What Are the Best Occupations for ESFP Personality Types?

Of the 16 personalities defined by Myers-Briggs, ESFP is one of the most fun and outgoing types. Characterized by Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, and Perception, ESFPs currently account for nearly 9% of the population. Individuals with this personality type are good candidates for careers that utilize their appreciation for variety, strong desire to engage with people, and ability to transform ideas into actionable steps.

What is an ESFP like?

ESFPs are observant and good-natured. Possessing a natural zest for life, ESFPs are pleasure-seekers who do not shy away from an audience. Marilyn Monroe, a pop culture icon, embodies these qualities throughout her prominent career as an entertainer. The same is true for Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States. During his term, Clinton often projected a warm and upbeat demeanor while speaking in front of large audiences. As President, it was vital that Clinton demonstrated strong interpersonal skills and make value-based decisions–both characteristics associated with the ESFP personality type.

ESFPs tend to thrive in leadership positions, due mainly to their personality traits. Richard Branson, entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group, has not only become known for his keen business sense but also for his desire to live life fully and play by his own rules. An ESFP relishes new experiences and embraces diversity.

What are ESFPs like in the workplace?

Individuals with ESFP personality traits tend to excel in work environments that foster frequent interpersonal interaction along with opportunities to be at the center of attention. Theatrical stages and offices brimming with energy are often optimal work environments for ESFPs. Art studios and galleries are also suitable work environments as they are typically arranged in a way that is aesthetically pleasing to ESFPs, who value beauty and material things.

Regardless of which work environment they find themselves in, ESFPs tend to maintain positive working relationships with co-workers. Someone who is as talkative, witty, generous and fun-loving as an ESFP has no trouble reaching out to co-workers to collaborate, exchange best practices, or simply have a chat. ESFPs learn through practical application and enjoy being hands-on, so completing tasks in a group is often welcomed. In response, co-workers thoroughly enjoy ESFPs at work and find them lively and engaging.

What are the best careers for ESFPs?

ESFPs generally find success in careers that encourage their outgoing nature and enable frequent interpersonal communication. The best ESFP careers allow for variety as ESFPs enjoy new and exciting experiences and are usually willing to do almost anything in the pursuit of pleasure. Their unrelenting optimism, hands-on approach, and knack for turning abstract ideas into tangible concepts make complex, multifaceted work a welcomed challenge for ESFPs. The following are among the best ESFP careers that enable individuals with these personality traits to make the most of their professional experiences.

1. Event Planner

Event planners organize the logistics for social functions, such as parties and gatherings. ESFPs have an eye for what looks good and can use this, along with their people skills, to help individuals and companies bring their celebrations to life. They also have keen observation skills that event planners use to define details and monitor the event budget.

2. Life Skills Coach

ESFPs can be successful in teaching people how to live well and be productive because their personalities are characterized by a love for life. Their unique ability to find the silver lining in difficult situations come in handy in this role. Life skills coaches provide support with daily tasks, promote skill-building, and maintain client records.

3. Sales Representative

Securing a sales representative role could be a wise career choice for an ESFP. Individuals in this role must be sociable and observant. In addition, he or she must be passionate about the product or service they are selling and be enthusiastic about meeting the needs of potential customers. ESFPs are especially good at this, often desiring to create solutions.

4. Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but a vocation test would reveal that it is a strong ESFP career match. People skills are key, and an optimistic attitude is necessary when enduring the highs and lows of starting a business. ESFPs possess these qualities, in addition to being practical team players who can turn simple ideas into timely, measurable plans.

5. Tour Guide

Seeking out adventure is a part of work as a tour guide. Luckily for ESFPs, this is not only a duty, but a way of life. Successful tour guides must be comfortable speaking in front of an audience, providing detailed information, and having fun at work! ESFPs are apt at this, maintaining a pleasant attitude when the itinerary changes with little notice.

6. Flight Attendant

Most people see flight attendants as cheerful, accommodating, and adventurous. Flight attendants get to travel often and experience the kinds of journeys that ESFPs live for, making it one of the best ESFP careers! The warm, hopeful disposition that ESFPs often have is calming to passengers and encouraging during unexpected delays and long layovers.

7. Admissions Counselor

Admissions counselors assist with onboarding students at schools and universities, helping them become oriented to the college experience. This type of counselor would get to interact frequently with students, parents, and other members of the campus community. Not to mention, a college campus is a prime work environment for ESFPs, igniting their fun-loving, good-natured personality traits.

8. Theater Instructor

Theater instructors facilitate stage productions and provide support and guidance to budding artists, making this one of the most fitting careers for extroverts. ESFPs rarely find pleasure in roles that are isolating, so this role is appropriate as there is always entertainment nearby.  ESFPs are natural performers so any role in the performing arts industry will be a good fit.  

9. Cosmetologist

Cosmetologists are trained to find the beauty in all things. They work to create an aesthetic that is suited to the client and current beauty trends. Cosmetologists can become licensed to enhance client’s beauty. Working with clients of varying backgrounds helps to satisfy the ESFPs need for diversity in their work and a new challenge at every turn.

10. Public Relations Associate

This is a prime career choice for ESFPs because it requires frequent interaction with others. Public relations associates usually serve as the face of an organization, but ESFPs can handle this kind of pressure. Tasks include producing marketing materials, conducting research, and maintaining the organization’s public image. ESFPs will enjoy the high-energy environment in this optimal career for extroverts.

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Kaila Kea

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Kaila Kea is a career coach and former contributor to the ZipRecruiter blog. She is based in Hampton, Virginia.

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