People with ESFP preferences tend to be adaptable, friendly, and expressive. They enjoy life and being around people. They usually enjoy working with others and experiencing new situations. Words or phrases that describe people with ESFP preferences at their best are highlighted in the MBTI® Type Head below:
People with ESFP preferences like to make work fun and to create a spirit of cooperation. At work they learn best by trying out a new skill alongside other people. They are often attracted to jobs or careers where there is variety, as well as the chance to work on practical and hands-on tasks. Their outgoing nature and attention to others can be applied, including fields such as healthcare, entertainment, service industries and teaching.
People with ESFP preferences tend to scan the environment for what is happening in the present moment, pursuing opportunities that will provide others with real-time practical support. Motivated by having fun, they can be easily distracted by the newest idea, process, or personal relationship that crosses their path. This fun-seeking characteristic also makes them one of two types most likely to drop out of college before getting a degree because of new options that in the moment appear to be more fun than finishing college.
Jobs That Typically Appeal to ESFPs
Medical record technician
Food preparation worker
Personal home care aide
Licensed practical nurse
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People with ESFP preferences make up over 2% of leaders globally while representing over 6% of the general population.* And remember, just because there are few people who prefer ESFP in leadership positions, that doesn’t mean they cannot make outstanding leaders—we know that some people self-select out of leadership roles. People who prefer ESFP may use their preferences to help them understand what is practical and what is not, as well as sticking to values that are important to them and the organization.
*Note: Global leadership sample includes 960,000+ supervisors, managers, and executives; global sample representing the general population includes 21,000+ individuals. See Introduction to Myers-Briggs® Type and Leadership (2015).
Lean on Me
While STs tend to focus on the execution of objectives and problem-solving as their key strengths, SF leaders more often reported that building relationships (83%), developing others (77%), and promoting teamwork (75%) were among their major contributions. These findings were not surprising given what we know of the SFs' natural approach toward providing for others’ needs. From this, SFs in leadership positions may demonstrate a natural proclivity for:
People with ESFP preferences may become stressed by the factors highlighted in the MBTI® Stress Head above. In these circumstances they may become withdrawn, distracted, anxious, and even paranoid. During initial stress they may be prone to working long hours, overeating, over exercising—overindulging in general—and obsessing over things that previously were not important to them. Download and share the ESFP Stress Head to remind you (and your colleagues) about the things that stress you.
People with ESFP preferences often exhibit a big love for life and enjoy food, clothes, and animals as well as the companionship of others. In relationships they are seen as supportive, fun loving, and spontaneous.
Find out more about Types and Relationships
Interested in learning more about how ESFPs compare to other types? Register for MBTIonline.com and compare all types to each other across various areas, including decision making, spending time together, expressing yourselves, and making plans.
People who prefer ESFP tend to “find enjoyment in people and in the world around them” (Introduction to Type® and Conflict, p. 33). This can work well for them when they use it to show concern and care for others during conflict. However, it could backfire when they don’t establish boundaries to protect themselves from taking things too personally.
The FP conflict style of people who prefer ESFP works when others want a warm and open-ended approach to conflict. However, it could fail when others need a more direct approach to resolving the conflict sooner rather than later.
Who are some famous ESFPs?
Unless they have taken the MBTI assessment and shared their personality type preferences, it’s impossible to know. Anything else is just speculation, and we call it “type-casting.”
Where do our data come from?
All figures and data are representative of our own assessment samples collected at the time users take the Myers-Briggs personality assessment.
Think you might have ESFP preferences?