Best and worst careers for ESFP personality types
Choosing a career path is a challenging experience.
How do you know what the job is really like? Will you still be interested in this career in ten years? What about 20? What if you make the wrong call?
These are all questions that flow through the mind of nearly every job seeker, and with good reason.
And though we might not be able to predict our future interests, we can make a fairly good judgment by leaning on our inherent personality traits.
Which brings us to the question:
What are the best careers for those with an ESFP personality type?
In this article, we’ll answer that question. We’ll also tell you what an ESFP is like at work and what careers they should avoid.
But first, let’s start by examining common traits of an ESFP personality type.
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What is the ESFP personality like?
The ESFP personality type (sometimes referred to as ‘The Entertainer’) is vibrant, excitable, spontaneous, and socially-minded.
Of all Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) personalities, ESFPs are the most generous with their energy and time, and they are routinely found encouraging and uplifting their peers.
ESFPs like to get caught up in the moment, and they are very often considered the ‘life of the party’ — even at work.
They see what is happening now (rather than being focused on the future), and they are far more attuned to their feelings (and those of others) than thinking-style personalities like the ENTP or ESTP.
As a result, ESFPs sometimes neglect routine and repetitive duties and responsibilities, and they typically don’t engage in a whole lot of long-term planning.Image Source
So, how does this Myers-Briggs personality type play out in the work environment?
The ESFP at work
As an extrovert, ESFPs work best in highly social work environments.
They tend to do best in more laid-back environments with fun-loving colleagues rather than tightly organized and strict workplaces.(Image Source)
Long-term projects can be challenging for ESFPs, especially the planning aspect of such tasks.
They’ll also often become stressed out by excessive rules, processes, or bureaucracy, preferring a more fluid and open work style.
The ESFP in a team
In a team, the ESFP is likely to take on somewhat of a ‘class clown’ role.
They’ll typically be more focused on helping their teammates than they are on the actual completion of tasks, as they love solving immediate problems.
ESFPs will do better in teams where their work is immediate and has visible and tangible results rather than working on long-term projects where their contribution to the larger goal isn’t so clear-cut.
The ESFP as a leader
ESFP leaders are charismatic, hands-on, and encouraging.
They tend to be very enthusiastic and love getting involved in helping their team to succeed.
Many ESFPs avoid conflict, which can be challenging in leadership roles since conflict-resolution is often necessary.
The best leadership environment for an ESFP is fast-paced and involves a large team and regular problems that need solving immediately.
So, with this said, what jobs are good for ESFPs?
ESFP careers: A list of professional jobs for ESFPs
Let’s look at eight careers that an ESFP personality type may enjoy.
Thanks to their natural creativity and outgoing personality, one of the best career choices for ESFPs is cosmetology.
ESFPs who wish to use this same skillset but would prefer not to work with hair or make-up might find a fulfilling career as an interior designer or fashion designer.
It might be unsurprising that one of the best ESFP career matches is acting.
Because of their extraversion, the ESFP loves being the center of attention, so theatrical and acting roles are a great fit.
Not only that, but ESFPs excel at being in the moment, which is undoubtedly a necessity for acting roles.
3. Counselor or social worker
Social work is a career that can bring ESFPs meaning and fulfillment.
ESFPs will love this career because it constantly requires problem-solving. This career will also give them the ability to get intimately in touch with the needs of others.
4. Flight attendant
Another role that the natural ESFP personality traits play nicely into is flight attendant.
The rules and processes involved in this position might be challenging for some ESFPs, but they’ll love the adventure that comes as part of being a flight attendant.
Entrepreneurship is another natural fit for ESFPs, as it involves constant new challenges and a fair bit of ‘living in the moment.’
ESFPs will love working with a big team to bring a new project to life, though they may struggle with long-term future developments. This is more likely to be the domain of the ENFP personality type (who is higher in openness).(Image Source)
6. Event planner
The main reason ESFPs excel in event planning careers is the constant variety.
Events typically happen just once, which means event planners will be working on several projects at once, or at least multiple events consecutively.
This works well with the ESFP’s need for immediacy, and the fact that they’ll be working closely with many co-workers to achieve their goal is also a great fit for the extroverted ESFP.
7. Public relations/marketing manager
It’s fairly well-accepted that the most successful marketers are highly extroverted.
So, ESFPs often thrive in such a career, whether in marketing, advertising, or public relations.
Plus, the marketing world is constantly changing and adapting to consumer trends, which will keep the ESFP’s need for variety in check.
8. Physical therapist
Careers such as physical therapy require great people skills and the ability to assess the facts at hand and create a valid solution — two areas where ESFPs often excel.
Similarly, ESFPs may find a great fit in other healthcare roles such as dental hygienist.
What careers should ESFPs avoid?
The most challenging careers for ESFPs are ones that isolate them socially or require a lot of data analysis or long-term planning.
As a result, a few careers ESFP personality types should avoid are:
What should ESFPs study in college?
ESFPs deciding on a college major should choose a path that best fits the ESFP cognitive functions.
Great majors for the ESFP to study include:
It’s also worth bearing in mind that not all ESFP careers require a college education.
For example, you can easily become an actor, event planner, or flight attendant without a college degree.
Which of the ESFP careers feels right for you?
You’ve taken the Myers-Briggs personality test and found out you’re an ESFP.
You’ve learned what makes your personality type unique, and now you’ve discovered the best career paths for ESFPs.
If you’ve decided that one of the ESFP careers we’ve discussed here today is a good fit for you, then it might be time to start looking for your next job!