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INTJ Personality Type

Welcome fellow INTJ! The INTJ personality type is one of the rarest -- only about 3 percent of people are INTJs. Being an INTJ means that we are


Being an (I)ntrovert means that we focus our attention inward. Being alone is important for us; it energizes us. Being with lots of other people can be fun for a little while, but we can find it tiring and we wouldn’t want to do it every night of the week. Introverts are not necessarily shy, but we are just not as naturally at ease with people as (E)xtroverts.

Because we’re i(N)tuitive, we tend to look at the big picture instead of (S)ensing the details of a situation. Intuitives like to make plans, we like to think of the future, and we enjoy theories. Being intuitive does not mean that we’re pie-in-the-sky dreamers. But it does mean that we prefer thinking about the idea of something, rather than the details that make it up.

(T)hinking refers to how we make decisions. Do you make pro-con lists? Do you research thoroughly before a big purchase? Thinkers like to have the facts, whereas (F)eelers go with their gut. Thinkers are not heartless or without compassion, but they feel more comfortable making decisions from their head rather than their heart.

(J)udging does not mean that we are judgmental! It means that we value structure. We prefer routines, whereas (P)erceivers crave openness and spontaneity. We’re the perennial organizers. Of course, judgers can be flexible if we need to be, but we’d prefer it if things happened as planned.

Photo by JamSki on Flickr

Photo by JamSki on Flickr

INTJs are Knowledge Seekers

Sometimes referred to as “scientists” or “masterminds,” INTJs value intelligence and problem-solving. We tend to think in theories and systems, because we like to understand the world around us. Dealing with day-to-day details becomes boring quickly. 

INTJs are very independent. We like engaging in a good argument, especially when the other person can express their opinions intelligently. Other people are sometimes threatened by our opinions, and we can come off as critical or condescending. INTJs are frequently high achievers. We thrive in environments where we are intellectually challenged and our work is fairly evaluated. The flip side is that we often stress ourselves out over meeting the impossibly high standards we’ve set for ourselves. We’re often perfectionists, and this can create a lot of stress and feelings of self-doubt. 

Breaking through an INTJ’s shell can often seem difficult for other people, so close friendships and relationships can be a challenge. INTJ females, in particular, can be very intimidating to the opposite sex because we place such a high value on intelligence and independence. 

INTJ Careers

INTJs can be incredibly valuable workers, in the right environment. We prefer to work independently on projects that we can choose or help design. Working with intelligent and competent people is an absolute must. INTJs like to work on things like strategic planning because it allows us to think broadly about a problem or a goal. INTJs really don’t like to get bogged down with details and we don’t like jobs that involve lots of daily repetitive tasks. We crave new ways to keep growing and learning. 

In the wrong environment, INTJs can become quickly disgruntled. Working without clear goals or targets, for example, can be tough for an INTJ. Remember, we like structure. Also, few INTJs can tolerate working for someone who they don’t respect or who is less intelligent than them. Most of the time, a less intelligent boss will feel threatened by an INTJ anyway, so that relationship probably won’t last. Fairness is another biggie. If a boss plays favorites or doesn’t acknowledge our achievements, INTJs can quickly lose all drive to work hard. 

There are a few jobs and industries that are clear fits for INTJs: anything with “planner” or “analyst” in the title (e.g. financial planner, event planner, systems analyst) and a lot of jobs in higher education (e.g. university teacher, curriculum designer). Mostly though, it’s about working in the right environment with the right people. 

One job that doesn’t show up very often among recommendations for INTJs is entrepreneur. INTJs have a lot of the right traits for entrepreneurship: independence, organization, structure. Plus, we like to do our own thing and we tend to think that we can do many things better than others anyway. However, being self-employed can be difficult for INTJs. We’re not naturally outgoing, so self-promotion and marketing don’t come easily. We’re great at making plans, but not so great at executing those plans. (Those are details and details are boring!) We’re perfectionists, and perfectionists tend to be procrastinators. Plus, self-employment is risky and we’re not usually in the habit of taking leaps of faith. 

If you desperately want to be an INTJ entrepreneur, you’ll probably have to take a slightly different approach. One way is to take a partner, preferably someone who’s (E)xtroverted and (P)erceiving. That way, you’ll be happy thinking and making all the plans, while your partner will be happy doing and talking up your new venture. Another option is to ease into self-employment slowly, utilizing the contacts and skills you already have. This could be a gradual transition from full-time employment toward self-employed freelancing or consulting. Or it could be growing a hobby into a business in your spare time. 

If you’re interested in learning more about careers for INTJ’s, check out the book Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type. It’s the first personality typing book I ever picked up, and it still rings really true for me. Another good book is What Type Am I? The Myers-Brigg Type Indication Made Easy. It doesn’t go into a lot of depth on each type, but it’s a good overview of all the types so you can start typing your family, friends, and co-workers and figure out how to work better together. For a truly thorough look at personality types, check out the recommendations below.


Anonymous on September 18, 2017:

Please post an article about how to tell if an INTJ is romantically interested in you.

Alex Hanna from Wilmington on June 01, 2016:

Definitely an INTJ but like @phyichem07, my INFJ wins out more often than not. All depends on my mood at the time. I actually wrote a very similar article on my own site. Given all the fellow-INTJ's commenting on this Hub, I'd be very interested to see what you all think about it!

Johnc579 on May 21, 2014:

Spot on with this writeup, I actually believe this website needs a great deal more attention. Ill probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the info! afdkdcekcfge

physichem07 from Davao, Philippines on January 07, 2012:

True but in some aspects my INFJ side wins. I like the part wherein it is described that INTJ seeks knowledge and aims to be as competent. I'm actually torn between the feeling and thinking function, one function overpowers the other depending on the situation. Can definitely see myself in this Hub. Great Hub! :)

Mazlan A from Malaysia on October 28, 2011:

Woow. i wonder if Mark Zuckerberg is an INTJ.

