ENFPs are true free spirits. It's no secret that they loathe the cubicle life, hate dressing for success, and value intrinsic rewards over financial pay-offs. Freewheeling ENFPs want to do what they love, and the careers that are recommended for them - actor, public relations professional, photographer, drugs counselor - are sufficiently non-conformist to appeal to their independent, unconventional nature.
But .... aren't these suggestions just a little boring?
Here are four offbeat careers that most people would never think of when choosing a career path. As a bonus, they all offer great perks - though not always the financial kind.
#1: Adventure Travel Trip Leader
Do you dream about getting paid to take groups of thrill seekers hiking in Patagonia, camel riding in Jordan, or jeep touring across Tibet? Do you want to see the world, make hundreds of new friends, and learn a new language? Then a career as an adventure travel tour leader could be a great move for you.
The adventure travel industry has been booming in recent years as more and more people turn their back on traditional vacations, opting instead to raft the Zambezi, hike the Inca Trail, or cross India on horseback. Traveling this way gives vacationers the adventure they crave with the safety of a solid support team if natural disaster strikes or a civil war breaks out. Every tour needs a leader, and these people have the enviable job of leading the group off the beaten track, briefing them on local culture, history and religion, and making sure they get back in one piece!
Leaders specialize in one country or region, or one activity such as walking tours, kayaking, surfing or mountain biking, or they mix and match, so there's no shortage of adventure. And, with your boss maybe working 10,000 miles away, there's more independence than you can shake a stick at. Salaries vary widely depending on specialty and experience, but who's thinking about the cash when you're enjoying this kind of lifestyle?
#2: Name Consultant
From nail polish to running shoes, power tools to financial services products, all companies need innovative names for themselves, their products and services. That's where a naming consultant comes in. Working from the client's brief, they create hundreds of potential names and taglines for a new product or service, before selecting the name that's perfect.
Naming takes creativity - which most ENFPs have in spades - as well as a passion for language and the ability to make chains of ideas between different concepts and sounds. Many people enter the profession after working as copywriters, poets, song writers, researchers and even crossword puzzle builders. However, since the job is so unique, there's no set entry path. A big component of the job is derived from advertising, marketing and design, so experience in those fields could be helpful.
While some naming consultants work in agencies, many work freelance, so you'll have to be good at finding clients, selling yourself and pitching your services. But if you love the idea of creating something out of nothing, exploring possibilities, pushing boundaries, and coming up with a name that millions of people will remember and respond to, then this job should work out perfectly.
#3: Foreign Service Officer
At first glance, working for a government agency doesn't sound like a great fit for the freewheeling ENFP. There's often a strong organizational hierarchy and a bunch of bureaucracy that ENFPs find too confining and regimented. But if you are looking for adventure, enjoy learning about other cultures, and - as the U.S. Department of State puts it - have a desire to "promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad," then it's worth checking out the foreign service. In many ways, this job is a match made in ENFP heaven.
As a Foreign Service Officer, you could be asked to serve in just about any country of the world, and potentially in difficult and even dangerous environments. It isn't an intelligence career - you won't be a spy. Rather, assignments might range from delivering books to school children in a war zone to fighting human trafficking in Africa. There's a strong humanitarian element.
Candidates are put through a rigorous application process that involves passing a tough exam requiring extensive knowledge of many different subjects, especially government, history, geography and popular culture. Foreign language skills are a bonus but not essential, since the State Department teaches more than 80 languages to its officers in house. For ENFPs who desire not a job but a way of life, it's worth taking the State Department's quiz to find out if the Foreign Service is right for you.
#4: Cool Hunter
Thanks to the Internet, "cool" is harder to define than ever. Keeping track of trends is such big business that it has become an entire job, since finding the next big thing before anyone else does can make businesses a lot of money. Assignments could range from finding the hottest food trend with teenagers to having your finger on the pulse of Tokyo street style - the job refers especially to marketing aimed at young people who are typically unresponsive to traditional marketing messages.
Cool hunters use tried-and-true marketing techniques such as focus groups and market research, combined with chat room research and fieldwork to discover the emerging trends in a specific area or within a specific demographic. As such, you need to be future-oriented, cooperative, friendly, genuinely interested in people, and super-flexible to excel in this role. Cool hunters go wherever the trends take them.
Cool hunters may work in marketing agencies, or they may work for themselves, but they're usually young(ish), creative people with a background in fashion, design, journalism, communications, psychology or a similar finger-on-the-pulse profession. The best cool hunters are endlessly curious, capable of seeking out the unconventional, and able to read between the lines with innovation and energy, which makes this job ideal for the intuitive, exploratory ENFP.