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The Best Jobs for ISFJ Personality Types?

By Natalie Howard

The ISFJ personality is characterized as a protector. Someone who is smart, responsible, and caring towards others. Scoring this on your Myers-Briggs test means your personality type is reflected in these four qualities: Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Judgement.

What is an ISFJ like?

Myers-Briggs categorizes 16 personalities, and the guardian ISFJs make up 9% to 14% of the population. Those who pass as ISFJs on the personality test are dedicated and focused individuals, who, unlike other personality types, prefer to have a few close friends who know them well rather than a large group of casual acquaintances. Myers-Briggs ISFJs are responsible, practical, detail-orientated, and are known to pay attention to smaller, intimate facts that others may have missed. They are observant, which makes ISFJs very quick to pick up on the feelings and emotions of others. Often referred to on their MBTI test as protectors or guardians, their observant and caring nature is seen as trustworthy and compassionate.

What are ISFJs like in the workplace?

Since ISFJs are detail-orientated, they work well when there is a clear-cut routine established. Their ISFJ score on their personality quiz notes their ability to read others and gives them a strong sense of responsibility, and jobs that are chaotic or rapidly changing can cause an inordinate amount of stress. They are one of the Myers-Briggs types which are labeled as compassionate protectors. As protectors, their instinct is to fix problems, not create them. When a coworker is distressed, it is not uncommon for an ISFJ to reach out to them, even it interrupts their own delicate work balance. Because of this, ISFJs work best in environments that have set schedules, with clearly defined roles, that allow them to use their observant and practical nature to solve problems.

What are the best careers for ISFJs?

Ideal ISFJ careers include opportunities to take advantage of their strengths and not let them turn into weaknesses. This could be researching in a quiet lab environment or solving customer problems one-on-one. Careers that require spontaneous decisions or rash action without time to analyze all angles are not for ISFJs.

1. Dentist/Orthodontist

Examining teeth, cleaning, diagnosing dental problems, studying a patient’s history and health are all things suited to an ISFJ personality. In dental work, ISFJs give x-rays, check their patients for gingivitis or other oral diseases, and educate patients on good oral hygiene habits and health. As an orthodontist, ISFJs specialize in aligning teeth and jaws, diagnosing, preventing, and treating overbites, underbites, gaps, or overcrowded teeth with wires, braces, retainers or other corrective appliances to ensure the health of their patients’ teeth and mouth muscles. It’s detailed, meticulous work that requires someone who is both empathic and focused.

2. Human Resources

Working in human resources is the perfect job for a compassionate ISFJ. Human resource generalists and specialists are trained to perform both administrative and strategic hiring duties and planning. They are organized, dedicated strategists and planners, and are the ones who help guide new employees through the complicated process of benefits and compensation. They also have the crucial and detailed task of complying with all local, state, and federal regulations for HR.

3. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

To be a CPA, one must be detail-oriented, because the solutions are hidden in the numbers. CPAs are accountants, business consultants, and financial auditors. They handle any number of financial services, from corporate finance to tax preparation. ISFJs would do well as CPAs, keeping their clients informed to make better financial decisions.

4. Customer Service Representative

Customer service representatives are the ones who answer calls, listen to customers, provide product information, and help customers by being informative, empathetic, and eager to problem-solve. A job in customer service for an ISFJ means listening and “reading” the customer, something observant ISFJs can do like no other.

5. Data Analyst

For an ISFJ, being a data analyst is almost like being a detective. It’s a job for ISFJs who are smart, technical, and happy to look for patterns and clues. They then translate those numbers into something tangible and understandable to improve how a business or project is run. ISFJs can excel at discovering useful information hidden in data, and inspecting, cleaning, transforming, and modeling the complex data presented.

6. Physician/Internal Medicine

Physicians and internal medicine doctors treat patients who may have multiple health questions and issues. Compassionate ISFJs thrive when the opportunity to protect a patient from a health problem arises. They meet with patients and diagnose their problems. Patients with acute and chronic medical problems who do not need a specialist can be seen by a physician or an internal medicine doctor. Since both doctors will have extended working knowledge of disease and pharmacology, they can prescribe medications for their patients. By seeing their adult patients regularly, ISFJ doctors also work to encourage wellness, conduct health screenings, prevent illness, and keep their patients healthy.

7. Librarian

Libraries are now home to advanced electronic resources, digital records, and access to a wide range of information, with skilled librarians trained to find exactly what is needed. Librarians do everything from organizing community events and programs to helping professionals and students research scholarly and public information. They educate their patrons on technology, such as basic computer skills or even 3D printing. Being a librarian would provide a quiet work environment for an ISFJ, but also allows multiple opportunities for community outreach that appeals to their helpful and resourceful nature.

8. Research Analyst

Think investigative research. As a research analyst, this dream ISFJ career involves combing through detailed financial reports on equity securities for large companies and studying principles and theories. It means monitoring market conditions for changes that affect sales for their industry. Like all analyst jobs, research analysts collect and analyze data to solve problems and recommend solutions to their employers’ processes to help their coworkers and employers.

9. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Many ISFJs work in health care since it is a field that requires the most responsible, reliable, and compassionate individuals. Their ability to protect and pick up emotional cues makes ISFJs excellent nurses. LPNs are nurses who perform both patient care and administrative tasks. They work in traditional health care settings, like hospitals, but also in nursing homes, group homes, or private homes.

10. Personal Assistant/Secretary

Organized, responsible, protecting, caring–all qualities of a good personal assistant or secretary. These roles are often one-on-one, focusing on the needs of an executive or CEO. ISFJs who lean toward solitary work but also require nurturing a personal and professional relationship with a small number of people do well in either of these roles. Managing files, performing clerical work, and arranging travel and events are right up the ISFJ alley.

Natalie Howard

Natalie Howard is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She covered career advice for the ZipRecruiter blog.

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