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The ENFP Personality Type

ENFPs are people-centered creators with a focus on possibilities and a contagious enthusiasm for new ideas, people and activities. Energetic, warm, and passionate, ENFPs love to help other people explore their creative potential.

ENFPs are typically agile and expressive communicators, using their wit, humor, and mastery of language to create engaging stories. Imaginative and original, ENFPs often have a strong artistic side. They are drawn to art because of its ability to express inventive ideas and create a deeper understanding of human experience.

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What does ENFP stand for?

ENFP is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. ENFP indicates a person who is energized by time spent with others (Extraverted), who focuses on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details (iNtuitive), who makes decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling) and who prefers to be spontaneous and flexible rather than planned and organized (Perceiving). ENFPs are sometimes referred to as Champion personalities because of their enthusiasm for helping others realize their dreams.

ENFP Values and Motivations

ENFPs tend to be curious about others and preoccupied with discovering the deeper meaning in people and ideas. They want authentic experience and often seek emotional intensity. ENFPs are easily bored by details and repetition and seek out situations that offer an escape from the mundane. Novelty is attractive to ENFPs, who often have a wide range of interests and friends from many backgrounds.

ENFPs prize individuality and often consider the pursuit of happiness to be the highest priority in life, both for themselves and for others. They place great importance on personal freedom and self-expression, and want to be able to go wherever inspiration leads.

How Others See the ENFP

ENFPs love to talk about people: not just the facts, but what motivates them, what inspires them, and what they envision achieving in life. They’ll often share their own aspirations freely, and want to hear others’ in return. The ENFP is unlikely to judge anyone’s dream, and will discuss the most imaginative and outlandish of fantasies with warm, enthusiastic intensity. They love to explore creative possibilities, and nothing deflates them faster than talking about dry facts or harsh reality.

ENFPs often seem unconventional, and may come off as scattered; they don’t tend to be in touch with their physical surroundings. They often overlook the details, as they are more likely to focus on connecting with other people or on exploring their own imagination and self-expression. They have little patience for the mundane and want to experience life with intensity and flair. ENFPs often have an artistic streak, and may be artistic in appearance. Many have developed a distinctive and quirky personal style.

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How rare is the ENFP personality type?

ENFP is a moderately common personality type, and is the fifth most common among women. ENFPs make up:

  • 8% of the general population
  • 10% of women
  • 6% of men

Famous ENFPs

Famous ENFPs include Bill Clinton, Phil Donahue, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Will Rogers, Carol Burnett, Dr. Seuss, Robin Williams, Drew Barrymore, Julie Andrews, Alicia Silverstone, Joan Baez, and Regis Philbin.

ENFP Quotes

"They may be inspiring teachers, scientists, artists, advertising or salespeople, or almost anything they want to be."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Their enthusiasm is boundless and is often contagious, making them the most vivacious of all the types, and also inspiring others to join their cause."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"ENFPs' ability to empower others is one of their most impressive contributions to the workplace."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

Facts about ENFPs

Interesting facts about the ENFP:

  • On personality trait scales, scored as Enthusiastic, Outgoing, Spontaneous, Changeable, Impulsive, Energetic, and Understanding
  • Scored among highest of all types in available resources for coping with stress
  • ENFP women are less likely to suffer from heart disease
  • ENFP men are less likely to suffer from chronic pain
  • Rated by psychologists as among most likely of all types to have trouble in school
  • Overrepresented among academically talented elementary school students
  • Personal values include Home & family, Friendships, Creativity, Learning, and Community Service
  • Commonly found in careers in counseling, teaching, religion, and the arts

Source: MBTI Manual

ENFP Hobbies and Interests

Popular hobbies for the ENFP include writing, creating and appreciating art, playing musical instruments, listening to music, participating in community theater, and reading fiction.

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Ruffrey (not verified) says...

ENFP here, went to school for psychology and social work. Which fits with the suggestions and other personality test and career test suggestions I had in high school.

Working as a therapist and social worker bored me to tears after the first few years. I switched to software development and it has been over 10 years. I never looked back. Engineering can require a high level of collaboration and creativity. This is great for many ENFPs, myself included. I have met several other successful engineer-type ENFPs and it seems the difference is we have been forced to learn good discipline and focus on the team's goals and values. Executing to a very specific plan is hard for the ENFP but executing to big goals and teamwork is highly valued in software. 

AnnaThenonRobot (not verified) says...

Hey! Do you guy's think that ENFP's would be good lawyers? 

INTJaybert (not verified) says...

No. Did you not read this? They hate mundane, details, conflict, and heavy handed rules. Law is almost literally everything they hate. Might be fun for them to play one on TV though.

big smart guy (not verified) says...

Don't be so mean.  For all you know they are twice as smart as you.  for example my IQ is 193, so you techinacally don't have room to talk.  They were asking a simple queston, why you have to be so rude.

ExtravertWhoHatesPeople (not verified) says...

