ISTJs enjoy being useful and helpful and being an accepted part of society. They often seek this kind of acceptance and stability in their career, choosing jobs that allow them to build long-term careers without having to move from one company to another. ISTJs usually move naturally up the career ladder with these types of careers, and prefer this kind of traditional and systematic acknowledgement of their skills and efforts.
An ISTJs work choices are usually driven by their need for stability and their reliance on tradition. This type aren’t risk takers when it comes to their jobs, they want work that offers them a reliable income, steady work that suits their practical minds, and allows them to solve problems in a practical and concrete way. And they’re not adverse to routine-heavy work either. Instead, this steady type will see it as a sign that everything is running as it should, and take pleasure in their ability to understand and meet the well-defined expectations that their workplace offers them.
Tips for Job Interviews
ISTJs have a natural respect for authority and authority figures that can make them a little subdued in interviews. This is usually based on their adherence to traditional values, which demands certain behaviors and deference when talking to people in positions of authority. In some workplaces, this kind of response to authority can be a sign that the ISTP will fit well into the company and ISTPs need to choose their potential workplace with this in mind. When they do this, they’ll usually find that their job interviews run smoothly and that they enter a workplace that suits their needs. But if their natural deference to authority isn’t appreciated in a job interview, it’s usually a sign that the ISTJ should look elsewhere for a suitable career path.
Best Careers for the ISTJ
ISTJs are very tied to values from the past because of their introverted feeling dominant function. This function gives them a need for stability and reliability, authority and security, and often drives their career choices. Many ISTJs find themselves in law enforcement or in the military, attracted by the traditions, the clear hierarchy and the established structures of these workplaces, and they’re usually the backbone of these workforces. In these career paths, ISTJs can use their natural practicality and reliability to enjoy the kind of success and stability they crave, and are usually highly valued for their loyalty as well.
ISTPs usually like to choose careers where they get to spend a lot of time working alone. This type uses extraverted thinking as their auxiliary function, which is an extraverted function that isn’t focused on other people. Instead, this function gives ISTPs the ability to analyze systems and make them more efficient, and people who use this function prefer to do this in isolation. People, with their myriad demands and distractions, just tend to impede this process. Because of this function, ISTJs enjoy being in positions where they can organize things. They like to take chaotic systems and make them right, and are actually surprisingly sensitive when others come in and try to mess up systems they’ve organized. This makes them very good at solitary analytical work such as accounting, finance, and business management.
Unsuitable Careers for the ISTJ
ISTJs aren’t suited to freelance work. This type needs stability and support and they enjoy having the comfort of a big company behind them, with all of its history and the continuity it represents. This is due to their introverted sensing dominant function, which uses the past to determine the value of the present, and gives greater weight to values and institutions that have some history behind them. To an ISTJ, learning the history of something is the best way to evaluate it and the best way to predict its future, so they often choose these types of companies when they go into the workplace. And the idea of starting their own company, with its lack of history and risky nature, can seem like the height of foolishness to this type.
ISTJs should avoid careers that involve a lot of emotional demands or the need to create strong emotional connections. They’re thinking types, which means they prefer to use rational thinking to solve problems and often causes them to dismiss the importance or the influence of emotions. This is not callousness, but a genuine lack of skill in this aspect of life, and if they’re forced into a role with highly emotional demands they’ll burn themselves out trying to keep up with their responsibilities. ISTJs do much better when they’re in a role where they can use their rational brains and leave the tasks that are based on emotions to personality types who have more skills in this area.
ISTJs don’t like it when things change because they rely heavily on the past and on past ways of behaving and doing things to determine their present behavior. Because of this preference, they often struggle in leadership positions. When they make a decision, ISTJs are more likely to look to what was done in the past than to find a new solution for a problem. And this type of blindness can cause a lot of problems in today’s workplace, which almost demands innovative solutions and out of the box thinking. But an ISTJ is unlikely to abandon old ways and choices, and this can make them ill-suited to be in a leadership position in many modern companies.
As employees, ISTJs are reliable and dedicated to their work. They respond well to authority and rules and are actually happiest when they have clear guidelines for how they have to work and behave. One problem they can have in the workplace is with their relationships to their workmates. ISTJs are thinking types, and have little understanding of others emotions or emotional conventions. They’re blunt in the way they talk and treat other people, which can cause problems in their relationships to other workers as well as with clients. In fact, the ISTJ is likely to cause offence to the people around them without even realizing it and then be baffled when called on their behavior. This is a problem the ISTJ needs to work on if they want to be part of a happy and productive workplace.
ISTJs are practical and reliable people who can always be relied upon to do what they think is right in their career. This usually means upholding traditional values and norms, which other types often don’t respect in the same way. But these values drive everything the ISTJ does and will be the most important way ISTJs choose and evaluate their careers and their success in those careers.