Update (Dec 23): new profiles for INTP, ENTP, ENTJ, INTJ, ENFP, ENFJ, INFJ and INFP have been added!
Are you curious to find out which CFM career paths would be a great fit for your personality type? There are all kinds of personality tests out there, but one that has been scarily accurate for me is the Myers-Briggs Personality Test (take it here if you haven’t yet). In fact, being an INFJ (“The Counsellor”), I have been itching to write this article for weeks! In case you don’t know about the MBTI personality types, here’s an overview.
ISTP: Driven by a desire to learn and master the tools of their trade and produce tangible results, you are a software developer, troubleshooter and hardware specialist at heart. You are also thirsty for action. The most exciting life I can imagine for you is not sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, but rather, as a detective, firefighter, government intelligence agent, police or military officer who uses powerful data tools and algorithms to get to the bottom of urgent issues. With your finance knowledge you can mobilize people and resources at the lowest cost, highest efficiency possible. Imagine the level of excellence that kind of career would bring forth in you. If you’re not so fond of risk, consider developing games where you make learning code, investing or budgeting a much more visual, hands-on experience for students like you. You can test the usability of virtual reality, augmented reality and wearables, and improve those experiences using your technical know-how. At a bank, you would be highly sought after for your software expertise. If you do want to work at more of a desk job, try taking a role where you would be travelling and doing hands-on brainstorming (like in an innovation lab), or taking hardware fintech products such as bitcoin machines and ATM to the next level.
ISTJ: You are dependable, detail-oriented and do your best work in a quiet, organized and structured environment with clear expectations and few surprises. You make sure that standards and deadlines are followed. It is a treat to be you, because in the financial world you are a great fit and many of your colleagues would share your personality type, from bank officers to financial managers, MBA students, accountants and small business owners. Programming, with its set requirements and deadlines, would also be a great fit for you, as would being a Chief Information Officer where you are responsible for setting and following regulations in your company.
If you want a meaningful career, consider working in healthcare where you can either develop medical technology or use both your IT and financial expertise to make hospitals more efficient so they can handle more patients without excrutiating wait times. Besides auditing and actuarial science, you may not have heard of estate planning, where you make sure your clients have a say over where their assets go when they pass away. If you are looking for variety in your work, consider business intelligence, where you can collect and analyze data in any field of your interest, or patent law, where you can use your technical expertise to determine whether new inventions (especially software or financial-related ones) are original.
ESTP: You are motivated to solve problems in the moment, and have a solid grasp of the realities of a situation as well as the resources at your disposal. You are able to quickly deal with emergencies, and like jobs that give you the flexibility to do so, that are a bit unpredictable. Your responsiveness makes you a great fit for firefighting, policing, piloting or even working in the military – and, being in CFM would give you an extra edge on improving the productivity in those fields.
You can also use your natural energy and humour to get people excited about finance, and transform the performance of poorly performing financial products. Or, you can respond to customer emergencies in a bank when their money is stolen or important trading software breaks down. In fact, you can even have a say in the future of finance or technology – both Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer are popular career choices for your personality type. You may also find that real estate, insurance and stock trading are exciting fields to work in, or find that your dream is to report the latest financial or tech news and trends on TV. On the entrepreneurial side, you may find that restaurant management appeals to you, with all the competition and new food that is coming out these days.
ESTJ: You are a great organizer who establishes ground rules and brings structure to your surroundings when there is none. You excel at managing projects and planning/executing over the long term, and want to work under a clear set of expectations and organized hierarchy of people. Often, people with your personality type take on leadership roles in institutions. As a project manager, chief financial officer, or chief information officer of a bank, you can be part of the massive movement in reinventing a bank to be more tech-based and customer-friendly. If you want to make a difference in our country, you can be a public administrator: someone who, for example implements new government tax policies or policies on information security. You would also excel as a judge or a lawyer, where there is a diverse number of clients looking for justice on their unique issues, and an opportunity to reinvent laws that are not working well. As more of people’s assets are becoming digital, such as subscriptions, e-commerce, and bank accounts, law is slightly behind on ensuring the safety of digital assets, and it would be up to you to make it current and relevant. Contracts are so hard to read that you could be the one to set policies that make them more easily understandable.
