faith has been the one thing to manage my life, anxieties, fears, negative feelings, and to be grateful for the good things, feelings, etc.
    Im stressed by open spaces, too much extroverting, the emotions of the people in the open spaces and others in gen, conflict, injustices around my immediate surroundings and at large, rudeness (most of times), lack of silence in my day, following every thought that pops without stopping it and every other subthought, etc.

  8. Hi Kat, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Hearing the stories of different people, always reminds us how everyone is on their own journey. I’m really happy to hear that you love what you’re studying now and am able to do something that is aligned with your beliefs. It really is the simple things I find as an INFJ and HSP that can make us feel calmer (as you mentioned walking in the park – which is one of my stress relievers!). I can relate to that in many ways. My faith is also one of the main parts of my life that have helped with any anxieties, fears and negative feelings.

    Ah yes, the feeling of non-stop go and constant noise. We all thrive better in different environments. I am similar in needing to be in a space where I can focus. In terms of rudeness, that is definitely one of my top pet peeves (which I’m sure is yours too!). It’s interesting how we go through certain experiences, but they were always meant for a reason because they make us grow and learn, and figure out (or go for) the things we truly enjoy :)

  9. I have mostly done secretarial / administrative work and mostly hated it.

    No, I am not a @#$%^&* team player: As the saying goes, “There IS no ‘I’ in ‘Team’.” My point exactly.

    I have also driven a cab, which I loved; worked transcribing audio tapes made by investigators performing surveillance of folks claiming actionable injuries, which I also loved; as an electronic typesetter in locally-owned print shops and also doing manual (hot-wax) paste-up for a big-time newspaper, which I adored.

    These days I am unfortunately on disability myself, but I dream of owning and operating my very own fashion and / or interior design house or empire!

  10. Thanks for sharing this! Ah yes, I have heard many people are not fond of administrative work. I don’t mind working in an office compared to 1-2 years ago, but it’s nice to have that private space instead of an open space. What an interesting range of things you’ve done! That’s a wonderful creative and colourful dream :)

  11. I currently work as one of the managers at a small, family-owned grocery store. Aspects of it are good, but overall it does not mesh well with being an HSP. A couple days a week I tend to work long hours and the environment is pretty hectic and there are lots of people. Also my bosses don’t know that I’m an HSP and often criticize me for things that are just HSP traits. I’m sure if I told them I was an HSP some of them would probably roll their eyes and not understand.

    But it’s at least better than my last job working at the front desk of a hotel. Lots of answering phones and sometimes very chaotic environment.

    But my main passion is writing and I have a goal of becoming a writer/director of film. I spend a lot of my free time writing and being an HSP and INFJ has contributed greatly to my creativity. I’ve been on several film sets and I’ve found that environment to be incredibly peaceful to me. Even during chaotic times it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I can’t speak as to why, but that’s just what I’ve found.

  12. I can imagine it must be quite hectic and busy. I can really relate to that feeling of many things being an HSP trait, but most people won’t understand. I’m glad to hear it’s better than your past job, and have good aspects that you like. That’s wonderful, I find that when an INFJ and HSP finds something they’re passionate of, it won’t feel so much like work. All the best, and I hope you will go towards that direction!

  13. Thanks,
    I’m also hsp and infj and struggling to find a well suited carreer..
    I’ve just decided to quit my current job as I feel it drains the life out of me and thanks to you I now understand why..
    Thank you,
    Efrat from Israel

  14. Hi Efrat, thank you for your comment. I definitely feel there are certain jobs that are more suitable for us then others. I wish you all the best on your job journey.

