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Career Planning: Personality & Careers: ESFP


Extravert, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving - ESFPs represent approximately 13% of the population. ESFPs have very strong interpersonal skills, and may frequently find themselves in the role of the peacemaker. They are easy, outgoing, friendly, accepting, unprejudiced, open-minded, and tolerant people who rely on their direct senses. Since they make decisions by using their personal values, they are usually very sympathetic and concerned for other people's well-being. They're usually quite generous and warm. They are very observant about other people, and seem to sense what is wrong with someone before others might, responding warmly with a solution to a practical need. They might not be the best advice-givers in the world, because they dislike theory and future-planning, but they are great for giving practical care (1,2,8).


ESFPs are spontaneous, optimistic individuals. They love to have fun so much that they can become overindulgent and place more importance on immediate sensation and gratification than on their duties and obligations. They may also avoid looking at long-term consequences of their actions. For the ESFP, the entire world is a stage. They love to be the center of attention and perform for people. They're constantly putting on a show for others to entertain them and make them happy. They enjoy stimulating other people's senses, and are extremely good at it. They would love nothing more than for life to be a continual party, in which they play the role of the fun-loving host (1,2,8).

An ESFPs Career Choice Should Probably Include...

  1. A lot of contact with people with a myriad of new experiences.
  2. Plenty of opportunities to work closely with a variety of other people on a variety of projects throughout the day.
  3. The opportunity to use their great people skills and practical perspective, which will also provide them with enough new challenges that they will not become bored.
  4. A relaxed, friendly, and active environment where they feel part of a team and they are appreciated and rewarded for there contributions.
  5. Work that is of a practical and helpful nature, where they have plenty of hands-on involvement and are able to see the results of their efforts.
  6. Work that allows independence and resourcefulness
  7. The opportunity to learn and master skills and then use them to solve problems using their common sense and realistic point of view.
  8. The chance to mediate problems, solve crises, and use their warmth and sense of humor to defuse difficult or tense situations and bring them to positive endings.

An ESFPs Strengths are...

ESFPs are friendly, warm, and energetic people who usually have a wide and varied circle of friends. They are active, talkative, and easy going with a love of life that is infectious to everyone around them. They look for and find fun in everything they do and are at their best when they are busy doing things with people they enjoy. Realistic, sensible, and down to earth, ESFPs are good with details, and have great memories for the facts that pertain to people (1,2,7,8).


Sympathetic and eager to help anyone, ESFPs are usually not interested in judging or trying to control others. Many ESFPs have a great love of animals and nature. Using their well developed common sense, they are usually good at solving immediate problems to make things easier or make a real and tangible difference in people's lives. Their spontaneity and adaptability enable them to respond quickly to opportunities and keep several balls in the air at one time (1,2,7,8).


ESFPs are good at...

  • hands-on tasks that let them use their technical or artistic skills
  • being practical and realistic
  • bringing energy, enthusiasm, and fun to their work
  • adapting and responding to unexpected changes and crises
  • communicating with a variety of people, making people feel good
  • being independent and resourceful
  • using common sense to see what needs to be done and getting started
  • public speaking, teaching, and meeting facilitation

An ESFPs Weaknesses are...

ESFPs tend to live in the present and this makes it difficult for them to look beyond the moment and plan ahead. They can be caught in a situation for which they are ill prepared; a situation that might have been anticipated if they had focused further down the road. They tend to be skeptical about accepting theories or approaches with which they have no personal experience. Their social nature can distract them from commitments and they can find themselves over-committed because it is so difficult for them to turn down invitations (1,2,7,8).


ESFPs can get their feelings hurt when others are not as generous or loving as they are because they take a personal approach to life. They base their decisions on their personal feelings and experiences and can fail to see the more logical consequences of their actions. They need to work at staying objective and reading between the lines to get a more accurate view of the big picture (1,2,7,8).


Things to watch out for...

ESFPs’ need to socialize with others may create difficulties at work or school. Their tendency to overemphasize subjective data can cause problems in structured situations. Like all SPs, ESFPs resist regulations and they can become quite defiant when their sense of freedom is violated. Their disregard for standard procedures will take the form of passive resistance and ESFPs usually develop many skills to annoy the people they blame for their loss of liberty. ESFPs are prone to neglecting time-limits and situations requiring organized goals; under such circumstances, ESFPs will become bored and restless, and will quickly develop a feeling of emptiness (1,2,7,8).


If a stressful situation endures, ESFPs will respond against others by mistreating themselves and acquiring habits that are self-destructive. Feeling empty, restless, and bored, ESFPs may experience a regression of their skills, graceful movements, and maturity. ESFPs penalize those responsible for obstructing their freedom while, at the same time, they restore excitement back into their own lives. Having not obtained freedom through appropriate behavior, ESFPs overwhelmed with stress will behave in ways that are unproductive to themselves and others (1,2,7,8). Other concerns to watch for:

  • making strong and stubborn judgments against person who crossed them
  • becoming distracted and getting off track
  • becoming overindulgent and placing more importance on immediate sensation and gratification than on duties and obligations
  • avoiding making tough decisions or risking hurting others' feelings by being too direct and honest
  • being disorganized, undisciplined, and avoid planning ahead
  • ignoring or escaping conflict situations rather than facing them
  • avoiding theoretical subjects or working alone
  • not paying enough attention to their own needs
  • accepting things at face value and not looking for less obvious meanings

Developmental Needs: ESFPs need to look twice to be certain they have not overlooked a problem hiding behind affability. They need to develop a better balance between work and "play" time. It is important for them to consider logic and long-range vision when making decisions and to reduce their tendency toward impulsiveness.


Careers ESFPs Might Consider

BulletOccupational Therapist

BulletTeam Trainer

BulletFloral Designer


BulletEmergency Room Nurse

BulletCommunity Health Worker

BulletPreschool Teacher

BulletDog Obedience Trainer

BulletPerformer: Dance/Comedian

BulletFactory/Site Supervisor

BulletRegistered Nurse

BulletRetail Merchandiser

BulletReal Estate Agent

BulletInterior Decorator


BulletFlight Attendant

BulletFloral Designer


BulletRadiological Technician

BulletForeign Language Teacher

BulletCorrections Officer

BulletChild Care Provider

BulletAthletic Coach




BulletLabor Relations Mediator


BulletComputer Professional

BulletSpecial Events Producer


BulletSocial Scientist

BulletSpeech Pathologist


BulletDental Assistant

BulletTravel Agent/Tour Operator


BulletSocial Worker


BulletTeacher: Preschool/Elementary

BulletMiddle School Teacher

BulletPublic Relations Specialist


BulletWaiter/Waitress/Food Service


BulletFilm Producer


BulletVeterinary Technician


  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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