I work at a law firm, its my first job out of university and I hate it here. I thought I'd take a corporate job to test the waters and wow it is so painful. Unless you truly truly desire to become a lawyer do not do it, especially if its outta peer pressure. I am going back to visual anthropology and research as soon as my contract is over and thinking about going to film school! 

-_- (not verified) says...

actually, although enfps aren't ones for regulations and high stress any type could be a lawyer. their ability to think on their feet and passion with helping others would make them successful in that department. it is true that law is a rough path for them but i'm not going to be the guy to shut someone down and choose their career for them because of their personality. *cough cough* 

Judaspriest says...

Would an ENFP male like me make a good police officer? I mean I have tons of experience as a security officer and I do have dreams of and aspirations to join the law enforcement line at one point. I simply do not believe law enforcement is just not suitable for us though... I mean. But you got one thing right. We hate mundane, structure and etc. 

Tommy64321 (not verified) says...

I hope I can give you some good insight, I'm an male ENFP like yourself, and I'm currently a police officer.   I don't think this profession is a good for our personalities. I'm currently looking to get out of this profession after realizing it's not a good fit for me. If it's you're dream go for it! It's worth trying it out for yourself and seeing how you like it, however, from my experience here are some things to keep in mind about police work.

• very strict- Policing is very paramilitary and rules, policy, and regulation are huge parts of policing. Creativity is a big part of our personality and in this profession creativity isn't necessarily encouraged.

• paperwork- everything you do in police work has a paper trail. There's a saying that 15 minutes of fun equals hours of paperwork, and this statement is very true. Sure you may get in a car chase and arrest a bad guy, but you'll have three hours of mundane, repetitive paperwork to fill out after.

• high stress- this is a very stressful job and your actions will be criticized and critiques by your supervisors, co-workers, media, and everyone else. You can be put in the spotlight very easily in this job

• boredom- although tv shows and movies may portray a different image, police work is incredibly boring. 90% of the time you will be bored out of your mind, but there is the 10% of excitement.

I hope this information will help you with your career decision. Please don't let the above information discourage you from chasing your dreams and doing what you want to do in life. These are just some things I wish I knew before getting into this profession. Good luck!  

Ruffrey (not verified) says...

Have you thought about being a detective?

Michael Chi (not verified) says...

Why would you ever want to do that 

BradyBoy (not verified) says...

Currently 16, I have no idea what I want to do. I have researched and researched and have no idea. About a year ago, I was taking college level Psychology and took this test. At that time, I had gotten ISTJ. I took the test again today and got ENFP-T. This makes me question what I want to do. If I was able to change that much within a year, will my passion for the profession I decide on change just as fast? It really is a bad situation and I have no idea how to explore what I want to do.

Jesse.P. (not verified) says...

Currently in my 30s and still no idea what I want to do when I grow up.  Best advice, plan to go to a local community college and take some classes in a few things you're interested in, and knock out your requirements.  You'll narrow down what you might like and go from there.  Also remember you're never too young or old to make changes.  Don't get discouraged if what you thought you wanted ends up not being what you thought it would be, just work on finding what you want to try next.

jjj.azzy3 (not verified) says...


    Hopefully I can give you a piece of mind or a headache from reading, fingers cross for the first one LMAO...

    I know it's hard to wrap your thoughts around but YOU ARE ONLY 16! I get it, in this increasingly competitive world where existential thoughts are an every day thing, it is hard to simply understand what you should do within your day. 

     I have just turned 18, only two years older than you and let me tell you I WAS NOTHING LIKE I WAS WHEN I WAS 16. I also didn't formulate even the smallest of plan for my future until 17 and even then it didn't go that way at all. I set my whole heart of social work and I didn’t make it in. I was devastated but at the same time it lead me to my current major. I am currently in Psychology!! Trust me it is actually very great. The point is everything happens for a reason. So hun, if you are stressing out a lot I would honestly recommend doing Psych for your first year in uni. Not to add stress but you should know that Uni is hard because of its demands which they don't really tell you in high school! Honestly what I feel EVERYONE SHOULD DO FROM THE START is start in something they are interested in EVEN VAGUELY and take the year to discover themselves and manage around the intensity and newness of university.

    Back to your age, you will change so much every few months ALONE in your teenage years. You can't predict what you'll do for the rest of your life because that is the BIGGEST BS that this worlds society spews at you. The best advice would be follow your heart, even for a year and firgure yourself out. How are you supposed to find happiness, comfort, excitement, heart fulfilling opportunities if you don't even know who you are inside and out. The journey starts with you. Trust me you'll probably find yourself introspecting HARD within the next two years. Sorry my thought process was all over the place for this one but I just truly want you to know is that you'll change so much in your teenage years AND YOUR "GLOW UP" SHOULDNT happen in this time either. You should just find comfort in ever expanding and growing into a beautiful human being with many interests and loves. Don't try to grow up so fast! You'll miss this time...the future can wait for you but first you need to wait for yourself, figure out what makes you tick and what you truly love even if you have to go through the process of practicing and trying it out, and the future will find you!! 

