If you’re an ENFP, what are the best, most satisfying careers for your personality type?
At roughly 7% of the population, ENFPs have a way of standing out (in a good way). And while they love building new connections, they need more alone time than most other extraverts.
They use this time to process their experiences and explore the deeper meanings behind them.
The ideal ENFP careers take this into account, addressing key interests and avoiding unnecessary constraints on the ENFP’s passion and creativity.
So, what does that look like, exactly? And what types of careers should an ENFP focus on?
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What is an ENFP personality type?
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you already know what each letter stands for:
The 16Personalities website nicknames this type as “the Campaigner,” while the Personality Junkie website calls the ENFP “the Creative Idealist.”
The ENFP is fiercely independent, so while they enjoy making connections with people, they won’t sacrifice their individuality or ideals to belong to a group.
In everything they do and experience, they look for the deeper meaning behind it. They need to know that their work has a purpose beyond someone else’s short-term convenience or entertainment.
If they find a cause, they pursue it with a passion and energy that inspires others to get involved. They may be revered as gurus or visionaries, but the ENFP is likely to feel constrained by a leadership role, due to their need for the freedom to innovate and to explore new ideas and solutions.
The best ENFP jobs have a meaning and purpose that resonates with and inspires the one pursuing and holding it.
What Are the Best Careers and Jobs For ENFP Personality Types?
It’s easiest to see the best ENFP career matches when we break it down according to the Holland Code interest themes (RIASEC):
- Realistic (R): physical, hands-on work
- Investigative (I): analytic, academic, or scientific
- Artistic (A): creative, meaningful, inspiring
- Social (S): people-oriented, social sciences, teaching/counseling
- Enterprising (E): sales, marketing, promoting
- Conventional (C): administrative, routine, hierarchical
Using these classifications, we can show the best careers for ENFP types::
Among jobs of this category, the ENFP will be happiest as a skilled craftsman creating objects that are as artful as they are useful. Crafts and construction projects with an element of artistry or ingenuity particularly appeal to them. Possible careers include:
With their curious minds and wide-ranging interests, the ENFP can appreciate the beauty of mathematics and life sciences such as biology and botany. They’re also likely to show an interest in the social sciences — including psychology and anthropology. Possible careers include:
As free spirits with a flair for the creative, ENFPs are likely to show an interest in art of varying kinds — including writing (usually creative); painting/drawing; sculpture; and architecture. Possible careers include:
With their gift for social interaction and their general love of people, ENFPs may gravitate toward teaching, counseling, coaching, or social work. They’re more likely to prefer teaching kids old enough for abstract thinking, but some ENFPs find it rewarding to teach younger students, too. Possible careers include:
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With their independence and initiative, ENFPs are likely to take an interest in creative side hustles, self-publishing, creative “slash careers” (e.g., writer/editor/book cover designer), and freelance creative work. Possible careers include:
Conventional interests are the one classification that ENFPs should avoid entirely — not out of snobbishness but because they tend to stifle the ENFPs need for creative expression and to limit their freedom to question things (including authority).
List of ENFP Careers to Avoid
This article would be incomplete without a list of ENFP careers to avoid — those that are likely to leave the ENFP feeling bored, unfulfilled, or restless.
As pointed out above, conventional jobs are least likely to appeal to an ENFP, mainly because there’s very little purpose to it other than getting the work done in a timely manner according to a set protocol.
ENFPs should avoid any jobs where they’re likely to feel like worker bees or like small, easily replaceable cogs in a larger machine. Their need to find meaning in their work and to feel free to innovate and explore trumps their need for stability or job security.
Money is not one of the top considerations for the ENFP. So while they recognize the need for money as a means to pursue their goals and realize their purpose, they’re unlikely to pursue affluence for its own sake or to fill their homes with things that don’t bring them joy.
They won’t hesitate to choose a lower-paying job that inspires them over a higher-paying job that makes them feel dead inside. And they don’t do well in environments that require unquestioning obedience or unvaried routines.
Here’s a sampling of jobs ENFPs should avoid:
To sum it up, any job where the ENFP would feel like a faceless and disposable commodity or as one of the company’s soulless henchman is not a good fit. Those jobs aren’t a good fit for any human, but the ENFP is more likely than some to revolt and put all their effort into breaking free and helping others do the same.
Are you an ENFP searching for the best career?
If you’re an ENFP, and you’re still looking for your dream job, you’re not alone. ENFPs tend to have so many great ideas and interests, they have a hard time narrowing down their options.
They want to experience all of it, but they also need time to process each experience and apply what they learn to their personal road map.
You may have tried a variety of different college majors, jobs, or both. Maybe you have an idea of what you’d like to do but you’re not sure you’ll be able to earn enough to have the freedom and resources you need.
The idea of being self-employed is probably appealing, as long as you can earn enough and do meaningful work that you love. But you’re not opposed to working for someone else, as long as your employer respects your need for flexibility and independence.
In other words, you don’t like to be managed, And you don’t respond well to bullies.
It’s not unusual for an ENFP to have a series of short-term jobs rather than a long stint with one employer. You get restless when you’ve been working in one place for too long. And for you, too long comes more quickly than for most others you know.
Your friends might be proud of having stayed with one employer for 20 years or more, while you’d be thinking, “How can you stay in one place for that long? I’d go nuts!” Rare is the job that can hold you down for longer than a few years at the most.
Your mind is always working on the possibility that something better is out there.
Whatever job you take on, you probably learn the ropes quickly and become someone your coworkers can count on to do the job well. You’re also probably fun (or at least pleasant) to work with. And that’s worth plenty.
Just remember to avoid jobs that leave you feeling depressed at the end of the day — not just tired but ashamed or traumatized and emotionally wrung out.
Staying with a job that leaves you feeling this way will make you sick — physically and emotionally. Listen to your gut, and go after something that lights you up inside.
And may your compassion and intuition influence everything you do today.