Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging
Profile by Sandra Krebs Hirsch and Jean Kummerow
INTJs are strong individualists who seek new angles or novel ways of looking at things. They enjoy coming to new understandings. They are insightful and mentally quick; however, this mental quickness may not always be outwardly apparent to others since they keep a great deal to themselves. They are very determined people who trust their vision of the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their ideas, theories, and principles.
The independent and individualistic INTJ manner appears early in life. As children, INTJs are often inwardly focused on their thoughts of the way the world is or ought to be; they enjoy day dreaming. They can be quite stubborn when information relayed to them by authorities, such as parents and teachers, contradicts what they believe. They are sure of their own belief system. INTJs are compelled to establish their own rules, boundaries, standards, and style.
Often at an early age, INTJs make a commitment to furthering their education. The life of the mind is very important to them. Examples abound of INTJs from economically or intellectually impoverished circumstances setting goals for themselves to continue in education, often earning the highest degree possible. INTJ teenagers may be seen as serious and reserved young people who are labeled as bookworms by others. They set internal standards of achievement for themselves and often do well academically. Being sociable is a standard that they rarely think is worth their time and energy.
As adults, INTJs are focused on attaining their inner goals and standards. They set a particular course based on their theory of what ought to be. They work extremely diligently to accomplish what they feel is important. They enjoy what they do and see it as a challenge. They are not easily dissuaded and may regard others’ needs and wants as an impediment to attaining their objectives.
Learning and Working
INTJs learn best when they can design their won approach and when they are able to absorb themselves in an area that interests them. They tend to focus on systems, theories, and constructs relating to universal truths and principles. They prefer challenging teachers, ones who meet their standards. High grade-point averages and test scores tend to characterize INTJs, who like rigorous academic work. Learning needs to be a creative process. Rote memory can be dull and boring for the INTJ. INTJs are diligent in pursuing new ideas and thoughts, and they exert effort to master a given subject. This makes INTJs particularly adept in most school situations. Because of their resourcefulness, thirst for knowledge, and inner needs, INTJs tend to find ways of acquiring knowledge. They gravitate toward libraries, public lectures, courses, and other learners and teachers – sources that offer them information and direction.
At work, INTJs use their conceptual strengths to analyze situations and then develop models to understand and anticipate through relentlessly to reach their goals. They will continue on with their plans, even in the face of adversity and data that might suggest to other more practical types that their goals are no longer feasible. By nature, INTJs are independent individualists. They see their visions so clearly that they are often surprised when others do not see things the same way. INTJs are strong at critiquing and as a result tend to notice the negatives. To them, a job well done should be reward enough in itself. They may neglect to comment favorably on others’ contributions.
INTJs tend to seek occupations that allow them to change the status quo and to design models to express their vision creatively. They desire autonomy and room for growth. They prefer to work in a place in which the future can be planned and where they can work for change in an organized manner. Some occupations seem to be especially attractive to INTJs: computer systems analyst, electrical engineer, judge, lawyer, photographer, psychologist, research department manager, researcher, scientist, university instructor, and other occupations in which long-range vision is essential.
For INTJs, love means including someone in their vision of the world. INTJ men tend to be attracted to partners who enjoy living their lives with and outward vitality and zest. Perhaps it is to compensate for their internal, visionary focus that they often find partners who are more outgoing and may even run interference to help the INTJ deal with the day-to-day world. INTJ women, however, may seek someone more like themselves.
INTJs tend to have a model in mind of how their relationship ought to be. This is less a romantic vision than it is and idea that relates to how the relationship functions in a unique or special way. They tend to withhold their deep feelings and affections from the public and sometimes even from the object of their affections. They can be intensely loyal and caring, even though this is not always expressed in words. INTJs can be generous with their gifts if the gift fits their vision of what ought to be appreciated by their partner. When scorned, INTJs retreat to their own world and may share none of their feelings with others. They may assume that there is a right way for a relationship to end and look for that. They act on the outside as if nothing has happened to them when indeed much has. They may lash out with criticisms of their former loved ones. It may take them a while to recover.
