INFPs are creative, imaginative, and have a lot to bring to their places of employment when in the right environment. In this post, I’m taking a deep dive into how INFPs show up at work.
Not all INFPs are the same. Some of the observations I make are generalizations based on the MBTI framework. I also share some personal thoughts on how my typical actions on the job align with my personality type.
If you’re an INFP, take a moment to think if any of these observations sound like you. If some of them don’t fit, what are you like instead?
If you’re not an INFP, I hope this post helps you understand where your INFP employees and co-workers are coming from.
So first off, here is a quick overview of how INFPs work in general:
I need quiet time and space to work alone. I don’t like management staring over my shoulder. Some introverts hate phones. I don’t hate phones, but I do find a day full of phone calls extremely draining.
I love doing creative work. Also, since my intuition involves noticing connections between ideas, patterns often come to my attention that others may miss.
I care about the emotional vibes of my workplace. This not only goes for how I feel while working there but also how I feel about how my employment relates to other people.
I’m flexible and open to alternative ways of doing things. When it comes to trying to reach a goal, I often have in mind multiple ways of how to accomplish it, making it easy for me to work around setbacks. I don’t feel like there’s a need to stick to one solution.
I’ve also found that this flexibility can make it hard for me to organize physical objects into categories because I can see how each thing fits into multiple categories.
So that’s the wide view of the INFP personality type at work. Now let’s get a closer look at things by focusing on the function stack.
The function stack for INFPs is FiNeSiTe. Here I’m giving a quick overview without going too deep. If you want to learn more about how the MBTI function stacks work, I recommend visiting this page on PersonalityJunkie for more details on each function. I also go into the INFP function stack more deeply in my book, Idealist Dreams: How I Learned to Plan as an INFP.
The primary function of INFPs is introverted feeling. It’s what I’m the best at. When I’m working, this shows up in how I enjoy observing people. I like musing about what they could be feeling or thinking. I also believe that a workplace needs to meet the standards and values I hold personally. I am sensitive to the emotional environment of where I work. I can quickly read the room.
Extraverted intuition (Ne) is the secondary function. At work, I need room to explore and create. I also enjoy having conversations where I can bounce ideas off of others. For me, extraverted intuition also shows itself as multipotential. I have a strong desire to learn and be proficient in multiple skills.
Introverted sensing (Si) is the tertiary function for INFPs. That means it’s not as strong as introverted feeling and extroverted thinking. However, when stressed out, as an INFP I find comfort in doing activities that are typically associated with introverted sensing.
Because introverted sensing is a weak function for me, I easily get bored of routine tasks. I enjoy soothing work environments. I also like places with natural elements or that have moments where I can get outside and enjoy nature. I care about the connection between my mind and body.
Extroverted thinking is my inferior function. That means at work I struggle with tasks that involve managing money, time, and other people. I also may seem disorganized. On the flip side, I prioritize my emotional health over earning more money or stepping into leadership roles. And I’m happier when I don’t have to follow a strict schedule.
These are the main ways that I show up at work as an INFP, but there are additional traits that INFPs have that can impact the way they work.
Not all INFPs have the trait of sensory perception sensitivity (SPS), but many do. Those with high sensitivity have a stronger reaction to whatever they hear, see, smell, taste, or feel in their environments.
If you are a highly sensitive INFP, it’s important to remember that you are neurodiverse. So on the job, it can mean that you will need to take steps to address the effects of your neurodiversity, just like someone with ADHD or autism.
As an HSP, what I bring to work is a greater awareness of trends, patterns, product quality, and the impact of what I create.
If you’re wondering if you may be a highly sensitive person, I highly recommend taking this self-test.
Just like with high sensitivity, this isn’t something that all INFPs will identify with, but many do.
If you have a Rain-forest Mind, you may find yourself constantly bored at work due to a lack of challenge. You may question the way “things are always done” and notice things that your co-workers don’t. You also tend to care about things that others don’t.
You think fast and have to slow down to explain things to others. Rain-forest minds tend to have a lot of mental and physical energy. Others may complain that you are too intense, emotionally, intellectually, or even in the way you express yourself physically.
Personally, my rain-forest mindedness shows up at work as questioning the way things are done and fast thinking. I also find that I sound like I’m from another planet when explaining my interests to others!
If you think you could be a Rain-forest Mind, I recommend taking this questionnaire at Your Rain-forest Mind.
So these are the eight-plus ways that INFPs show up at work, and how I’ve experienced these traits in my life.
Do you know someone who could be helped by knowing how INFPs show up at work? Share this article with them!
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