I realize that this post will only resonate with a small number of people (3% to be exact) who associate with the Meyers-Briggs personality type INFP.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, INFPs are the types of people who aren’t very task-oriented, daydream (a lot), become obsessed and forget about other important things, and may reserve some judgement because they don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. Sounds like a great candidate for hire, am I right!
I’ve taken the Meyers-Briggs (MBTI) test several times and am consistently scored as an INFP. Then, after the test, I’m usually provided a little blurb with “career advice for INFPs” among relationship advice (which I clearly need help with) and other things. But, within the career advice section, it always mentions social careers or art or music. Now, not surprisingly, I do enjoy music and do break out the ol’ guitar from time-to-time, but I have always been curious that there is never any mention of Analytics as a career option which has been an incredibly fulfilling option for me.
I’m usually provided a little blurb with “career advice for INFPs” … but I have always been curious that there is never any mention of Analytics as a career option which has been an incredibly fulfilling option for me.
Here are some examples:
- As an INFP, I am innately curious. Analytics THRIVES in an environment where someone is curious. It is only when the analyst becomes familiar with the data that interesting findings become more apparent.
- As an INFP, I need a creative outlet. Analytics allows me to be extremely creative through creating presentations, storytelling with the data I curate, choosing which techniques to experiment with and which paths to follow.
- I find that having supportive leadership is incredibly beneficial. When leadership trusts me and allows me to take some time to explore, I feel that I’m able to find some really interesting patterns and information.
- As an INFP, I like having time at work to be by myself and be thoughtful. As an analyst/data scientist, I will have occasional meetings with people when I have questions or need to learn about data or context around certain problems or when I need to present. But, I like being able to go back to my desk and get work done, too. And if I do need to meet, I prefer the smaller meetings where there is focus and some sort of goal.
- As an INFP, I tend to become obsessed with a particular technology or problem. This allows me to ramp up and adapt very quickly and become an expert.
- As an INFP, I strive to get my customers the answers they need. In analytics, I’ve found that my customers are most delighted when I’m able to respond to their questions within the same day. Therefore, jumping through hoops or diverging from process (occasionally) needs to happen in order for me to turn something around quickly. As an INFP, though, I have no guilty conscience about breaking process, because at the end of the day, if my customer is happy and is able to do her job better, then it’s better for the company.
- Hey, you “Js” sorry about breaking the process. It’s fine. It won’t happen again. 😉
- As an INFP, I like being able to learn how things work. That’s why writing code has been really fun for me. I am “fluent” in many data gathering, analysis, and coding languages, and I love being able to sit back and watch my code “run.” I was never in love with Mathematics in school, but now that I can see the value and how it fits within an interesting career for me, I’ve been much more interested in learning math.
I could go on and on about this. Ultimately, the reason I wanted to jot down my thoughts here is that I feel like analytics is a GREAT career option for INFPs, and I don’t feel like it is getting the attention it deserves. I’ve read several blogs from INFPs who are having a career crisis, and so I wanted to mention this in the hopes that it may be helpful for someone like me, an INFP.
(Photo credit: Daydreaming - Craig Edwards)