Updated 27 May 2020
The ENTP personality is one of the 16 types identified by the Myers-Briggs assessment. This personality test provides insight into how individuals behave, how they work and learn, and is used by employers to assess a candidate’s suitability for a role in their organisation.
For an individual, the Myers-Briggs test is invaluable for helping to develop self-understanding; specifically, what motivates you and what work environments you are most suited to.
This article describes the key ENTP personality characteristics as they relate to a professional environment, and lists 10 of the best ENTP career matches.
The ENTP personality accounts for only 3% of the population, so is one of the rarer personality types, and is more often found in men.
As with all the Myers-Briggs personality types, the acronym relates to four specific character traits that, when combined, describe the persona of the individual – how they relate to others, what motivates them and how they prefer to work.
For the ENTP, the acronym is as follows:
ENTPs are inspired innovators who are curious and clever. They have an insatiable drive to know everything and are known for their quick wit and banter – they are rarely judgemental but they have little patience for those that cannot keep up.
ENTPs question everything and are known as arguers – inspired by the most tricky challenges, they are masters at analysing a situation to come up with new solutions.
ENTPs are spontaneous and flexible but make decisions based on logic and reason. They look for ways to get around rules, finding established procedures uninspiring. Their entrepreneurial spirit makes them ‘big picture’ thinkers, but they can seem unreliable when they don’t follow a new idea through to completion, preferring instead to delegate the details to others.
If you have been identified as ENTP, you are likely to be charismatic and quick on your feet, preferring to react to a situation rather than plan. You are energised by challenges and enjoy banter with those who can keep up with how quickly your mind works.
It is important to be aware of both the ENTP’s strengths and weaknesses, as they inform both their personal and professional lives.
ENTP personalities prefer work that is intellectually stimulating and challenging, but not rigid. They find work based on repetition tedious and uninspiring, and get bored quickly.
As ENTPs want to be an expert on any given topic, they are energised when seeking innovative solutions.
ENTPs also value power, so they enjoy contact with powerful people that can increase their influence.
In a team situation, the ENTP is energetic and optimistic, open-minded, and excited to be innovative. They like to be able to skirt or completely ignore rules and norms, so they can sometimes have friction with team members who prefer a more traditional approach.
ENTPs work well in a team that is competitive and quick-witted, as they like to bounce ideas around with colleagues that can keep up. However, they can sometimes take all the credit for an idea that was a team effort – mainly because they believe they have come up with it by themselves.
As a manager, the ENTP is imaginative, intellectually competitive and will encourage independence from their direct reports. They are systems-focused, enjoying the chance to deeply analyse their team’s performance and thoroughly examine trends.
However, this focus on systems can mean that they neglect the emotional needs of their subordinates, preferring strategy over diplomacy and leaving their team to feel emotionally disconnected.
What better role for the quick-thinking, spontaneous and charismatic ENTP than to be on the floor, trading stocks at lightning speed and responding quickly to changes.
Stock traders need to know everything about their assets; this appeals to the ENTP’s desire to be an expert in their field – and contact with influential people is a given.
Being in the thick of the action, working quickly to fix a problem and having the opportunity to be the go-to expert, makes a job in engineering a perfect choice for the ENTP.
Whether it is managing a project, creating and designing a building, or fixing someone’s heating, the role of engineer is multi-faceted, so it won’t become tedious and repetitive.
As the arguer, the ENTP flourishes when given a chance to not only think innovatively but also to use their charisma to influence the behaviour of others.
Working as a lawyer needs some attention to detail – the ENTP will want to learn all there is to know about a legal problem, and analyse the facts to inform their solution.
Whether the relationships are in-house (working with colleagues to find creative solutions to problems) or with customers, the ENTP is perfect for a job where they need to be quick-witted and charismatic to be effective.
As a relationship manager, the ENTP gets to meet lots of new people and apply their innovative minds to finding solutions to problems.
The producer of a film is essentially the ideas person, using their originality to create the perfect scene, shot or sequence. The ENTP gets to work with powerful people and can use their energy to inspire others and bring their ideas and vision to life.
Working on a film project and getting the credit for bringing a script to life is both intellectually challenging and rewarding.
The ENTP wants to know everything and be an expert in their field. Managing PR for a company (or several companies) means that they can not only extend their influence but also use their ideas to help others.
PR is a rapidly changing field and needs a quick-thinking, spontaneous and flexible person to be able to roll with the changes and still come up with ideas.
The extraverted ENTP loves to work with others, and implementing training is an excellent way for them to celebrate their expert status. Getting energised from shared experiences, and being able to think fast and come up with creative solutions to training blocks, gives the ENTP immense satisfaction.
As a training manager, the ENTP can exude their confidence and charisma to help others get aligned with an idea or solution.
Being a different person every day is something that appeals to the ‘flighty’ nature of the ENTP. Acting allows them to put on a different persona, find out everything there is to know about their character and portray it as they see it.
Charisma and confidence will make the ENTP a popular choice for strong characters and will make for interesting interviews with journalists.
With no need to look at too many details, advertising sales is a good choice for an ENTP. Generally, all sales roles will appeal to this confident personality type, but advertising sales needs an imaginative eye and the ENTP has an originality that could be invaluable to any advertising strategy.
While cold-calling would not appeal due to its monotony, the ENTP has a natural confidence that is not dented by rejection, so they can remain upbeat despite the knockbacks.
This is another role that demands a certain level of status, as well as the opportunity to show off knowledge gained through hard work and questioning the norms.
Being a university professor is more relaxed than other teachers; there is less strict adherence to rules and the syllabus – so the professor ENTP can be flexible and react to the changing needs of their students.
The professor is open to debate and questioning and, as they are so quick-witted, they enjoy banter and discussion with their students, knowing that these discussions will help them learn.
Data entry requires no innovation, is strict and regimented, and holds no joy for the ENTP. Tedium is not tolerable – the ENTP does not like working within a ‘box’ and following strict rules is stifling.
Data entry also requires attention to detail – something that the ENTP is not good at.
While the ENTP is charismatic, they don’t enjoy repetition, so a reception role would not suit them.
The connections they make through their extroverted personalities need to have an influential outcome, and they may be too overbearing and overconfident to sit happily behind a desk answering phones and performing administrative duties.
The ENTP likes to be an expert on a subject and remains curious about their chosen field. However, this type of expertise is not all that useful in teaching, and the ENTP finds it difficult to work with those they see as intellectually beneath them.
Teaching, from preschool through to secondary, means strict adherence to rules, the syllabus and OFSTED. Although there is some room for creativity, the ENTP does not enjoy conforming and would find this type of role suffocating, with no real intellectual challenge.
The ENTP is a rare breed, seen sometimes as a challenger in the workplace. They are not afraid to take risks. They are confident, not worried about failure, and use their entrepreneurial spirit to innovate and find solutions to problems.
ENTPs are most suited to work where they can avoid repetition and delegate work that is tedious to their subordinates. The roles they enjoy most are casual and unstructured, and they excel when they are allowed the freedom to think outside the box.
An ENTP in the workplace offers excitement, challenge and charisma. They are happiest when they are using their natural intelligence to encourage others to be optimistic and independent.
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