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ESFJ Careers - Best Jobs and Career Growth Advice

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

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ESFJs benefit from a high level of human interaction, and they function best in structured environments where requirements are clear and familiar routines are safe from disruption. They have a high regard for established hierarchies as well as structures, and they treat everyone with care and respect. They take their responsibilities very seriously and like to feel that their contributions are essential, so they are often comfortable in positions of authority.


ESFJ Career Opportunities to Seek Out

An ideal ESFJ career is one that allows them to practice these qualities. When the work matches what ESFJs naturally enjoy, there is a greater chance of success.
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Providing care

With their ability to quickly establish rapport, ESFJs earn the confidence of patients and calm nerves in crisis situations while accurately assessing and warmly responding to each patient's needs. They are passionate about helping people in practical ways, so roles in healthcare, particularly nursing, can be fulfilling.

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Teaching and mentoring

It is likely that many primary (elementary) schoolteachers are ESFJs, as this personality type is comfortable holding authority and skilled at building confidence in others. Teaching is a natural fit.

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Counselling and therapy

Their talent for building rapport and confidence while making people feel at ease makes ESFJs ideal candidates for roles in social work. These jobs allow them to enjoy a high level of face-to-face contact with people they care about within a traditional work environment.

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Community Service

Many happy ESFJ careers involve volunteering in their communities. Sometimes these activities can lead to providing practical services that enhance wellbeing and ensure safety for those who are most vulnerable. ESFJs may become clergy or directors of charitable organizations.


ESFJ Career Elements to Avoid

Like all types, some ESFJ careers will be less viable as the ESFJ is less suited to some tasks and styles of working. If these can be avoided, there is a greater chance the ESFJ can have a happy and productive working environment.
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Solitary computer work

ESFJs may not find performing detailed, repetitive tasks as tedious as many other types do, but too much solitary time at a desk leaves them missing out on the face-to-face interaction they need in order to keep motivated.

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Accounting

ESFJs are sometimes attracted to financial firms for their perceived structure and stability, but the reality is that financial institutions are as vulnerable as any other sector when it comes to economic fluctuations. A full day of looking at abstract figures can leave an ESFJ feeling disconnected and uninspired.

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Freelancing

The gig economy is a nerve-wracking place for ESFJs. It's relatively new compared to more traditional forms of employment. ESFJs need stability and long-term rapport with superiors. They feel more confident when they are sure of their place within an established organization.

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Competitive environments

As one of the Feeling-Judging types, ESFJs find competitive jobs like sales pretty stressful. These jobs often provide a lot of concrete feedback on an employee's performance, which is something ESFJs thrive on. They would much rather see themselves as part of a team where everyone wins together rather than be pitted against their colleagues and see their performance ranked in comparison to others.


Managing an ESFJ at work

Best way to manage and work with ESFJs

Identifying which type each person who you are managing can help significantly in bringing the best out of your team during any project. ESFJs are a valuable addition to any team and their unique preferences can be of great help. Under encouraging and supportive leadership, ESFJs bring a lot to the table including a strong work ethic, high standards, and a collaborative approach to getting things done.

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An ESFJ is best suited to career where they can feel like they are making a difference to others; a job that feels worthwhile will keep the ESFJ healthy and reduce opportunities for the ESFJ to exhibit unhealthy traits and attitudes.

ESFJs thrive in structured organizations where they are given straightforward instructions, specific goals and deadlines, and clear feedback on their performance. It's important for them to feel that they are contributing toward a team effort, and they prefer working alongside others. They are happy to perform routine and monotonous tasks as long as they aren't too isolated.

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ESFJs respect authority and take pride in their contributions to the team's success.

The optimal work environment is convivial and supportive. ESFJs are uncomfortable with conflict and ambiguity, so they appreciate decisive leadership. They wouldn't think of placing their own preferences above the needs of the team, so presenting them with a number of options and asking them what they want to do will only produce anxiety and confusion. They would rather simply be told what needs to be done.

ESFJs are highly industrious. They follow the rules scrupulously and complete tasks with the utmost attention to detail.

  • Give ESFJs clear instructions. Articulate what their responsibilities are and when projects should be completed.
  • Let ESFJs know that their contributions are appreciated.
  • Create a collaborative and nurturing environment and allow frequent, meaningful interactions among team members.

Working with ESFJ Colleagues

How to work with an ESFJ

Understanding how different people approach their work and their relationships with colleagues can help make for a more productive and collaborative workplace. Let's see what it's like to work with an ESFJ.

ESFJs care deeply about the work they do and the people with whom they share it. They take pride in being part of respected organizations and productive teams. Recognizing that sharing advice and feedback is an integral part of improving skills and performance, if they see an area where a colleague could do better, they will be tactful, straight forward, and gracious in letting them know. They may take constructive feedback a bit personally if it isn't delivered to them with the same care.

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ESFJs take pride in contributing to the success of productive teams and respected organizations.

ESFJs are passionate about supporting their team members, but colleagues shouldn't expect this to apply when they are pioneering bold new ideas. ESFJs are very conventional at heart. They feel strongly about maintaining good relationships and are uneasy when conflicts arise. This can lead to outwardly agreeing to ideas that they don't actually support.

  • ESFJs value constructive feedback that is delivered with positive encouragement and tact.
  • ESFJs are meticulous and dedicated to following the rules. Eager to please, they put their own feelings last and go out of their way to keep things amiable.
  • Although ESFJs enjoy being helpful and supportive, they are unlikely to fall in behind bold new ideas and risky changes.

Data: Careers reported by ESFJs

Survey data on ESFJ career choices

What are most and least popular ESFJ career choices?

Figure 1: Survey data of which careers ESFJs currently work in

career choices

What this chart shows

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