    Please don't stress, take a breathe, and be a teenager. Make mistakes, take a major you have no clue in, drop out, change it up, and then change it up again!!! Have faith in yourself, GET TO KNOW YOURSELF and the universe will provide ALWAYS. I really wish you the best of luck on your amazing journey dear! 

    Again I am less than 2 years older than you..I was where you were but I am saying this as if I could back and say it to myself or any other, get to know and love yourself! Without it you’ll continue to miss out on your life because you won’t be one with yourself. Once it is found, the weight of the world falls off and the clarity is unlike anything. You’ll know it when you feel it in the future. Good luck love and take one single step at a time, BE KIND TO YOURSELF 💛👑✨

(Also if you have any more questions, here’s my Instagram: @jjj.azzy)

Anzu (not verified) says...

hi, nice to meet you :)

You are literally the same Age as me, but you've got way more experience in life  ;).

I know you replied to the other comment, but can I ask you some questions? I feel like I really don't know what path to take for my career or my major for uni later on, my dream job keeps on changing every day. I really love studying other cultures and new languages, but I have no idea what to do.... I know this question sounds really dumb, but still thanks for reading, if you did see this comment

Austin92 (not verified) says...

Find something that makes you happy bro and stick to it if you can as you grow your interests will change and remember your future is never set in stone much like your interests will change so will your view of the future and your goals. So yeah find something you like and stick to it brother. 

aidan (not verified) says...

really i wanna design houses for my dream job but i was gonna settle for retail


Angie M (not verified) says...

I think that you shouldn't base your career from some test on the internet. Sure, these tests are pretty accurate, but it isn't a telescope for the future. Don't let this test define you; or don't let anyone defne you at all. Yes, we are humans and subject to change, so the change in your MBTI is normal. At this age, you develop the most, you change the most. I'm 16 too. I have absolutely no idea what I want to do aswell, and I worry too, but let me tell you; your career is not something you find in a crevice or underneath a rock. It finds you. You won't even know it, but someday it'll be looking you straight in the eyes. My advice is just to be your normal self. Don't label yourself in some stereotype or act a certain way. Be as natural as possible, be your true self.  When you base your whole identity on labels, expectations, stereotypes, some trivial test on the internet, you will be unhappy. When you mature you develop your own morals and strengthen your beliefs. Your passion may change, but its not a problem!

J.S. (not verified) says...

It's okay to explore and change your mind.  Which suggested careers sound appealing to you?  What factors are most important to you?  Helping others, good salary, being creative, working alone or with others?  Talk with your high school counselor, your parents and friends to see other perspectives of your strengths.  It's natural to be uncertain when you are 16 and you will get to know yourself better as you grow.  All the best with your decisions!

Ana P. (not verified) says...

Hey I'm 16 too. Personally i do know what i want to do, and have plans and backup plans for those plans. But I also know that not everything goes according to the way we want it to, or think it will. As much as we wish it could. But that's the beauty about living, you don't know everything . And that might feel a bit uncomforting, but it's not that bad. What's worse, knowing everything in the world and eventually dying of boredome or keep on learning and live sponateously fun(or a mix of both too if you want)?. If you're in highschool, join some clubs to be honest, do things that interest you and pursuit things around those areas. There's art, food, culture, technology, books. A lot of things. Also, if you're still unsure about your personality type, i would suggest to do some research on the "cognitive functions". Each personality type has 4 functions, and there are 8 in total. They also have them in different orders. The ENFP's functions are, "NE (Extroverted iNtuition), FI (Introverted Feeling), TE (Extroverted Thinking), and SI (Introverted Sensing)". So yeah. There you go. And if you're still feeling unsure about your life journey, just make sure not to stress so much. Remember you're 16, we're still figuring ourselves out. "Figuring one' self is a journey. Life is what happens in between." - From a show on Netflix "Warrior Nun" (you should watch it :D)

Neggie (not verified) says...

I had the exact same issue when I was your age. Your still growing as a person and it's difficult to pin down exactly what you want later in life. But look at your hobbies, what are you known for in your group of friends? Are you the one who provides the snacks (I was that person and now I'm studying for check-kok). Or are you the one who plans the nights out (party planner maybe?) Just choose something you enjoy doing. Also I recommend talking with your guidance counselor or idk what's it called at school who helps you make a plan for the career you decide you want.

Kel Nicole (not verified) says...

 Wow! You fellow ENFPs are the answers to my prayers. Everyone in my life are either INFJ, like my mom and boyfriend or INTJ like my sister and best friend. They love me for who I am but I'm perplexing to them. They don't see what I see. Reading all these comments made me realize how many "me's" are out here feeling and thinking the way I do. I feel like I'm not alone. 