If you dare, venture into fields that are not as organized (such as art, environment, financial advice for low-income earners, places without financial institutions, and disaster recovery areas in the world), where you are highly needed, and can drive projects that create real change. You will likely be able to find government funding to back you up. I would suggest you partner with a visionary who will set a framework for you to work with – like a startup! Make sure you have people holding you accountable to complete your work without fail, because you will have tough times dealing with a lack of direction and want to quit along the way. But, if you execute well, you may have a greater sense of fulfillment than if you stuck within your comfort zone.
ISFP: You want to feel personally engaged with work that is in line with your values, where you can produce tangible results. Generally, you prefer a cooperative work environment where you can work quietly, get support when needed, and do not need to lead or speak in front of large groups. You also have a remarkable artistic sense that tunes you in to the slightest nuances of color, tone, texture, aroma, and flavor. Your sensibilities make you a great fit for web design, user interface design, or user experience. On a more unconventional note, you can consider reinventing the world of interior design, where you transform a home from a mere commodity to somewhere worth living, and maximize the value of someone’s real estate so they have an asset to fall back on during times of financial hardship. If you are driven to help people with their financial lives, consider insurance appraisal too.
Given your tech background, you can reinvent how graphic design, gardening, or fashion is done, and even program light-up accesories for the latter two. If those areas intrigue you, read more about e-commerce: people want to be able to try on new clothes, or touch and feel their products without going to a store. Being someone who steps in to support others from the background, you are also a great fit for health care: other ISFPs do very well in optometry, pharmacy, emergency room surgery, dentistry and nursing. Knowing how to code puts you at an advantage: as a ‘healthcare hacker’, you can work with healthcare professionals to develop software that will make patients’ and doctors’ lives much less painstaking, without needing to complete a degree in medicine yourself.
ISFJ: You want to help others in a practical way and are driven by personal values, which often include working hard and upholding traditions. You want to achieve concrete results under a set of established procedures, preferably without a lot of multi-tasking or being thrust into the spotlight. As a coder who happens to be a great fit for healthcare, doing work such as dentistry, health care administration, nursing, family care, veterinary medicine and radiation therapy, you have the unique advantage of creating technology that advances any of these fields and makes it possible for more patients to be served, more quickly and efficiently, at the lowest cost possible – without needing a medical degree. So if you were not a fan of biology in high school, do not fear! CFM is here. INFJs also excel in speech or audio therapy for mute or deaf people – and there is plenty of accessibility technology that you can help develop for that audience. You may also find that your calling is preschool, elementary education, or even in being a librarian. If that is the case, you might want to consider making educational games – perhaps educational games about finance. That can be your day job, while in the evening, you can volunteer to work with and tutor young people and try out your game ideas with them to see if they work.
If you are a fan of the bank environment, consider working in bank account security, credit counselling or risk management, where you can protect people from hackers and poor financial decisions. Suicides from credit card overuse and poor debt management are not uncommon, and banks that prioritize profit want to drive people further into debt so they can collect higher minimum payments. You would save families from much pain and grief by educating them about debt and helping them get out of it.
ESFP: You want to be hands-on and in the middle of the action. You prefer an active, social work environment where you are free to be spontaneous and have fun. You are talented at solving practical, people-centered problems, and want to see immediate results for your work. Bureaucracy, rules, and long-term projects are not for you, so economics and accounting may not be a great fit. That said, being an entertainer at heart with a keen artistic sense, you can breathe life into people when it comes to their finances, debts, unfulfilled retirement plans, houses that keep breaking down, the difficulty of crunching numbers or learning new technology, and help them see fun, exciting richness of life and big dreams on the other side of their work. Imagine what it would be like if you retired early…what could you do, or what could another kind of person do? An ENFP would be able to help you dream up what is possible, and you would help them visualize and bring those ideas to life in art and sound. That said, you might also find your calling as a public relations manager at a bank or a financial/technology company, as an MC at corporate events, as a marketing specialist or alumni relations coordinator at a university, or as a real estate agent, bringing a vivid image of a great life in new home.
