The Provider
The ESFJ personality type is Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging, which means they are energized by time with others, are practical and detail oriented, make decisions based on a strict moral code that is often black and white, and value structure so they can be organized and productive. Conscientious, sensitive, and energetic, ESFJs prioritize their relationships, using their effort and resources to care for others. ESFJs are enthusiastic communicators who make great motivational team leaders. While they have strong interpersonal skills, ESFJs can struggle to overcome fixed ideas, accept criticism, and be flexible.

The ESFJ at Work

ESFJs like to put their interpersonal skills to work to organize people and processes. They are tuned into the needs of others and seek to create structure to provide for people. ESFJs often prefer work that allows them to help people in practical, observable ways.

ESFJs enjoy work that allows them to follow through and see results, and prefer a high degree of structure and organization. They gain satisfaction from completing tasks with attention to order and detail. An ideal job for an ESFJ requires attention to procedure and specifications, and allows the ESFJ to work methodically to organize people and processes.

ESFJs usually prefer to work with others, and are energized by participating in a motivated, conscientious, action-oriented team. It is important to the ESFJ to do work that is accordant with their values, as well as to work with others who are supportive and cooperative. An ideal work environment for an ESFJ provides clear expectations and a friendly, structured atmosphere free from conflict or uncertainty.

The ESFJ on a Team

ESFJs enjoy the process of teamwork, and engage with others to create an environment of caring and support. They are concerned with getting everyone to contribute, and want to make all team members feel included and valued. ESFJs value cooperation and a harmonious team environment. They tend to solicit opinions from everyone and try to organize the tasks of the team to accommodate the needs and priorities of all involved.

ESFJs do best on a structured team, where everyone can be given a well-defined task and the rules of the game are agreed upon. They want to appreciate their teammates’ contributions, but find this easier when those contributions conform to established guidelines. They may have more difficulty with teammates who want to bend the rules or try something new.

ESFJs are most effective when their teams are cooperative and free of conflict. They often do well at bringing everyone together, and may be distracted from the task at hand if there is conflict or competition between team members.

For more information: What's Your Type of Career?

The ESFJ as a Leader

ESFJs are often eager to take charge, and get things done in a structured, orderly way. ESFJs want to deliver on time and as promised, and will expect that their teams show this same attention to expectations. They use their communication and organizational skills to coordinate and move a team steadily along toward a goal.

ESFJs motivate by providing their reports with personal attention and ensuring they have the resources and support they need to deliver results. They want their employees to feel appreciated and cared for so that they can be cooperative and productive.

Tradition is important to ESFJs, and they are interested in understanding established procedures and helping their teams to follow existing guidelines. They have a strong respect for organizational hierarchy and expect that their reports will also defer to their authority.

ESFJ Careers to Avoid

It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the ESFJ, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to the ESFJ. Occupations that require the ESFJ to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to ESFJs who are choosing a career.

The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among ESFJs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.