INTJ Profile by David Keirsey
INTJs are the most self-confident of all types, having “self-power” awareness. Found in about 1 percent of the general population, the INTJs live in an introspective reality, focusing on possibilities, using thinking in the form of empirical logic, and preferring that events and people serve some positive use. Decisions come naturally to INTJs’ once a decision is made, INTJs are at rest. INTJs look to the future rather than the past, and a word which captures the essence of INTJs is builder-a builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models.
To INTJs authority based on position, rank, title, or publication has absolutely no force. This type is not likely to succumb to the magic of slogans, watchwords, or shibboleths. If an idea or position makes sense to an INTJ, it will be adopted, if it doesn’t, it won’t, regardless of who took the position or generated the idea. As with the INTP, authority per se does not impress the INTJ.
INTJs do, however, tend to conform to rules if they are useful, not because they believe in them, or because they make sense, but because of their unique view of reality. They are the supreme pragmatists, who see reality as something which is quite arbitrary and made up. Thus it can be used as a tool-or ignored. Reality is quite malleable and can be changed, conquered, or brought to heel. Reality is a crucible for the refining of ideas, and in this sense, INTJs are the most theoretical of all the types. Where an ESTP sees ideas as the pawn of reality, an INTJ sees reality as the pawn of ideas: No idea is too far-fetched to be entertained. INTJs are natural brainstormers, always open to new concepts and, in fact, aggressively seeking them.
INTJs manipulate the world of theory as if on a gigantic chess board, always seeking strategies and tactics that have high payoff. In their penchant for logic, the INTJs resemble the INTPs. The logic of an INTJ, however, is not confined to the expressible logical. Unlike INTPs, INTJs need only to have a vague, intuitive impression of the unexpressed logic of a system to continue surely on their way. Things need only seem logical; this is entirely sufficient. Moreover, they always have a keen eye for the consequence of the application of new ideas or positions. They can be quite ruthless in the implementation of systems, seldom counting personal cost in terms of time and energy. Theories which cannot be made to work are quickly discarded by the INTJs.
To understand INTJs, their way of dealing with ideas should be observed closely. Their conscious thought is extraverted and empirical. Hence, they are better at generalizing, classifying, summarizing, adducing evidence, proving, and demonstrating than are the INTPs. The INTJs are somewhat less at home with pure reason, that is, systemic logic, where principles are explicit. In this respect they resemble the ENTJs. The INTJs, rather than using deductive logic, use their intuition to grasp coherence.
INTJs can be very single-minded at times; this can be either a weakness or a strength in their careers, for they can ignore the points of view and wishes of others. INTJs usually rise to positions of responsibility, for they work long and hard and are steady in their pursuit of goals, sparing neither time nor effort on their part or that of their colleagues and employees. INTJs live to see systems translated into substance; an INTP, by way of contrast, is content to design the system. In both these types, however, coherence is the master. Both internal and external consistency are important, and if an INTJ finds that he or she is in a working situation where overlapping functions, duplication of effort, inefficient paper flow, and waste of human and material resources abound, the INTJ cannot rest until an effort is made to correct the situation.
Cost-effectiveness is a concept which has a strong imperative for INTJs, who frequently select occupations in engineering, particularly human engineering. They also can be found in the physical sciences, in roles which require development, such as curriculum building, and, in general, any job which requires the creation and application of technology to complex areas.
Fellow workers of INTJs often feel as if the INTJ can see right through them, and often believe that the INTJ finds them wanting. This tendency of people to feel transparent in the presence of the INTJ often result in relationships which have psychological distance. Thus colleagues find the INTJ apparently unemotional and, at times, cold and dispassionate. Because of their tendency to drive others as hard as they do themselves, INTJs often seem demanding and difficult to satisfy. INTJs are high achievers in school and on the job. On the job, they take the goals of an institution seriously and continually strive to respond to these goals. They make dedicated, loyal employees whose loyalties are directed toward the system, rather than toward individuals within the system. So as the people of an institution come and go, the INTJs have little difficulty-unlike the NFs, who have their loyalties involved more with persons than offices. INTJs tend, ordinarily, to verbalize the positive and eschew comments of a negative nature; they are more interested in moving an institution forward than commiserating about mistakes of the past.
