13 Success Tips For INTJs In The Workplace

Are you an INTJ?

If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s one of the sixteen personality types categorized by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test.

You should take the test because learning about your personality type is a useful way to learn about your strengths and weaknesses.

This free test at 16 Personalities is good, and you have the choice of buying a detailed report of your personality type afterward if you want to dive deeper into understanding what makes you tick.

When I first took the test years ago and read the results I felt like someone was inside my head, rummaging around through my memories and pointing out to me why I do things the way I do and feel the way I feel.

It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced.

It turns out I’m an INTJ and as such, there are certain things that I wish I’d known about my personality type years ago.

If you’re an INTJ you’ve probably noticed that your approach to things is different than most of your coworkers.

The following 13 tips offer you practical advice and suggestions to be the best you can be in the workplace (INTJs love to optimize).

There’s Nothing Wrong With You

INTJs make up only about two percent of the population.

Your feeling that you’re different from everyone else is actually true.

It’s likely that you’ve always been seen as intelligent and that you have a strong desire to constantly learn new things.

And you’ve probably dealt with resentment from others because of this.

Please know that there is nothing wrong with you, it’s just that you think, feel, and understand differently than most people.

Woman looking off into the distance

Socializing Can Be Hacked

You probably feel out of place and perhaps awkward at times.

While you excel at tasks and processes, social interactions can be challenging at times because you naturally form deep, strong relationships with a small number of people – rather than shallow relationships with many people.

It may seem to you like everyone else just “gets it” and is able to do small talk easily while you struggle or are bored out of your mind.

You can apply your problem-solving and love of learning to learning how to “hack” social interactions.

Learn about body language, the differences between how men and women communicate, how to guide a conversation toward a specific topic without coming across as controlling, and other topics related to communication.

In other words, treat social dynamics as a playground for you to dive deep into learning about the process and as a way to experiment with what you learn on a daily basis as you mingle with your coworkers.

As you do this more and more, you’ll develop skills and techniques that will allow you to perform well in group interactions.

You may even find yourself – gasp! – enjoying yourself sometimes.

People Aren’t Rational

Your high intelligence naturally leads you to understand things on a deep and fundamental level.

When it comes to making decisions you apply logic and sound reasoning most of the time.

It stands to reason that seeing other people make decisions that appear stupid to you drives you absolutely crazy.

This is never going to change because people are not rational, for the most part.

Most decisions are made for emotional reasons.

Understand and accept this.

Learn to let it go.

INTJ man in office

Play the Game

At some point you’re realize that the workplace doesn’t function the way it should.

You learned about business, marketing, communication, and all the other topics that school taught you about how a company should run.

By now you’ve seen that your company runs like this about sixty percent of the time, and the other forty percent it’s a mishmash of emotions, turf wars between department heads, knee-jerk business reactions, and people just doing the bare minimum amount of work to get by.

Tempting as it is, don’t waste your time trying to change people’s minds.

Learn to play the game while sticking to your standards of integrity, ethics, and fairness.

There Are Hidden Rules; Learn Them and Follow Them

There is a set of written and spoken rules, and then there is the set of unwritten rules.

Learn by observing what people do versus what they say.

The successful people at your company don’t always go by the book.

For example, gambling and selling merchandise is prohibited at my work.

However, we have weekly football pools, fantasy football for cash prizes, we chip in to buy lottery tickets as a group when the jackpot gets big, people are always selling stuff for their kids’ fundraisers, and we’ve had people sell everything from homemade facials scrubs to breakfast burritos.

Learn the secret rules and go with the flow.

Career Advancement is Determined By Whether Someone Likes You

Let’s say there are two candidates for a position.

Person A is extremely well-qualified but is a little bit of an asshole.

Person B is about 80% as proficient as Person A, but is generally agreeable and well-liked.

Guess who’s going to get the job?

Learn how to get along well with others while maintaining your integrity and high standards.

