INFP Careers to Avoid

Jan 18, 2020

INFP stands for introverted, intuitive, feeling and perceiving in personality assessments. These people are more interested in originality than convention, so may want to avoid some of the careers discussed in this article.

Careers for INFP Personality Types to Avoid

INFP personality types tend to be drawn to careers where they can be creative and help others; they don't like to follow monotonous routines, and they may not be drawn to careers that emphasize conventional decision-making skills. They are less likely to thrive in careers that they don't see as meaningful. Since they are introverted, they typically prefer to work alone or in small groups. Below are some careers that INFP personalities might not enjoy.

Job Title Median Salary* (2018) Job Growth* (2018-2028)
Retail Sales Workers $24,340 -2%
Principals $95,310 4%
Sales Managers $124,220 5%
Civil Engineers $86,640 6%
Construction Managers $93,370 10%
Preschool and Childcare Center Directors $47,940 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for INFP Personality Types to Avoid

Retail Sales Workers

Retail sales workers, who only need on-the-job training, may help customers locate items, take payments for purchases, and arrange products in the store. INFP personalities may find that this type of work offers limited opportunities to use their creativity and that it lacks the meaning they desire from their work. Retail sales workers typically have a pretty consistent work routine as well, and the lack of variety may not appeal to INFP personality types.


School principals have a lot of people and resources that they oversee. They normally need a master's degree and license, and they use their skills to make decisions about things like school schedules and budgets. Those with an INFP personality may find it overwhelming to deal with so many people on a regular basis; INFPs are introverts and tend to prefer working with people one-on-one or in small groups, and addressing an entire school population or groups of parents may not appeal to them. Principals also have to make a lot of conventional decisions, which is not one of the INFP strengths.

Sales Managers

Sales managers need prior work experience, a bachelor's degree, or a master's degree to move into management. They can be involved in training sales staff, addressing customer complaints, and coming up with marketing plans. They interact regularly with customers and with the sales staff they oversee. This can be taxing for INFP personalities since they are not naturally extroverted. They may find the interactions overwhelming and think this career doesn't provide enough opportunities to help people.

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers, who can enter their career field with a bachelor's degree, may use their skills to improve communities by planning and constructing infrastructure. INFPs may find that this career requires them to make a lot of conventional decisions about building plans while evaluating things like regulations and budgets. This type of analytical thinking does not typically appeal to INFP personalities. Civil engineers may also need to oversee staff who perform tests as part of the project development, and that may be stressful for INFPs.

Construction Managers

Construction managers need experience in construction and possibly a bachelor's degree, and they oversee a lot of staff as part of their duties. They also coordinate with others in the field, like electricians or plumbers, and address issues with their work. Construction managers make decisions about who to hire or when to schedule specific tasks. INFPs are not ideally suited to this type of leadership role because they are introverts and prefer working alone or with small groups of people. They are also more suited to creative thinking than this type of decision-making.

Preschool and Childcare Center Directors

Preschool and childcare center directors must have an associate's or bachelor's degree and prior work experience in this field. They work with a lot of people, including staff, parents, and children, which INFP personality types may find stressful. Directors may also be responsible for making decisions concerning policies or staff conduct and must be able to be objective and analytical. These directors can't necessarily focus on helping people the way that INFPs prefer.

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