I am not going to take up too much of you guys time telling you my story because we all have the same common, we don't know what we want to do because we enjoy so many different things. But no matter what, we want our life to matter. We want to help other people. We can see how everything is connected to everything else. And we are not willing to sacrifice our authenticity or violate our core values. I would have to say go easy on yourself and give yourself time. Consider going to college just to gain knowledge and experience but maybe not necessarily a degree. That way you will learn more about yourself. So that when an opportunity does come around you'll have what you need to make the decision that is best for you. And that is something no one will ever be able to take away from you. So gain knowledge and opportunity will come. I hope everything works out for you. All of you for that matter. The world needs us more now than ever. People need us to be our authentic selves to show them the way. I love myself and I love you ENFP's too

Donna J Biggs (not verified) says...

Ditto, Kel! Beautifully stated as only one of us could. We are TRULY the light and joy and compassion so very needed at this time.

We all must keep Faith, hang Strong. Be the Change... Lordy, lol,been are ALL ABOUT Change.

You inspired me.

Lindsey98 (not verified) says...

Have you considered that maybe you were in a mood or mental state that is different than the other time you took the test, or that maybe your hormones are just changing? Being in an emotional high or emotional low could contribute to your test results being skewed. I point that out because an ISTJ and an ENFP are complete opposites in every way, and it seems unlikely that every aspect of your entire personality would change that much. My advice to you is not to panic about it too much, and to take some time to read over descriptions of each MBTI type, and think deeply about who you are and what types you seem to relate to most, and go from there. Maybe take the test again on a day that you really feel like your truest self. In regards to your profession, at 16, you don't have to have it all figured out, I promise! You are light years ahead of the game even thinking so seriously about it right now. Get to know yourself first, and the right profession for you will reveal itself through time, possibly even during or after college, if you decide to go that route. It is totally normal to feel the way you do right now, so don't stress too much about it!

Shalon Vazquez (not verified) says...

Not sure if you will read this, but after reading your comment I had to reply...

I am 43-  I am graduating with my Master's degree (MUCH later than most, I know LOL), and I had to take this test for my class in Human Resources. :)   I was JUST like you at 16 & yes, your preferences and personality will change over the years; however, there are similarities at the core of who you are and that will not really change too much.

My humble and VERY honest suggestion (what I WISH someone would have told me)-  act as a volunteer, shadow in different businesses, roles, etc., study what different careers do, meet with a career coach at your college (heck, go meet with several!), and get on LinkedIn and network with professionals that you can talk to about what they do (related to careers you would like to have).  You are young enough that all of that will help you narrow down what you actually want to pursue as an "adult".  

Trust me- while it has been enjoyable to work in all the industries that I have, and I have learned A LOT, you do not want to just randomly land into different jobs without a focus/purpose.  The competition in the market is fierce, and globalization is making the workforce more complex... you need to know "you", your passions, and then start early enough to become a subject matter expert (later in your career) in order to develop & succeed.

If you read this-  feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn, I can help you with a multitude of resources that I have discovered along the way.  Best of luck!!

MessyWessy (not verified) says...

Don't stress so much; it's not a horrible situation. You are discovering yourself. You have time to figure out what you want to do. Your passion could change. If you decide on going to college, then you can figure it out there. Decide what classes interest you, talk to other people, and definitely consider what type of life you want. I'm 18, and I don't have everything figured out. Originally, I wanted to be a fertility doctor or therapist, but I'm considering other options because I don't want to spend so much of my life in school, at work, and tired. I'm too passionate about having a family and enjoying life's adventures to take on such a time-consuming job. I may do something similar and less demanding, or I might go into business because I love people. I'm just doing prereqs right now, and I'm on track. Honestly, just think about what you want and form connections with people and learn about their similar interests. 

Just another person (not verified) says...

Hey! This is a typical ENFP trait. Don't worry you're still so young. Go with your interests now - the things you study won't hold you back! If your interests change in the future, so what? You're more than capable of achieving your dreams, don't you worry. 

bx3r1 says...

Being somewhat naive and uneducated,  I'm amazed that I needed to answer (obviously well crafted) questions to acknowledge who I am. Didn't I know? I must have if the results are determined by my input. I guess it's good to articulate my traits as long as I don't let that definition define or limit my freedom to be who I am. I would be interested any thoughts on what the real value of this objective view of my subjective life is. :)

john says...

it's hard define exctaly who we are ,we always evolveing ,but consider it some bit of usefull information on pattrens we may have,when you know a pattren you can then get over it,in the intense life we all live it's impossible to track all pattrens as we have tasks and dutys to do,everyone has glitchs and flaws but when you aware of them can get over them and go on evolveing,i wouldn't suggest you limit yourself but just take usefull information that ring true to you and use it,ultimately speaking from my cause i am not just a pure infp and enfp i am mixed (atleast that what the test say),but we always can change if we really wish it's not set in stone that the essence of meaning of spiritual evolution always grow always make something better of yourself.

r2d2pt2 (not verified) says...

brilliant questions. love the sarcasm. nice answer as well.

KSMARTIN (not verified) says...