  15. I’m also an HSP INFJ and Empath and I currently work in a repetitive/tedious production based office environment with constant chatter about nothingness, punching a clock everyday, no time off unless approved by management, no privacy from office gossip and energy vampires. I long for a career with complete autonomy, where I’m helping others, making a difference in their lives for the better. I need solitude/quiet time to hear my own thoughts. Working in an office environment is so so draining. I have to mentally prepare myself to go in to work everyday. I’m looking to quit my job soon/go part-time. I’m starting a lifestyle blog about(spirituality/spiritual healing/metaphysics/minimalism/meditation/mindfulness/living life with my souls purpose in mind/ simple authentic living etc….)as I love to write. I also signed up for a life coaching certification and plan to start a coaching business from home. I have so many ideas beyond the one’s I named. I really feel self-employment is best for HSP INFJ, a place where we can control our environment and have complete autonomy. I plan to be self-employed by the end of 2018. I say invest in yourself, use social media to promote whatever business you desire and work from home………the times have changed and there are more opportunities to be self-employed/work from home and make a decent living.
    There’s a quote by motivational speaker Tony Gaskins that says “Work your dream and your job until your dream becomes your job”.
    Love and light to all of you. Great read Katie!

    1. Hi Ambra, thank you for your wonderful comment and sharing with me your experience! I can imagine that it would be draining to work in an environment with a lot of small talk, gossip and noise. I’ve had good and bad office experiences, and the good ones I always found that there is a supportive team and a positive environment, and the bad office experiences tend to be bad energy where it may be noisy, uncomfortable and there isn’t really anyone you can really connect with. I’m so happy to hear you are chasing what you truly want and being proactive. That’s absolutely true, there are so many opportunities to start your own business and I wish you all the best and every success!! :)

  16. Nail. On. Head

    This was a precise description of my life. I weep for meaning in my work. I’m 36 now and still cry as I haven’t discovered what I can do for a living that is also meaningful. This pains me. Due to me pleasant demeanor, I pay the bills working service positions but it is completely draining and I get frustrated very often about not finding where I fit or where I can soar. I often from as I don’t have a purpose though I am good at so many things but just cannot earn a living from them. It’s a sick cycle.

  17. Hey there! I am impressed that I am not the only one who is so uncertain about the career. As I red your blog I found myself in the same positions. I started an apprenticeship at a big company and it was really hard to get it (but I was more pushed and supported to do that from my ex boyfriends family, who really don’t know me). I did my A-levels really well before and started this. Administrative shit and sail. It was really draining and no one else understood my feelings and the want to be alone and that there is so much more in life than this meaningless economic side. I quit the apprenticeship and want to start in university in October with social science. Beside that I am writing my own piano songs and want to start trying mixing electronical music. I am luckily young (19) to change my career but it’s really frustrating to change it. Everyone is against your decision and says how stupid you are. As i googled „why am I so sensitive?“ I found more about INFJ and HSP which is really amazing. I found myself in nearly everything and understood why I felt like an alien all my life. Also we INFJ feel directly if something isn’t suited for yourself. Like one day in a position and I know i don’t want to stay there or do that for my life.

    I have a big circle of friends but because I am good in acting a role, my true self is always hidden from them. And when I tried to say what I really think it was just weird and I stopped.
    Thanks to this post! And I am sorry for any mistakes I am from Germany. But I love English ! So I hope we will all find a career that suits us..

    1. So I tried the do somethinf meaningful and I tried chaplaincy. Since it takes so much education and it is competitive, as I started school I also tried some hands on related work. I became a caregiver for elderly. I liked some of it, couldnt stand some of it. Found out I wasnt able to cope with the meanness of dementia patients, which is 1 out of 3 elderly in America. I became a victim of abuse by them. So I left that. I dont regret trying out to see if I liked it. I dont think I could be a chaplain anymore for financial reasons and how I felt. I think I could be more fit to doing a masters in counseling and become a family/marriage counselor. I love one to one interactions where I can counsel others and not be abused or become useless from absorbing their pain. But Id only do this if it happened that way. Ive had lot of health issues and cannot work. For now Im doing hobbies and homemaking. I read somewhere INFJs, ISFJs, and INFPs are the best suited to stay at home spouse/parent life. I kinda think so now, even though it wasnt my first choice. For other INFJs out there, try to marry someone whose job can maintain the family. But even if not, consider arranging it with your spouse and choose joy and ability to do what you like (even if it doesnt pay well or at all, like art or music) over money and material things. After my health issues, I had to do that without choice, but Im finding out Im way happier and healthier. You can be doing well and unhappy, stressed or sick, or poor/less well off but happy and in better health.

