Of the 16 personalities identified by the Myers-Briggs test, the ESFP type is known for being one of the most gregarious, spontaneous and outgoing (which also makes it one of the most desired personalities). Naturally, this makes ESFPs an interesting subject to discuss, especially when speaking in terms of career options. Where do the great socializers of our race find the most professional success and satisfaction?
Below I explain more about who ESFPs are and where they are most likely to find happiness, but any personality type can refine their style with this course on defining your entrepreneurial personality profile.
Who Are ESFPs?
When discussing personality types, I always like to provide fair warning that nothing is black and white. Sure, the Myers-Bbriggs test is well respected and many people will find numerous similarities between themselves and their personality profile, but the test is not perfect. 16 personality types is not that many, so just remember not to take anything too literally.
But on that light note, let’s talk about ESFPs. While the unanimous “partier” among the Myers-Briggs, type, ESFPs are as remarkable and surprising as anyone. Here’s a quick breakdown of E-S-F-P:
Extraversion: There’s no splitting threads here: ESFPs love socializing, they love being around other people, they feel the most stimulated when they are interacting; in short, they are true extraverts.
Sensing: As you might have expected, ESFPs are all about living in the present. They tend to put off thinking about the future as it represents something they can’t quite put their finger on; this is certainly related to the fact that they prefer factual information to theoretical discussions.
Feeling: Interestingly, while ESFPs prefer factual information, they ultimately side with what their instincts or emotions are telling them. If the facts say no but their feelings say yes, more often than not they will answer in the affirmative.
Perceiving: By perceiving, we mean keeping an open mind, or keeping perceptions open. ESFPs would rather just wing it than spend a lot of boring time sorting out the details.
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Important Professional Tendencies
A plethora of important professional qualities result from the ESFPs’ “party” personality. To begin with, they have unbeatable interpersonal skills, which in many professions is as important as anything else. They are clever, practical and understand what it takes to accomplish an established goal. Give them something concrete to work with, and you won’t find a more energetic or focused personality (theoretical problem solving, on the other hand, would not be advised).
ESFPs work best when given freedom; too many rules or too strict a schedule is not conducive to their productivity. An added benefit of ESFPs is that they bring an understanding and warm personality to any team they join.
It’s easy to see why ESFPs would excel in the arts. They want excitement, stimulation, interaction and the less scheduled their time is, the better. The more social arts are where they truly excel, but they can be excellent individual artists, as well. Get more ideas from this blog post on 5 careers for every artistic tendency.
For example, ESFPs are natural born actors and actresses. They thrive on the thrill of stage acting and performing spontaneously. Stand-up or improv shows would be the ideal medium through which to channel their spontaneous energy. And, of course, they get to socialize with all the people involved in production.
But even being a musician or photographer can be a rewarding career, especially if it leads to teaching. ESFPs have a highly developed aesthetic understanding. The ultimate freedom offered by such a profession bodes well for ESFPs, as does the ability to follow your feelings without being structured into project planning, management, etc.
Education And Services
Somewhat surprisingly, ESFPs make great teachers, counselors, social workers, therapists, psychologists, etc. These career paths allow them vent their social desires, but they also stimulate their need for new experiences (new students, new patients, etc.) and to design their own structures and routines. Education and counseling provide a further outlet for the social warmth they are so famous for; they can impart some much needed wisdom as well thanks to their ability to see things through a practical and realistic eye.
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Another little known fact about ESFPs is that they have a natural affinity for children and animals. While some ESFPs would certainly make great veterinarians or equine therapists, these kinds of careers tend to be too rigidly structured or too low on the necessary doses of socialization.
Sales And Design
It should come as no surprise that ESFPs excel in sales. There is perhaps no profession in the world where gregariousness is more appreciated. ESFPs can communicate effortlessly with anyone and, thus, are brilliant sales executives from the day they are born. The only hiccup in this plan is that sales require a good deal of premeditation, of sticking to schedule, of methodically working through things, and frankly, this is what ESFPs strongly dislike. A sales position that is heavy on client interaction and that involves as much in-person consultation as possible is ideal.
Design, such as fashion, interior or graphic design, are also good outlets for ESFPs vast energy reserves. While graphic design is the least preferred, it can still offer a satisfactory lifestyle, especially when coupled with the young, higher-energy environments found in the tech industry. But fashion and interior design are natural career choices for ESFPs, as they both require an eye for aesthetics and a personality that flourishes with clients and collaborators.
No matter what Myers-Briggs says about you, there’s always room for improvement. Whether you’re an INFJ or ESFP, this five-star course on the secrets of personality can help you respond better, faster and smarter when you need it most.