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Career Planning: Personality and Careers: ENFP


Extravert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving - ENFPs represent approximately 5% of the population. ENFPs are enthusiastic, charming, ingenuous, imaginative, risk-taking, sensitive,people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. Most ENFPs have good people skills and place great importance on their interpersonal relationships. They almost always have a strong need to be liked. They excel at bringing out the best in others, and are typically well-liked for this reason. They have an exceptional ability to intuitively understand a person after a very short period of time, and use their intuition and flexibility to relate to others on their own level. For ENFPs, details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. They place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks and will frequently remain oblivious to these types of concerns. When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. They have the ability to be productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they're doing (1,2,8).


ENFPs have an unusually broad range of skills and talents. They are good at most things which interest them. Project-oriented, they may go through several different careers during their lifetime. To onlookers, the ENFP may seem directionless and without purpose, but ENFPs are actually quite consistent, in that they have a strong sense of values which they live with throughout their lives. Everything that they do must be in line with their values. An ENFP needs to feel that they are living their lives as their true Self, walking in step with what they believe is right. They see meaning in everything, and are on a continuous quest to adapt their lives and values to achieve inner peace. They're constantly aware and somewhat fearful of losing touch with themselves. Since emotional excitement is usually an important part of the ENFP's life, and because they are focused on keeping "centered", the ENFP is usually an intense individual, with highly evolved values (1,2,8).

An ENFPs Career Choice Should Probably Include...

  1. A position where they are not confined by strict schedules or mundane tasks.
  2. A creative and fun environment where they can work with a variety of people each day.
  3. A place where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas.
  4. Plenty of opportunities to be challenged by new situations, where each day is different from the day before.
  5. The ability to talk about ideas, possibilities, and implications and then see their innovations become a reality.
  6. An easy going and relaxed atmosphere, without a lot of rules, regulations, or restrictions.
  7. The chance to make a difference and work on projects they believe in.

An ENFPs Strengths are...

ENFPs are good at a lot of different things. An ENFP can generally achieve a good degree of success at anything which has interested him or her. ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in, or out, of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it (1,2,8).


"Marching to the beat of a different drummer" is a hallmark trait of ENFPs and they admire others who are of the same mind. This quality allows them to be a driving force and make things happen. This is both a strength and a weakness. Used productively, this trait allows them to be a unique type of worker who can take a minimum of instruction and use his/her natural talents to expand on ideas and concepts and produce a finished product that goes above and beyond what was expected. The downside is that this trait can also stop an ENFP from producing anything of value. If he/she feels the instructions and work assigned goes against his/her value system, an ENFP can "stonewall" production by being obstinate and confrontational in expressing concerns over the "right and wrong" aspects (1,2,8).


ENFPs are good at...

  • working logically and rationally
  • seeing unique ways of solving problems - using their intuition to understand the goal and work backwards to achieve it
  • being a "team player" and working with all kinds of people
  • applying various experiences and skills to new fields of interest
  • being extremely intuitive and perceptive about people
  • being natural leaders and getting other people excited about ideas
  • being easy to work with, accommodating, and flexible in almost every endeavor

An ENFPs Weaknesses are...

ENFPs have a tendency to overextend themselves in both their physical and emotional commitments. Their proclivity to procrastinate and to overlook details complicates their circumstances. ENFPs often move on to new ventures without completing those they have already started. Their charming personalities can show signs of irritability and over-sensitivity when their desires to please different people come into conflict. During times of stress, ENFPs feel alienated. They then engage in deceptions that serve to obscure what is occurring within themselves (1,2,7,8).


The ENFP finds symbolic meanings behind the immediate circumstances. These meanings are construed as foreboding problems when ENFPs are under stress. Having a pervasive feeling of losing control over their own independent identities, ENFPs will feel virtually split apart by intruding circumstances. They will be "besides themselves" and "just not all there" — as if something, or someone, has taken away the essence of who they are. Not feeling like themselves, the ENFP will become subject to their own feelings of shame for being a phony, a fake or an impostor. If stress continues to grow, they may attribute malevolent schemes to others in order to explain away their fears (1,2,7,8).


Things to watch out for...

  • under certain circumstances may become manipulative - and be very good at it
  • getting sidetracked or becoming distracted by something more interesting
  • tendency to see the possibilities of what could be may lead to boredom with what actually is
  • not preparing properly ahead of time for important projects
  • need to focus on following through with their projects or may become bored or disinterested when working alone
  • being a procrastinator and/or sloppy with details or facts
  • although extraverted by nature, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves
  • ENFPs hate bureaucracy, both in principle and practice, and may have a tendency to launch a "crusade" against some aspect of it

Developmental Needs: ENFPs may need to develop an ability to mange their time and projects effectively because this is not natural to them. They need to "tame" the urge to move on to new and exciting projects without finishing the old old ones first. It may be necessary to teach themselves to be better organized and to give more time to studying relevant details. One word: Prioritize!

Careers ENFPs Might Consider


BulletSpeech Pathologist

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BulletAdvertising Creative Director


BulletStrategic Planner/Researcher

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BulletConference Planner


BulletPsychodrama Therapist

BulletSocial Scientist

BulletSpeech Pathologist


BulletEmployee Assistant Specialist

BulletCareer Counselor

BulletSales: Intangibles/Ideas/Services

BulletRehabilitation Worker

BulletHR Development Trainer

BulletPreschool Teacher

BulletTeacher: Liberal Arts

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BulletEnglish Teacher

BulletCity Manager

BulletTeacher: Special Education

BulletPublic Relations Specialist

BulletCorrections Officer

BulletComputer Support Rep.

BulletMedical Assistant

BulletAdvertising Sales Executive


BulletPastoral Counselor






BulletHousing Director



BulletOccupational Therapist

BulletTravel Agent

BulletComp. Systems Analyst


BulletHousing Director


BulletChemical Engineer






  1. Looking at Type and Careers, by Charles R. Martin, Ph.D., Copyright 1995 by Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT)
  2. Looking at Type: The Fundamentals, by Charles R. Martin, Ph.D., Copyright 1997 by Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT)
  3. Jedi Girl: Careers and Jobs - The Jedi Girl Internet Community - Concept and Design by Robert Jon Religa
  4. Career Manager (US Department of the Interior)
  5. The Virtual Office - may no longer be at this URL
  6. Hardcopies from an internet resource based on the Kiersey Bates material - URL unknown/no longer available
  7. Personality Types Under Stress
  8. The Personality Page

    Bullet"What Can I Do With A Major In...?" Bullet Personality & Careers Bullet



Ron Vick, MA, LPC
Counselor / Academic Advisor
Int'l Student Advisor



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