The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is an oft-used tool for those hoping to understand themselves or their potential career path better.
If you’ve spent much time looking into Myers Briggs, you could likely name a specific job or two that is fitting for your type. But what about the jobs that are definitely not the right fit and should likely be avoided? These specific “no-no” jobs are important aspects of fully understanding where you should — and shouldn’t — end up in your career.
Here are examples of the worst jobs for each MBTI type.
ISTJ (the “logistician”)
Worst jobs: actor or bartender.
Because of their meticulousness, logical nature, and desire for a hierarchical, structured work environment, artistic jobs like being an actor or food service jobs like bartending are typically not good fits for this type.
ISFJ (the “defender”)
Worst jobs: chemist or a marketing manager.
ISFJs prefer organized, orderly, low-profile jobs in which they can feel that they are being helpful to others. This makes areas like chemistry or marketing unlikely fits.
ESTJ (the “executive”)
Worst jobs: social worker or writer.
ESTJs like taking on responsibility and management positions. Being a social worker might just not satisfy these organizational and leadership inclinations as much as some ESTJs have, and their extraverted nature makes writing unsatisfying.
ESFJ (the “consul”)
Worst jobs: electrician or computer programmer.
ESFJs love organizing people and being part of a team. They also prefer work that helps people in tangible ways. For these reasons, working as an electrician or computer programmer will likely not lead to long-term satisfaction.
ISTP (the “virtuoso”)
Worst jobs: special education teacher or dentist.
ISTPs enjoy risk, action, physical activity, and flexibility. They are often inclined toward professions that involve practicality, efficiency, and troubleshooting. These desires probably won’t be satisfied through careers in special ed teaching or dentistry.
ISFP (the “adventurer”)
Worst jobs: auditor or architect.
ISFPs love being helpful and cooperative, and they also enjoy working in fields that they feel are of value to the world. Tangible results and hands-on work are other big draws for ISFPs, and a career as an auditor or architect would likely not be stimulating for this type.
ESFP (the “entertainer”)
Worst jobs: psychiatrist or economist.
ESFPs enjoy tangible, rapid results; working with people, and having the freedom and a certain degree of spontaneity. This laid-back and often artistic nature can make psychiatry and economics stifling professions for this type.
ESTP (the “entrepreneur”)
Worst jobs: curator or veterinary technician.
ESTPs are often mechanically, logically, or athletically oriented. They also enjoy the unpredictability and kinetically stimulating work. These traits are typically unsuited for careers like curating or being a vet tech.
INTJ (the “architect”)
Worst jobs: receptionist or nurse.
INTJs are analytical problem-solvers who enjoy efficient and structured work environments. Their grasp on complex issues usually means they need challenging environments for their minds — making work as a receptionist or nurse less likely to be stimulating enough.
INTP (the “logician”)
Worst jobs: corrections officer or elementary teacher.
INTPs enjoy flexible, non-traditional environments, which would make work as a corrections officer almost certainly too restrictive. Their desire to work independently and create their own path can make work as a teacher of young minds the wrong fit.
ENTP (the “debater”)
Worst jobs: optometrist or airline pilot.
ENTPs crave work that is innovative and conceptual. If they have to repeat tasks or duties over and over, they are likely to get bored — not a fitting trait for an optometrist or an airline pilot.
ENTJ (the “commander”)
Worst jobs: teacher’s aide or cosmetologist.
ENTJs love being in charge. They are highly motivated and enjoy strategies and goals. These traits make working as a teacher’s aide or cosmetologist an obvious unfulfilling fit for this type.
INFJ (the “advocate”)
Worst jobs: paramedic or real estate broker.
INFJs need work that feels purposeful, engaging, and beneficial to humankind. While being a paramedic may seem to fit those qualities, the INFJ’s desire for a quiet, organized environment makes this profession not as fitting. And the lack of greater “meaning” behind being a real estate broker would also make this career the wrong match.
INFP (the “mediator”)
Worst jobs: police officer or judge.
INFPs enjoy cooperative and flexible workplaces. They also love expressing their individuality in their career and exercising creativity or their personal strengths. These qualities make them unlikely to feel long-term happiness from a career as a judge or police officer.
ENFP (the “campaigner”)
Worst jobs: bank teller or civil engineer.
ENFPs are creative, imaginative, and love working with people. They often enjoy flexibility and variety in their day-to-day work. Working as a bank teller or civil engineer would probably feel too dull and restrictive for these types.
ENFJ (the “protagonist”)
Worst jobs: pathologist or mechanic.
ENFJs are often drawn to interpersonal or leadership roles. They sometimes gravitate toward jobs with a humanitarian focus, or to jobs that generally have a positive impact on the world. For these reasons, work as a pathologist or mechanic would likely be unfulfilling.
Though these aren’t one-size-fits-all rules, these guidelines of which jobs to avoid are quite likely to be accurate for each type. It can be easy to accidentally choose a profession that doesn’t match our MBTI type, but it’s important to pay attention to these inclinations when selecting a career.
Figuring out a path in life is as much about figuring out what not to do as it is about figuring out what to do. These “worst jobs” can get us one step closer to finding our answer.