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Career Planning: Personality & Careers: ESTP


Extravert, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving - ESTPs represent approximately 13% of the population. ESTPs are outgoing, straight-shooting types. Enthusiastic and excitable, ESTPs are "doers" who live in the world of action. Blunt, straightforward risk-takers, they are willing to plunge right into things and get their hands dirty. They live in the here-and-now, and place little importance on introspection or theory. The look at the facts of a situation, quickly decide what should be done, execute the action, and move on to the next thing (1,2,8).


ESTPs have an uncanny ability to perceive people's attitudes and motivations. They pick up on little cues which go completely unnoticed by most other types, such as facial expressions and stance. They're typically a couple of steps ahead of the person they're interacting with. ESTPs use this ability to get what they want out of a situation. Rules and laws are seen as guidelines for behavior, rather than mandates. If the ESTP has decided that something needs to be done, then their "do it and get on with it" attitude takes precedence over the rules. However, the ESTP tends to have their own strong belief in what's right and what's wrong, and will doggedly stick to their principles. The Rules of the Establishment may hold little value to the ESTP, but their own integrity mandates that they will not under any circumstances do something which they feel to be wrong (1,2,8).


An ESTPs Career Choice Should Probably Include...

  1. The opportunity to utilize their adaptable nature and realistic grounding.
  2. The opportunity to have personal and direct involvement with projects where they can see the tangible results of their efforts.
  3. The freedom to work in a relaxed and friendly environment with opportunities to interact throughout the day with a variety of different people.
  4. An environment where they are in charge of their time and responsible for their actions with a minimum of rules and restrictions.
  5. A constantly changing and interesting environment with plenty of excitement.
  6. The opportunity to use logical reasoning to determine the best and most efficient solutions to tactical problems.
  7. Challenging, fun ways to demonstrate their abilities to respond to immediate challenges.

An ESTPs Strengths are...

Spontaneous and playful, ESTPs enjoy being at the center of attention and are often the life of a party. They are good at noticing the specific details of any situation, sizing up a problem and then quickly responding to it. They are better at immediate rather than long range problem solving. ESTPs can be good negotiators and tough, logical decision-makers when necessary but they prefer a "live and let live" attitude and lifestyle (1,2,7,8).

ESTPs are friendly, energetic, and active people with great powers of observation and the ability to be completely in the moment at all times. They are realistic, curious, and pragmatic, tending to speak directly and clearly without worrying about hidden meanings or ulterior motives. ESTPs are usually easygoing but can be firm believers in taking responsibility for one self They tend to like activities that are active and physical in nature and enjoy a certain amount of risk taking (1,2,7,8).


ESTPs are good at...

  • being flexible and adaptable
  • making accurate and efficient assessments of current situations
  • taking a "hands-on" approach and learning as they go
  • working with a variety of people and making quick connections with others
  • noticing and remembering facts and details
  • trouble shooting problems
  • public speaking, sales, and negotiating
  • starting projects with energy and exciting others to participate
  • using their hands and tools in an efficient and skillful manner
  • finding creative solutions

An ESTPs Weaknesses are...

ESTPs often avoid planning ahead any further than is absolutely necessary because they live so totally in the present moment. This can result in a disorganized and frantic pace when deadlines come up. ESTPs are not prone to see future implications or read between the lines to discover more subtle meanings. They tend to be skeptical of the viability of possibilities when they have no first hand experience on which to draw (1,2,7,8).


ESTPs can be funny and charming, but they can appear insincere when relying too much on humor rather than genuine emotion when dealing with others. They may neglect responsibilities or forget previous commitments due to eagerness to respond or to take advantage of a fun or exciting opportunity. They are often surprised to learn they have offended or hurt the feelings of others and need to slow down and consider the possible consequences of their impulses before acting (1,2,7,8).


Things to watch out for...

Owing to their drive for excitement, ESTPs are often unaware of the long-term consequences of their actions. Not understanding the far reaching implications of their behaviors, ESTPs often find themselves at odds with friends, colleagues, and employers. A quick fix mentality and strong improvisational skills cannot always compensate for the long-term disappointments resulting from shortsighted planning. ESTPs are tough-minded and may appear insensitive when resourceful shortcuts fail to impress a taskmaster. They can quickly become defiant. Those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of an ESTP's anger or retaliation may soon find that they have a tiger by the tail. If they lose the opportunity to act freely on their impulses, ESTPs abuse rules and regulations laid down by others in an attempt to regain a sense of excitement (1,2,7,8).


If confinement continues, an ESTP's stress increases. They feel empty and hollow inside, as if dead to the world. Their first impulse is to seek revenge by mocking other people’s values. They become increasingly antisocial and ridicule others with startling displays of disdainful behavior. By causing a scene, ESTPs rejuvenate their fading spirits and at the same time punish their oppressors. Like all SPs under stress, ESTPs get even by undoing the barriers to freedom, especially though gaining the trust and cooperation of others (1,2,7,8). Other concerns to watch for:

  • forgetting, resisting, or ignoring the rules and procedures of their organization
  • becoming too competitive and engaging in "one-upmanship"
  • focusing on the immediate present and ignoring long-term aspects
  • speaking before thinking things through carefully
  • taking on more projects than can be finished within deadlines
  • accepting things at face value without looking beyond the obvious
  • being too casual with authority and insensitive to coworkers
  • getting too excited about new concepts/ideas and jumping from project to project without finishing anything

Developmental Needs: It is important for ESTPs to temper their spontaneous and sometimes reckless actions with some realistic planning, a sense of commitment to something worthwhile, and the use of their high energy toward a constructive end. ESTPs can benefit from learning to appreciate structure and follow-through and developing a set of standards to avoid pursuing experiences simply for the sake of excitement.

Careers ESTPs Might Consider





BulletStock Broker

BulletReal Estate Broker

BulletInsurance Agent


BulletNews Reporter


BulletTour Agent

BulletManagement Consultant

BulletRespiratory Therapist

BulletLand Developer




BulletElectrical Engineer

BulletCommunity Health Worker

BulletCity Manager

BulletAircraft Mechanic

BulletGeneral Contractor


BulletAdult Education Teacher

BulletPolice/Corrections Officer

BulletPurchasing Agent


BulletLaboratory Technologist


BulletMechanical Engineer

BulletFire Fighter



BulletComputer Programmer

BulletBudget Analyst

BulletPhysical Therapist


BulletFinancial Advisor


BulletFactory Supervisor



BulletTechnical Trainer

BulletRadiological Technologist




  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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