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ENTP Careers - Best Jobs and Career Growth Advice

What traits do ENTPs bring to work, and what should they look for in their career?

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ENTPs are good at stepping back and seeing the bigger picture. They can brainstorm, uncover creative solutions to problems, and successfully argue their plan's points to persuade others. Their candid communication means they aren't afraid to offer suggestions to or even outright question their boss, but this behavior doesn't resonate so well in a formally structured, hierarchical environment. Furthermore, although they can quickly flesh out flaws in an idea, their direct and logical feedback is often viewed as insensitive or coarse.


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The ENTP will not shy away from speaking-up in a meeting. They like to work on solutions and are happy to be in the limelight.


ENTP Career Opportunities to Seek Out

ENTPs should seek out careers that allow them to practice these qualities. When the work matches what ENTPs naturally enjoy, there is a greater chance of success.
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Creative Freedom

ENTPs do best when a problem is presented without a solution in hand. Rather than follow the steps laid out, they prefer to build their own path to the answer; it's often done in a new and unexpected fashion.

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Direct Feedback

Unlike more sensitive personality types, ENTPs prefer their feedback to be straightforward and actionable. They seek to grow and improve and won't let their mistakes wane their enthusiasm for learning and improving.

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Unstructured

While the ENTP appreciates getting honest and critical feedback, they also wish to share feedback with others in the same style. An ENTP would feel at home in a flatter work environment where suggestions and questions from even low-level employees are considered.

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Big Picture Work

ENTPs would rather focus on the long-term vision and be given the task of finding innovative ways to achieve it. A career where they can coalesce big ideas from all the data around them would be a dream job.


ENTP Career Elements to Avoid

Like all types, some ENTP careers are likely to not work due to the ENTP being less suited to some tasks and styles of working. If these can be avoided, there is a greater chance the ENTP can have a happy and productive working environment.
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Process-Oriented Tasks

ENTPs find joy in finding their own way. Work that requires tasks accomplished in a particular way, rather than flexibility in reaching a specific goal, will not fit the ENTP.

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Solitary

ENTPs are naturally social. It's hard to have a debate by yourself. An ENTP won't feel fulfilled working in an environment where they cannot engage with those around them.

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Strictly Hierarchical

ENTPs have no issue questioning the ideas and plans of their organization's leadership. In strict hierarchical organizations, their inability to input their perspective will leave the ENTP feeling stifled.

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Requiring Empathy/Affirmation

While ENTPs, like all people, have the capacity for empathy, it's not a natural skill of ENTPs. Often, issues surrounding feelings will be misinterpreted through the lens of logic. Emotions are not seen as vital to the ENTP, and a role requiring skilled use will be frustrating for all involved


Managing an ENTP at work

Best way to manage and work with ENTPs

ENTPs can be an invaluable addition to any team. They are flexible, adaptive, and innovative. They'll easily find new ways to approach old problems when given the task. The ENTP personality is receptive to feedback and craves specific and detailed points to where they can improve. Help them stay within an acceptable range of constraints, and everyone can win.

ENTP personalities can see the unformed picture when presented with the data behind it. They incorporate information from various sources and see underlying themes. Give the ENTP the task to work in the abstract, and you'll be pleased with their results.

Give direct, candid feedback about their performance when needed. To the ENTP, no news is good news, and critical news is also good news. You won't bruise their ego with performance feedback. They'll take the information and adapt as necessary.

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Finding ways for an ENTP to contribute to the big picture will benefit everyone.

Their biggest challenge is working within the boundaries that the organization has established. Frequently, the ENTP will believe the best course of action will involve bending or breaking the rules because their innovative approach will transcend the current paradigm of the organizational structure.

ENTPs are social members of the work environment. Their love and skill in conversation will have them engaging with colleagues up and down the corporate ladder, and they won't be afraid to question the ideas of anyone they encounter.

  • ENTPs prefer to work on the big picture, not in the details of the day-to-day.
  • ENTPs crave forthright feedback on their performance.
  • ENTPs will need guidance working without total creative control over their processes.

Working with ENTP Colleagues

Best way to work with ENTPs as your colleagues

The ENTP colleague can be both enjoyable and frustrating. They are natural conversationalists and skilled debaters, often cracking jokes or sharing their sharp wit to the joy of others. Still, if the debate becomes spirited, the ENTP will not back down. While the ENTP may not take the passion of a heated discussion personally, those around them might.

The ENTP will want to chat, and the conversation will quickly move past pleasantries. Their humor and quick wit, paired with an ever-increasing archive of information, make them great conversational partners. While entertaining, they can be viewed as insensitive if the conversation turns into an informal battle. ENTPs seek to understand the world by stepping into the shoes of countering positions; they may not even believe the side they are arguing for, which would make it even more frustrating for the recipient.

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Working with an ENTP may not be easy, but it will be effective.

ENTPs are so focused on the conceptual that they may forget about or even disregard more menial tasks. Their focus is fixed on the big picture. It can be difficult for them to follow through with tedious assignments, and it can be more challenging to try convincing them they should do so.

ENTPs want smart, capable colleagues so they can bounce their ideas off the most skilled audience. They will bring new ideas to the table whenever given a chance, and they'll make chances if there aren't any being given.

Don't mistake an ENTP's non-conforming personality for deliberate disrespect. They don't mean any harm when they tell you they’d rather do something in a different way or not do it at all. It comes from a place of confidence in their own approach rather than cynicism towards yours. Their flexibility is ego-syntonic; they think highly of it and try to showcase it to other people. In fact, they would go to great lengths to avoid entering an argument with their colleagues, so in case a disagreement is inevitable, try to gently persuade them. Although they like having things their way, they are rarely unreasonable.

  • ENTPs will want to have conversations about big ideas.
  • ENTPs will have trouble completing the tasks they see as boring.
  • ENTPs have no problem sharing feedback with others, even if viewed as insensitive.

Data: Careers reported by ENTPs

Survey data on ENTP career choices

What are the most and least popular ENTP career choices?

Figure 1: Survey data of which career sector ENTPS currently work in

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What this chart shows

This chart shows the percent of ENTPs who work in each industry sector compared to all types. This highlights which careers have an above-average and below-average proportion of ENTP types working in them.

Notes:
  • 1. n=27985
  • 2. Population: all
  • 3. This data shows self-report data to the question "what is your primary career?". Results do not necessarily imply these are the most or least suitable career choices, just the most and least frequently selected by people with ENTP personality type.
  • 4. Live dataset last updated:

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Ellie Simmonds, MSc

University of Bath, Psychology

Ellie Simmonds, MSc in Psychology from University of Bath. Ellie is an associate lecturer on psychometric assessments and has extensive knowledge of the 16-type model.