INTJ Careers – 4 Work Styles Of The Personality Type | Podcast 0489

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In this episode of the Personality Hacker podcast, Joel and Antonia explore the 4 work styles that influence INTJ careers.


Discover more about subtypes in Dr. Dario Nardi’s “The 64 Subtypes in Depth” 


In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Why are Joel and Antonia discussing careers for each of the personality types?
  • What are some popular career choices for INTJs?
  • Introducing the INTJ subtypes by Dr. Dario Nardi.
    • How to approach the concept of the four subtypes.
  • Check out our previous podcast episode where Dario introduces the four subtypes of each personality type.
  • The energy and flavor of the four subtypes.
  • The four INTJ subtypes:
    • Dominant subtype – how these INTJs react quickly to situations
    • Creative subtype – how these INTJs apply their creativity in a broader way
    • Normalizing subtype – how these INTJs apply their future-oriented vision to more traditional paths
    • Harmonizing subtype – how these value-driven INTJs work according to their philosophies and ideas
  • How our subtypes can shift over time.
  • How we can use our understanding of subtypes to achieve the characteristics we desire.


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Showing 11 comments
  • Eve

    Antonio and Joel, can you say more about the analytic/ holistic Ni variation? I’m really struggling with understanding. Thought I had it when you spoke about holistic being more peripheral but then towards the end of the episode you said something about it being more directive (outward/ focused energy??). I’m definitely not remembering correctly… but it was something that seemed contradictory. Can you come back and say more so I can get unstuck? This feels important. Thanks much! 💕

  • Maddie

    Eureka! I only figured out I’m an INTJ because of these subtypes. It took me a long ass time to figure this out. Over the past 8 years I’ve been INFJ, ENTP, INFP, ENTP… Thank you for putting this together.

  • Erik Bland

    Thank you so much for producing this series, I’m slowly working my way through the episodes, but thought I’d comment on this one since I identify as INTJ. I certainly feel like I fit the Harmonizing subtype. Many of those example professions sound great to me, and I also definitely resonate with the struggle to perform some very rudimentary tasks (mostly involving a subset of social interactions with other people).

    But I’m most interested in this distinction Joel and Antonia have noted between the four subtypes (for any of the 16 types) – that when used analytically, a cognitive function may lack openness but is more strongly capable of creating effects in the world. And vice versa for cognitive function when used holistically.

    I generally proscribe to the idea that the best path to happiness or life satisfaction is to realize that we can’t always control external things, but we can always control our own perspective – and that that is where our focus is best aimed. But this idea felt a bit off, because we certainly *can* influence external things – never with 100% effectiveness or certainty of course. But we can do so, and we often create real value for ourselves and for others when we do.

    I am now wondering – when we utilize a cognitive function analytically, are we’re choosing to prioritize outer world effectiveness, but in doing so we give up some flexibility in adapting our own perspectives? So we can create outer world change, but our happiness is increasingly at the mercy of our circumstances.
    And conversely, of course, when we utilize a function holistically, we’re better able to adapt our perspectives to a variety of situations, but we’ll have a harder time creating outer world change? So we’re increasingly helpless, but more mentally resilient to adversity.

    So maybe we will best realize happiness or satisfaction by situationally choosing *when* to apply a cognitive function analytically and when to apply it holistically. And of course, developing ourselves to be best able to apply either one as the situation demands.

    Anyways, very cool series, thanks again! I’m also interested in the relationship between the four different preferred neurotransmitters and one’s subtype, I will need to look more into that…

  • Jeremy

    All in all a great episode. You mention that we change subtypes often, and I definitely see that as a mostly-creative INTJ. That I switch to one mode at work, another in hobbies, another in social situations, another when parenting etc. INTJ’s tend to be very compartmentalized both with themselves and with others, and we may be surprising when others see us in different elements of our lives and often behave vastly differently. Keeping people or activities in discreet columns (like a spreadsheet) for those that are not to be trusted, competent, childlike, loved etc. and it’s not always easy to move things between columns when the world isn’t just black/white.

