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ESTJ Careers - Best Jobs and Career Growth Advice

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

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Workplaces are environments with their own rules of interpersonal interplay. An ESTJ can excel at a career that makes good use of their diligence, principled work ethic, and pursuit of personal success. At the same time, the optimal work environment will be understanding and tolerant of their flaws and will attempt to work around or accommodate them. The following section will examine the perspectives of an ESTJ, their employer, and their colleagues.


ESTJ Career Opportunities to Seek Out

An ideal ESTJ career is one where they can practice the following qualities. When the work matches what ESTJs naturally enjoy, there is a greater chance of success.
strength

Accuracy

ESTJs are solution, rather than problem, oriented. When faced with a challenge, they can feel comfortable making a cognitive map of the possible solutions and draft a plan. They are thorough and not as concerned with speed as they are with accuracy. Whenever mistakes are detrimental, an ESTJ is the right person for the job.

strength

Management and Organization

ESTJs often have the capacity to quickly assess people. Their sensing nature allows them to screen for outliers and identify high-performing opportunity. They have no problems with being direct and communicating culpability whenever it has been established. They will neither sugarcoat the truth nor submit to bias.

strength

Persuasion

Many ESTJs have mastered the art of persuasion. They use language strategically and sensitively and are often well-spoken and eloquent. For these reasons, ESTJs excel in careers that require some sort of persuasion - be it the selling of a product or the acquisition of assets.

strength

Data Analysis

ESTJs tend to be both enthusiastic about and skilled in data analysis. They are analytically-minded, and great at organizing apparently discorded facts in ways that reveal implicit meanings. They are particularly gifted for careers in data analysis, data mining, statistics, or a related field.


ESTJ Career Elements to Avoid

Like all types, some ESTJ careers are not as viable as an ESTJ is less suited to some tasks and styles of working. If these can be avoided, there is a greater chance the ESTJ can have a happy and productive working environment.
weakness

Sensibility

Telling a white lie or simply withholding the truth can be important in certain situations, perhaps for example in complex interpersonal interactions. Often, no one person can be singled out and blamed - either for an unintentional mishap or for a systematic shortcoming. ESTJs may struggle in careers such as human resources or mediation where delicate phrasing of sensitive issues is important.

weakness

Theory and Exploration

ESTJs tend to get demotivated by tasks and puzzles which one cannot solve using common sense. Certain ,mainly academic, disciplines require openness to the idea that multiple perspectives are equally valid and that objective truth is an unproven assertion. These are best avoided by an ESTJ.

weakness

Creative Expression

ESTJs tend to be cautious and reserved. This is useful for some careers, but less so for others. Artistic expression requires a particular streak of recklessness - a leap of faith or a dash of unjustified confidence in one's work. ESTJs do have an artistic side, but it tends to be suppressed.

weakness

Novelty

ESTJs often value structure and predictability. The more they repeat a task, the better they get at doing it. They tend to hold themselves to high standards and want to make sure everyone recognizes their competence. They may be intimidated by careers which require constant adaptation and quick learning.


Managing an ESTJ at work

Best way to manage and work with ESTJs

A manager will need to work with colleagues and establish rapport with diverse personalities. Understanding the drivers of people's behavior can ease their job and make them a more amicable boss. Here's a couple of tips on how best to manage an ESTJ.

One would be forgiven in assuming that ESTJs struggle with respecting authority, however this is not usually the case. ESTJs despise hypocrisy; they continuously put effort into adhering to their own principles and into making sure that other people recognize this. Principally, they have no quarrels with workplace hierarchies, because they realize that they are what separates smooth and efficient from chaotic and stretched-out decision-making.

face reading open book

ESTJs are inclined to criticize, regardless of their position in the company. It's important to take their criticism with the positive intention it was given.

However, ESTJs will rarely keep to themselves if they are confident in their conclusions and observations. They are cautious and introspective, so they will only speak out after they have reached a certain threshold of confidence. When they do speak out, they will be short and concise, which might look to other people as if their thoughts are underdeveloped. This is better explained by a rationing rather than a lack of words. With this in mind, managers should be wary of dismissing ESTJs’ objections or mistaking them for nitpicking. This is not only likely to agitate them, but it will often mean a missed opportunity for critical reflection and reform.

  • ESTJs will be diligent and will expect the same from others.
  • If approached with an open mind, ESTJs will help improve the efficiency and productivity of the workplace.
  • They will speak out only if they are completely sure of their judgment.

ESTJs will be the team's workhorses if you show them that their hard work will lead them to greater responsibility and positions of leadership.

Work-horse

The advice of an ESTJ is rarely gratuitous and meaningless, so managers have a lot to gain from listening with an open mind.

Slacking off, sidestepping duties, missing deadlines, and dishonesty, are generally frowned upon by ESTJs. They will be especially dedicated to avoiding even the slightest stain on people's perception of their work ethic. In moderation, this dedication of theirs will be neutral. However, in their effort to appear professional they might overcompensate and start criticizing their co-workers whenever they fall back. This is not always bad but in some situations, it might contribute to an air of hostility in the workplace.


Working with ESTJ Colleagues

Best way to work with ESTJs as your colleagues

ESTJs can be a joy to work with; professional, cooperative, and respective of other people's personal space. Understanding how an ESTJ is likely to behave in the workplace can help foster tolerance and mutual respect.

As extraverts, ESTJs enjoy the company of others. However, they tend not to be too concerned with whether other people like them. They will tolerate small-talk but they will not initiate it. They usually won't hesitate to criticize a co-worker, or to reject their invitation for lunch. Co-workers’ response to this sort of demeanor will vary: some will be pleased, others less so. It is important that, whatever one's personal opinion of straightforwardness, one remembers that this is simply an intrinsic characteristic of ESTJs rather than an act of hostility.

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ESTJs will join in with chit chat reluctantly, and will me more interested in how to professionally make the most out of their relationship with a co-worker.

ESTJs are principally fair and just. They will insist on a fair distribution of work, according to one's job description and personal qualifications. However, this says nothing about their ability to sympathize with people and offer a helping hand. ESTJs will tend to see their relationships with co-workers as transactional rather than personal. If a co-worker is overwhelmed and needs assistance, they will be happy to help out, under the condition that they eventually reciprocate.

blue star

ESTJs will be fair and just; they will respect other people's competence and will try to foster a relationship of mutual respect and trust.

Even outside of managerial roles, ESTJ will try to maintain a structure in the workplace that they feel familiar with or is conducive to their functioning. This could range from simple rearrangement of office materials, to more direct steering of tasks towards themselves or their colleagues. If they believe they can perform a certain task better than a co-worker, they will rarely hesitate to say so. As a co-worker of an ESTJ, it is important not to take their criticism to heart; remember that their behavior is driven by their own principles and tendencies rather than by their opinions of other people.


Data: Careers reported by ESTJs

Survey data on ESTJ career choices

What are most and least popular ESTJ career choices?

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

career choices

What this chart shows

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