Hi there! Today, I help students get into college and I find that this tool really helps students put words to what they "might" know down deep. Some people are born with a gift of strong self-awareness, others, like myself, had a longer road than most in harnessing my natural abilities. Does a young person always know they are analytical? Do they understand why they love to question and debate (everything). Does a person who doesn't think of themselves as "artistic" consider themselves creative? Do they know that they have the ability to "think out of the box" or are excellent problem solvers? I certainly didn't before my first job in a bank (that thankfully tested me!) In college I began to study computer science, then moved quickly to accounting because I liked math (and my mother was an accountant). After a year I thought it unexcitinng and frankly, despite straight A's, I didn't think I was great at it. You see, I have a hard time seeing details. I changed to marketing thinking it would be a better fit to my extraversion and people skills. Passionate for literature, art and music, I studied comparitive literature as an elective and ended up double majoring (which by the way requires analytical skills to understand economic/cultural/social influences on art). I ended up being a financial/market analysist and vdirector of strategic planning for a major multinational. Being an ENTP, I'm a big picture person to the extreme who has a significant skills in seeing trends, relationships, and behaviors.  I've also been a successful entrepreneur (ideas!). Also, if you read the details of your personality,  it may help you understand why you don't get along with certain people or maybe understand the best way to learn (not everyone is great in a classroom). Self-reflection and self-awareness provides a better understanding of your emotions, strengths, weaknesses and driving factors. Socrates said "The unexamined life is not worth living". Well, maybe a life not lived as well or as fully. 

embracelife (not verified) says...

I'm a sophomore in college but left halfway through fall semester and took spring semester off because I didn't really know what I was doing there. You are supposed to declare a major sophomore year after taking classes in a variety of fields freshman year. I know I need to be doing something creative, but I also grew up poor and am very afraid of not making any money in the arts so that ruled out Acting, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Architecture, Art History, Music, and Fine Arts, all things I was interested in. I was thinking of doing Computer Science because it has the creative problem solving I like and I'm good at it, but tech is known to be a sexist field. I also have problems with authority, so I had a hard time going to office hours or asking for help in CompSci classes so I did pretty badly. I also didn't want to put the effort into it if I knew that it wasn't my long term goal which I now realize was stupid. My other idea was going into Filmmaking but my problem there is that I'm afraid to give it a shot because I want to do it so much. Okay I know that sounds dumb but if I put everything into it and I end up being bad at it, I don't know if I'll be able to recover from that. It feels like everything in my life has lead me to Filmmaking as a career but successful female directors are rare and I don't want whatever I do to just seem like a bad high school movie project. More than anything I'm afraid that any film I make will be cringy which I guess is the hallmark of any first film, but with my crazy anxiety and perfectionism, anything less that an award winning first film will feel like too big of a failure to come back from which is obviously impossible. A few months ago I also thought Game Design/Programming was what I was Meant to do, but I took a few classes and hated them. I guess I am setting impossible standards for myself then not even trying to reach them because I can see how impossible it would be to reach them. For example, I also pondered taking the LSAT and becoming a lawyer, but as someone who did zero studying for the SAT and ACT, I know that I wouldn't study and would therefore not get a perfect score, and what would even be the point of going to law school if I wasn't going to the best law school, so instead I gave up that dream to avoid that inevitable failure. I see myself in the absract as someone destined for greatness but in the very real present as someone who can't accomplish the simplest of tasks so my delusions of grandeur immediately fall apart. So of course the perfect people to help are the people in the ENFP Careers comments, not a therapist or anything. 

eRiK with a k (not verified) says...


I recognize myself in your description of being a "jack of all trades" or having "many dreams"; you feel that you could do so good in so many fields, but at the same time I /you(?) don't know if I have the patience/ endurance to stick with that "dream".

I am currently studying to a PE teacher for years 6-12 combined with "after- school teacher" (don't know what it's called in english), and I feel that this is going to be a good base to stand on and start from. I am currently 23 yrs old and I have time to study to "more important" things later, eg. something for the climate or city planning later, at least that is what I tell myself. I want to do something that makes a difference and I know I will do that as a teacher as well, but one part of me (or my ego?) wants to "save the world" by helping the climate or our survival on this planet. Also if i "get stuck" working as a teacher, I  know I will probably thrive on the workplace anyway, but a small part of me knows I'm always going to be a restless soul unless I find "my true passion" so yeah I hope I will find that but for now I play it safe and go for the teacher job.

I have worked as a "home nurse", or whatever it's called in english. I can highly recommend doing that, or some volouteer work because helping people makes you feel good but still, you got to ponder if it's what you want, or if it just makes you feel good and is an extra job when you study to "something you want". 

In one way I am concerned that I don't know what to do in life, but in another way I am very confident that EVERYTHING in life is good experience and we will wind up were we are supposed to be as long as we keep asking ourselves what we want to do and keep doing what we like and feel good doing and also taking care of our bodies, mental health and friends/ family.

It's really delighting reading all comments here because I realize that I'm not alone with my "issues" of not knowing what to do. ENFP's go go go.

Alan Barber (not verified) says...

