ISTJ (The Inspector)

Responsible and reserved, the ISTJ prizes accuracy and clean data. The ISTJ has a strong focus on detail and doing things correctly. They are typically very productive, organized and orderly. ISTJs tend to carry out tasks to high standards and follow regulations, making them reliable and dutiful. They make a schedule, stick with it, and prioritize health over immediate gratification. Naturally, they are sticklers for predictability, stability, and comfort.

The ISTJ personality is one of the “16 personality types” that we see in several different models based on the work of Carl Jung. These models include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, among others. It represents an individual who is Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Thinking (T) and Judging (J). This indicates that they are a person who is energized by spending time alone, who focus on facts and details rather than ideas and concepts, who makes decisions based on logic and reason, and who prefers to be planned and organized as opposed to spontaneous and flexible.

The ISTJ is often referred to as the “Agenda” or “Bookkeeper” because of their supreme organizational skills. ISTJs are typically hardworking, pragmatic, steady, and conscientious. They crave stability, and will continue to make adjustments until they find the perfect balance of work and play.

ISTJ key characteristics:

  • Serious and organized
  • Prides self-worth on a job well done
  • Places accuracy and reason on a pedestal
  • Has clear morals and a strong sense of dignity
  • Neat presentation and decor in any occasion

ISTJ Careers: Work Considerations for ISTJs

The ISTJ typically prefers a predictable and stable approach to career direction, as a valued employee. With their responsible attitude, tenacity, and eye for detail; they excel in accounting, statistics, and financial services.

Natural strengths in the workplace:

  • Organizing time and resources effectively
  • Making sure all quality of work is up to par
  • Explaining procedures clearly to colleagues
  • Staying loyal to an employer’s code of conduct
  • Going overtime to meet a company’s needs

Areas for improvement:

  • Making time to relax and take a breather
  • Understanding when to let loose to avoid burnout
  • Prioritizing important relationships over work
  • Going after personal fulfillment over productivity
  • Balancing the sometimes blurry work-life boundaries

Career suggestions:

  • Law, attorney, governmental services
  • Accounting, financial sectors
  • Data management, bookkeeping
  • Quantitative science, statistics
  • Medical radiation technology

General career paths to avoid:

  • Creative sectors
  • Time-pressured services (e.g. ER department)
  • Upper management, any type
  • Internet celebrity or personality
  • Sales and marketing

Type:  [Introverted – Sensing – Thinking – Judging]

Keirsey temperament group:  Guardians (SJ)

ISTJ Jungian cognitive functions stack:

  1. Introverted Sensing (Si)
  2. Extraverted Thinking (Te)
  3. Introverted Feeling (Fi)
  4. Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

Career matches for ISTJ's:

Career GuideCategory