I recently posted a hub on Personality test taken from Jerry M. Burger's book "Personality". The three test that I posted was on, sense of identity,social anxiety, and self actualization. from upstate, NY on February 04, 2011:

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I tested as an INFP and I heard Isabel Myers Briggs also was an INFP. From what I've seen of INTJ'S, they are great organizers and relentless in getting the job done! They also are deadly in debate and chess because of their intense focus, emotional control and ability to use logic. No offense but some say Hitler had this personality, so it can also be used for great evil! Although some speculate that Bin Laden is a twisted INFP!

This is me on December 15, 2010:

And i soo thought I was the odd one out. Good to know i fit in somewhere.

INTJ Personality on November 10, 2010:

Cool hub. I'm also an INTJ. I've also written a lot about INTJs, including some of the challenges INTJ females face, which you mention here. I love reading the comments from people just realizing the description fits them. That's just how I felt when I first realized it years ago.

burning bush on October 29, 2010:

Great hub. I wasn't even aware there was a "type" for me. Thank you for letting me know.

Kans on August 09, 2010:

Wow this describes me to a T! I'm currently in sales and was wondering why i hate it so much. I'm good at it, but the management was scarcely available and after the 2nd day I deemed them incompetent for not properly orginizing the slew of new employees that came in. Now that I understand myself a little better, I can look for things in my current job that will utilize my natural abilities so that the work is more enjoyable. I may have to get creative though. Thank you for posting this.

Deidre Shelden from Texas, USA on July 25, 2010:

I like your clear and basic INTJ description! You inspired me :-). Neat to see that some others can related to what you explain. Great!

mbtitypes on May 22, 2010:

Good description.

For those interested in MBTI, check out my blog:

KC on May 19, 2010:

OMG!!! This describes me perfectly. I'm currently doing a job that is repetitive and has no clearly defined description and I HATE IT.

Aly on April 09, 2010:

Great article. I just found out why I have a perfect business partnership and I now have better understanding of my behaviour and why I rarely kiss ass!

Sandria Green-Stewart from Toronto, Canada on January 21, 2010:

I can totally relate to INTJ. I hated being a manager and now I'm hoping to be a writer so that I can express some creativity and freedom.

Thanks for a well researched and thoughout post.

dscharge on January 07, 2010:

I work as an engineer and I always had reports and processes to do daily/weekly/monthly. Again and again. I only learned programming just to automatize and get rid of these processes. I'm at the point now if I have to do something more than once I write a program to do it for me automatically.

Also my job originally contained 80% of this kind of repetative work I already got rid of. In the freed up time as a hobby project at work I started to rewrite/rebuild the company's whole process management system from zero because I thought the original was not efficient and usable enough.

I believe we INTJs will always find workarounds to be able to do what we want :)

home based bookkeeping jobs on December 27, 2009:

Good thorough information, always a pleasure to find info that is useful, will be very happy to see more from you in the future

dan on November 26, 2009:

I am an INTJ entrepreneur. I took a partner that had a large network of current and potential clients and wealthy individuals. He raised a bunch of money with a PowerPoint I wrote. I designed the equipment and my partner helped me put it all together under my direction. When the equipment was done, we fired up the business. Fixed costs were very high, but we had raised enough money to see us through. The business grew slowly and consistently, but after 3 years we began to make money and moved into a larger plant and hired production leads, a production manager, and a bookkeeper. We immediately increased our volume and went to a second shift. Now the business is producing a lot of cash and we have driven some competitors into insolvency. Success would have been impossible without shoring up my weaknesses with my outgoing partner and the two managers that consistently nail down the day to day tasks based upon my ideas and instructions. I also had to go totally against my nature for 3 long years and suffer through doing the day-to-day bookkeeping and management tasks until I could hire someone to do it for me. I virtually had to hypnotize myself every day from the time I woke up to the end of the day to force myself to do that repetitious work correctly and on time. When I finally did get those two managers in place, it was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and then I shifted more energy to designing machines and strategic planning. The author is dead-on with his INTJ-entrepreneur problem statement and his solution worked perfectly for me. If you are an INTJ you should consider identifying your weaknesses and taking on a partner or contractors to keep the whole thing moving forward.

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on November 02, 2009:

Have you checked out Carl Jung's 'diary' only now being published? I've seen some of the images, wow. It's called "The Red Book."

kartika damon from Fairfield, Iowa on October 16, 2009:

Hi! I think I'm INTP - I love Myers Briggs! Kartika

Desiree on October 15, 2009:

I was required to take a long 2 hour test on what my personality test was and it concluded that I was an INTJ personality type. Reading through this article of the INTJ personality type, I have found that the test proved to be correct in its answer.

I liked this article =]

Definite INTJ on August 19, 2009:

I wish I'd come across your post about why INTJs struggle as entrepreneurs eight years ago. I was self-employed for six years and, because I had a few reliable contacts, enjoyed some success. However, my aversion to sales and "schmoozing" eventually got the best of me. As a Marketing Director, my current position offers a high level of autonomy (important to INTJs), strategic thinking and creativity. True to form, though, I'm having a hard time dealing with the lack of organizational structure and tactical aspects of campaign management.

DOM on June 12, 2009:

INTJ's Rule!

frogyfish from Central United States of America on May 01, 2009:

uhhh, I think a good half of me is your INTJ, don't know for sure that I want to fall the rest of the way in. Great thought and good explanation of your ideas. Just joined your fan club for more!

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