ESFJ: You like to use your interpersonal skills to organize people and processes, and help people in practical, visible ways. You gain satisfaction from completing tasks with attention to order and detail, and are energized by participating in a motivated, conscientious, action-oriented team. With the rise of fintech, you can be a customer service team lead dealing with client needs on a large scale. Or, you can be a public relations manager, where your dilligence would give your company a brand of trustworthiness. Nautrally, you have a big heart as well. If you are passionate about social causes, you can build the PR of a nonprofit to encourage fundraising, or even fundraise on your own. You can use your CFM expertise to fundraise online and monitor how well you are doing with every audience group, and you can easily transfer those skills to advertising sales where ESFJs are also known to be successful in. Being interested in people, you would also be a great biographer or journalist at an established media outlet, interviewing finance and tech professionals. You can even organize events and conferences for professionals to meet and share knowledge.
INTP: You want to solve complex problems in an innovative way, and prefer to develop solid theories while leaving implementations to other people. You prefer a flexible work environment working on your own or with a small team of like-minded, smart people. Many people like you are often found in Silicon Valley, and love the challenging, unpredictable world of technology: solving large problems in an abstract way, proving that problems are unsolvable, or making programs run faster. In business and law, you will enjoy working with advanced math, trying to predict the behaviour of financial markets or interest rates in bond markets, or do algorithmic trading. Or, you can do cutting-edge behavioural economics research, where you study how emotions affect peoples’ financial decisions, and engineer a way to prevent the 2008 stock market crash from happening again. Engineering, scientific research and art are also appealing to your personality type. Regardless what field you end up in, INTPs often find a way to express your analytical side and use computers, even in the arts (e.g. in architecture and graphic design).
ENTP: A visionary at heart, you enjoy solving challenging problems in innovative ways, especially to the efficiency and effectiveness of systems. You prize being competent, want to be in touch with powerful people, and want to expand your influence. You are a big-picture, idea person who prefers to delegate implementation details to other people. 88% of ENTPs are self-employed, and ENTPs are also well suited to being top executives of companies, which leaves you with a lot of space to think: “Where do I want to build a legacy and create lasting change in the world?” Are you attracted by the dynamic challenges of Silicon Valley, the exciting possible ways you can bring mobile data to the next 1 billion mobile users, or the amount of investment that is being poured into fintech right now? Do you want to disrupt the way finance has been done for centuries, and bring value directly to customers instead of through middlemen working for their own profit? Or, do you want to reinvent the economy? Do you want to prevent the 2000 dot-com crash or 2008 recession from happening again? If so, how would you do it?
ENTJ: You are drawn to leadership positions that allow you to strategize how to achieve greater productivity. You enjoy solving difficult problems, and enjoy understanding complex systems so you can find ways to improve them. You prefer your performance to be evaluated objectively and rewarded generously through money, power and prestige. As an ENTJ, you are the most likely of all types to earn a high salary, and there is no shortage of fields that ENTJs do well in: business and financial, sales, architecture and engineering; life, physical and social sciences; arts, design and language, healthcare, computer and IT, construction, protective services, and law. You can take your CFM knowledge to any of these fields to maximize efficiency and cut costs, most notably as a Chief Technology Officer. You may also see yourself as a senior manager or leader in a bank, mobilizing your team to become more up-to-date on IT and customer-centric, and investing smartly in fintech firms who will support your team in the long run. Or, you can become an operations or product manager, where you can use your CFM background in any field of your choice. In any case, it is best for you to work in places that encourage innovation.