WOW - sounds so much like me in my early college days.  I wanted something creative out of HS but also had advanced HS classes in Math/Science.  I started out in Architecture but ended up obtaining a BFA in Studio Ceramics (Texas Tech, 1969) after a detour to a few schools in NorCal.  The fact is, don't worry about the money, just find a way to pursue whatever you settle on, your highest passion at the time.  In fact, your passions and interests over time will change and MANY creative people have multiple careers in their lives.  It is never too late to change careers!  I became interested in film 1988/99 and began to study that.  I have made one film since (Six Man, Texas, 2008) and now work with Austin Film Festival as a Script Competition Reader (volunteer).  I also have a writing partner and am working on four scripts that I plan to find a way to Produce.  Every road you take is rocky, so do not worry about the downside, focus on what you want and keep your eyes on the upside potential of what you are passionate about.  You are young, you have time.  I am now 75, have survived a stroke and cancer and spend 75% of my time immersed in film projects of some kind.  You have time - and no excuse to not GO FOR IT!!! Do what you really want and when you are 75 you will be glad you did.  And, if you are still in your early years of college, go to Film School, I wish I had gone there.

EWebbe (not verified) says...

embracelife, I am in the middle of a project and came upon your post. It struck me that you are so affected by stereotyping that your lack of confidence seems like Pygmalion Effect. You will likely not succeed if you are always reminding yourself that "people" say someone like you will not do well. I would suggest starting with Jordan B Peterson's book 12 Rules for Life (the audio version is free on Youtube). If you truly want to embrace life like your name implies, then you should embrace your strengths and weaknesses, be brave, be bold, and do something of value.

Velina Killmeyer (not verified) says...

I too struggled with what to do with my life. I wanted to be passionate about my career and l also didn't want to be poor. I wanted to work for myself and be able to express my creativity. I ultimately wanted a career in healthcare with a high degree of flexibility and to never let myself get bored doing the same thing day after day. I am happy working as a critical care travel nurse and investing my money in real estate. I own and manage five apartments. I am self employed as a travel nurse and landlord. I enjoy the thinking and physicality of critical care nursing and the income diversity of being a landlord. I renovate houses, add bathrooms, design landscaping on the side. My life is never boring and l think my work is productive and creative enough to suit my personality.

Afellowdreamer (not verified) says...

Oh man, I identify with that so much. I'm going into my senior year of high school and I'm trying to figure out where to go to college and what to do as a career. I also love the arts but I also plan to do something else as a major, and I understand the sentiment of "if I don't go to the best school then I'm wasting my time and money" and "if I don't make something that looks good then what am I doing". If I were going into film, I would feel the EXACT same way as you. Here are some thoughts that have helped me, hopefully they could help you out too? 

1. ultimately a ton of schools will give you a great education. The classes at the community college I'm going to are good, if I had to go there for college I would probably still feel capable of entering the workforce in whatever major. People put a lot of emphasis on the top schools but there are some good professors and good classes pretty much everywhere. Ultimately most schools are qualified to teach you what you'd need to know.

2. Classes will teach you how to be good at what you want to go into. Yes, talent exists, but you don't already have to be good at something before you decide to major in it, because the class is supposed to teach you how to be good at it.  The fear of teachers and authority is something I understand also, and unfortunately that's just a thing you'll have to overcome by just diving into those office hours... but once you try it once it'll probably get easier. For the arts especially there are also YouTube tutorials and other internet resources that can also help you out. 

3. there are people who didn't go to college who are still successful. If what you are doing doesn't work out, there are still things you can do, jobs you can have. Failure isn't the end of the world unless you let it be. 

um so there are my words of encouragement, I understand how you're feeling completely and ultimately you're just going to have to pick something and run with it, run as fast and hard as you can, because it's better to do that then to just stay in indecisive limbo forever 

I'm told that optimism is a bad comforting method and it's toxic positivity and whatnot but I am sorta offering it anyway because my brain thinks it's being helpful by being optimistic and I haven't convinced it otherwise yet

hopefully I at least didn't make it worse lol 

thank you for listening to by Ted talk *bows* 

Cristina (not verified) says...

Hey. Wow. All my life I liked music. But also I like in childhood acting,dancing,writing ,maths,then I went to Japanase study when what I really wanted was to sing and have shows but I compared myself to others who did have singing classes since an eatly age so I did not go to a singing hightsvhool I did not even consider it. Now I m having lesfoms amd I want to sing on the streets this August or on the beach.Yes Yes!  Good luck!

Insynctive (not verified) says...

Yoooo im in my Junior year of college right now and all of which you typed was like you just wrote out my whole life in college. I went from Biochemistry to wandering about finance, law, mathematics, maybe go for travelling. Ultimately I still couldn't choose....doing something new and moving on was all I did these past 2 years of college. Shoot me an email, we should talk. 

Watafail (not verified) says...

Yup. Currently going into my third year in college. Got in for mechanical engineering and am still attempting that, but currently struggling and questioning whether I chose the right field to begin with.

Ureman (not verified) says...

