Free 16 Personality Type Test - Find Your Type

Not sure what Myers Briggs type you are? Take a free Jungian Type (16 types) test to find out what your type is.

16 Types

ESFP Careers - Best Jobs and Career Growth Advice

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

Page contents:


Professionally, an ESFP will thrive in a setting that is tolerant of their flaws, and compliments their strong points. Knowing what types of jobs are compatible with one's personality can be invaluable when choosing a career. Likewise, the best way for an employer or colleague to build a meaningful relationship with an ESFP is to understand their values and work ethic.


ESFP Career Opportunities to Seek Out

An ideal ESFP career is one that allows them to practice these qualities. When the work matches what ESFPs naturally enjoy, there is a greater chance of success.
strength

People Skills

Any profession which requires strong communication skills and tolerance of different types of people is a great match for an ESFP. ESFPs can employ a friendly and welcoming persona effortlessly, and can make people feel comfortable, regardless of how uncomfortable the subject matter is.

strength

Innovative

While ESFPs aren't too intuitive - a trait closely associated with innovation - they are adaptable and self-confident. Being able to come up with on-the-spot solutions is a transferable skill, useful in almost every corner of the corporate world. This also means that ESFPs often require minimal oversight and can work well independently - provided they are given clear and comprehensive instructions.

strength

Creative

ESFPs are natural performers and entertainers; they excel as artists and can be a lucrative investment for those who recognize their talent. Beyond literal creativity, ESFPs are also situationally creative. They are perfectly suited for jobs in which some guidance and contouring are available, but a lot is left to the employee's creative imagination.

strength

Detail-oriented

ESFPs can make sense of complex processes in the physical world with unparalleled ease. They require less time than average to remember information that is composed of distinct sequential facts. They are exceptional at understanding the workings of intricate objects, such as different types of machinery and new technologies.


ESFP Career Elements to Avoid

Like all types, some ESFP careers are less viable as an ESFP is less suited to some tasks and styles of working. If these can be avoided, there is a greater chance the ESFP can have a happy and productive working environment.
weakness

Repetitive

Many careers require regularly meeting the same people, attending the same events, or writing and proof-reading the same types of documents. Because ESFPs tend to get bored easily, they will get demotivated if they think of their job as being too repetitive. The bottom line is, every ESFP will be different; some will tolerate - albeit begrudgingly - a bit of paperwork from time to time, while others will protest at the earliest sign of repetition.

weakness

Planning

Almost every workplace has some sort of contingency plan, be it financial or other. Regular employees usually don't have to worry about this too much, but management does. ESFPs find planning redundant, and think they can improvise their way out of any hardship. It would probably be for the best if ESFPs avoid management-level positions which carry with them a lot of - especially financial - responsibility.

weakness

Authority

Every workplace will have a hierarchy of some sort, and decision-making will usually be centralized. ESFPs will think of themselves as independent, even though they are prone to slacking and sidestepping dull but important work duties. When confronted, they might deny responsibility and shift blame. In general, ESFPs will demur authority and find it hard to submit to it.

weakness

People Pleaser

Another reason ESFPs might not be too well suited for management positions is their aversion towards conflict, and their commitment to making everyone feel comfortable at all times. Conflict resolution requires identifying culpability by each of the parties, and this in turn requires confrontation. ESFPs are themselves notorious for not handling criticism well, and they will likely try to avoid setting off the same feelings in other people.


Managing an ESFP at work

Best way to manage and work with ESFPs

Knowing the ins and outs of an ESFP will help you mitigate the chaos that they often bring into the workplace, and will create an environment that is conducive to their success. Here's a couple of suggestions on how best to manage an ESFP.

ESFPs’ workflow won't always align with your own. Oftentimes, they will fixate on deliverables and will struggle to see the point with following a specific path to an end product. This can be frustrating for you as a manager. It is therefore imperative to communicate your specific requirements early on and to emphasize that they are non-negotiable. It would also help if you explain why certain parts are necessary, even though they might not appear that way. An ESFP will have an easier time complying with instructions that they understand. In addition, it's important for you to find a balance between criticism and praise; ESFPs learn best by positive reinforcement. Whenever you are pleased with their work, try to make an example of them, or show your appreciation in another way.

face reading open book

ESFPs are free spirits. They will see any flexibility they are allowed as a concession, and will be compelled to deliver good results.

ESFPs will value collegiality above diligence. They won't feel resentful when others don't put as much work into a task as they have, nor will they feel responsible to match the amount of work that others have put in. They will be happy to stay overtime and walk the extra mile if they feel like what they are working on is meaningful and fulfilling. It's therefore best to talk to your ESFP before assigning them a task. There is nothing more demotivating for an ESFP than a task they think of as soul-crushing.

Work-horse

ESFPs will work best on tasks that are new, interesting, and engaging, and will be demotivated by mind-numbing administrative tasks.

It also won't hurt for you to find your inner flexibility. Try to think whether certain tasks are as necessary as you had envisioned. You might be pleasantly surprised by the ESFP's creativity; at best, they will find solutions which are less resource- and time-consuming but still churn out good results. Allow your ESFP some degree of independence in the work process and they will be sure to appreciate it.

  • ESFPs value flexibility and will get the job done if they are allowed to work at their own pace.
  • ESFPs will excel at tasks they like and will fall back when forced to perform ones they dislike.
  • An ESFP's focus is a scarce resource; they will find the least complicated and time-consuming way to perform a task.

Working with ESFP Colleagues

Best way to work with ESFPs as your colleagues

Workplaces are dynamic environments, teeming with different types of people trying to coexist under the same roof. Respect and professionalism are essential, but not sufficient. People are social beings that strive to achieve meaningful connections with each other, lest they become overly consumed by work. When approached with an open mind, ESFPs can raise their co-workers’ morale and lighten up their mood even during the most tense times

ESFPs are social butterflies. Under the right circumstances, they can bring their social flare to the workplace and make everyone's work day more enjoyable. They like being liked, so they will assist everyone with work duties, even at the expense of their own. They will take everyone's lunch and coffee order and will make sure no one is left out. They will have no quarrels with chit chat and light banter and will probably have to be gently reminded to get back to work from time to time.

blue star

ESFPs will bring joy and warmth into the workplace. They are near immune to frustration and can get along with so many different types.

However, ESFPs may be less enthusiastic to talk about the future of the company, or to come up with feedback about their co-workers’ performance. Their first instinct is to say “everything is great”, even if they don't really mean it. In fact, what they really mean doesn't matter to them too much; what matters is that everyone feels welcomed and at ease. Keeping this in mind, ESFPs will need to be encouraged to speak up about things they find annoying or think could be improved.

blue star

An ESFP is driven in the workplace to reach the position they want.

The ESFP in the workplace is charismatic, determined, and full of grit. They are excellent to have on your team as they will likely push you to elevate your actions.

Don't mistake an ESFP'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.

  • ESFPs will need to be encouraged to speak up and provide constructive feedback.
  • ESFPs will excel at teamwork and communicate well with all team members.

Data: Careers reported by ESFPs

Survey data on ESFP career choices

What are most and least popular ESFP career choices?

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

career choices

What this chart shows

This chart shows the percent of ESFPs who work in each industry sector compared to all types. This highlights which careers have an above-average and below-average proportion of ESFP 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 ESFP personality type.
  • 4. Live dataset last updated:

grey avatar

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.