Combine this with your natural ability to learn quickly plus your high standards of excellence and you will do well.

Don’t Follow Others’ Expectations

Have you lived your life trying to meet goals and expectations that others set for you?

It’s in your nature as an INTJ to understand rules and order as part of understanding how everything works.

You may take others’ expectations of you to be part of the orderly system of doing things, especially people who you see as authority figures.

Interestingly enough, INTJs tend to disregard authority figures for whom they don’t have respect.

You should examine the expectations you have set for yourself to see whether they’re what you really want or whether you’re simply trying to please someone else.

man walking away

People Are Bored by Facts

Most people are not on a constant quest for learning like you are.

Facts are boring to most people, especially women.

Women want to be entertained, and they want their emotions to be thrilled.

Conversations in group settings are for people to bond, to share a laugh, or to gossip.

It’s OK Not to Know What Your Dream Career Is

Based on my experience of following a somewhat random pattern in my career, this is the one piece of advice I encourage you to ignore.

If you have your mind set on a career and you can execute on that goal straight out of high school, your life will be less turbulent and stressful in this regard.

However, if you don’t know what you’d like to do because there are many things that appeal to you, that’s ok.

Your attitude and skills will allow you to move up the ranks in pretty much any field you choose.

Generally, you’ll be most satisfied in a job where you have control to choose what you work on and where you’re constantly learning.

man waiting alone

Others Can’t See What’s Obvious to You

You’re able to see connections that others can’t.

This is a gift from the thinking intuition parts of your personality working together.

You’re continuously soaking in new information and underneath the surface your thinking intuition makes connections between seemingly unrelated topics and brings forth new ideas and new ways of doing things.

You’ve probably seen the look of surprise from others when you’ve come up with an ingenious solution, or had people ask you, “How did you come up with that?”

You’re also constantly identifying ways to do things more efficiently and more effectively.

This happens automatically, without a conscious effort on your part.  It just happens.

As a result, it’s very obvious to you what the best way of doing things is most of the time and can be frustrating when others don’t immediately see what you’re seeing.

Cut them some slack, and also give yourself some slack if you’re not able to convince people to try a new of doing things.

You’re Happier Working Alone

You prefer working alone and you do your best work this way.

This gives you space to focus deeply and saves you time from having to explain things to others who aren’t able to keep up with your pace.

Be on the lookout for positions at your work that give you this flexibility – you’ll be happier.

working alone

Find Something You’re Good At That You Enjoy and RUN With It

Do you enjoy doing it?

Are you naturally good at it?

Can you make enough money with it to meet your goals?

Then do it, and don’t look back, even if it doesn’t fit into the category of a “traditional” job or career.

You’re used to doing things differently anyway, you may as well apply that same comfort with non-conformity to your career.

Sales In Person Suck, but You Can Thrive With Online Sales

The introverted part of your personality makes it challenging for you to be in a sales position that requires face to face contact.

You can do it, it just takes more effort for you than it does for natural extroverts.

But selling online is where you can make a killing.

You’re not interacting with people directly, you can learn how to build a website and optimize it over time, and your love of reading has given you a solid foundation for effectively communicating through the written word.

This article will point you in the right direction to help you get started.


If you’re an INTJ, you’re among the rarest of the sixteen Myers-Briggs personality types.

Maximize your natural strengths to make the most out of the gifts you’ve been given and excel in the workplace.

You’re an excellent problem-solver and visionary and you do your best work alone or in a small team of other like-minded high achievers.

Identity and understand your areas of weakness and give yourself the freedom not to be bound by constraints and expectations that others may try to place on you.

You’ve known your whole life that you’re not like most people and maybe you’ve been trying to change parts of your nature in order to fit in at work.

What would your life look like instead if you gave yourself complete and utter permission to express your personality in all its freedom?

Try these thirteen tips for yourself.  I hope you get to experience the same sense of liberation that I’ve finally felt after years of limiting myself to others’ standards.


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