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Wayne State College
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Wayne, NE 68787

(402) 375-7321 -or- 375-7557
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Career Planning: Personality & Careers: ESFJ


Extravert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging - ESFJs represent approximately 13% of the population. ESFJs are people persons - they love people. They are warmly interested in others and are compassionate, conscientious, cooperative, loyal, opinionated, personable, and responsible people. They use their Sensing and Judging characteristics to gather specific, detailed information about others, and turn this information into supportive judgments. They want to like people, and have a special skill at bringing out the best in others. They are extremely good at reading others, and understanding their point of view. The ESFJ's strong desire to be liked and for everything to be pleasant makes them highly supportive of others. People like to be around ESFJs, because the ESFJ has a special gift for making people feel good about themselves (1,2,8).


ESFJs are warm and energetic. They need approval from others to feel good about themselves. They are hurt by indifference and don't understand unkindness. They are very giving people, who get a lot of their personal satisfaction from the happiness of others. They want to be appreciated for who they are, and what they give. They're very sensitive to others, and freely give practical care. ESFJs are such caring individuals, that they sometimes have a hard time seeing or accepting a difficult truth about someone they care about (1,2,8).

An ESFJs Career Choice Should Probably Include...

  1. An opportunity in which they can use their skills to manipulate facts and details.
  2. A stable and traditional environment where they feel appreciated for their hard work and contributions and where they feel part of a caring team.
  3. An opportunity to influence others and help others find and develop their strengths.
  4. Explicit and clear rules, regulation, and expectation where they know their responsibilities and are compensated for what they produce.
  5. Work that lets them see the tangible results of their efforts and has a direct and positive effect on people.
  6. An opportunity to work in a harmonious and cooperative setting.
  7. The opportunity to establish meaningful and ongoing relationships by working directly with a variety of people throughout the day.
  8. The chance to learn and master the skills of their trade, and organize and retain control over their projects.

An ESFJs Strengths are...

ESFJs enjoy meeting and helping people and are friendly, outgoing, and talkative. They place a high value on relationships, are very concerned with the feelings of others and eager to please in real and tangible ways. They are sympathetic and caring people, with strong opinions based on their values. Often popular, they have great energy for their many projects, activities, and friends (1,2,7,8).


ESFJs have great common sense and good minds and memories for details, especially those that relate to people. They are hard working, organized, and conscientious, liking best to be part of a cooperative team. Rather traditional by nature, they are willing to put large amounts of energy into the things they believe in and faithfully follow through on all their commitments (1,2,7,8).


ESFJs are good at...

  • reading others
  • working hard as a cooperative team member
  • organizing and following through of all part of my projects
  • getting things done; being responsible and productive
  • approaching all interactions with friendliness and warmth
  • working well with routine and paying close attention to details
  • following sensible rules, policies, and procedures

An ESFJs Weaknesses are...

Because ESFJs need harmony in their relationships, they seldom risk hurting anyone else's feelings and tend to avoid conflict. They often take any criticism personally and get their feelings hurt easily. Once they've made up their minds, it is often hard for them to reverse their positions even if new information is revealed. In their zeal to get things done, they sometimes make decisions too quickly and then feel stuck with those choices, even if they are not the best ones for them (1,2,7,8).


ESFJs do not naturally see possibilities, especially less obvious ones. This means that they sometimes get discouraged when they don't see a way out of a bad situation. Once frustrated, they have the tendency to either label the project as hopeless and give up, or become negative and critical about everything. They sometimes need help looking past the immediate to the future implications of their choices. The more uncomfortable they feel with change, the more rigid they tend to become, wanting to regain some of the control they fear they are losing (1,2,7,8).


Things to watch out for...

The social status of successful people can be quite alluring to ESFJs and many marry prosperous mates and encourage them to accumulate the material signs of prosperity. Other ESFJs seem to fit in with the poor and the needy. In either case their dependability, dedication, and commitment to providing for the needs of others is, at times, overlooked. This can lead to the ESFJ feeling unappreciated and neglected. They can harbor uncomfortable feelings, which they then feel guilty and shameful about, and then they find themselves suffering from emotional denial (1,2,7,8).


If stress continues, the ESFJ will begin to feel dejected and despondent. A sense of gloom seems to be attached to their memories and the ESFJ fosters feelings of self-blame and guilt about certain past experiences. Always conscious of a sense of indebtedness, the ESFJ feels generally remorseful and may regret imagined woes. If stress becomes overwhelming, ESFJs will complain of their burdens, suspect dreadful things about their health, become critical of others who have "betrayed" them, and become generally melancholic. The ESFJ feels forsaken after all they have put up with and done for others. Their complaints immobilize so they are unable to nurture others or fulfill their demanding obligations (1,2,7,8). Other concerns to watch for are:

  • a tendency to make evaluations of situations too quickly and ignoring long-range considerations
  • becoming stressed in highly competitive or tension-filled environments
  • being insecure and focusing attention on pleasing others
  • getting discouraged if appreciation or praise is not given regularly
  • seeing things in "black-and-white" having unrealistic expectations for advice from experts
  • socializing excessively, especially if working alone for too long
  • becoming controlling, or overly sensitive, and imagining bad intentions when there weren't any
  • assuming the only right way is the way things have always been done and not thinking "outside the box" to solve problems
  • avoiding projects that require learning a lot of new skills

Developmental Needs: ESFJs need to develop the ability to appreciate the value of a detailed and complex analysis of a problem when it is appropriate. They need to understand that conflict is a part of life and can be a valuable learning experience and accept it when and if it occurs. ESFJs may have to open their eyes to the facts in those situations that are disagreeable or discordant.

Careers ESFJs Might Consider

BulletFamily Physician

BulletRetail Owner/Operator

BulletProfessional Volunteer


BulletSpeech Pathologist

BulletChild Care Provider

BulletExercise Physiologist

BulletAthletic Coach

BulletElementary School Teacher

BulletSpeech Pathologist


BulletReligious Educator

BulletHome Economics Teacher

BulletCustomer Service Rep

BulletCommunity Welfare Worker


BulletReal Estate Agent/Broker

BulletCounselor/Social Worker

BulletSales Representative

BulletFuneral Home Director

BulletPublic Relations Specialist

BulletFlight Attendant

BulletExercise Physiologist


BulletOffice Machine Operator


BulletComputer Professional

BulletElementary Teacher

BulletMedical Secretary

BulletSpecial Education Teacher


BulletPolice Detective

BulletRadiological Technician


BulletCorrections Officer



BulletAthletic Coach



BulletSocial Worker






BulletPersonal Banker

BulletMedical/Dental Assistant

BulletOffice Manager

BulletStudent Personnel Administrator






  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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