When climbing the career ladder, almost everyone starts near the bottom.
This often proves challenging for the ESTP personality type, which struggles when the rules and regulations of others have to be followed.
With this (and the rest of the ESTP’s unique personality traits) in mind, what are the best careers for an ESTP?
In this guide to ESTP careers, we’ll discuss what makes this personality type unique, what ESTPs are like at work, and seven of the best career paths for the ESTP.
We’ll even help you out by showing you which career paths to avoid.
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Let’s start by answering the most immediate question: what does ESTP mean?
One of 16 results from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test, ESTP personalities are:
Extroverted: They derive energy from social interactions
Observant/Sensing: They prefer to analyze observable facts rather than possible interpretations and outcomes
Thinking: More likely to rely on their head than their heart
Prospecting: They prefer to solve challenges as they arise rather than planning ahead (aka living in the moment)
The typical ESTP is buzzing, lively, drawn to fun and interesting social interactions, and altogether rather entertaining.
They can be blunt, direct, and are inclined to break their fair share of rules, preferring to rely on their own moral compass as opposed to that of others.
So, how does this Myers-Briggs personality type fare in the workplace?
ESTPs have strong problem-solving skills and love working in environments where they can put these to use regularly.
At work, they are more likely to flourish in a setting where they solve immediate problems rather than being engaged in long-term planning.
ESTPs are logical and prefer to base their decisions on past actions, so they may struggle with developing abstract ideas or working with others who have a higher degree of openness, such as ENTP, INTP, and INFJ personalities.
ESTPs are enthusiastic team players, and their decision-making and adaptability make them valuable players in a crisis.
They may encounter difficulties when colleagues wish to lock in a plan and follow it to the letter, as ESTPs prefer spontaneity, variety, and the opportunity to tackle new challenges as they arise.
ESTPs are highly extroverted, so they work best in large teams where they can exercise their social muscles. This is preferred over isolated positions behind a desk.
ESTPs are natural leaders.
They can be persuasive and enthusiastic and are far more likely to lead a team in their own way rather than adhere to industry norms and expectations.
ESTP leaders tend to thrive in work environments that are constantly changing and allow them to identify practical solutions that yield immediate results.
Long-term planning and future visualization can be challenging for ESTPs, but their exceptional people skills will allow them to take advantage of their team members’ expertise.
So, what are the best ESTP careers?
Here are seven careers that ESTP personalities tend to excel at:
One of the best jobs that suit the natural ESTP characteristics is that of a paramedic or EMT.
In this role, ESTPs tap into their enthusiasm and extroversion and will find their need for constant challenge and problem-solving fulfilled.
ESTPs who love working with people should consider a career in journalism.
In this role, you’ll be investigating new topics and angles daily, solving immediate problems, meeting short deadlines, and performing work that has tangible results.
Architecture is one of several great career choices for ESTPs who aren’t quite as extroverted as their peers (remember that each personality aspect is a spectrum).
ESTPs will do well as architects because they are rational, logical, and love to draw on past experience.
For this reason, they’re probably better suited to architecture positions where there isn’t an expectation of coming up with extravagant and off-the-wall designs.
It may come as a surprise that one of the best ESTP career matches is entrepreneurship.
Yes, ESTPs aren’t typically strong at long-range planning or envisioning new futures, so they may benefit from a business partner who has this as a strength.
However, ESTPs excel in their ability and desire to solve constant, immediate challenges. This is something they’ll find a lot of when starting at a new company.
ESTPs looking to explore more creative career options may become interested in becoming an actor.
As an actor or actress, ESTPs will regularly be the center of attention and find endless opportunities to exercise their performance muscles.
Though acting can be a natural fit for ESTPs, they may find it difficult to put in the hard work required to achieve success in this role. That’s because many ESTPs are low in conscientiousness.
ESTPs can do well as financial planners if they are more inclined to long-range planning than most ESTPs.
They’ll excel when creating short-term plans to get others out of debt, as they love working with others and solving immediate challenges.
ESTPs are strong at analyzing the facts at hand rather than calculating all possible interpretations.
This makes them great in law enforcement positions such as police officers. This role speaks to their natural ability to get along with people of all kinds.
The main ESTP careers to avoid leave them isolated or require significant long-range planning or abstraction.
Not all ESTP careers require a college education (actor and police officer are two examples), but if you are considering tertiary study, here are some great majors for ESTPs:
You’re well on your way to choosing a career that will bring you long-term fulfillment and job satisfaction as an ESTP.
Already picked one of the above ESTP careers? Start the job search right now by checking out the vacancies on the Jobcase job board.