Change the way your learning. Try Master and Apprentice. Could do this in film to. Reach out until you find someone you can engage with on a personal level at work. There's many ways into film who knows what it will be. They often feed you to, so you can work and not starve, no matter how poor.

It takes a lifetime (not verified) says...

Hi all you ENFPs - I was quickly reading throught the comments here and I would like to say that as a 58 year old ENFP, I'm seeing a common connundrum here: the desire to pick "one" thing that you do. Right now society is very big on the following, particularly among those under 50:


"Doing what you were meant to do, i.e. "passion""

And for the younger - being famous or doing something particularly outstanding is a strong desire due to social media.

Here's the problem with that: as an ENFP you are unlikely to be able to maintain focus on just one thing - life is just too "BIG" for that....which makes star level, big achievements difficult. Yet, I completely and totally understand the desire to have life feel meaningful and intense. I believe this struggle continues throughout life, but given society's values right now, it appears to be becoming particularly paralyzing for younger people. Given our zest for "living" there are just too many "what ifs" that fill our brains and we just cannot commit for fear of missing out. Also keeping dreams of alive is very important to us (I think) - which can look like fear of failure. There is no easy answer - and that is life for everyone - just different challenges depending on who you are. I recommend trying to embrace your core self and not one particular goal that may take years to achieve. This doesn't mean you can't achieve a lot, but let it happen organically and just try to focus on what you feel like doing today or in the near future and balance that with your basic needs. As much as social media has made "doing amazing things!" seem possible, it is such a small, small, small portion of the world that actually does that. You have to find value within - which is a lifetime process.

LOL - Prior to filling out this comment and after reading the ENFP description, I thought "I don't want to help others reach their creative potential...". Guess I do to a certain extent - I'm just old enough now to have enough confidence to feel my thoughts are finally legit.

smm1000 (not verified) says...

I have never understood myself or talked to other people like me until I read this comment section. Currently a senior in college about to receive a degree in marketing yet I have no passion for marketing and no clue what I want to do. A part of me wants to follow a career where I can use my creativity towards things that I am passionate about and come up with big ideas rather than sitting at an office job, but I dont even know what kind of career this would be. I also would love to be able to travel year round and just work side jobs or teach english, but another part of me wants to stability and certainty of a full-time job. I know I have the people skills and background to work in marketing, but I have a fear that not following my dreams with prevent me from realizing my life's purpose... I just dont know what that purpose is. Does anyone else sit around and fantasize about the future or is that just me??

Bracken (not verified) says...

I wonder the same thing bro 

so many interests... (not verified) says...

This is very encouraging, thank you! I'm sort of starting to realize this at 27... that I can have my artistc passion but it doesn't work for me if it's my ONLY thing, and I don't think I'll actually be able to put the amount of energy into it that I need to by making it my only thing. About to go back to school, partly in the hope of more financial stability but also just to keep things varied, which in turn I think makes me more invested in my artistic interests. The idea of having to work hard at one thing and make it big at that is so not helpful for ENFPs. 

Rata (not verified) says...

Wow, you sound like me. I'm 40 years old now and struggled to complete school due to poverty. I wanted to go to film school but couldn't afford to move cities.  I started a diploma in interior design but couldn't complete it because I thought the sales class was too much like manipulation. 
I fell into stripping, loved the dancing and the attention. Then I got a break with an event company doing a traineeship in AV, 3 years studying and on the job learning audio, projection and lighting, it was great, lots of young people, lots of freelance workers who also crossed over into film. I made friends and we entered short film competitions. 
I stayed in corporate events for 7 years moving from AV technician to event project manager. 
My biggest career regret was that I was invited to a radio station to discuss a producer job, they are always looking for AV women in the industry, it seemed too easy so I thought the pay would be terrible and I walked out before even knowing. Between event jobs I did some work with the women's refuge movement and loved it. 
after having children I started a business in office furniture and it's been hard work but challenging and exciting. I have started writing short stories and hope to publish some day, I've started learning piano and painting again, things I made time for in my youth. 
If I had done Uni I would have done the arts, film or industrial design in my younger years. 
but I finally started Uni at 40 Bachelor of social work. I want to make change, I want to work in policy and move up from there with my big picture concepts and political understanding I want to work on projects that change lives. I thought about law but it's too dry for me and I don't want to socialise with those people. 

the only advise I have is 'start somewhere'. It doesn't matter if you start in computer science, law, arts. Having a degree in anything increases your income in any job you choose. My friend studies art, in an art teacher 3 days and does her art for 2 days that sells for thousands. I get lonely working in my business on my own, painting, writing and gardening on my own. Social work gives me the opportunity to connect with like minded students, I've changed my degree from psychology because I can't sit on my own helping a few people. I want to help many. 
My friend is doing coding at Uni, not to code, but to work as a coding project manager in some way. 
just start somewhere, knowledge is never lost, you'll use it somewhere and you'll figure it all out as you go along. 
good luck. 

Karrot M (not verified) says...