As mates, INTJs want harmony and order in the home and in relationships. They are the most independent of all types. They will trust their intuitions about others when making choices of friends and mates, even in the face of contradictory evidence and pressures applied by others. The emotions of an INTJ are hard to read, and neither male nor female INTJ is apt to express emotional reactions. At times, both will seem cold, reserved, and unresponsive, while in fact INTJs are almost hypersensitive to signals of rejection from those for whom they care. In social situations, INTJs may also be unresponsive and may neglect to observe small rituals designed to put others at their ease. For example, INTJs may communicate that time is wasted if used for idle dialogue, and thus people receive a sense of hurry from an INTJ which is not always intended. In their interpersonal relationships, INTJs are usually better in a working situation than in recreational situations. They do not enjoy physical contact except with a chosen few.
As parents, INTJs are dedicated and single minded in their devotion: Their children are a major focus in life. They are supportive of their children and tend to allow them to develop in directions of their own choosing. INTJs usually are firm and consistent in their discipline and rarely care to repeat directions given to children…or others. Being the most independent of all the types, they have a strong need for autonomy; indifference or criticism from people in general does not particularly bother INTJs, if they believe that they are right. They also have a strong need for privacy.
The most important preference of an INTJ is intuition, but this is seldom seen. Rather, the function of thinking is used to deal with the world and with people. INTJs are vulnerable in the emotional area and may make serious mistakes here.
At midlife the feeling side of personality should be given much attention by the INTJ, who can work at expanding his or her abilities to respond to wishes and feelings of others. They may also do well to turn more attention to the sensory side of their natures, attempting to get in touch with the joys of good food, good beverages, social rituals, kinesthetic experiences…and play. The “wasting” of time in play is an appropriate target as a midlife task for INTJs who can take lessons from an SP, especially an ESP, in the art of enjoying the pleasures of life.
Wishing to control nature, the INTJ “scientist” probably has more difficulty than all other types in making up his or her mind in mate selection. Even mate selection must be done in a scientific way. It may well be that the narratives, plays, and films impugning the “rational and objective” approach to mating have as their target our thorough-going scientist INTJ. Nevertheless, when young, the INTJ is attracted to the free-wheeling, spontaneous, fun-loving “entertainer” ESFP.
But the INTJ requires that mating meet certain criteria, else it is not undertaken. So the INTJ doesn’t often go through with what is begun by natural attraction. Since he or she proceeds in a rational and methodical way, the selection of a similar temperament is more likely than selection of opposite, following the assumption that those who are similar ought to do well together. The INTJ “scientist” is also attracted to the ENFP “journalist,” probably because of the enthusiastic, effervescent, and apparently spontaneous enjoyment and wonderment this type exudes-the very antitheses of the careful, thoughtful exactitude of the INTJ.
INTJ Ability and Job Satisfaction Characteristics!
You are INTJ, Introverted with Intuition, Thinking and Judging, with INTJ ability, or you are interested in someone who is, and you are perhaps seeking information regarding how the INTJ personality type and associated INTJ ability gleaned from the Myers Briggs Test can perform optimally and at their very best in the workplace. You may also be seeking information as to how INTJ ability can be maximally used in the workplace and how all this knowledge of INTJ ability can increase workplace motivation and job satisfaction for you, and your organization.
You can also learn how knowledge of INTJ strengths and weaknesses in the workplace, that is INTJ ability, can insure that the INTJ will not fall victim to job dissatisfaction which has been termed “Falsification of Type” and which is the core reason an estimated 70% of all the workers in the world dislike (or hate) their jobs!
