ENFPs are one of the 16 personality types from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). They are known for being fun-loving, enthusiastic and friendly. ENFP careers strengths are different to those of other personalities and this means that there are some jobs and careers areas that they are very well suited for and others they won’t enjoy as much, and may even find challenging.
As a career coach I believe that everyone needs career advice specific to their own personality and situation rather than generic guidance. ENFPs are no exception to this, and as an ENFP myself I know that the advice below is spot on!
1. Start with your heart
The traditionalists will no doubt be up in arms at this as it doesn’t sound very sensible does it. But I didn’t say ‘Follow your heart’ without taking anything else into consideration. No, I don’t believe that’s a very good idea at all.
But for ENFPs I would definitely suggest that they start with their heart, i.e., the first thing they should look at is what they would like to do, as ENFPs need to enjoy their careers. For them work isn’t just something that they do, it’s an expression of who they are and it needs to be meaningful and personally fulfilling.
2. Build on your career strengths
Although it sounds obvious to build a career based on your strengths, unfortunately it is very easy to follow a career that is more suited to someone else. This is usually because you’ve received inappropriate advice, or maybe weren’t aware of what your strengths were.
ENFP career strengths often include great people skills, creativity, adaptability and the flexibility to turn your hand to many things if you want to.
There are many fields in which these strengths can be used including marketing, design, event planning, counseling, teaching, social work and psychology as well as many creative areas. Likewise, it makes sense to avoid career paths which don’t call for any of these strengths.
3. Avoid your weaker areas
It makes sense to avoid career paths which don’t call for any of your strengths but instead demands skills in an area in which you are less talented.
For many ENFPS this may include attention to details, solitary working or impersonal or critical environments, following routines and strict procedures, inflexible deadlines and work that needs consistent follow-through. The sort of careers that may involve this include computer programming, cold calling, admin work, auditing and accounting and manufacturing.
4. Don’t make a career selection on personality alone
Personality is very important and a useful guide when choosing a career, but it shouldn’t be the only factor taken into consideration.
Other things to think about are your skills, qualifications, what you like to do, areas of interest and the jobs and careers paths that are available and growing.
5. Build variety and change into your career path
Some more ENFP careers advice that may upset traditionalists who would prefer a stable one-company career path.
Many ENFPs love variety and may have a rather low boredom threshold, so if their current job doesn’t offer them some variety or challenge they may end up job hopping.
To avoid becoming a job hopper, an ENFP can try building variety and change into a job or career path. Ways to do this include working in environments with a lot of change, doing project-based work, having 2 very different part time jobs or working for a small company where you get to ‘wear many hats’, i.e., do many different roles.
So if you’re an ENFP and have been following ‘generic’ careers advice and found yourself miserable in your job, that may have been where you’ve been going wrong. There’s nothing wrong with you, you’ve just been following the wrong advice. Perhaps now you need to look at careers advice that’s specific to ENFPs.