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Work Motivation - INTJ and INFJ Occupations and Careers Advice

Deidre has a Masters in applied linguistics and translation for her 20 years overseas, then she worked as a certified provider of the MBTI®.

We have the choice of situations that energize us and drain us. Certain things or occupations can build us up or tear us down. Such knowledge, often determined in career or personality tests, can help guide us in team building at work or in managing our own lives. Employee engagement and motivation can be better encouraged by considering individual personality types. Let's look at the INTJ and INFJ personalities.

Two similar personalities

by joshdeweese

by joshdeweese

Why Personality Type?

Personality type is a way to understand what keeps us going and what energizes us. We have a natural inborn preference that determines certain kinds of work situations as more comfortable and therefore more enjoyable. Careers and occupations with these work situations are more ideally suited for us and provides some of the how to motivate employees.

Each of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types® uses mental energy in a unique way. This is an important element behind employee productivity.

What personality type is

Our 4 Mental Functions

There are four mental functions, or processes, according to Jung's typology; two opposite ways of gathering information and two opposite ways of making conclusions. The two ways of gathering of information has to do with how we Perceive, and the two ways for making conclusions has to do with how we Judge.

 4 Mental Functions  



Through detailed facts from experiences  

ways we gather information


Through global wholes of possible interrelationships  






On objective logical analysis of the information

ways we make conclusions


On the value of the information


INTJ and INFJ Energizers

Let's look at what energizes the INTJ and INFJ Myers-Briggs personality types. You share the same favorite mental function, iNtuition, to gather information as patterns or global wholes. As introverts you use this in the inner world.

Here are the iNtuition activities, environments and resources you INTJs and INFJs most enjoy and derive benefit from, and therefore are what energize you at work.

We all use each of these four mental functions. A basic way we differ from each other, though, is how we use each of the four. Ever wonder why siblings brought up by the same parents in the same household in the same location can still be so different? You've got it! The way each uses the four mental functions can make huge differences!

The Favorite Mental Function

Each person uses one of the four mental functions as their favorite. This favorite (or dominant) mental function uses the lion's share of a person's psychological energy. This favorite mental function is therefore the most conscious of the four -- the one we are most aware of and can most readily control, or direct.

This is how we can know what energizes us mentally! We very much enjoy using our favorite mental function and tend to acquire a lot of experience and competence with it. We naturally tend to choose to take on tasks, relationships and even careers, that energize us in this way.

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Energizing environments and resources

Activities You Enjoy Environments You Enjoy Resources 

Maximum autonomy 

Organized, structured, predictable 

Unscheduled time to take off & quietly reenergize

Completion of tasks and projects! 

Role, responsibilities and expectations clearly defined 

Simple, non-pressured Sensing activities 

Direct, honest communication with coworkers 

Schedule with flex, margins 

Help with overwhelming details 



Non-intrusive, forthright concern from others

How the Likes of the INTJ and INFJ Differ

In addition to these common features, you INTJs like to work independently to gather, analyze and interpret information in new ways. You tend to experience only a few potential life stressors besides work, having Thinking as your second favorite mental function. This may be due, in part, to your typical single-minded focus on what is important to you.

By contrast, you INFJs seem to find many areas of life to be quite stressful. This tends to be associated with balancing your work and home lives. You INFJs value the kind of security at work that loyalty to coworkers brings, having Feeling as your second favorite mental function. You desire also, in addition to independent aesthetic self-expression, to work in an organized way on what requires attention to detail and accuracy.

Sensing vs Intuitive

Typical Resources and Remedies

You INTJs and INFJs will know you have become a veteran of life's struggles by having learned to

  • Adapt to outer details
  • Have pleasure in temperate passions
  • Have realistic goals

Realizing what energizes you, in particular, is a way to grasp what it is that you can do to counteract many of life's energy drainers. You managers may find, when you know an employee's personality type, you can better motivate your staff through engaging them in work activities and environments that energize, rather than drain.

Managing our own activities, environments and resources, or that of our staff, may help avoid low morale and even staff attrition more often than not. I encourage you to give this a think, and a try!

© 2010 Deidre Shelden


Deidre Shelden (author) from Texas, USA on June 01, 2012:

Family Black, yes, differences in the second favorite (or auxiliary) mental function. Must be interesting to have the same favorite function of iNtuition :).

Family Black from Dallas, Texas on June 01, 2012:

Interesting. I'm INTJ and my sister is INFJ, so the differences between thinking and feeling show up. Thanks! Karen

toknowinfo on February 20, 2011:

Excellent hub. Very clearly and intelligently written. Thanks for sharing. The INTJ and INFJ aspects of personality is very thought provoking. Very interesting topic you wrote about. Rated up and useful.

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