ENFP Careers: Find the Job That Fits Your Personality

Woman at Work


AnnaMarie Houlis
AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger

ENFPs (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception), who make up seven percent of the population, are free spirits, according to 16 Personalities, a free personality testing site where users are promised a concrete and accurate description of who they are and why they do things the way they do.

"They are often the life of the party... charming, independent, energetic and compassionate," according to the site. They're social and can lift the vibe of any situation, whether in or outside of the workplace.

With that said, let's take a deeper look at how this personality type behaves in the workplace.

What Are ENFP Personality Types Like in the Workplace?

ENFPs are shaped by their Intuitive (N) quality, which means that they're equipped with a keen curiosity and are great at reading between the lines.  They see both their personal and their professional lives as complex puzzles like systematic machines that they're always analyzing for deeper meaning with emotion, compassion and mysticism.

ENFPs typically possess the following traits that they exhibit both in their personal lives and in the workplace:

They also have weaknesses, however. Here are some of their most common ones:
  • Poor Practical Skills
  • Difficulty Focusing
  • Overthinkers
  • Get Stressed Easily
  • Highly Emotional
  • Independent to a Fault

As a result of these traits, both positive and negative, here's what ENFPs are like as managers, subordinates and colleagues.

ENFPs as Managers

"ENFPs are not great fans of heavy hierarchy and bureaucracy, and this is most evident when they take on the role of manager," according to 16 Personalities.

As managers, ENFP personalities, therefore, behave more like colleagues who create real friendships with their subordinates, among whom they're rather popular. They're able to use their relationships to inspire and motivate, which makes them great leaders.

ENFPs as Subordinates

"ENFPs are growth-oriented, and as subordinates they’ll impress their managers with their creativity and adaptability," according to 16 Personalities. "People with the ENFP personality type are excellent listeners, able to analyze and understand others’ perspectives effortlessly."

Because of their ability to listen and understand, ENFPs don't like micromanagement. Once they're given a task, they understand it and just want the freedom to go off and accomplish it on their own.

ENFPs as Colleagues

"ENFPs are people-people, and as far as the workplace is concerned, this quality shows through best among colleagues," according to 16 Personalities. "More than just coworkers, ENFPs view their colleagues as friends, people who they take a genuine interest in, providing support and cheer when they’re down or stressed."

Because people with the ENFP personality type are so good with their colleagues, they tend to alway look for win-win situations for everyone in different workplace scenarios.

How Can You Find the Right Career for Your Personality Type's Strengths and Weaknesses?

Here's how ENFPs can make the most of the career hunt.

1. Network

ENFPs are people people and, as such, they're skilled at networking in large groups.

2. Take Informational Interviews

Again, because ENFPs are good with people, one-on-one informational interviews are another easy way they can connect with prospective and potential employers.

3. Reach out to Immediate Social Circles

ENFPs are surrounded by friends and family with whom they have compassionate and strong connections. They can lean on these people for support in their career hunt. 

What Are the Best Career Choices for an ENFP Personality Type?

"When it comes to finding a career, people with the ENFJ personality typecast their eyes towards anything that lets them do what they love most — helping other people," according to 16 Personalities.

1. Engineering

Because ENFPs have an ability to network and match the communication styles of their colleagues and audiences, they're adept at exploring new challenges, working with others’ perspectives and gaining new insights into their engineering projects.

2. Psychology

ENFPs are the thinking types, which makes them great at both applying logic to systems technology, they can use that same logic with human interactions. They're great at finding out what makes people tick, and they can, therefore, make exceptional psychologists.

3. Life Coaches

Again, because ENFPs are so good at finding out what makes people tick, they also make great life coaches. They can find each clients' passion and help them to pursue it.

4. Detective Work

ENFPs can use their logic and people skills combined to make great detectives. 

5. Politicians

Again, because ENFPs have both logic and people skills, they can easily use both to understand people's wants and needs and implement strategies to help people. In fact, because politicians are largely entrepreneurs who can pursue their passions, ENFPs will do best in these roles.
"The best way forward for ENFP personalities is to establish themselves as entrepreneurs and consultants, blazing their own trails and taking on whatever project is most fascinating," according to 16 Personalities. "So long as they get to use their people skills, identify and achieve their own goals and inspire their colleagues and followers, ENFPs will be happy."

What Are the Worst Career Choices for an ENFP Personality Type?

Not all careers are great for ENFP personality types. Here are three that may not be the best fit for them.

1. Military Careers

"Repetition, predictability, boredom… while some Sentinel types may appreciate predictability and clear hierarchies, these are not selling points for ENFPs," according to 16 Personalities. ENFPs do not do quite as well is in systems of strict regimentation and hierarchy. As such, they don't tend to thrive in military service.

2. Sales

Again, ENFPs don't do as well when the career ladder is regimented. They perform better when they're not forced to climb higher to earn more. Likewise, their success needs to be in their own hands, not in the hands of the consumers of their products and services.

3. Corporate Retail

ENFPs are always questioning the status quo and, therefore, big corporate environments where they have less say can be mentally exhausting for them. They thrive more in smaller teams and companies where they can have bigger impacts.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.