INTJ: You excel at creating and implementing innovative solutions to analytical problems, and are most satisfied when you turn your ideas into reality. You enjoy working most with competent, intelligent and productive colleagues. Like the ENTJ, there are many fields INTJs are known to do well in: business and financial, math, architecture and engineering, sciences; arts, design and communications; healthcare, education, computers and IT, construction, legal and protective services. Are you intrigued by the online threats that attack digital banking or e-commerce systems every day? Do you want a career where you anticipate and come up with ways to counter new threats every day? Perhaps being a private investigator or information security lawyer would also appeal to you. Or, do you want to immerse yourself in business strategy, where you constantly maneuver around your competition? Are you fascinated with how to move supplies and materials from place to place at a low cost? Consider being a logistician. On a separate note, you can also consider going into data science or finding ways to make robot financial advice more effective.
ENFP: At work, you use creativity to express yourself and benefit other people in an inspired way. ENFPs often have strong humanitarian beliefs and tend to choose careers that allow them to grow and express themselves artistically. Top fields for you are: arts and entertainment, sales, service and personal care, media and communication, science and nature, education, healthcare, business and management; and community and social service. In that case, how would a background in CFM help you? At this point, if you were reading some of the other personality profiles you might have noticed that types with a ‘T’ as their third letter (i.e. types who think in a more logical, emotionally detached way) tend to be highly valued and sought after in classical CFM professions, while ‘F’ types (like you) often have to fit themselves in, in a unique way. What if you could create opportunities that open doors for CFM students who are also ‘F’ types? On another note, can you dream up a country where more people are financially free, and financial institutions are motivated to serve the common good? How would you reward underprivileged people or underpaid people for their hard work? You can share your sentiments through public speaking, or perhaps even find out more answers to those questions by doing journalism on financial services and technology around the world.
ENFJ: You are motivated to organize others to create positive change, and often take on a mentor role to help people become better at what they do. You appreciate teamwork, and want resources to put your ideas into action. Top fields for you are: community and social service, media and communication, education; business, management and sales; entertainment, arts and design; personal care and service, the sciences, law, healthcare, as well as office and administration. How about in CFM? Do you find your calling to be in personal finance, training businesses or individuals on how to develop their goals and budget for them? Or, do you want to give back to the university community? You can help engage alumni, match new students with programs, or find ways to make education more effective with a greater variety of personality types. Do you want to balance teaching with social change? You can be a computer science professor with ‘pet projects’ such as creating algorithms to allocate resources for firefighting or human rescue. Do you want to create communities of teachers and learners? Or, do you want to hold webinars and seminars on how to use new technology? The world is your oyster!
INFJ: You are focused on bettering the human condition, and get the most satisfaction when you turn your ideas into reality, creating constructive change for other people. You prefer to work in a harmonious, industrious environment that is oriented to a humanitarian mission. Top fields for you are: health care, counseling and social service, sciences, business and law, education, as well as language and arts. With respect to CFM, you can be a personal tutor, teaching assistant or counselor for CFM careers. You can also be a financial wellness coach, or a therapist for high-stress workers in finance and computer science. In both the tech and financial services world, companies are looking to broaden their diversity and you can be a special advocate or HR manager who launches diversity initiatives. Or, you can do a very special kind of marketing for a product/service by tuning in to online counselling: bringing new counselors into discussion forums and communities to help people in need.
INFP: You prefer work that aligns with your personal values and allows you to help other people, and are not particularly driven by money or status. You are motivated by vision and inspiration, and want to engage with causes that are important to you. You want to be able to put a personal spin on your work and control how and when to complete a project. Top fields for you are: arts and design, community and social service, education and library, health care, business and management, the sciences, and communications. In CFM, you may have a special talent for discovering what businesses genuinely need with respect to tech and finance. Do the ethics of technology and finance intrigue you? Do you want to shape the future of ethics by improving the user experience of software? Or, are you interested in blogging about radical financial lifestyles, or radical technology? You may also have a role to play in personal finance, too – before people make commitments to large financial goals, you can help them explore whether those goals are really for them.