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The ESFP at Work

At work, the ESFP wants to be hands-on and in the middle of the action. ESFPs prefer an active, social work environment where they are free to be spontaneous and have fun, with co-workers who are friendly, laid-back, and enthusiastic.

ESFPs are pragmatic, realistic, and tuned into the needs of others. They often choose a job that allows them to be of service to people, and where they can see real, tangible results for their efforts. They are talented at solving practical, people-centered problems, and can put this skill to good use in assisting others.

ESFPs are keenly tuned into their senses and often have an artistic streak. They may choose careers that engage their sensual nature through food, textiles, art, or music. ESFPs often want a career that allows them to move around, and generally prefer a work environment that is aesthetically pleasing.

ESFPs are stressed by strict rules or excessive bureaucracy at work, and want the flexibility to address situations as they arise. They generally focus on the demands of the present moment, and do not usually like to work on long-term projects, preferring work that has immediate and tangible results.

ESFP 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 ESFP, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to the ESFP. Occupations that require the ESFP to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to ESFPs who are choosing a career.

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

The ESFP on a Team

ESFPs are fun-loving team members who bring a sense of humor to the process. ESFPs simply love socializing with people, and typically see teamwork as a chance to interact and engage in a lighthearted way. They may not seem particularly driven or task-oriented to their teammates, but they keep an eye out for the needs of others, and offer assistance and support in a practical, down-to-earth way.

ESFPs are at their best when they can work on immediate, practical problems, without having to be too serious about the task at hand. They are good at facilitating cooperation, and often have a talent for listening to all points of view on a team with an open mind. They often see the talents that others can contribute to a team, and with their engaging enthusiasm, can get other people motivated to contribute. ESFPs may be less effective on teams which are competitive rather than cooperative. They may experience friction with teammates that insist on being very task-focused and don’t leave room for fun. ESFPs tend to lose interest in abstract discussions, and may have trouble with teams who spend a lot of time theorizing and little time taking action.

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

The ESFP as a Leader

In leadership positions, ESFPs are realistic, encouraging, and enthusiastic. Their strength lies in their ability to energize and motivate a team to address immediate goals and crises. ESFP leaders are keenly observant of the moods and behavior of other people, and typically use this perceptive ability to connect with their employees and provide them with what they need to succeed.

ESFPs are good at building consensus and mobilizing support, but prefer to present a positive image and maintain pleasant interactions rather than get involved in disputes. They can struggle with conflict on a team, and may shy away from making difficult decisions in favor of keeping things cheerful and light.

ESFPs prefer to problem-solve in the present and typically dislike long-range planning. They do best when leading a supportive and cooperative team to achieve short-term, concrete results.

About the Author

Molly Owens is the CEO of Truity and holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. She founded Truity in 2012, with the goal of making quality personality tests more affordable and accessible. She has led the development of assessments based on Myers and Briggs' personality types, Holland Codes, the Big Five, DISC, and the Enneagram. She is an ENTP, a tireless brainstormer, and a wildly messy chef. Find Molly on Twitter at @mollmown.

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