ENFP stands for Extroversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Perceiving, and it is one of 16 personality types assigned to individuals after they take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Career counselors and other career development specialists use this personality inventory to help clients choose careers and make other employment-related decisions. The code stands for an individual's preferences—the way he or she likes to do certain things. Carl Jung, a psychiatrist, was the first person to identify these 16 personality types, and later Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers developed the MBTI based on them.
Being an ENFP makes you different from someone who is one of the other 15 types. Not only do you prefer to energize, perceive information, make decisions, and live your life differently, but the combination of these preferences also sets you apart from others. The uniqueness of your personality type is what makes specific careers and work environments more suitable for you.
E, N, F, and P: What Does Your Personality Type Code Mean?
Let's take a closer look at your personality type. What does each letter mean?
- E (Extroversion): You have a preference for extroversion (sometimes spelled extraversion). That means you are energized by other people or by external experiences. You like interacting with others.
- N (iNtuition): You use more than your five senses (hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste) to process information. You also have a sixth sense, called intuition, on which you rely heavily. It means that you don't need physical evidence to know something exists. You know it's there even if you can't hear, see, smell, feel, or taste it. Intuition allows you to consider future possibilities and ultimately take advantage of them.
- F (Feeling): You tend to make decisions based on your feelings and personal values. Your strong feelings about something may prompt you to move forward without fully considering the consequences. Your sensitivity to the needs of other people makes you a caring person who likes to help others.
- P (Perceiving): Having a preference for flexibility and spontaneity means planning isn't your thing. This contributes to one of your greatest strengths, but also one of your most significant weaknesses. Adapting quickly to changes is no problem, but meeting deadlines can be challenging.
Realizing your preferences are not set in stone is essential to your ability to adapt to a variety of situations at work. Just because you prefer to do something a particular way doesn't mean it's the only way you can do it. For example, you can occasionally work independently even though extroversion is your preference. You should also note that your preferences may change throughout your life.
Careers and Work Environments That Are a Good Fit for Your ENFP Personality Type
When choosing a career, make sure it is a good fit for your personality. It must also be compatible with your values and interests, and take advantage of your aptitudes. A thorough self-assessment will provide all the information needed to make an informed decision.
All four letters in your personality type are significant, but when it comes to choosing a career, your focus should be on the middle two letters, in your case "N" and "F." Occupations that involve developing and implementing new ideas take advantage of your ability to look toward the future.
Take your values into consideration as well, since your preference for Feeling (F) indicates that you like to take them into account when making decisions. Here are some careers that are a good fit for ENFPs:
- Customer Service Representative
- Travel Agent
- Marketing Manager
- Speech Pathologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Social Worker
- Urban Planner
- Marriage and Family Therapist
- Mental Health Counselor
- TV Producer
- Graphic Designer
- Public Relations Specialist
- News Anchor
The Bottom Line
When evaluating job offers, take into account your preferences for extroversion (E) and perceiving (P). Since you get energy from outside sources, look for a work environment where you can surround yourself with people. Don't forget your preference for perceiving, which means you enjoy flexibility and spontaneity. Look for jobs that don't emphasize strict deadlines.
- The Myers-Briggs Foundation Web Site.
- Baron, Renee. (1998) What Type Am I?. NY: Penguin Books.
- Page, Earle C. Looking at Type: A Description of the Preferences Reported by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Center for Applications of Psychological Type.
- Tieger, Paul D., Barron, Barbara, and Tieger, Kelly. (2014) Do What You Are. NY: Hatchette Book Group.