INTJ Workplace Strengths
INTJ ability and strengths are many and would mean for you in the workplace that you:
- are someone who reaches understanding by contemplating and thinking, pondering things, someone who wants to really think about it
- are reflective, quiet, and prone to consider before acting
- prefer physical work space which allows for privacy and concentration
- participate and speak up after observing and formulating your own impressions and questions; may need to be asked what you think or feel
- regard meeting as taking time away from work and as places where more work gets generated or assigned
- are aware of internal guiding principles, philosophy, and commitments
- focus first on and are most interested in the big picture, global issues, future possibilities; you notice the “forest” before noticing the “trees”
- are speculative and work toward “what if”
- work in bursts, await inspiration, may skip around, pursuing what “strikes your fancy;” may work on several things at the same time
- want a team to have an engaging vision and mission; initiate and enjoy consideration of possibilities or theoretical matters
- arouse energy and zeal, especially for pursuing the mission and for innovations
- may seem distant and/or unapproachable; are direct, sometimes at the cost of being insensitive to others
- focus on the work at hand; don’t allocate much time to get to know others and build relationships
- are naturally critical of ideas and proposals; identify deficiencies in ideas and plans, and impediments to achieving goals
- believe that what is accomplished is more important than how a group works together; expect the best ideas and solutions to emerge from argument and debate; enjoy give and take
- analyze impersonally; are able to step back and be impartial
- champion sticking to the principles
- are dependable, deliberate, decisive, and focused; stick to commitments, plans, and schedules
- are methodical and systematic, and often develop routine approaches to work
Basically those jobs/careers that would allow the INTJ to use the strengths listed above, INTJ ability, as a natural part of doing the job would be the jobs/careers providing maximum workplace motivation for the INTJ. With increased workplace motivation normally follows increased job satisfaction. Likewise, jobs/careers not allowing the INTJ ability to be used will provide much less workplace motivation and consequently much less job satisfaction for the INTJ personality type.
INTJ Workplace Weaknesses
INTJ personality and INTJ ability would include a tendency toward the following workplace weaknesses:
- may need to be asked what you think or feel
- may view meetings as naturally negative events that cause more work than is accomplished by having them
- will have difficulty seeing the big picture
- may have difficulty focusing on one thing for great amounts of time
- want the work of a team to be engaging vision and the mission may have trouble being realistic, practical and in-the-moment for too long
- will be uncomfortable to troubled proceeding without plans
- may hurt others by their natural ability to criticize
- their natural impersonal approach to things may be seen as negative to workplace approachability/relationships
Now take a few moments and consider how INTJ’s behave and perform in the workplace from the following six aspects:
- What Others Might Observe First
- are serious and confident
- are independent, may seem cool and impersonal and distant, and don’t communicate much
- are inquisitive and skeptical, raise questions about everything, e.g., organizational mission, current goals, why we’ve been organized into teams
- have ideas in mind so they propose solutions and give advice (and may be blunt in doing so)
- are comfortable working alone and like to have their own work space
- do their best work when they have a grasp of the big picture and the underlying principles, want to understand something mentally before trying it, and once they understand it may not necessarily be interested in implementation
- function autonomously, often want and provide little feedback or supervision, and may take action without informing or consulting others
- highly value competence in self and others, and like to continue to learn new things and to expand their capabilities
- are not naturally drawn to teams and may appear uninvolved or uncommitted
- boil much of the group’s discussion and deliberation down to essential points or issues
- are intellectually playful, but otherwise earnest
- may not value or be comfortable with the relationship-building aspects of working together (e.g., “small talk,” creating a warm environment)
- project calm and often provide a stabilizing influence
- see change as a means to improve, to address weaknesses and problems in systems, or to achieve specific organizational outcomes; may be less enthusiastic about personal change
- are not particularly responsive to-and may deliberately resist-external pressures, e.g., “This is the latest approach” or “All the other departments are doing it”
- want to know “why,” and take a rational, systematic approach to change, even to the human factors involved
- want to analyze all components, including “irrational” aspects to look for patterns or cause and effect relationships
- may avoid or withdraw unless the conflict is an obstacle to accomplishing something important to them
- sometimes cause conflict without being aware that they are, e.g., may spark discussions and arguments that others experience as conflict, may offer suggestions for improvement that others take as personal criticisms
- under stress, may feel immobilized, have irrational/emotional reactions, or give sudden priority to seemingly insignificant activities or events
- generate and promote “vision,” and take a long-range view of the consequences of today’s deliberations
- able to see things from a new perspective, providing original ideas or insights and synthesizing complex information or diverse perspectives
- drive and readiness to create and improve systems
- advocate focusing energy and resources on activities central to accomplishing the mission
- preserving and determined and sometimes as so confident their position is right that they stubbornly hang on to ideas and visions too long
- competent and self-assured and sometimes as seeming to regard themselves as superior to others
- naturally providing relatively little information, presuming that what is perfectly clear to them is also clear to others
- having demanding standards, and sometimes as being critical of others (as well as themselves) when those standards aren’t met
The Myers Briggs Test can be looked upon sometimes as an ability and personality test. Once you have identified your personality type via the Myers Briggs Test and have some understanding of the associated strengths, weaknesses, abilities and behaviors of your type you can better determine the kind of work environment and associated factors that provide the maximum workplace motivation and job satisfaction for you. Again, view the results of the Myers Briggs Test concerning work as a kind of ability and personality test.
