Many INFP profiles will state that INFPs have trouble sticking with their careers, constantly switching jobs over dissatisfaction in their work. The work personality side to the INFP is very complicated, and one that may be misunderstood by others.
Nowadays, finding a job is hard, and for INFPs, enjoying their jobs is even harder.
Sure, many people just suck it up and try to endure doing tasks that don’t please them, but INFPs devote themselves to… pretty much everything. I’m not saying INFPs are always giving 100% percent into their work and other tasks, but INFPs want to devote their lives to something meaningful, especially to them personally.
Many may think that the INFP is lazy, especially when the INFP shows effort to begin something but doesn’t finish it. A few INFPs have attested to being victims of this misconception, as have I. Everyday I am bombarded with new ideas, and starting a new project with those ideas is easy to do. Following through, however, is extremely difficult, because of general procrastination (which I’ll admit is laziness) and doubts the project will be good in the end.
This being able to start something but not finish it I once read on Personality Junkie (I can’t remember where specifically) is because the cognitive stacks of IPs and EJs go J-P-P-J. Whereas IJs and EPs, those with P-J-J-P, have trouble starting projects but do a good job following through once they start. (Explanation of J-P-P-J and P-J-J-P here.)
Though I don’t remember why specifically either why that is, I assume its because of this:
Because Judging is stricter, more organized, scheduled function, it isn’t as prone to procrastinate as the do-it-the-last-minute, go-with-the-flow Perceiving function.
That’s why IPs and EJs, who start with J, can start things (J is first) but never follow through (P is second).
Anyways, that’s one reason why INFPs are prone to this procrastination and can start jobs really well, but never feel passionate about their jobs after a few weeks.
Sadly, many INFP profiles say that INFPs are among the most likely of the types to feel dissatisfied with their jobs. http://www.truity.com/personality-type/INFP
Cognitive functions typology explain in technical terms why INFPs have trouble sticking to jobs, but it they don’t explain the deep, psychological, emotional feelings INFPs have that cause them to feel angst when going to work every morning.
Having personally felt this angst, I understand many of reasons why me and so many other INFPs have trouble being passionate about their jobs.
As someone once noted about my personality, if I’m not passionate about something, then I will have a very hard time sticking to whatever that thing is.
The main cognitive function of the INFP is Introverted Feeling, which judges and interprets external and internal events going on based on the INFP’s personal feelings, morals, and values. If the current situation doesn’t strike a cord with the INFP’s heart strings, or if there doesn’t seem to be any meaningful aspect to the INFP’s current job or project, the INFP will quickly lose interest.
Not only do INFPs want to be true to themselves, to be unique individuals, it’s almost impossible for INFPs to be anything else but themselves.
If the INFP is stuck flipping burgers, typing in numbers, and other “dull” tasks, the INFP will have trouble seeing the meaning behind their career. The INFP needs an outlet for their creativity and individualism, a way to produce results based on their ideas.
As one INFP unfortunately realized, most employers aren’t looking for people with personalities like the INFP, in fact, they’re looking for the opposite kinds of people. “One INFP’s Career Journey”
As this fellow INFP was told, in order to work in his specific company he needed to stop acting and thinking like INFPs, people who are”Idealistic, humane, creative, quirky, and individualistic…They may therefore seek out, even if unconsciously, experiences that arouse or intensify feelings of passion, inspiration, or meaning.”
Instead, they should act and think more like ESTJs, people are “firm, direct, and opinionated. Their verbiage tends to be succinct and to the point. At times, others may view them as harsh, blunt, or insensitive.”
Honestly, if I was in that situation I wouldn’t be able to see any way I could act or even think like an ESTJ. And though all personality types are special and needed, to an INFP, according to that profile everything an ESTJ is and believes in goes against everything an INFP believes in.
As Alex Nunes, author of “One INFP’s Career Journey”, says, the one thing that remained the same in all of the work environments he encountered was “a lack of autonomy”.
So, not only do INFPs have trouble completing “mundane” task required by society, but our personalities do not fit the basic, “conformist” employee jobs. To top it off, most employers dislike have employees with such personalities as INFP’s.
Though, this mindset of ours is not as bleak as I have made it seem, and that shall be covered in Part #2 along with a few misconceptions about INFPs and their careers.