Can an ENFJ Succeed in a Non-Leadership Position?

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on April 22, 2018

You’re an ENFJ, the well-known “Teacher” personality who fights for the good of your people. Whether it’s at work or in your personal life, you take the wheel when a problem needs to be resolved and have a strong moral compass that gets your passengers safely and successfully where they need to go.

Not only is leading others part of your natural talent, it’s also something that you truly love doing. Leadership roles add to your day-to-day happiness—so much so that for an ENFJ, it might be hard to imagine working a job that doesn’t embrace your natural knack for guiding others.

So, what happens when these acclaimed leaders find themselves in a profession that requires embracing a “follower” role? Can an ENFJ sit back and let someone else take the reins while still having a successful, happy career?


As the Teacher personality, it is your first instinct to take the lead and valiantly guide your team toward the greater good of your company or organization. You naturally have what it takes to do this and you’re often the best person for the job. However, at some point during your career, you’ll likely find yourself in a non-leadership role …. and that’s OK too.

Here’s how ENFJs can work in a non-leadership position and play to their strengths

1. Know exactly what your role is and how you can contribute to company goals.

ENFJs are highly-motivated, compulsively organized, and always excited to get things done. If your current work role doesn’t allow you to pave the way toward big company goals, it is still in your best interest to get involved with the company’s success in any way you can—even ways that seem small.

Whether this means being actively engaged during a team meeting or ensuring that the company files stay neat and tidy, do what you can to excel in your current role using your strong attention to detail and energetic nature.

2. Make it your mission to empower others.

As the Teacher personality type, one of your main goals is to help others become better at what they do. You have a humanitarian heart and one of your biggest joys in life comes from seeing the successes of those around to you. This part of the ENFJ personality actually makes you perfect for a non-leadership position.

So, rather than focusing on recruiting others to follow your lead, channel your energy toward empowering and supporting others. Whether that means shaking someone’s hand after they’ve hit a monthly sales goal or giving a shout out to a coworker for their promptness at a company meeting, now is your time to be a cheerleader for those around you. This not only puts your natural humanitarian energy to good use but also is a huge morale boost in the workplace.

Your superiors will notice this!

3. Show interest in professional growth and leadership roles.

Whenever you can, offer to take on projects that allow you to manage a team, even if it’s only a small one. This lets you demonstrate how great a leader you are! While these opportunities may not come around every day, take the initiative when they do. Eventually, your supervisors and coworkers will notice your enthusiasm and skills when it comes to leading others.

Aside from taking on leadership projects, make sure you also voice your future career goals and aspirations to your supervisor when appropriate. The best time to do this is usually during an annual or quarterly performance review. But remember, if you decide to bring up a potential promotion or title change, be prepared to backup your request with examples of your stellar work.

4. Remember the “greater good” of the company and what your team is working toward.

As an ENFJ, it is helpful for you to focus on the idea that you are an integral part of the bigger mission of your company. Being able to pinpoint exactly how your position contributes to the overall success of your company can help you feel more at ease and purposeful while you are not in the driver’s seat.

A great way to do this is by keeping a log of your professional goals and company goals and making connections between the two wherever possible. By discovering ways you can support overall company goals, you’ll keep yourself driven and energetic about the work you put in each day.

5. Relax and take things day by day.

If you’re an ENFJ who is unhappy in your current job, remember that this is not the end all be all for you. It’s likely that your current role will change over time and as you grow professionally— perhaps via a promotion or perhaps another opportunity that is more fitting for your leadership aspirations will come along.

Either way, enjoy your current role for what it has to offer you for as long as you choose to. If you decide to stick with your current position for the time being, it may end up being a great learning experience and even help discover strengths you didn’t know you have. On the other hand, if your job is taking away from your daily happiness or you don’t see it as a long-term career, don’t feel trapped. Keep searching for the perfect job that will allow your wonderful personality and talents to shine!

Final Thoughts

For all of the ENFJs who are currently in a non-leadership role, have no fear! Your personality makes you a great candidate for management positions, but these are not the only positions you will excel in. The most important thing is to use your energy to improve yourself and those around you, no matter what your job description is.

Heather Nocera

Heather is an ENFJ who is energetic and loves getting to know different personality types. She is passionate about all forms of writing, from academic and technical writing to free verse poetry. She studied English composition and rhetoric at the NC State Graduate School and is now living and writing in New York City. She is Team Oxford Comma, loves doing handstands, and is obsessed with her dog, Bella!

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.


MartinJax (not verified) says...

Hellow my name is MartinJax. Wery good art! Thx :)

akashraletta says...

Strengths and Weaknesses are very much important factor which is required in the leadership postion

Scott Elliott (not verified) says...

I work in politics and have found that I do very well on campaigns and within party committees. They are nimble, embrace skill over experience, encourage constructive dialoue, and priortize outcome over process. By contrast, my year at a large nonprofit in LA was absolutely miserable. My superior ideas were rejected in favor of inferior ideas from longterm employees, decisions were often made my committee (my worst nightmare), and almost every employee in the Development Department, with the exceptio of me and another recent hire, demanded adherence to asinine processes and lacked any sense of urgency. As a well-connected young man who is popular among donors in Los Angeles and across the country, the organization's longtime (and much, much older) CDO confided in a colleage that he feared that I would take his job. After she told me about their exchange, I resgined and concluded my letter by reassuring the CDO that "I am a fundraiser, not a janitor. I would never want to be in the position of cleaning up this mess." 

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