The Best Careers for ISFJ? 5 Matches and 7 to Avoid


ISFJ Personality Type

A free personality test, such as 16Personalities revealed that you are an ISFJ personality. The best careers for ISFJ personalities is those professions that connect with people but that are not too emotional. 

Consider the ISFJ the more practical sibling of an INFJ personality type.

About the 16 Personalities

If you don’t know your personality type, this post describes how to take test at 16personalities.com. There are no wrong answers and no personality type is better than another.

The tool can help you identify your strengths and a career that fits what you are naturally good at.

The free career and personality test is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. The MBTI determines which one of 16 personality types you fall into.

If you want to learn more about the personality types this bestselling Udemy course is usually on sale for $10. You can really dig into how the MBTI works and learn a lot more about your personality type.

What the Letters ISFJ Stand For

The first letter in the 4-letter personality code indicates if you are an introvert or extrovert. 
This distinction is how we focus on the world around us, not whether you like people.

As an introvert, you focus on an inner world where you can think through a situation without input from others. You also don’t like to be put on the spot. And you hate walking into a meeting or job interview without preparing mental or written notes.

Introverts Like People, Just Not Too Much People

Introverts like people, but tend to feel drained from long bouts of interacting with them. Conferences and large parties can be particularly overwhelming.

There’s no time to have thoughtful interactions. Getting revved up to meet new people or start a conversation is exhausting.

Introverts like to process and analyze a situation before taking action and are often seen as reserved. 

Introverts have no problem with alone time, In fact, they crave it. They want to shut off the noise for a while and get lost in thought.

4 Types of Introverts

To add to the complexity of being an introvert, there is research to support that there are four types of introverts:

  • Social — These types of introverts can appear more extroverted because they like to interact with people at parties and don’t mind crowds. But they still value time alone and process information internally.
  • Thinking — Thinking introverts are the people who are stuck in their heads. They analyze themselves, others, situations and seem to be a million miles away. They have a rich imagination that is full of scenarios and what-ifs.
  • Anxious — These introverts are more anti-social because being in social settings scares them. They might be painfully shy or lack confidence in their social skills. They seem closed off and can be difficult to get to know.
  • Inhibited — Also called restrained introverts, these folks are measured and methodical about what they say and do. They often need lots of time and a solid routine to ease into the day. They never say anything off-the-cuff.

While one of these 4 types of introverts may dominate your introversion, you are a mix of them all.

A Few Words About Extroverts

Extroverts are people who like being around people. They get energized from interacting and have no issues with being in front of people. In fact, they need interaction with others to sort out what is going on in their minds.

Sensing quote

The second letter in the 4-letter code indicates how you prefer to get your information. 

An S means you use your senses (eyes, ears, touch, taste, smell) to interpret information. Do you hone in on what is tangible and real? 

Sensing personality types tend to be more practical and don’t draw conclusions about what is in front of them.

This analyzing-the-situation-based-on-concrete-evidence gives you an advantage when it comes to being practical. You can connect the dots to the most reasonable outcome quickly.

This is a great skill to have in a job where you can deftly sift through what the situation is based on what your senses tell you. Sensing people are generally focused on the now, not what-ifs. They base their thoughts and words on actual experiences.

Sensing vs Intuition

Those personality types with an N for intuitive interpret and add meaning to situations. They read the writing on the wall and would rather think about a problem than tinker their way to a solution.

feeling quote

The third letter in the personality type is how you make choices. F is for feeling. Feelers prefer to consider people and the circumstances around the situation. You factor in the emotional part of making a choice.

Feelers make decisions based on their values, not just the facts of the situation. It’s not a black and white world out there.

You want to consider how the decision would make you feel and the effects it would have on the other person. You are tuned into people’s emotions as well as your own.

Can you walk into a room and feel the energy of the people in it? There is nuance and so many things going on underneath the surface of a conversation. Many feelers are attracted to artistic careers.

