Want to work for yourself? Try starting with your Myers-Briggs personality type.
As the founder of the leading MBTI-based dating and social app, Boo, and a writer (with a lot of views) on the Myers-Briggs on Quora, one area I thought was always lacking were career recommendations for your type. I just didn’t think they were reflective of our modern times.
If you’re looking for some self-employed career suggestions, I’m here to help. Each introverted personality type can have different interests spanning a lot of different areas. But here are some self-employed career ideas for each Myers-Briggs type that I think suit each one best.
(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality assessment.)
Self-Employed Career Ideas Based on Your Introverted Myers-Briggs Type
As an INFP, you’re accepting, open-minded, imaginative, and spiritual. You desire a life of meaning, personal significance, and individual expression.
1. Musician or lyricist
Many great musicians are allegedly INFPs, like John Mayer, Bob Marley, and Fiona Apple. You can pursue your own musical talent and be your own artist, or ghost write songs for other artists. With your talent for poetic lyricism and deep feelings that resonate with what others are feeling, whether it’s something meaningful about our times or the difficulties of love or society, the music-related possibilities are endless.
2. Author or creative writer
INFPs are also known to be exceptional at creative writing, especially in their use of imagination in creating fantasy worlds, structuring winding plots, or leaving audiences in a state of deep pensivity. (William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and George R.R. Martin are considered INFPs.) Whether it’s writing a novel or a screenplay, there are many writing jobs well-suited for INFPs.
Photography is also a popular career among INFPs, as it provides an outlet for artistic expression that many INFPs so enjoy. Plus, since you also appreciate the beauty of the natural world, outdoor photography — like taking pictures of sunsets, nature, or animals — are popular themes. The market is huge, as well, with opportunities in weddings, events, family or baby photography, and more.
As an INFJ, the rarest of the personality types, you are principled, generous, and a talented communicator. You hold a passion for doing good for the world and for the people you love, driven by your deeply held principles and values.
1. Film director
Aside from loving good movies and stories, INFJs have a talent for visualizing stories and scenes. Many INFJs are also into drama and acting, as contrary as it sounds (Nicole Kidman and Billy Crystal, for example, are thought to be INFJs). Why would someone who is always concealing their true self want to be in the spotlight? Paradoxically, it may feel less vulnerable if you’re just playing a character.
2. Charity or foundation work
INFJs not only often think about the purpose of their life, but also how they can dedicate themselves toward the service of society and the greater good. Even in profitable pursuits, INFJs frequently have a social motive they want to accomplish. Creating a charity or foundation would be immensely gratifying.
3. Journalist or blogger
INFJs have a knack for writing and storytelling, uncovering narratives, and reading between the lines to illuminate the truth. Many bloggers and journalists are freelance writers (and likely INFJs), and there are multiple publications out there who need you. (Read more about why INFJs should start a blog.)
As an INTP, you are a quintessential philosopher and independent thinker. You are logical, objective, open-minded, imaginative, original, and honest. INTPs are addicted to new information and a never-ending search for truth.
1. Launch a hardware product on Kickstarter (or other crowdfunding site)
The best hardware startup founders are thought to be INTPs, including Elon Musk of Tesla/SpaceX. If you’re an INTP, too, you were probably into robotics in school, and if you weren’t, you probably at least find it interesting. You have a fascination with how things work, especially with machinery. You also probably have many ideas for products you’d love to build and want to do things on your own terms rather than working in a corporate setting.
2. Web developer
INTPs usually love their machinery, computers, and breaking down complex systems. There are countless coding bootcamps for beginners, like Codecademy and General Assembly. In our digital age, web developers and software engineers are in more demand than ever, with average pay a lot higher than that of other professions.
You’re someone who is likely to want to live life on your own terms rather than do what everyone else is doing. Dropshipping — when you sell items online and a third party sends them to your customers (you don’t have to keep inventory on hand) — can be a popular pursuit for INTPs. You literally work on your own terms, doing what you want, when you want. And best of all? You might even create an income stream that doesn’t require you to work much at all. Of course, this all depends on the product(s) you’re selling. Now, that’s chill.
As an INTJ, you are a strategic and intuitive thinker and thorough planner. You exude a quiet confidence, intellectual insight, and knowledge. You are most likely a nonconformist who doesn’t mind being different from the crowd, thinking for yourself, and rejecting long-standing traditions or rules that make no logical sense.
1. UI/UX design
As an INTJ, you have a talent for cutting through the noise to determine what is really important. This is critical in UI/UX design, where the prioritization falls in line with your own natural design philosophy: minimalism. And while UI/UX design is a creative pursuit, all design decisions — from font, sizing, color, everything — ultimately have a logical basis. Architectural and interior design are also highly recommended areas worth pursuing for INTJs. (Despite appearances, INTJs do have an artistic side.)
2. Stock trading
You’re also likely to be very interested in the accumulation of wealth. I mean, who isn’t? But then there’s INTJ aspirations. Finance is literally the most straightforward path there is. You can learn more about wealth management or stock trading, and start your own portfolio, even if it may not be much starting off.
