ISFPs: Career Matches and Mismatches

Katie McBeth
ISFP Personality Traits

Famous ISFPs include Rihanna, Frank Ocean, Avril Lavigne, Steven Spielberg, Lana Del Rey, Prince, Britney Spears, Kevin Costner, Jessica Alba, Bob Ross, Lady Gaga, and Ryan Gosling.

ISFP stands for introversion (I), sensing (S), feeling (F), and perception (P).

Individuals with this personality type are well known for their artistic flair: whether it’s painting beautiful landscapes with happy little trees or an aesthetically bold and unconventional piece of art. 

ISFPs love to push social concepts and break traditional molds. Making up about 8% to 9% of the population, ISFPs seek to redefine conventional beauty and behavior. They refuse to be boxed in by limitations and love to experiment with who they are, what they can do, and what is expected of them.

As an ISFP, your tendencies are as follows:

  • Introversion: You tend to be quiet and reserved, preferring small groups of friends. In large social situations, you expend a lot of energy but can recharge when by yourself.
  • Sensing: You tend to be more concrete than abstract — you often focus your attention on the small details rather than the big picture, or on immediate needs rather than future possibilities.
  • Feeling: You often give more weight to social implications than logic, especially in cases where personal considerations or feelings are concerned.
  • Perception: You tend to withhold judgment or put off important decisions, preferring instead to keep your options open so that you don’t limit your possibilities should your circumstances change.

If you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment, then you may be wondering what this personality type says about your potential career paths. What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how can they be applied to your career? 

Table of Contents

ISFP Financial Habits

ISFPs are well known for being spontaneous. You’re eager to pursue whatever has caught your attention at the moment, but this may spell financial hardship. Whether it’s a new job that has captured your interest but pays less, or a new startup to invest in, your wallet can easily be damaged by unpredictable spending and income. 

Creating a personal budget is essential for any ISFP’s spontaneous nature. Investment and withdrawal limits are also smart ways to hold you accountable and keep your finances in check. 

Trouble with planning can also make it difficult for you to accrue wealth over your lifetime. You may put off saving for retirement until it’s too late, or you could be unable to make big purchases — such as a laptop or a car — when needed most. It’s important that you find a realistic way to start saving money, especially for your retirement

That being said, you are a very generous and kindhearted person, and you may spend a large amount of money helping organizations that you care about. If you do donate money regularly, be sure to keep your receipts. Many of those charitable donations can help you save money on taxes every year, and for you, every bit of savings can be helpful.

ISFP Career Matches

As an ISFP, you’re not willing to simply settle in your career. You need and want a job that is both empowering and can provide you with the creative freedom you thrive on. 

However, your poor planning skills and need for independence can make it hard for you to get started on your career path. School and higher education may seem tedious or limiting to you, but they are essential to opening up career opportunities later in life.

Once you can get through your educational requirements, you’ll then need to put in the work to find the right job. The key is to work in a field that aligns well with your beliefs and values. The MBTI Indicator Assessment is a good tool to use to find those beliefs and values. 

Just remember that, like any other individual, your career options are not limited to the results of a personality quiz. ISFPs can perform well in any industry as long as they’re passionate about it. 

Some of the best careers for ISFPs include:

Art, Crafting, and Design 

Art, crafting, and design work is a natural calling for ISFPs. Although it can be hard to get started in this industry, there are many useful platforms — such as Etsy — that can help you build a customer base. Plus, working as an artist or designer allows you all the creative freedom you want, as well as the ability to work on your own schedule.

ISFP Careers in Art and Crafting:

  • Artist;
  • Carpenter;
  • Chef;
  • Cosmetologist;
  • Florist;
  • Gardener;
  • Jeweler;
  • Tailor.

ISFP Careers in Design:

  • Fashion designer;
  • Graphic designer;
  • Interior designer;
  • Landscape architect.

Education and Social Work 

Education and social work are ideal career paths for ISFPs, but they often require intensive schooling before you can become eligible for a job in those industries. However, if you know you want a career in education or social work, then going to college may be worth it. 

Once you make your way through school, then you would certainly enjoy the ability to work one-on-one with others, understand their emotions, and inspire them to express themselves creatively.

ISFP Careers in Education and Social Work:

  • Art teacher;
  • Occupational therapist;
  • Preschool teacher;
  • Residential counselor;
  • Social worker;
  • Special education teacher;
  • Teacher’s aide;
  • Translator.