A Brief on Thinkers

Do you make decisions based on logic and reason? Choices seem clear cut for thinking types because they base decisions on facts. It’s not to say they are robots who do not have emotions.

Thinkers are not that concerned with how other people feel about their choices. That allows them to focus on themselves and keeps drama to a minimum.

Duding quote

The final letter in the personality type represents your attitude to the outside world. Judgers, the J, make a decision, stick to a plan, and they like to work within the structure.

They also like it when people around them do the same. If the person at the grocery store who has 12 items in a 10 item or less line drives you nuts, you’re a judger. Judgers love routine, schedules, itineraries, etc.

They want to be prepared for anything by being prepared. This doesn’t mean they are as organized as Hank Hill’s tools or can’t be spontaneous. Judgers want to make a decision and take action.

They can seem task-oriented and love to have a structured workflow. You can spot one pretty easily. They are the one who sends you the menu to the lunch spot so you can decide what to eat before you get there.

Or they complain because rules exist for a reason and everyone should follow them.

Judging vs Perceiving

Perceivers or Ps are open to situations and are less concerned about structure and more concerned with having options. Going with the flow. They are the last-minute suitcase packers and the ones who say road trip, but have no idea where they want to go.

These personality types like to keep things casual and don’t want to miss out on a possibility by deciding something too quickly. Options are great, they allow life to work its magic.

 

ISFJ Traits

The Good 

  • Supportive
  • Reliable
  • Patient
  • Imaginative
  • Loyal
  • Practical
  • Hard-working

The Bad

  • Shy 
  • Take Things Too Personally 
  • Stuff Their Feelings Down
  • Perfectionistic
  • Resist Change
  • Give too Much

The 16 Personalities 

A Myers-Briggs test such as 16 Personalities categorizes the personality types based on a four-letter code, one from each of the categories above. The 16 combinations are below. 

INFJ

INFP

INTP

INTJ

ISTP

ISTJ

ISFJ

ISFP

ESTP

ESTJ

ESFP

ESFJ

ENFJ

ENFP

ENTP

ENTJ

Take the 16 Personalities Test — 60 Questions in 10 Minutes

Famous People Who are ISFJ

  • Christopher Walken, actor
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Kanye West, musician
  • Kirsten Dunst, actress
  • Halle Berry, actress
  • Kim Kardashian West, actress
  • Jessica Simpson, singer

ISFJ in Relationships

A best career for Infj should be meaningful, just like the relationships they have.

Friendships:

ISFJ Friends

Having an ISFJ friend is a wonderful gift. They are loyal and selfless. They will also be up for social gatherings because they love people. It’s hard to believe they are introverts sometimes.

ISFJs love interacting with people, but don’t expect them to gush about their feelings. If you really want to know how they are feeling, start with a casual how are you. When they want to talk about something, it has to be on their terms.

They are a little standoffish when it comes to letting people show the same warm and loyalty to them. They can be shy and have a need to protect themselves from getting hurt.

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ISFJ Compatability

ISFJ and ENTP — Challenging Each Other to Grow

Are ENFP and ISFJ compatible? Kind of. If you’re looking for someone to challenge your thinking and open up about the way you feel, an ENTP could be a good fit. Read more.

ISFJ and INFJ — Realist vs Idealist

The INFJ is also an intuitive thinker who wants to truly understand what motivates people. They want to really know the ISFJ. As an ISFJ this level of intensity could make you squeamish. Read more.

ISFJ and INFP — Details Can Derail The Empath

The INFP personality type can be idealistic and get lost in their own thoughts. The ISFJ can be a little too focused on the details for the INFP’s liking. But the good news is the ISFJ can help INFP finish a task and the INFP can bring creativity to the more practical ISFJ. Read more.

Best Career for ISFJ Personality: Here are 5 Matches

Best Career for ISFJs Who Want to Help Mental Health Counselor

mental heath counselors help people work through emotional issues that are short term.