    One brief point I’d offer some clarification is that from my experience INTJ’s don’t like being in charge 100%, though they will accept this (dominant might be an exception) they tend to prefer instead to be the “right hand man” or the trusted advisor, (working from a platform) since being in charge (especially of the mundane) is exhausting/distracting for us, so we prefer to have influence, but trust/delegate many things we don’t care about to other trusted peers to handle.

  • Catlyn

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting this podcast since this miniseries began!
    And it confirmed my suspicions that I am indeed the Normalizing INTJ subtype.

    Anyone could be forgiven for mistaking me as an ISTJ or even ISFJ if they only saw the external picture of my life. I’m a stay-at-home mom, have a more conservative bent generally speaking, and don’t tend to share my weirdo side until I’ve gauged the other person’s receptivity. The highly visual description is very fitting — most of my thoughts come in pictures or movies, giving my internal life an almost dreamlike quality. Because I’m so visual and struggle with auditory processing, it usually takes me 2 or 3 repeat-listening sessions to fully marinate myself in your podcasts and allow my slower and more methodical though processes to absorb everything.

    While I feel called to this more typical lifestyle while my children are young, my daydreams reveal that I’m drawn at times to the Dominant subtype, imagining myself at the head of a boardroom, and at other times to the Harmonizing subtype as I picture myself in all sorts of one-on-one therapeutic jobs, particularly with children. This again confirms my Normalizing subtype since it’s “in the middle” between Dominant and Harmonizing and I could stretch in either direction. When this season of “young kids at home” ends, I’ll look forward to branching out!

    • Eve

      That’s interesting how you have connected to the normalizing subtype as in the middle of the two other subtypes you are drawn to.

      I’m fairly similar but on the other side. I toggle between dominant (at work) and harmonizing (outside of work). As a result, I’ve deduced that I was at some point a creative. While I know I actually am creative, I use my creativity in service of my leadership (dominant) or my foundership (harmonizing). When I think of living a creative life for the sake of creativity, I get anxious. It is this point that made me listen to the episode three times. I really struggled with identifying with a primary subtype. I think creative was my starting point but my training/ industry moved me into the wings.

      Thanks for sharing you story. It helped!!

  • Tim

    I’ve been looking forward to this one, in part because the career suggestions for INTJs have typically not been my kind of thing. I can relate to all four subtypes, though I think I’m mostly between Creative and Harmonizing (and I’m trying to be an independent filmmaker, so that fits). It’s also clear that I need to work on developing the more Analytical Extraverted Thinking.

    Regarding the Neurotransmitters piece, I’ve often wondered if the expression of my type has been influenced by the fact that I have a condition called Kallmann Syndrome, which prevented me from going through puberty until I started getting medicated for it. I’ve often thought that if I’d had a more “normal” adolescence, I’d be a bit more arrogant, less open-minded, but maybe more assertive.

    Anyway, thanks for another illuminating podcast. I look forward to hearing more.

  • Seanna Mondino

    I laughed when you said you would get a lot of dominate subtypes since this was a podcast. I am a dominate subtype for sure at work but when I come home to my harmonizing ISFP husband I have learned to dial it back and learn to defer so his voice is heard. We have ISTP harmonizing son and ENTJ dominate daughter. I find this very interesting to help each of them grow to independent understanding adults and learn how to work best with my husband so we can remain best friends. Thank you for all that you do.


  • John Trible

    Kudos to you both!! Highly illuminating and explains much regarding why my situation has at times been a bit confused regarding the career path and “idiosyncrasies” that fit the INTJ type, but then again again don’t. At times I have briefly considered INFJ for these reasons but the type clearly does not fit me. I just do not have strong Fe, to the chagrin of those around me, including my long time wife. I am, and have always been Te. The bridge of understanding that solves the equation for me is the Harmonizer subtype. It squared the circle of understanding finally. Joel’s comment regarding this subtypes potential benefit from a partner/collaborator resonates strongly and could be a game changer for this types ability to contribute. And Antonia, you are right that this type may like very long periods of isolation. It is how “we do the work”, which is of course really play.

    One comment I will make is that this subtype can also strongly want to combine work with our passions, like the creative. In fact I recently left a longtime, otherwise gratifying career to meld these. So I would add Harmonizer to Creative in that regard. I am clearly not a creative, given motivation and drive have never lacked and no single Creative career fit at all, whereas nearly all of the Harmonizers options sounded great.

