ISTJ Jobs to Avoid

Introverted, sensing, thinking and judging is what ISTJ stands for in the ISTJ personality type. People with this personality type tend to be rule followers, and they may also prefer to work alone or in small groups. This article explores career options that ISTJ personality types should avoid.

Career Options for ISTJ Personality Types to Avoid

People with the ISTJ personality type are loyal and reliable and prefer tradition to innovation. They tend to be punctual and efficient, so they can be very successful employees. They are not likely to find unstructured, casual work to be ideal, and they may also want to avoid jobs that require a lot of socialization.

Job Title Median Salary* (2016) Growth* (2014-2024)
Photographers $34,070 3%
Preschool Teachers $28,790 7%
Tattoo Artists $48,780 (Craft and Fine Artists) 2% (Craft and Fine Artists)
Athletes and Sport Competitors $47,710 6%
Writers and Authors $61,240 2%
Retail Sales Workers $22,900 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for ISTJ Personality Types to Avoid


Although some photographers do spend most of their time working alone if they photograph nature or wildlife, many other aspects of a photographer's work may not cater to this personality type's strengths. Photographers may need to spend hours on location waiting for events to unfold in order to do their work. For example, if they photograph wildlife they may have to spend days waiting to see the particular animal they're photographing, or if they photograph sporting events they may need to change their hours at the last minute due to weather delays or other issues that have affected the schedule. ISTJ personality types may find the lack of a consistent, traditional working environment and inconsistent schedule that photographers experience frustrating. Photographers do not necessarily need formal education, although a degree may be required to work as a photojournalist or scientific photographer.

Preschool Teachers

Preschool teachers work with children under the age of five and teach them basic concepts and skills. Specific training requirements vary, and they may need only a high school diploma, while some centers or states may require preschool teachers to have a certificate or degree. Although preschools tend to run on a consistent schedule and the educational environment is a traditional and familiar one, ISTJ personality types may want to avoid teaching preschool. Younger children are still developing skills and may be more messy and energetic than older children, and they also require a lot of hands-on assistance. A preschool teacher's job requires a lot of constant interaction with a number of people throughout the day, and ISTJ personality types may find that overwhelming.

Tattoo Artists

Tattoo artists are trained to use needles to create images or patterns on people's skin. While they do not necessarily need a degree and may learn from other tattoo artists, they may want to take art or drawing classes or complete a fine arts degree. Artistic talent is required. Tattoo artists also need to be able to adapt to the demands of each individual client. Since they are using needles directly on a person's skin, they work closely with each client, and the nature of the interaction involved may not appeal to ISTJ personality types. Since ISTJ personality types tend to prefer tradition, they may not find working in a tattoo parlor to be a comfortable working environment.

Athletes and Sports Competitors

Athletes and sports competitors may perform a specific sport or go to events where they compete against others. ISTJ personality types may not find this to be an appealing career option because sporting events are often not punctual and can be affected by a lot of different variables. This may frustrate ISTJ personality types, since they like to be on time. ISTJ personality types may also find it hard to adjust to regularly working in different environments, since they may travel nationally or internationally for competitions or performances. Although no formal training is required to be an athlete or sports competitor, athletic skill is required and some athletes begin learning a sport when they're a child.

Writers and Authors

Writers and authors may need to have a bachelor's degree to work in this field. They spend their time producing written material that can be about fiction or nonfiction topics. They may research topics and write books or shorter articles or make up stories to entertain readers. They do not work in a traditional environment and may not have a consistent schedule, so their work may not be ideal for ISTJ personality types. Although they usually work alone, writers and authors may have to conduct research online, in libraries, or through travel or interviews with others, and their schedules may vary widely based on the type of content they're producing.

Retail Sales Workers

Retail sales workers can enter the field without any formal postsecondary training. They learn their job once hired, and they spend their day interacting with customers and helping them find what they're looking for; they may also process payments or place orders for customers. Since ISTJ personality types are introverts, they may find that this career option involves too much socialization for them. They may also find the erratic schedule frustrating. For example, on Black Friday the work may be extremely busy, but on other days they may have long periods with few customers and little to do. ISTJ personality types like structure, and the lack of consistency day to day in sales may be something that does not appeal to them.

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