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ENFP Careers Advice - Hubpages

Updated on April 29, 2012
Endless Career Possibilities
Endless Career Possibilities | Source

You Gotta Love the Possibilties

If you are an ENFP this heading and subheading will resonate with you.

Possibilities and the love of possibilities is the very foundation of the ENFP MBTI personality type. I have a small confession at this point. I am an ENFP and to add to this - I have gone loopy because of careers. I think though - fingers crossed, although I can never be sure! - I have made it to the otherside and I wanted to share the love with my fellow ENFP bretherin and give you guys and gals some career advice which should hopefully ease your career woes.

ENFP Background Info

Some of you reading this may be well versed in the ways of the ENFP and some may be new to what this code means and what, more specifically, it means in reference to you and your life. Here's a very quick summary.

The MBTI is a personality profiling system developed to categorise people into one of 16 broad personality types. ENFP is one of those types and basically breaks down into the following building blocks which make up the 4 letter code. (If I have lost you already see my hub in this hubpage group on MBTI basics). ENFP thus means Extraverted (E), Intuitive (N), Feeling (F), Perceiving (P) - which outlines the preferences we have that comprise our personality - namely (using myself as an example) I get my energy from my environment, external to me (E), I am intuitive (N) and prefer abstraction and concepts, I make decisions using my feelings (F) and values as opposed to logic and last but not least I hate deadlines, structure and having things scheduled for me, preferring instead to leave things open ended (P).

ENFP Career Dissatisfaction

What this means in career terms is we find it difficult to find a single path that we wish to dive into for a longtime and we often shift around because we like variety and diversity and often find we are attracted to the next novel thing without sticking to what we have. ENFPs seem to always be on a continual quest for that missing treasure, elixir for life, gold at the end of the rainbow that will sustain our interest and make us generally happy bunnies. This thing never exists and we get frustrated that we can never find it. Add into the mix our tendency to procrastinate and you have a wasteful combination.

This though is the juncture that I get a little controversial and say we as a personality type are deluded. We are hardwired to make connections - as per the picture - we are learning machines stringing together everything we come across into a giant web or neural network if you will of experiences that help us relate to and understand the world. Settling down although quested after is actually misaligned to who we are and how our mind works.

Solution Step 1 - Be Like a Rainbow - Single String Many threads

The frustration thus can be avoided in the following simple way - wait for it - accept that you like (love) learning and that instead what is needed is NOT a career where you settle down and get bored NOR is it many single careers where you flit around from one path to another BUT what is actually needed is a SINGLE career that allows you to do a MULTITUDE of many and diverse things to keep you stimulated.

This way you actually get the best of both worlds and get to integrate your need for stability and a career path to feel anchored AND at the same time get to have the novelty that your brain is designed for. This sounds overly simple and yet it is so obvious that it seems to be overlooked by many ENFPs that still insist on finding their panacea in the realms of some illusory nirvana that always escapes them.

So what careers allow this singularity with many threads - writing, journalism, documentary making, blogging, entrepreneurship, marketing, consulting, coaching. The astute ones amongst you may notice something very intriguing about the list I have just skimmed off the top of my head. They are all process oriented jobs NOT content oriented jobs.

Let me expand upon this - writing is a process ie you can write about anything (any topic or content) you wish, the same goes for documentaries, you set them up and produce them but again the content is ever changing, likewise with creating businesses, or consulting, marketing or coaching. You see this is the key - you get to have your cake and eat it because your skills for making connections and learning are perfectly suited to making frameworks (remember those neural nets) which you can then apply to whatever content takes your fancy.

I can hear the discontent amongst you - the murmur of but we just don't want to do anything - what's the point? This is when I now introduce you to the second key piece of advise. Only do those projects (I love projects) that both inspire you and that you feel are worth your time and energy - and by that I don't mean money but your emotions and values.

Solution Step 2 - Engage Your Values By Ignoring Your Thoughts

Now you're asking how to decide what's worth your time and energy - it's easy - feel your way, allow your gut instinct to take over. Don't think about it but follow your impulse. There is an internal guidance system which are your emotions and values that whisper to you perpetually - the key is simply to turn up the volume on them and follow them through. Thinking analytically will hinder this voice which is more true to who you are and will guide you the right way.

Putting this altogether we get the following career solution for ENFPs - choose a single career that will allow you all the diversity, variety and learning experiences you crave and then only choose those projects in line with your values - so for example using documentary making - set up a documentary making company, go where you want, when you want and only make documentaries in line with what your values say are worth your efforts.