As an INTJ, you probably have a lot of ideas on how things can be better. To you, nothing is as exciting as a new project. Many of the most legendary entrepreneurs are allegedly INTJs, such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg. Your talent for recognizing market opportunities and planning and executing long-term strategies to achieve your goals are unparalleled. Not doing your startup will probably drive you crazy, as that idea you have for the next Google will haunt you until you do it.
As an ISTP, you are cheerful, relaxed, and a go-with-the-flow kind of person with great common sense, as well as skilled with your hands and tools. You are laid-back, yet rebellious, intellectual, but chill. You are also highly independent and self-sufficient.
It’s probably the greatest ISTP stereotype out there — you like fixing things. Even better is that, as a mechanic, you get to take machines apart and literally put them back together again, understanding how all of it works. And since you love working with your hands, you’ll definitely be in your element.
2. Taxes and auditing
As an accountant or auditor, you can forget about people, as the only thing you need to work with are numbers. And best of all? You can do this on your own time. Take on more clients when you feel like it, or don’t. You live project by project, as you would prefer.
3. Application testing
Your job will literally be to test and play around with mobile apps, websites, and technologies to their breaking points. Can there be anything more enticing? Your job will literally be to break things for a living and be thanked (and paid) for it afterwards.
As an ISTJ, you are honest, responsible, and uphold your promises. People count on your word, dependability, and long-term commitment, even during the tough times. People also can count on you to do things the right way and cautiously, since you’ll first evaluate all facts and details.
1. Stock trading
You see the world in measurements, data, and calculations. There’s probably nothing more fitting for you as a career than stock trading. You’re an expert at objective analysis, and with stock trading, you’re always basing future results off historical behavior.
2. Craftsmanship and antiques
If you possess skills geared toward a hobby or craft, you can consider going full-time with it. Odds are high that you care a lot about the quality and craftsmanship of whatever you put your time into — whether it be handmade replicas of intricate royal furniture, an amazing craft beer, or handmade watches you made from scratch. With a great quality product, you can go a long way.
3. Physical fitness and nutrition coach
ISTJs are also perfect for careers around fitness and nutrition, especially since they are very in tune with their personal needs and know how to take care of themselves. Physical fitness and nutrition are also objective fields based on calculable known inputs, like calories, weights, and detailed workout regimes, all of which are the juicy stuff ISTJs like.
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As an ISFP, you are a creative, artistic, and spontaneous soul. You are fiercely individualistic and pride yourself on thinking outside-the-box and crushing labels and stereotypes. You also have a natural talent for aesthetics and know how to look good and be different.
1. Arts and crafts
The elephant in the room: You’re an ISFP, so you must like art. This is even more stereotypical than the ISTP mechanic. But it’s also based in some measure of truth. You value your personal expression and have a good eye for aesthetics. You also love working with your hands. Whether you paint or make coffee cups out of pottery, you could consider selling your artwork and crafts on Etsy.
In addition to being very artistic, you may also be more athletic than the average person. Dance is the best of both worlds, full of personal individual expression, as well as something that will challenge your stamina. The world of dance is vast, from hip hop to ballet to monetizing a TikTok dance account.
3. Fashion designer or personal shopper
I don’t think I’ve ever met an ISFP that did not have above-average fashion sense. (Cher, the singer/entertainer known for her outrageous and unconventional outfits, is thought to be an ISFP.) It’s one area of business you have a unique advantage in, leveraging your innate sense of style. It could be designing clothes, curating your own selection for your own brand, or helping others curate their collections as a personal shopper.
ISFJs are supportive, reliable, and patient, and are always available to help the people around them. You’re humble and altruistic and typically underplay your accomplishments, but take your responsibilities seriously.
You might already bake and cook for your friends and family, especially as a treat. Why not apply your great baking skills and start your own bakery? You are great with the details, perfect for the strict granularity of baking recipes.
2. Virtual Assistant (VA)
You’re detailed, organized, and great at supporting and preempting others’ needs. You could find a rewarding career as a virtual assistant, doing such tasks as running an organization’s social media, answering emails, making graphics, or scheduling/planning events and meetings. And, you get to work from home — or anywhere there’s an internet connection! With this “job,” you will learn the ins and outs of multiple businesses while living life on your own terms, often working during the times that fit your lifestyle.
3. Gardening or landscaping
If you’re an ISFJ, the odds are you like gardening and landscaping. There’s something especially appealing about nurturing something from start to finish and cultivating multiple varieties of plants and living life. It’s been a hot sector with venture capitalists, too. They see a huge underserved market demand in this industry. Why not apply your love or knowledge of gardening toward capitalizing on this? You can start off finding clients in your own neighborhood and among friends and grow from there!
The Most Important Thing Is to Follow Your Passion
If you’re not interested in these self-employed career areas, the good news is that there are plenty of jobs that are ideal for introverts. No matter what, I recommend that you follow your passion. In general, I believe the areas you are interested in and drawn to are often naturally what you are more inclined to be good at. I think Steve Jobs said it best: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.”
You might like:
- These Are the Ideal Careers for Each Introverted Myers-Briggs Type
- The 9 Best Jobs for Introverts
- 8 Introverted TV Characters and Their Myers-Briggs Personality Types
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