Updated 27 May 2020
The Myers Briggs assessment test seeks to fit personalities into 16 categories, each with defining characteristics and preferred modes of expression and social conduct.
Exploring personality types can be a useful tool for discerning learning and working styles to determine whether a candidate will fit within an organisation or in a particular role. It also provides individuals with an awareness of their defining qualities, which enables informed exploration of the career paths that may be the best fit.
This article will explore the Myers Briggs personality type of ENFP, and the careers most (and least) suited to someone in this personality category.
The ENFP personality type is one of the more common types identified by the Myers Briggs test and is seen more often in women. The acronym relates to four different characteristics which, when combined, give an idea of the individual’s personality traits.
These qualities will have a bearing on the way a person builds relationships, prefers to work and outlines their goals and motivations.
In the case of the ENFP personality, these are:
ENFPs are people-oriented, creative and flexible thinkers. They are social, energetic and imaginative.
As the definitive people-person, an ENFP is extremely perceptive in understanding how individuals and groups function. This makes them a natural team leader or manager.
Scoring high in extraversion, ENFPs are friendly, confident and enjoy group situations where they can interact with a range of different people. It is of no surprise that they are often characterised as outgoing individuals.
The ENFP personality type is often referred to as the ‘champion’ or ‘campaigner’ of the 16 personality types, as ENFPs are passionate, interested in the development of others and often motivated by humanitarian causes. They are open to considering different points of view and seek to understand the wider context of any issue.
If you’ve been identified as an ENFP personality, you will likely enjoy working with people and expressing your creativity.
ENFPs possess certain strengths and weaknesses which will have a bearing on their interactions both at work and at home:
In the workplace, the ENFP personality is a creative energiser. They thrive with challenges and uncertainty, so are good in roles that evolve and demand a variety of flexible skills.
ENFPs prefer to be in a challenging, dynamic environment and their penchant for the imaginative and creative means they feel stifled when working within rigid structures.
They enjoy having a sense of personal freedom, which is often gained through creative expression, and value their own growth. This means they will place focus on and invest in their own developmental arc, as well as encouraging others within the work environment.
ENFPs are relationship-driven, so work well in groups or project teams. They tend to draw their energy from others and will find it hard to work in isolation. The ENFP personality will support and encourage others when in a group environment.
They are innovators, so enjoy hearing others’ ideas and add to the team with their strong interpersonal skills.
ENFPs do, however, have a strong independent streak, so may need to learn to reach out for help. Their focus on team relationships and imaginative idea generation can mean they may struggle to commit to a course of action. This quality can cause tension with those who are extremely task-oriented.
ENFPs can benefit from working more closely with those who have personality qualities that complement their own – particularly colleagues who can aid with the responsibility for the details of a project, as ENFPs are likely to find these daunting and overwhelming.
Although social, ENFPs are also individualistic. They view themselves and others as unique individuals to be understood in different ways. This, perhaps ironically, makes them good in a team, since they believe in and value the individual skills of each member and seek to understand what makes them tick.
ENFPs are natural leaders and step into the role readily. As managers they are confident in their abilities, enthusiastic and assertive.
The characteristics that make ENFP personalities good in teams also make them great managerial candidates. They are adept communicators and seek to create an energised and motivational environment within their teams.
Their ability to adapt to changing situations through a flexible and open-minded approach means ENFPs are confident in handling and guiding their teams through unexpected challenges.
They do, however, tend to lack implementation skills and may delegate these tasks to their colleagues. They may benefit from actively strengthening their organisational skills and ability to plan and stick to a project timeline.
Identifying your personality type and the strengths and weaknesses you possess can help to narrow down which career paths and occupations may be better suited to you. Below are the top 10 careers suggested for an ENFP personality type.
ENFPs enjoy a challenge and are risk-takers. They are innovative and brimming with new ideas, which often results in an ambition to start their own business.
They dislike routine, so managing their own career gives ENFPs the personal and creative freedom they crave.
ENFPs have the enthusiasm and people skills to be great champions of brands or products. Their creativity and capacity for regular idea generation can be harnessed to come up with new engaging ways of reaching a customer base.
A role of this kind also taps into the ENFP's talent for leading and developing a campaign. Their empathy and people-centric focus will translate well in a role which requires the ability to relate to the needs and desires of the customer.
A career in a sales role is well suited to the enthusiastic and people-oriented ENFP personality. ENFPs make good sales assistants and managers, as they are approachable and engaging.
A role as a travelling sales representative will also appeal to an ENFP due to the variety and lack of fixed structure. Confidence in pitching and presenting, coupled with their charm, makes ENFPs excellent at closing sales and sealing new deals.
As ENFPs dislike structure, a job in a creative industry as a performer or actor is well suited. A role of this kind allows ENFPs to grow and develop their skills and style as a performer or artist – important to their feelings of individuality – while having a direct emotional impact on others through their work.
ENFPs also possess the enthusiasm and resilience to persevere in the face of the inevitable knocks experienced in this sector.
Those with ENFP personalities are well suited to roles in teaching, or learning and development. Their communication skills and confidence in presenting mean they are naturals when it comes to conveying information.
Their creativity also means they tend to be good at designing engaging lesson plans and tasks.
As a personality type that thrives on building relationships and social connections, they enjoy developing a rapport with their students and seeing the academic development that occurs as a result of their teaching and mentoring. An ENFP’s ability to motivate and encourage individuals finds its home in a teaching role.
Although they may occasionally feel frustrated when faced with the regulations associated with teaching, it is a varied career that provides a different work experience daily, tapping into the ENFP's need to be stimulated and challenged.
Working as a designer, whether in fashion, graphic design, interior design or multimedia (to name a few possible pathways), provides ENFPs with a creative role that has a direct impact on the people who use their products or spaces.
ENFPs enjoy this relationship between the designer and the client (or end-user), since they thrive when tasked with understanding the needs of others.
Although they sometimes struggle with detail-oriented tasks, ENFPs are vital members of any design team. They are the energetic innovators, developing new styles and solutions that push the boundaries of current design trends.
The ability of ENFPs to relate easily to a wide variety of people, coupled with their solid communication skills, makes them a good fit for social work. Being both approachable and supportive, ENFPs can break down walls that other personality types cannot, and make people feel safe and at ease.
They are good advocates and campaigners due to a strong sense of morals and a determination to enact social change. A career of this kind enables ENFPs to contribute to the community in an extremely tangible way, satisfying their innate feelings of responsibility towards others and society.
A role in HR suits ENFP personalities because it enables them to explore relationships and social dynamics. Good at understanding what makes teams and individuals tick, ENFPs fit well in a role that involves understanding the problems and points of view of others.
Their natural ability to communicate and coordinate people becomes invaluable within a Human Resources role.
ENFPs can find themselves drawn to the social science disciplines as they are fascinated by the dynamics of human interaction. They naturally enjoy socialising and building relationships, so the study of what governs this phenomenon on a wider scale can provide a satisfying career for an ENFP – for example, in the fields of sociology or psychology.
They make great social researchers and have a talent for stakeholder engagement; this is a highly valuable skill. Many of the opportunities to work in community engagement exist within charities – an option that further connects with the ENFP's social conscience.
ENFP personalities make good athletic trainers because they can use their energy to keep a team or individual motivated towards their goals.
A role like this provides a path for an ENFP who enjoys science, health or nutrition to work in a dynamic environment that involves dealing with people, building team relationships and combining it with medical and physiological knowledge.
Devising varied training plans for clients with different needs, thresholds and priorities requires the creativity that ENFPs exude.
The following careers are less likely to satisfy someone who identifies as an ENFP and may cause them to feel stressed and drained.
ENFPs do not tend to have a natural aptitude for precision or detail. Although engineering does allow for creativity, problem-solving and the application of innovative ideas, engineers are required to work to rigid timescales and within a fairly structured process.
Engineers must adhere rigidly to safety standards and design specifications. ENFPs may find this work environment limiting and dislike the demand for detail that is required.
As they can struggle in repetitive and rigid environments, ENFPs are likely to find a role as a financial advisor or accountant draining. A job that requires such an explicit focus on financial detail is likely to become mundane to a personality that is better suited to careers that allow creative expression.
ENFP personalities work best in a dynamic environment where they can gain energy from others, whether in a project team, classroom or crowd. The isolation of working as an analyst in a laboratory setting is therefore unlikely to make an ENFP feel fulfilled, despite the importance of their role.
ENFPs thrive in environments where they can express their creativity and use their imagination and creative freedom to come up with innovative solutions. They are highly sociable and enjoy working in teams or in public-facing environments which provide the challenge and variety they crave.
ENFP personalities feel most fulfilled in roles where they can help others. A career path that allows an ENFP to be a motivator in a dynamic people-facing environment is most likely to provide the highest level of job satisfaction.
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