ESTP Careers

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. 

ESTP Strengths

The ESTP is the action oriented, thrill seeker looking for one action-packed project after another. Intensely practical, they have little time for theories or concepts, preferring to jump in and solve immediate problems using their knowledge and practical experience. They prefer risky, exciting or thrilling short-term activities, and definitely not conventional or repetitive routines. The ESTP values freedom and flexibility and will often complete tasks in spite of any rules or regulations. This persistence often influences their ability to navigate superbly through restrictions in order to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. The ESTP prefers hands-on work and would rather be doing a task than discussing it and they will produce work of genuine quality and precision. However, their tendency towards risk and spontaneity may result in not following through with some responsibilities or commitments, as they will like the bits they like. Their ability to remain focused in a crisis is incredible, indeed there is part of the ESTP that comes alive in a crisis and they need that feed of action and potential to fail to drive them to succeed. When approaching a problem their focus is intense and detailed but for the ESTP when it’s over, it’s over and they will be off in search of the ‘next big thing.’

ESTP Weaknesses

ESTPs are impervious to their environments and that is what makes them such superb, action-oriented fixers. They can be dropped into immediate problems and will get straight to it. However this focus can means they don’t pick up on how others are feeling, as their focus is to get the job done. So while they are always friendly and amendable they are less comfortable in emotionally charged situations, and may get surprised with other people being upset as they tend not to fully understand their impact and feelings don’t really ‘compute.’ They tend to work in short bursts of energy applying all their knowledge and experience to solving the problem right here, right now. This means they often neglect to plan and so to others may appear disorganised, and taking shortcuts. They can become bored with the more routine and mundane tasks and may have to apply themselves to tie up loose ends, as they will be looking for the next big, action-oriented project. The ESTP preference for short term fixes and high impact immediate solutions may mean the neglect the wider context for their actions, as they like to get stuck in and do, then move on. The ESTP tends needs to be full on and so they will need a constant feed of short term, action-oriented projects or they will become restless.

Best ESTP Work Environments

The ESTP excels in difficult environments where they can use their huge store of experience and knowledge to solve complex, practical problems that require immediate application. Energetic and single-minded, they can jump straight in to a problem and apply themselves to coming up with radical and very quick solutions. Then the ESTP will get bored as the normal, ‘run of the mill’ work just does not appeal to them, so they will quickly need another challenge and plenty of variety. ESTPs are at their best in a crisis, where their natural disregard for rules, authority and structures allows them to focus on and tackle the present crisis or problem in the most effective way and it is the challenge the feeds their energies. The ESTP needs a more practical environment, where they can apply themselves and see tangible results. The ESTP is friendly and extremely positive and happy working in a team, they just don’t need people and don’t really get emotion. They are better at fixing problems, in a practical, pragmatic way than dealing with ‘people issues,’ which does not really play to their strengths.

Worst ESTP Work Environments

People-centric, slow-paced, repetitive environments where a premium is placed on adherence to rules and regulations and where there is no room for risk taking will not bring out the best in the ESTP. Forward planning and endless detail will not motivate an ESTP who needs to be fully immersed solving difficult problems. They will thrive in practical environments where they have the freedom and flexibility to get on and do it their way, and do not get mired in tradition or rules. Their strong independent streak means they wont want to be micro managed and will need to feel they have the freedom to jump in and jump out as required. A lack of challenge and no facility to respond quickly would not be good for the ESTP as they thrive on difficulty and pressure and they will lose energy if they are asked to follow the line and move methodically towards conclusion. They will not want to spend time in meetings or dealing with the emotional aspect of people, as they are intensely factual and practical and don’t really get the more subtle or theoretical issues.

Best ESTP Careers

The ESTP will be happiest and most productive in a challenging role that can offer them change, variety, flexibility and action. ESTPS become stifled if put in a box and the organisation will get the best out of them if they can use their practical, problem-solving strengths in a crisis. Asking them to plan and work in a prescribed way with protocols and tradition will not bring out the best in them. Roles such as Consultant, Trouble-shooter, Crisis Management, Plant Manager, offshore energy type roles where there are elements of danger and the need is short term, intense focus on practical problems, then moving onto the next one.