I'd first like to say, wow. We are almost the same person. For the longest time, I've never been able to figure out what it is that I want to do with m life. The one constant in my life that I have wanted is film. Since I was % it was the one thing I've always wanted, but never voiced out loud or really planned on it because it seemed like too far fetched of an idea. A child's dream. But honestly, there is nothing else I want to do. I know that if I don't give it a shot I will regret it all for the rest of my life. Don't get me wrong I am terrified. I've had at least three full-blown panic attacks since I've made this choice. There are just so many risks to this choice. I am terrified, but I'm going to stick to it. I am currently majoring in business (my back up because I'm too terrified not to have a back up) and I am minoring in film. 

I genuinely wish us both the best of luck and hope that we both succeed in whatever it is that we pursue.

randomENFPguy (not verified) says...

Hi both! I can relate soooo much with you two. I know and consider myself as a creative. I am into arts (dancing, films, photography, video editing and sketching). I just turned 24 and working on tech company for 3 years now as a software engineer, which I know from the very start that it is not the job best suits me. I took Information Technology course in College because they say it's in demand, high-paying and I also like to believe that if I like computers (gaming and social media), then I will also like programming, but no. Wasn't the case.  I did it, graduated, but I know that I don't want to pursue being a programmer/developer as my career. But, upon applying to one of the known tech companies in the world,  I managed to be hired in just one day (one day hiring process). Everything went so fast and I got the job offer by the end of the day. I signed it knowing that the wage I will be receiving will be of great help. Got promoted one year and a half later and now I am an above average wage earner. It surely helps my family in this time of crisis, we have the advantage of working from home, and I am continuously learning, slowly but there's progress. But am I happy? Well, partly yes, because with God's help, I knew I have braved my what ifs of entering this field... but a huge part of me says this is not me. Now, I am thinking of my what ifs if I pursued with MultiMedia Arts, which is my first choice course.

I am now thinking of pursuing my passion, after watching so many talks and articles about knowing what your calling, purpose and passion is. And I just want to share the definition of passion (which greatly helped me, and I hope it will help you as well), passion comes from Latin word "pati" which means to suffer (thus, "Passion of the Christ" film). It is not just the things that makes you happy and excited, passion is more than that, it's being willing to sacrifice or "suffer"/work for things you're passionate about, something you'd be willing to do even without compensation. Something you really love. And I know my current job is not my passion.

I am currently thinking of pursuing film by attending webinars, shourt courses and learning by surfing the net. I don't want to leave my current job right away, considering the crisis, and I'm thinking of having it as my backup and to financially support my passion as well. My inner child is not happy, I know, it really makes me feel bad for the many times I feel I am not good enough in this tech field.

So, if you happen to be studying still, or just graduated, it is never too late to make a turn! It's your choice still. I sincerely hope your choices will make you happy, and if it turns out otherwise, it's okay, it will benefit you still in a way.

This is a developing story. ;) This is not the end. God bless you all!

Chris (not verified) says...

So encouraging random guy, thank you for that definition of passion too.

 I am also in a decent position financially thanks to God, even though it is probably not my life's work.

 I definitely think it's a good place for me to learn certain social and leadership skills & just random skills in general.

 I'm looking for a way to contribute and build a real estate team to have more financial freedom and am also pursuing my personal passions of music and comedy.

God has blessed me with a full life and I am asking him to make room for a family in my future.

He has been encouraging me to ask him for everything and to rest in his provision so while I am use to striving with ambition, it has been a great challenge to be still and practice listening to his voice guide me.

There is so much to learn and I'm so excited to hear your journey too, I hope this is as encouraging to you as your words are for me!

God bless you and everyone else on this incredible journey 😃🙏

randomuser (not verified) says...

I completely understand your feelings-- I also struggle with not knowing what to do in my future and being afraid of failure/ending up with an ordinary boring job. It seems like you are really passionate in filmmaking so I would suggest giving it a shot because when you really want to do something, you will put your whole heart into it and be eager to learn more about it to improve your skills. That's why I don't think you are passionate in computer science or law because you don't want to put the effort into it but you seem to really want to be involved in film. You can try filmmaking at home on your free time to get that first cringy film out of the way lol I'm sure there are many resources online of prompts to try or tips. And I would recommend to maybe double major or have a minor in a field that is profitable if that is a big concern. A good career that allows you to be creative and make money that you can try is advertising, which uses elements of film via advertisements (and architects make a lot as well). So I would advise to take time in discovering what you want to do and to try out filmmaking or any class that fulfills your creative need.  I would also advise to not put so much pressure on yourself. Failure is inevitable and everyone experiences setbacks, however, you don't want that fear of not being good enough to hold you back from trying out your passions. I would hate for you to look back on your life in regret for not trying out filmmaking. You never know what could come out of your dreams, so I would say give it a shot! 

Scugoza says...

I've read a lot of different places that ENFP's would make as great detectives or investigators. I also find it interesting however that police officers are on careers to avoid, which I can understand to an extent, except for the fact that the only way to become a detective is to first be a police officer. You can defintely be a civilian investigator as a CSI or PI, but still. Any thoughts on police work?

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