Mental health counselors advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, mental health Counsel with emphasis on prevention. 

The job is about connecting with people and taking a systematic approach to helping them.

Although it can be a stressful occupation, it can be equally rewarding as you help people to improve their lives and really make a difference. To be a state-licensed mental health counselor, you have to have a master’s degree.

Get salary, education and job growth information.

Best Career for ISFJs Who Like History Museum Curator

Museum curator

Museum curators oversee collections of artwork and historic items and may conduct public service activities for an institution. 

Job activities depend on the museum, but they acquire objects and collections, keep records and catalog acquisitions and research future acquisitions.

This is one of the best careers for ISFJ because they can organize and make sense of information from different sources to help people understand the world around them.

Get salary, education and job growth information.

Best Career for ISFJs Who Want to Heal Registered Nurse

Registered nurse

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their families.

This caregiver career is a good fit for ISFJ personality types and those who want to work directly with people and exchange ideas in a clearly defined hierarchy.

Registered nurses’ duties and titles often depend on where they work and the patients they work with.

For example, an oncology nurse works with cancer patients and a geriatric nurse works with elderly patients.

Get salary, education and job growth information.

Best Career for ISFJs Who Love to Organize Librarian

Librarians

Librarians help people find information and conduct research. Their job duties may change based on the type of library they work in, such as public, academic, and medical libraries. Librarian jobs are a good match for people who want to do conventional work with people and have autonomy in completing projects. 

The profession requires you to enjoy organizing vast amounts of information so people can access it easily.

Get salary, education and job growth information.

Best Career for ISFJs Who Love Math Bookkeeper

bookkeeping clerks

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks all have the same general purpose: To produce financial records for organizations. But there are key differences. 

Bookkeeping clerks are responsible for the general ledger, while accounting clerks work within specific roles such as accounts receivable or payroll clerk. 

Auditing clerks check financial records for errors.

This career appeals to someone who wants a traditional job that allows them to make decisions based on systems and practices.

Bookkeeping is a good career match for an ISFJ personality type.

Get salary, education and job growth information.

More Careers Matches for ISFJ

7 Jobs for an ISFJ to Avoid

Some of the careers that an ISFJ personality will want to avoid.

These jobs to avoid selections are based on the O*NET Interest Profiler, another free career test that you can take.

How the O*NET Works

The O*NET career test classifies occupations by using combinations of basic 6 interests, or what people want from a job. The free test gives you a listing of your interests in order of preference, based on how you answered 60 questions. The 6 interests are:

Each job in the O-NET system is labeled with 2-3 letters that represent these 6 occupational interests. All of the jobs on our best careers list had interest combinations of conventional and social. Meaning ISFJs love traditional jobs that involve people.

Highly creative jobs, classified as artistic in the O-NET Interest Profiler, require a person to express themselves and be comfortable with having people know how they are feeling.

As we said earlier, an ISFJ loves to be there for people, but is not good at expressing their own feelings.

Artistic careers also do not have a clear set of rules to follow, which can be annoying to an ISFJ who wants to have a structure in their work.

Many sales jobs have an artistic part to them because sales agents have to be creative in the way they convince different audiences to buy their product or service. In other words the solutions are not one-size fits all.

Then there’s highly technical jobs in the sciences and engineering that lack the social component ISFJs need. They want to help people directly.

Conclusion

Hopefully this sheds some light on what are the best careers for ISFJ. If you are not in a career that feels like it fits, you can change careers. You can also try some of these jobs without quitting your day job.

Volunteer at a library or hospital, or a museum. Think about how your current skills could translate to an ISFJ-friendly career. If you are currently searching for a job, check out our job search tools below.

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Tracey Lamphere

Tracey Lamphere, M.S. IMC is the editor of Job Affirmations, a publication that provides information and ideas to use mindfulness, positive affirmations, and visualizations to transform your career.

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