Linking ‘type’ and ‘careers’ would be easy if it was just about listing specific jobs that perfectly fit specific personalities. However in truth it is more difficult than that as ignores other, more important issues, such as the organisation, the values and the culture, which are far better determinants of suitability than a job title. Also individual jobs vary widely from industry to industry, organisation to organisation and person to person. Therefore our focus on ‘type’ and ‘careers’ will be far more on you: your personality, your aptitudes, interests, likes, strengths and weaknesses and then matching these to the sorts of environments, cultures and norms within organisations that will allow you, given your character, to thrive grow and flourish. We spend a lot of our time at work and so it is important to get these issues right or we could spend a lot of working time unhappy, unproductive and unfulfilled.
The ENFP likes to be surrounded: by people, by interests and this drives them and stimulates their energy. They need to be busy, juggling lots and are great in moments of crises and when things are heating up. Their natural flexibility and caring nature means they will be loyal and positive members of staff. Very little will get the ENFP down and they will work tirelessly for the cause, until it becomes tedious then they have to force themselves or go and find something to start. Their positive attitudes are great for engendering enthusiasm and maintaining morale. However sometimes they may get taken for granted and not get the respect or affirmation they feel they deserve. This would be incredibly demotivating for the ENFP who may well withdraw and find their energy has depleted. The ENFP provides such a fresh, creative spark to organisations, with their can-do attitude and ability to see good in everything and everyone. However they are ‘F’s and so when a value is transgressed it can deflate them and the organisation will not get the best out of them. Fresh, spontaneous and flexible, ENFPs will bring a whole new perspective, enthusiasm and energy to roles and organisations although once it become mundane or getting into the details, ENFPs may want to move onto something more interesting.
As the major strengths of the ENFP are enthusiasm, energy, creativity and a strong caring people focus, they tend to withdraw when those aspects are missing. They love the feed and energy of the new, the different and when it becomes tedious they will look for the next interesting project. ENFPs are broad brush and are not naturally detailed, preferring the creative and ideas to the facts and numbers. Their natural spontaneity means that they are also not really planners preferring to see what comes up and they are often happier flying by the seat of their pants than preparing. They can often ignore hard facts in favour of feelings and vague notions, but to be fair they are often right, as they are so intuitive. But it does mean they may not easily follow protocols and rules, preferring a spontaneous approach. ENFPs are superb relationship builders so that people will take to them quickly and trust them and they tune into how people are feeling, having genuine empathy and really caring. This does however mean they do not like to be on their own as they naturally draw energy from interactions with other people. This trait also means they may have trouble taking tough decisions as they genuinely want to se good in others and in that respect they are great champions of and harmonious developers of people.
Best ENFP work environments
ENFPs are at their best in a flexible workplace where relationships are valued, people are taken care of and where there is a strong social element and camaraderie. ENFPs need the feed of lots going on, crises, people chatting and prefer no formal structures. This is where they get energised and are at their best. Their caring and effervescent nature plays nicely to customer contact although the ENFP may not be best at formal follow-through. ENFPs want to be at the heart of things, and want to make a difference and they need an outlet for their incredible energy and creativity and not be constrained by tradition. They have a spontaneity that is so original and can bring unique perspectives on even the most difficult problems and they will foster harmony and be a superb motivational and positive influence on the group. Warm and participative ENFPs do not like conflict or aggression but they are superb at diffusing tension as people tend to trust and like them and so, they are often found at the heart of crises, smoothing things over and ensuring harmony is maintained.
Worst ENFP work environments
ENFPs need variety, stimulus and to be surrounded by people. Solitary tasks, numerical targets or repetition would not be ideal environments for the ENFP to thrive and flourish. The Civil Service is probably not ideal as it is formal, structured and based on hierarchy and the ENFP needs flexibility and the opportunity to be spontaneous and free. However they make excellent organisational people as they care so much about other people and are genuinely creative and come up with unique solutions to problems. However these can only be fostered in a more ‘free spirited’ environment where people are valued and there is lots going on. The mundane, the detail and a lack of context will stifle the ENFP and will not bring out the best in them. The need for freedom means they will not thrive in an atmosphere of competition, being micromanaged or where it is repetitive and lacking a cooperative spirit. The ENFP likes to jump in and do things, they are so tuned in to how other people are feeling and want to respond immediately and so a strict, controlling environment won’t be best for them.
Best ENFP careers
ENFPs are enthusiastic, free spirits and need an organisation that values their ability to respond to whatever comes up, and where there are no silos or divisions (although the ENFP, if given the chance, will tumble these down). They need a people oriented, creative and fun environment. This does not mean ENFPs do not take work seriously, they do. It is just that they need freedom, flexibility and a people focus and do not want to be constrained by what they would see as insignificant details or unnecessary rules which ENFPs will break or work round.