    Thank you both. You are the best in the field IMO and your obvious devotion to the knowing the truth, regardless the cost comes through. I like how you allow your intellectual curiosity to lead you on adventures you are willing to share so that we might benefit. “Practical selflessness in the pursuit of truth” is how I might describe my impression of your combined modus operandi. Keep up the good work! You make a difference beyond what you realize.

    • Eve

      John, your post really resonated with me. I, for a VERY BRIEF second, wondered if I was INFJ but knew I didn’t have a strong relationship with Fe/Ti. For a longer second, I wondered if I was an INFP but my Te was to gangster to be down there at the bottom of the stack. Lol.

      Like so many others have said, this episode was a game changer. My specialization sometimes puts me at odds with Antonio and Joel but honestly, they saved my life. Not trying to be hyperbolic, but episodes like this one really allow me to have a healthier relationship with self!! And, for this, I’m forever grateful… and loyal.

  • Jack Mast

    I recently discovered your podcast on YouTube and iTunes, and have enjoyed every episode I have listened to, both recent and from the vault. I have a lot of discord in my mind about exactly who I am and how my brain works. I often feel as if there are several people inside my head, a sort of Jekyl and Hyde contending for my attention, though neither is as disturbed as Stevenson’s creation. I thought I would describe some of the internal tension in the hopes that you could provide some clarity. To do so I will need to go back a few yeaars. For quite literally all of my childhood, I was determined to be a bush pilot. This was beyond a childhood fascination: it was, I believe, a spiritual calling and destiny. Early on, my ideas and plans were fairly unrealistic; in my upper teens, having talked with pilots and heard about the industry, I made more calculated plans in typical INTJ fashion. I believe I may have been a creative subtype, or something similar. Much of what I planned included having side jobs and hobbies that I could indulge myself in while flying and waiting for flights. All of this came to a crashing halt shortly after turning 18 when I suffered a traumatic brain injury, resulting in a complete loss of vision, though my mental faculties and personality remarkably experienced little to no change. Obviously, my career path had to change. In the three years since, my plans for the future have gone through several fluctuations. I am now a rising sophomore in the field of Biblical Studies, working toward a Bachelor of Arts. After that, I hope to continue toward a doctoral degree in the same field. I am fairly firmly entrenched in Humanities, and I hope to stay there as a professor. however, and this is where Hyde comes in, I also feel a tension with another part of me that loves STEM and hard science, particularly mathematics and finance. This is the more outward focus of whatever subtype I fall into. Internally, the constant tension is between the harmonizing philosopher, typology nerd, and lecturer and the creative financial analyst financing a plethora of hobbies and side hustles, the normalizing mathematician, I think, and the dominant financier, CEO, products manager, et cetera working to be the top of whatever field I am in. One problem accentuating this tension is that those other sides of my brain are limited more severly by my blindness. The harmonizing side seems the one that will accommodate my disabilities and utilize my abilities most, but I often feel as if I am sacrificing another part of me to following that path. I am not sure if all of this properly expresses the discordance I feel. I sometimes feel almost stifled by not being able to fully express the more STEM side of my brain, except through mental math, or mathemagic. This is one reason that I hope to minor in business and leave that door open, but I also do not think that will quite satisfy me. In listening to this podcast, I resonated with the dominant type somewhat, the creative a lot more–until you started talking about careers–the mornalizing fairly well, and the harmonizing a lot. You also said that the harmonizing type normally comes with age, having experienced more of life. My 21 complete years have not lent much age or actual experience, though I feel like I have lived several lifetimes in my head while undergoing rehab after my TBI. I hope this makes sense. Does this discord make sense? Does it fit into your broader understanding of type and personality? Do you have any words that could make more sense of this for me? One other comment: at times my dominant side urges me to specialize and become a top scholar in my field, a name known wherever Biblical Studies are taught. At other times, my more creative side focuses on being skilled at all areas and none singly. My normalizing side, I think, is drawn to just continuing in the set lines without making waves. Then my harmonizing side throws its metaphorical hands up and says hang it all! I am young; I do not need to make a decision, and I can specialize in many areas without choosing one to dominate in. Any advice for a young and confused INTJ?

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