Updated 27 May 2020
The ENTJ personality type is one of 16 types identified by the Myers-Briggs test. Employers commonly use the test to assess and evaluate potential applicants, including their strengths and weaknesses and how they may complement an existing team.
The Myers-Briggs assessment is also an excellent tool for individuals, since it provides valuable insight into working practices, character and also the career choices best suited to their personality.
This article is aimed specifically at those that have been identified as an ENTJ personality. It discusses various character traits and how these relate to a professional environment, as well as providing 10 of the best ENTJ career matches.
The ENTJ personality type has been described as the ‘leader of leaders’ and is relatively rare, particularly among women.
As with each of the 16 personalities, the acronym relates to four key characteristics which, when combined, paint a picture of an individual’s persona. This includes how they relate to others, what motivates them and how they prefer to work.
ENTJ stands for:
ENTJ types are often outgoing, logical, objective and intellectual. While they are charismatic and decisive, they can also be hard to get to know in a professional context. They are natural strategic leaders and like to bring order.
ENTJ has been nicknamed ‘chief’ or ‘commander’, as they are often found in leadership roles.
ENTJ types derive energy from time spent with others (Extraversion). Their innate ability to lead others comes from the combination of focusing on the bigger picture – ideas and concepts – (iNtuition) and then making their decisions based on reason and logic (Thinking) and delivering them in a planned and organised way (Judgment).
More than any other, ENTJ personalities enjoy their work and might be heard to say that they work for fun. Outgoing and direct, others view ENTJs as ambitious, engaged and with a clear vision.
At times this vision can be delivered bluntly, as ENTJ types are honest and not afraid to tell others how they see things.
As with every personality type, ENTJs possess strengths and weaknesses that affect both their private and professional lives:
The workplace is a natural environment for the ENTJ type, provided they are in a position of leadership or, at least, strategic insight. At work, they display clear communication, are efficient and always deliver on tasks, but they are happiest in positions where they can best use their leadership skills.
ENTJ types suit managerial roles best but, when progressing their career in a hierarchical role, will always take initiative and assert their opinions and strategic vision. Therefore, they work best under active management to ensure that they are adequately engaged and learning new skills.
An ENTJ will naturally rise to the top as a leader, even in a group of peers. Sociable, they enjoy sharing ideas and driving projects forward to a suitable solution, but may need reminding to view their peers as equals.
They may also need to be reminded to listen to others in the team and learn how to value all contributions, even those which do not match up to their high standards.
Confident and charismatic, ENTJ managers can be excellent team managers if they build their teams to suit. They can deliver projects efficiently and to a high standard, actively motivating each member of the team to use their strengths to aid the project’s success.
They find it harder to deal with team members they deem inefficient or whose work standards are not to their liking. ENTJ types also need to be reminded to factor in leisure time and social time, and that everyone does not need to spend every hour at work to succeed.
ENTJ personalities are well suited to leadership roles – there is no other personality type more suited or one that derives so much satisfaction from being in a position of authority.
They usually rise to the top quickly in any given career, but the following ENTJ career matches are some of the best options across a variety of industry sectors.
Politicians need to be able to persuade people to their way of thinking and ENTJ types have this in abundance, as they can be forceful characters. They can see the bigger picture and can intuitively lead people: factors that make a successful politician.
As ENTJ types are often confident in their abilities, criticism and conflict does not perturb them and they are happy to impose their views on others, making them well suited to this career.
Creating order out of chaos suits ENTJ types, particularly when they can impose their own chosen solution and lead their team to deliver that result.
ENTJ types bring attention to detail but also the ability to see the bigger picture, which is essential to project management, change management or other management consultancy roles.
More CEO roles are filled by ENTJs than any other personality type. CEO roles suit ENTJ personalities as they seek out positions of power and are successful within those positions.
ENTJs enjoy taking charge of situations and imposing their strategic solution. Naturally outgoing, they can motivate teams, speak powerfully in front of large groups and keep multiple projects on track to deliver results.