If you would like to study a different personality type link here and go back to the Personality and Work page to find links to the other 15 personality types, follow those links and enjoy!
If you have questions regarding your personality type in the workplace as it relates to using the Myers Briggs Test as an ability and personality test, please do not hesitate to use the Support/Contact Request form on the navigation bar to the left. We would enjoy hearing from you and will try to answer any questions you may have about the Myers Briggs Test and its uses and/or the Myers Briggs focused consultation services offered by Solid Rock Consulting Group, LLC.
INTJ personality is strategic in their thinking always working on system improvement, competent, insightful, living in the world of ideas, conceptualists just to name a few of the INTJ factors that comprise your list of personality traits you can use to find a career that is a natural fit.
Introverted with Intuition, Thinking and Judging your career personality profile would include the following natural tendencies:
- Grasp of possibilities
- Depth of concentration
- Use of logic and analysis
- Ability to organize
- Strong task orientation
- Powers of abstraction
- Willingness to view situations/systems in creative ways
There are more natural traits making up your self personality profile but those above indicate a natural ability for careers found in academic, scientific, theoretical, and technical positions that require prolonged periods of solitary concentration and tough-minded analysis.
Some Famous INTJs can be found here: http://www.celebritytypes.com/intj.php
The INTJ and work
The INTJ personality type will move naturally towards careers that allow you to create and develop original and innovative solutions to problems to improve existing systems; work that allows you to focus your energy on the implementation of your good ideas, working in a logical and orderly way, and in a setting that rewards your perseverance and does not require the repetitive execution of factual and detail-oriented tasks. Examples of careers often chosen by your type as a career personality profile fit include:
ArchitectAttorney: AdministrationComputer Professional*Lawyer: PracticingFederal ManagerManagement ConsultantHuman Resources ManagerChemistry ScientistResearch WorkerSocial Services WorkerElectrical EngineerPhysical Scientist*Computer Systems Analyst & Programming*JudgePhotographer*Chemical EngineerCorporate ManagerUniversity ProfessorPsychologistSocial ScientistElectrical TechnicianActor or Entertainer*Sales ManagerArtistAuditorMusician or ComposerBiology ScientistSchool PrincipalCollege Administration*Writer*Physician: PathologyCredit InvestigatorEditor*Student Personnel AdministrationEngineer: All CatagoriesHealth TeacherEmployment Development SpecialistPhysician: All SpecialtiesResearch AssistantAeronautical EngineerEducation ConsultantGovt. ManagerDesigner*Nursing EducatorDentistFine ArtistCommunity College TeacherRabbiGeneral AdministrationMilitary Officer or Enlistee*
*all of the bolded careers are ones I have done in the past, so I am very close to the INTJ work-style.
Your type is less often found in and attracted by work characterized by a great deal of nurturing work, relationship-oriented work, or work that requires practical, routinized production or delivery of services such as: