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ENFP Careers

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The ENFP personality type has Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving personality traits. They are big-picture thinkers who love to motivate others to achieve their goals. 

They get their energy by spending time with others and they focus on creative ideas and concepts. They also prioritize people and emotions and prefer freedom and flexibility. 

The ENFP personality type is common among the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. 7.6% of the population are ENFPs. 

For ENFPs, self-expression matters. They don’t like to focus too much on the details, and they value personal freedom. ENFPs are great communicators with high empathy and a genuine interest in others. 

Illustration of woman showing her creative ideas and concepts

The ENFP at Work

ENFPs thrive in workplaces that champion creativity. They like coming up with innovative ideas and finding novel solutions to problems. They like to connect to a broader organizational mission they can believe in. They are great team players. They love to express their unique selves in their problem-solving.  

They hate working in a work environment with too many rules or regulations. They are not a fan of working by themselves and prefer to be around people. An ENFP person does not enjoy repetitive or detailed tasks. They want to understand the big picture and how their work influences the organization's vision.

Working with an ENFP

An ENFP personality type has infectious energy and enthusiasm. They are creative problem-solvers that are happy to share their work with their colleagues.

But they do not thrive in rigid structures. ENFPs enjoy situations where there’s flexibility and independence to exercise their lateral thinking skills. Brainstorming is their favorite activity. Restrictions on their working style will stifle innovation from ENFPs. For this reason, ENFPs may not favor corporate working environments.  

ENFPs shun tedious, repetitive work. They also dislike following set procedures or routines. A pioneering work ethic is one characteristic of their working style. They like getting straight into the action rather than waiting for processes to fall into place. At the same time, they’re conceptual thinkers, always considering the bigger picture in every project they tackle. 

ENFPs can find deadlines tricky. They love juggling different ideas at once. The ENFP may need frequent reminders about short-term goals related to the big picture to ensure they stay motivated and effective at work. 

People with the ENFP personality type are very social and love to connect with others. They are the perfect team players. They look out for their colleagues and love getting to know their perspectives. They may often stop their own work and go out of their way to help a colleague in need.  ENFPs prefer to meet with colleagues, other teams, or customers in person when they are at work. 

ENFPs are self-described cheerleaders at work and intuitive decision-makers. However, they may be oversharers, have poor follow-through with ideas and plans, or appear disorganized. 

They work well with bosses who regularly appreciate their contributions but not so well with fault-finding bosses. ENFPs struggle with criticism, as they feel things deeply and are self-critical. The best way to pass on feedback to the ENFP is to give constructive feedback with encouragement. 

ENFPs tend to get stressed when things are too predictable at work. They also dislike fighting with work colleagues and prefer to keep the peace. 

Like all of us, ENFP personality types have intrinsic traits that influence their motivation for working in a certain way and within specific work environments.

At F4S, we've identified 48 traits that influence motivation and energy levels. Understanding these traits can help you choose job roles, cultures, and workplace environments that will enable you to thrive.

These preferences are intrinsic. But we don't always have the luxury of finding a workplace or a way of working that exactly matches our needs. Coaching can help you build skills and resilience when you need to perform in a work environment less suited to your preferences.

Our 8-week coaching program, 'Goal Catcher', can help ENFPs develop their ability to set goals and achieve follow-through with their ideas. 

Best careers for ENFPs

The best careers for ENFP personality types are those that involve novel and exciting work. Like all personality types, ENFPs can be found in a range of careers and industries.

However, the best job for ENFPs is one where they can exercise their creativity. The ENFP personality type can also thrive in leadership positions where they can guide colleagues to achieve goals. They fit well with managerial roles, particularly in people-focused industries such as sales and marketing. 

Top careers for ENFPs include:

Sciences and health

  • Occupational therapist 
  • Chiropractor
  • Personal trainer 
  • Psychiatrist
  • Social worker
  • Archaeologist
  • Psychologist
  • Physicist
  • Computer scientist
  • Sociologist
  • Urban planner
  • Recreational therapist
  • Mental health counselor

Creative arts

  • Actor
  • Photographer
  • Musician 
  • Journalist 
  • Comedian

Business

  • Sales manager 
  • Brand manager 
  • Real estate agent 
  • Market researcher
  • Public relations manager
  • Customer service representative
  • Human resources specialist

Information technology

  • IT helpdesk agent
  • Customer support technician

Education, philosophy, academia, and law

  • Elementary school teacher
  • High school teacher
  • College professor
  • Librarian
  • Guidance counselor

Miscellaneous 

  • Hairdresser
  • Child care worker
  • Flight attendant 
  • Pet groomer
  • Skincare specialist
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ENFP-A vs. ENFP-T

ENFP can be sub-categorized into assertive or turbulent identities. These identities affect all four elements that make up an ENFP personality type.

Within the constraints of their overall type, assertive identities tend to be more socially assertive and risk-taking. Turbulent identities tend to be more sensitive regarding their ideas and approach. 

These two sub-categories bring a little more nuance to elements of the ENFP personality type. ENFP-As thrive on tackling new challenges and love the excitement that new ideas and activities can bring into their lives. 

They are also natural leaders, relying on their enthusiasm and creative vision to guide and inspire others. They tend to be better organized and more adaptable to team needs than ENFP-Ts. They still dislike following rules but will mold themselves to fit team needs where necessary. 

ENFP-Ts tend to be more sensitive than ENFP-As. This sensitivity can have a downside, as it may mean ENFP-Ts can be moody and emotionally volatile. They are far more sensitive to internal and external stimuli. They may also feel stressed if they have too many duties at work. 

However, their extra sensitivity could make them highly perceptive and spark creative problem-solving abilities. People credit ENFP-Ts for seeing things that others might not be able to. 

Given these nuances, let's look at how some of the careers we mentioned above might suit the two identity sub-categories:

ENFP-A careers

  • Sales manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Public relations specialist
  • Guidance counselor
  • Real estate agent
  • Archaeologist
  • Journalist
  • Librarian

ENFP-T careers

  • Photographer
  • Art director
  • Artist
  • Musician
  • Psychiatrist
  • Hairdresser
  • Comedian
  • Social worker

Highest-paying careers for ENFPs

ENFPs thrive in careers that allow for creative vision, variety, and interaction with other people.

Some healthcare roles are highly paid. For example, the average salary for a psychiatrist is US$241,777. An art director can make US$130,350. A sales manager could make US$124,491

ENFPs also make good leaders due to their visionary approach. While the salary of Chief Executive Officers can vary widely, the average is US$796,134.

Other highly-paid options include:

ENFP strengths and weaknesses

At F4S, we don't think about strengths and weaknesses the same way as the MBTI tool does. We believe that strengths and weaknesses are often situation-dependent.

We prefer to look at what motivates you versus what drains your energy. These elements might overlap with what Myers-Briggs describes as strengths and weaknesses, but not always.

For example, perhaps (like many ENFPs) you have a real strength in developing creative solutions for projects. Your sense of purpose comes from tackling challenging business problems in creative ways. 

However, senior management undervalues your creative approaches. They insist that you stick to the tried and true procedures, leaving little room for innovation. This leaves you frustrated that you can’t exercise your big-picture approach to solving workplace problems.

Equally, perhaps there is something you love doing that motivates and energizes you, but you're not very skilled at it yet. It might not be considered an innate 'strength', but you're way more likely to enjoy your career choice if you can find a job with some elements of that activity.

That said, here are some ENFP 'strengths and weaknesses':

ENFP strengths

  • Enthusiasm
  • Vision
  • Problem-solving
  • A good judge of character

ENFP weaknesses

  • Disorganized
  • Poor execution of ideas
  • Oversensitive
  • Unfocused

ENFP careers to avoid

Our Myers-Briggs personality type offers insight into our likely preferences for how we work and what type of careers we might enjoy. However, it's important to note that any personality type can be successful across all industries and job roles.

Our preferences may mean certain types of work and work environments are more challenging for us. But, if you're highly motivated to pursue a particular career path, there's no reason you can't excel.

Motivation is personal and complicated. There can be both internal and external drivers for motivation. Increased self-awareness helps you identify the internal traits that drive your preferences for how, where, and when you work.

At F4S, we recommend starting with our free self-assessment. This will unlock insights about where your motivations lie and how you can best harness your preferences to create a satisfying and successful career.

Sometimes there are also strong external motivating factors. For example, a lucrative pay packet, comprehensive benefits, or the ability to work from a specific location.

External motivations may result in you working in an environment that jars with your intrinsic motivation. Personal development programs and coaching can help you rachet up the skills needed to excel when working in ways less suited to your preferences.

So, if there is something you're excited about trying, you should definitely explore it, even if your MBTI result suggests you might be better suited to something else.

ENFPs enjoy working within a creative field. They excel at inspiring people with their creative vision and managing resources to deliver business benefits.

ENFPs are gregarious and enjoy collaborating with teammates to bring out the best in people. While they thrive at generating new ideas, too many rules or a work culture that prizes process and structure may be unsettling. 

They thrive in social, innovative, and creative environments. Anything that requires them to work alone or focus on small details is stifling for the ENFP. 

Given this, some roles typically have work environments or approaches that may be more challenging for ENFPs. Remember, this list is just a guideline of job types you might not enjoy or may find draining. It doesn't mean you won't excel at them.