ENTJ personality types can make excellent lawyers as they are charismatic outgoing people who can think quickly and make persuasive arguments.
With great attention to detail, retaining information and legal knowledge comes easily. This, along with their strategic leadership skills, gives ENTJ types a winning combination which will allow them to go far in law.
Being self-employed, barristers also need to be enterprising self-starters with the ability to see a task through to completion, both of which ENTJ types excel at.
The most successful engineers apply strategic thinking to find the best and most creative solutions to life’s problems, sometimes even creating or building products we didn’t know we needed.
Attention to detail and the power of persuasion means that scientific or mathematically-minded ENTJ types will do well in the engineering field.
ENTJ types make excellent entrepreneurs and business owners as they are not easily influenced by the opinions of others and have the utmost confidence in their abilities. They are also self-starters and naturally enterprising.
As ENTJ types often do not indulge in activities other than work, citing work as their hobby, they are well suited to running their own business for which enthusiasm, drive and managing a multitude of tasks to achieve one common purpose is essential.
Natural leaders who crave structure, ENTJ types can make a successful career in the armed forces if they are first able to learn to follow orders to achieve their ambition to progress to the most senior ranks.
ENTJs are strategic thinkers and can be decisive, forceful and good at persuading people to their way of thinking, all of which can suit a military leader. They can put their own and others’ personal needs aside to achieve a task.
ENTJ types can, in some workplaces, be obsessive over their work and have little time for those who do not deliver according to their perceived goals – two weaknesses that can be turned into strengths by a career in the armed forces.
A strong work ethic with drive, efficiency and focus is essential to being a successful doctor or healthcare professional. ENTJ types often make excellent surgeons as they have attention to detail and a strategic overview.
ENTJs also commit to finishing a task without deviation, something which is essential for a brain or heart surgeon, as well as the character and ability to lead a team to complete such tasks.
ENTJ types thrive on the energy of others which makes sales management a good fit, particularly as a good sales manager will lead by example in creating lasting relationships with clients as well as motivating their team to success.
With their strong attention to detail and excellent strategic overview, ENTJ types can deliver results, particularly when they are passionate about the service or product which they represent.
Applying creativity and strategic thinking to help someone else achieve a specific aim may suit an ENTJ type, particularly if they can combine the role with running their own business.
Considering all elements of the wider picture and then giving advice to motivate and enable a client to take a specific course of action can be the perfect combination for an ENTJ personality type.
The main benefit of identifying your personality type is that it provides you with an insight into which careers your strengths and weaknesses are best suited to. However, it is also a useful tool for eliminating job choices.
The following are three of the worst careers for ENTJ personality types.
ENTJ types need challenges and scope to make their own decisions on how to deliver a project – two things which are not high on the list for a lorry driver. Drivers often have to drive the prescribed route and a long drive can become monotonous and boring, leaving ENTJ types looking for something new after only a few excursions.
Drivers also have to follow strict regulations on breaks and working patterns, which ENTJ types may struggle with, as they like to work all hours to get a task finished.
Working all day carrying out repetitive manual tasks with little opportunity for strategic thinking would not make factory work a good choice for an ENTJ personality type. They would quickly find the work mundane.
Without scope to see the outcomes of their work and being unable to influence others in their team, ENTJ types are likely to fall behind targets and find themselves out of work.
ENTJ types will wither without creativity and the ability to impose their own structure onto the method of delivery of a task. Data entry roles often require specific processes and procedures to be followed with no deviation, and thus may be frustratingly mundane for ENTJ types.
ENTJ types will also struggle to maintain a role under someone else’s specific authority for long periods without a clear path to a management role.
Although a rarer personality type, particularly among women, ENTJ types are visible across all industry sectors as they are typically the highest-ranked CEOs or industry leaders.
Whatever sector they choose, ENTJs are likely to rise to the top. However, they need to be careful they do not get caught up in roles which stifle their leadership skills and cause their strengths – self-confidence, ability to articulate their vision and attention to detail – to be turned into weaknesses, which may hamper progression.
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