Healthcare and Athletics 

Careers in healthcare allow you to use your high quotient of emotional intelligence to provide excellent bedside care. Plus, the healthcare world is sporadic and spontaneous — just like you. 

Whether you’re a nurse or ER physician, you will always be on your toes ready for the next unexpected thing to happen. Although many nursing jobs don’t allow for flexible scheduling, you could always pursue more adventurous callings and become a travel nurse. 

Within athletics, you can utilize your physical energy and need for freedom by becoming a fitness trainer or even a professional athlete. You may even wish to combine an interest in healthcare and athletics to become a physical therapist. 

ISFP Careers in Healthcare:

  • Dental hygienist;
  • Dietitian;
  • ER physician;
  • Massage therapist;
  • Nurse;
  • Optician;
  • Pharmacist;
  • Physical therapist;
  • Physician assistant;
  • Veterinary assistant.

ISFP Careers in Athletics:

  • Animal trainer;
  • Fitness trainer;
  • Professional athlete.

Legal and Protective Services 

Some careers in legal and protective services may also be suitable. Although structure is not something you enjoy, you may find pleasure in being a firefighter or police officer. With careers like these, you’ll always have interesting experiences and stories to tell.

ISFP Careers in Legal and Protective Services:

  • Air traffic controller;
  • Firefighter;
  • Paralegal;
  • Police officer.

Sciences and Trades

Finally, if none of the above callings are inspiring you, you can always pursue forestry, botany, or another science or trade. There are plenty of jobs out there that will match your need for flexibility, freedom, and creativity. 

ISFP Careers in Sciences and Trades:

  • Botanist;
  • Forester;
  • Geologist;
  • Bookkeeper;
  • Mechanic;
  • Surveyor;
  • Tour guide or recreation worker.

It’s important to keep in mind that these lists are not conclusive. As an ISFP, you will excel at any job you pour your heart into — as long as it allows you to break traditional molds and experiment with who you are as a person.

ISFP Careers to Avoid

It should be noted that ISFPs — or any other personality type for that matter — can succeed in any career. However, there are some careers that might better match your personal talents, mode of thinking, or natural behavior. 

If your career is not playing off your natural inclinations, then you could find your job draining and unappealing, and eventually want to quit your job or switch career paths. To prevent burnout, it’s important to know what careers to avoid as an ISFP. 

ISFPs don’t work well in highly structured environments, and certainly don’t enjoy being forced to work a typical schedule if it limits their freedom. You thrive outside of the traditional office, and you aren’t one to seek out the spotlight. 

A career as an auditor for a large company, or even as a manager or executive leader in a business setting wouldn’t be for you. 

You’re also much more interested in tangible products than you are in data and numbers, so marketing research or even engineering might be too uninspiring. Jobs that lack a creative touch may leave you feeling unfulfilled in life.

In general, ISFPs would not enjoy working within these positions:

  • Actor;
  • Aeronautical engineer;
  • Architect;
  • Attorney;
  • Auditor;
  • Biologist;
  • Biomedical engineer;
  • Chemical engineer;
  • Dentist;
  • Executive or C-Suite (CEO, COO);
  • Healthcare administrator;
  • Judge;
  • Marketing manager;
  • Psychiatrist;
  • Retail salesperson;
  • Sales manager;
  • School administrator;
  • Surgeon.

While these careers are generally not ideal for ISFPs, this may not always be the case. It’s important to keep in mind your own individual desires and goals when choosing a career.

Highest-Paying ISFP Careers

For many ISFPs, being rich and famous is not something you really care about or seek out. Instead, you’d much rather just exist as you are: creative, free, and inspired. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t high-paying careers out there for ISFPs, and it doesn’t hurt to try to seek them out.

Art and acting are both callings that can either result in fame and fortune, or personal struggle and hardship. However, if you are an active artist that is proud of your work, you may find an audience out there willing to pay top dollar for your pieces. 

It can be tough to get noticed in our overly saturated world, but there are plenty of online platforms that can help you get the exposure you need. An acting career works in much the same way: find the route you need to get exposure and go down that path.

Outside of art and design, you can also make a decent income within healthcare. Although neither art nor healthcare may get you a millionaire’s income, they can provide you with a comfortable living and a very supportive retirement. Hopefully, whatever calling you decide to pursue will have ample paid vacation time to allow you to live out your adventurous side.

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