ISTP (The Craftsperson)

Nimble and a natural troubleshooter, the ISTP has a manual to tackle problems in their immediate environment. With an innate mechanical ability, they enjoy building and fixing objects, and mastering their skills toolbox – whether it be woodworking, crafting, or tinkering with computer parts. ISTPs are typically very attentive to detail, independent, adaptable and self-directed. They are very responsive to the demands of the world around them, and due to this they enjoy taking action and enjoying the physical and sensory experiences that the world has to offer.

The ISTP 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 Perceiving (P). 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 spontaneous and flexible as opposed to planned and organized.

The ISTP is often referred to as the “Builder” or “Craftsperson” because of their talent for figuring out how objects and systems work, mechanically. ISTPs are typically relaxed, cool, athletic, and easygoing. They want to be experts in their field(s) of choice and have above average levels of manual dexterity.

ISTP key characteristics:

  • Detached and absorbed in personal projects
  • Minimalist, enjoys traveling as light as possible
  • Masters of several specific skill sets
  • Excellent at picking up new concepts alone
  • Practical, with excellent “book” and “street” smarts

ISTP Careers: Work Considerations for ISTPs

The ISTP typically prefers a relaxed and independent approach to career direction, as a team member with plenty of alone time. With their troubleshooting and motor skills, they excel in landscaping, building, and computer engineering.

Natural strengths in the workplace:

  • Spotting issues quickly and coming up with a method to solve it
  • Remaining neutral and grounded in conflicts
  • Managing stress and anxiety with quiet confidence
  • Noticing little details that would be challenging to catch by others
  • Activating a state of hyperfocus or “flow” with ease

Areas for improvement:

  • Recognizing when others may need emotional support
  • Acknowledging duties outside of a job’s description
  • Seeking help or clarification when needed
  • Participating in after-work socialization activities
  • Steering clear of passive-aggressive conflict resolution methods

Career suggestions:

  • Piloting, air traffic controlling
  • Landscaping, craft-making
  • Computer repairing and building
  • Robotics and artificial intelligence
  • Machinery, manufacturing industries

General career paths to avoid:

  • Nursing, early childcare services
  • Creative writing, artistry
  • Marketing, public relations (PR)
  • Counseling, therapy
  • Public speaking, entrepreneurship

Type:  [Introverted – Sensing – Thinking – Perceiving]

Keirsey temperament group:  Artisans (SP)

ISTP Jungian cognitive functions stack:

  1. Introverted Thinking (Ti)
  2. Extraverted Sensing (Se)
  3. Introverted Intuition (Ni)
  4. Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

Career matches for ISTP's:

Career Guide Category