  18. Hi Amelie, thank you for your comment. it’s great that you’re already trying different things especially since you are still young. Although, I’m one who thinks it’s never too late to try new things! I’m sure we will!

  19. Hi there,

    I am an INFJ and a HSP. I have a career in nursing and it is NOT a good fit. After 7 years I feel like I have been chewed up, spit out, beaten, and left for dead. I am a shell of the person that I used to be. I feel that over the course of my short career, an essential part of me has died a slow and torturous death.
    Finally, this week, I decided that I’m done with nursing. It was either that or sacrifice what is left of my mental health and dignity for a paycheque.
    It is not worth it.
    No amount of money is worth my life or my heath. I am now searching for alternative job options better suited to my personality, and I will never again fall into the trap of selling my soul and selling myself out for a biweekly lump sum. I am sending love and support to all of my fellow INFJs and HSPs who are struggling and suffering.
    You aren’t alone. I promise.

  20. I have worked in office jobs, overseas, nanny, tutoring, retail and even manual labor on horse farm. I realized it was never the job, but the emotional drama from mean, condescending bosses (despite my high work ethics) and the resulting tear-streaked drives home that made me realize I needed a different direction. Altogether.

    Started transcription working at home. Terrifying because I’d never done anything like it before. My total investment was $15 for a footpedal (optional)and $30 for Express Scribe. Doesnt require training but merely grueling persistence until you get a minimum 6 mos experience so you can apply for better companies and audio files. A year later Im working for two companies. No telephone calls. Minimal interaction and its usually from one person, thru email or chat, who is super polite and appreciative.

    My first month’s paycheck was $4. Now its a $1,000 and I only work 3 days a week. Transcription can get intense at times if you overlook a deadline or get a difficult file, but its definitely not the same kind of stress like being chewed out by a boss or dreading to see someone’s face on a Monday. The files vary and I never know what subject Ill transcribe. Sometimes boring, sometimes educational, sometimes makes me laugh or cry. Definitely the best fit so far, and im traveling to Ecuador where I can easily live off such a paycheck!

  21. Hi Katie! Yep, I identify as an INFJ and HSP – so many things have made sense since I took the MBTI! That said – corporate jobs give me depression. Legit. Whilst there are one or two who hold strong work ethics, a whole lot more tend to perform the bare minimum, and then expect other people to pick up their mess.

    I’ve worked as a dishwasher, outward bound instructor, receptionist, kitchen hand, a water-jet operator cleaning floors at the local university’s second largest canteen, retail, waiter, zoo keeper, data entry, factory packer in just ten years…always I’ve found myself saying the same exact words “If I were the boss everything will be held to high standards without question.” and “The business is losing money because of incompetent managers.”

    After I left my last permanent job in 2014, I swore never to take on another full time job just for the money. Fast forward 4 years now, I’ve been working on my blog to try and teach myself SEO, content writing and marketing. On the side i came out bisexual and embraced my love for short shorts (something I’ve always hated myself because my mother is highly homophobic), taught myself the piano, and I’m fitter now than I was in my 20s. I’m 30 now and run 5km every day.

    I found that your article resonated deeply with my journey so far. Somehow I did not follow the rest of my peers, getting that degree, landing a job, starting a family etc. I used my 20s to test if the conventional approach really was for me…well it wasn’t.
    Right now I’m happier doing what I do and although i haven’t earned a cent, I believe that improving one’s skillset daily will one day deliver immense value to society, and money would not be a problem.

    Maybe I’ve chosen the hard path going freelance, but there hasn’t been any career path that gave me such satisfaction

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