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.
ESFPs are spontaneous, gregarious, action-oriented and of the moment and intensely people-centric. They are great at service roles and at making people feel really special. The ESFP is the natural entertainer, funny, animated, a chatterbox, anecdotal and making people feel special. They know lots of people and prefer to be at the centre of things, surrounded by appreciative folk who let them fly. Spontaneous and high spirited the ESFP likes sharing, loves fun but this can make them easily distracted in a work situation as they naturally gravitate towards the ‘fun’ bits and may therefore ignore the essential, (though more boring) bits. The ESFP needs freedom and flexibility to be able to respond to the immediate situation, to rush to the root of the problem and smooth it over. Irate customers violently complaining, two workmates in an argument are ideal territories for the ESFP to inhabit. They will be superb at maintaining morale, engendering enthusiasm and energising people as well as making everything just so harmonious. However they excel less well when it comes to form filling, detail or tasks that make no sense to them or which don’t reap immediate rewards. The ESFP does not really like structure as this impedes their natural ability to offer practical help and care, right here and right now.
Because of their practical, caring nature, ESFPs may struggle with prioritising and deadlines preferring to be able to respond to the current situation or crisis. Their ability to jump in and help is superb, but this may mean they are less good at longer term planning or seeing the bigger picture. ESFPs also struggle with working alone or even silence as they prefer to be in the thick of the action. This can also mean they get easily distracted as the task that needs to be performed right now, no doubt helping people, becomes top of their priorities and whatever else they are working on can get side-lined. ESFPs are sensitive which means they are excellent at picking up on how other people are feeling and ‘feeling their pain.’ However this sensitivity cuts both ways and they can get hurt if they don’t feel appreciated and can take things very personally and to heart. Trying to change ESFPs to being good time managers and more systemised and longer term goal driven, is difficult as their strengths are the opposite: responding to an immediate crisis so they will naturally and this requires a flexible and impulsive nature with a keen eye on spotting trouble and heading it off at the pass. Their desire to help can also mean the ESFP gets pulled in lots directions, moving swiftly from one scene to the next keeping everyone happy and harmonious.
Best ESFP Work Environments
ESFPs do not like slow-paced environment or those where it is quiet and serious with little opportunity for people interaction, which is at the heart of who they are. They love jumping in and sorting out people problems and they do that really well. The ESFP is not a long-range planner but uses their expediency and desire to ‘do good’ to solve immediate, people-based problems and ensure that harmony reigns within their domain. They would not thrive in an environment where it was based on targets, numbers and recording things. ESFPs are at their best when they have the freedom to operate in the present and jump in and take charge. In that sense they are like the ESTP, but while the ESTP is action-oriented and jumps in to difficult tasks, the ESFP is action-oriented and will jump into difficult situations. They have an incredible talent for making people feel special, for diffusing tension and solving even the most difficult ‘people’ issue. The ESFP needs variety and where they can use their excellent people skills to make things better. A fun, friendly, environment where they can be their enthusiastic, warm, cohesive effusive selves is one where they will thrive and excel.
Worst ESFP Work Environments
ESFPs will not be at their best in an environment where they are constrained and not be allowed to project their warm and people-centric nature. A quiet environment with little opportunity for flexibility would stifle them, as they need to speak, they need to help and need to jump in. Rules, regulations and protocols will negate their strengths and impulsive side, which is what they need to support people. The ESFP will not like deadlines or being micromanaged and their intense people orientation means they will need to have a team ethos (or let them create one) and an environment where people are valued. Repetition bores the ESFP and as they need variety and a buzz. They also like and indeed foster harmony and so will struggle in roles or an environment which is harsh and may have trouble providing negative feedback or making tough people decisions as they like to keep things on an even keel. Long range planning and considering the wider ramifications of issues is not for them as they become bored and will seek out opportunities to jump in, help and make things better: now.
Best ESFP Careers
Of all the character types the ESFP is the most people centric and so careers and environments such as customer service, HR, the caring professions will bring out the best in them. Trouble shooting roles but with a people bias fit perfectly with them and plays to their intense action-orientation and practical nature. ESFPs love a challenge and will work long and hard to solve problems and smooth things over. However when it’s over it’s over and the ESFP will be scanning the landscape looking for the next piece of action where they can make it all better.