The following job types may be less suited to ENFP personality types:

  • Bank teller
  • Financial advisor
  • Lab analyst 
  • Factory supervisor
  • Police officer
  • Farmer
  • Dentist
  • Pathologist
  • Chemist
  • Judge 

ENFP leadership

Here at F4S, we're fascinated by what motivates people. When considering leadership, it's important to reflect on these three particular traits:

  • Whether you enjoy power and control
  • How much you value belonging
  • How much you're motivated by achievement.

If you enjoy power and control, you will likely thrive in a leadership role. If belonging is important to you, then a leadership position may feel isolating.

For ENFP personality types, belongingness is of utmost importance. They place a lot of emphasis on connection and bonding with their teammates. They understand that influencing people means empowering their colleagues to come up with innovative solutions to business problems. 

ENFPs love to tap into a range of opinions while working on projects. Their sense of achievement is motivated by creating a diverse team who are able to brainstorm solutions together. 

Their approach is a hallmark of great emotional intelligence. It builds trust among teammates and inspires them to outperform their nearest competitors. 

ENFP leaders may struggle to make unpopular decisions. Offering feedback or firing colleagues will be difficult because they do not want to damage their relationships. They may also struggle to work with task-oriented people who may not appreciate their emphasis on relationships and social interactions. 

ENFP leaders also risk overpromising and underdelivering on projects. They can focus on the big picture at the expense of important details. Their instructions to employees may be imprecise, causing frustration and stress. 

If you're interested in getting the most from your team through delivering transformational feedback, try our eight-week development program 'Multiply Your Impact'.

This program is personalized to work with your innate preferences helping you to lead with greater impact irrespective of personality type.

ENFP teamwork

ENFP teamwork can be viewed through the prism of particular traits, such as shared responsibility at work and extraversion. 

Shared responsibility at work involves being motivated to share ownership of tasks, goals, and projects with other people. This trait is reflective of the ENFP personality type.  

ENFPs love to try new approaches and are open to hearing feedback from other people. Their best work comes from projects that allow for experimentation and with teammates who are also open to new ideas. Many teammates view ENFPs as likable, personable colleagues who also energize them to produce their best work.

The downside of a shared responsibility approach is that ENFPs may struggle to be effective leaders and take ownership of a single task. 

ENFPs are natural extroverts who are motivated by being in a group environment. They have contagious amounts of energy, which inspires people around them to feel engaged with projects at work. 

ENFPs are unlikely to thrive in a remote team environment, as they prefer the in-person energy that comes with face-to-face meetings and collaborations. They may also prove to be distractible and distracting colleagues, as they are always keen to share their work with others.

ENFP celebrities

From Robin Williams to Hugo Chávez, ENFPs are recognized for their infectious energy, idea generation, and passion for social justice. 

Here are some famous ENFPs: 

Robin Williams
Robin Williams was an ENFP. The US actor is famous for his roles in films such as Mrs. Doubtfire and Dead Poets Society. He was introspective yet sociable, with a passion for acting. People loved being around him because of his infectious energy.
Anne Frank
Anne Frank was an ENFP. She is famous for the posthumous publication of The Diary of Anne Frank, which documents her life hiding from the Nazis during the German occupation of the Netherlands.
John Lennon
John Lennon was an ENFP. He was a creative, intuitive person who had a strong vision for his work. As an ideas person, he helped develop some of the Beatles’ most iconic songs. He was also known for being a social justice advocate.
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez was an ENFP. He served as President of Venezuela. He was charismatic, extroverted, and rebellious. He turned to politics after a military career. He was highly opinionated, and his socialist policies divided the country.
Elizabeth May
Elizabeth May is an ENFP. She is a Canadian politician and former leader of the Green Party. She is altruistic, creative, and empathetic, with a strong interest in pursuing social justice for the environment. She has also published several books on Canadian democracy.
Michio Kaku
Michio Kaku is an ENFP. He is an American theoretical physicist and is well known for popularising science for general audiences. Kaku is a blogger and often appears on radio, television, and film.
Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley is an ENFP. She is known for her roles in films such as Bend it Like Beckham and Pirates of the Caribbean. Knightley is also known for speaking out on social issues and has worked with Amnesty International and Oxfam.
Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani is an ENFP. She was the co-founder and lead vocalist of the band No Doubt before she embarked on a solo career in 2004. Stefani is a creative visionary with her music. She is known to be generous with her time, helping others achieve their goals.

Editor’s note: Do you recognize yourself in any of these famous people? Are you secretly nodding along, going, “I always thought I was just like John Lennon?” Whether you are or you aren’t, don’t worry! This list is meant to be fairly light-hearted and is based on traits and behaviors observed in our favorite celebs rather than in-depth research. After all, it’s unlikely anyone actually put Gwen Stefani through an MBTI test!

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