Solution Step 3 - Just Do It! Because You Don't Yet Know Your Capacity For Success

I can hear the wail of discontent again - the doubters saying: 'that sounds great in theory but reality is a different matter' - in answer to that I have this to say; and I say it from experience. ENFPs need a huge shot of confidence as they are one of the most insecure personality types but perhaps paradoxically one of the most able and resourceful groups of people once they are either inspired or truth be told they have no choice - i.e. last minute deadlines which forces them into action.

So what I would say to you in response is only you can live your dreams and fortunately you have the wherewithal to actually make your dreams into reality. What you need is to get inspired and to surround yourself with positive people that you can 'feed off'. What you seek is within you and from that wellspring is the life you desire - you gotta love the possibilities as they are what make you who you are.

Embrace yourself instead of trying to artificially fit into a system that you will not thrive in - do this and you will flourish.

Thanks for reading this - any comments please leave below or if you wish to contact me, please feel free to do so


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    • profile image

      Sweeneypie 3 years ago

      It looks like I am late in finding this! (what's new?) But my God im so so glad I have! Thank you!!!

    • profile image

      Femi O. 4 years ago

      I loved the article. The bit about embracing yourself definitely spoke to me.

      Thank you

    • Self Help Tips profile image

      Self Help Tips 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the comment Robert

      Most appreciated

      Stay well


    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      This is phenomenal! As many of the above have stated, your writing has definitely been inspiring. I can truly agree that doing everything is the solution. Don't try to stick yourself in a box, but take on a job that lets you experiment. Well written and much appreciated!

    • Self Help Tips profile image

      Self Help Tips 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment Almatheia

      Thanks too for your advice.

      One thing I notice in you comment is that you think you need to delay being true to yourself until your debt is paid off. I would like to say don't wait - you take yourself wherever you go and I think in 10 years the resentment will have built to unbearable levels - instead I would suggest is find ways from now to incorporate that flexibility and creativity - I have known from my experience that I always need a qualification to legitimate my sense of self when in reality my capability was ever present but my confidence was not.

      Be good to yourself and use your natural skills to mold a more congruent life from now because tomorrow never comes but money always comes and goes



    • profile image

      Amaltheia 5 years ago

      This definitely makes a lot of sense to me and I keep thinking about re-training - not sure into what yet but definitely something where I can have more flexibility and use my creativity. I'm stuck with lots of debt though from University, it will take another 10 years or so to clear it before I can consider re-training. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're just about to start a career and you already know that your personality is ENFP, take a bit of time to look into compatibility with your personality. It is horrible to know you're stuck on the wrong track and have to go someway before you can turn around... Good luck to all :)

    • Self Help Tips profile image

      Self Help Tips 5 years ago from UK

      You're welcome Vini

      The MBTI is useful as loose guide or framework but what I would say to you is use it alongside your own intuition of what you wish to do as opposed to it being the be all and end all

      Trust yourself basically

      All the best


    • profile image

      Vini 5 years ago

      Thank you, Noah, for this.

      I have just graduated and I'm really concerned and worried about my professional life. I think I'm stuck and I can't move on, but I know I'm kind of rushed person. I've just discoved about ENFP and it has already helped me to discover myself, and I'm sure it will be helpful to guide my career from now on. Thank you!!!

    • Self Help Tips profile image

      Self Help Tips 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment and conpliments Sery and I'm glad it was useful to you

      With regards your values and anonymity - perhaps your values are expressed in what you do as opposed to what you think you should do? :-)

      Stay well


    • profile image

      Sery 5 years ago

      I'm speechless. Your article literally described me word for word. Thank you for writing this insightful (and eerily accurate) post. Hmm, writing anonymously on the internet is too mundane and oddly out-of-whack with my value system so I must stop in true ENFP style... but once again, thank you for helping others understand themselves.

    • Self Help Tips profile image

      Self Help Tips 5 years ago from UK

      ooops typo - maybe I do NOT made me I do :-)

    • Self Help Tips profile image

      Self Help Tips 5 years ago from UK

      Thank you Max for your kind comment.

      ENFPs are the advocating NFs, the discoverer advocate to be exact or the champions and we LOVE giving over information so your comment was like a big pat on the back to me so thank you.

      I am glad you found some use from the article and that is has helped you crystallise your own process and better understand the way forward.

      I'm still learning day by day and trying to counter procrastination day by day - it's very easy as you point out to slip into analysis paralysis. Sometimes we just need a bit of encouragement and dutch courage.

      I wanted to let you know that I've had a project of mine in the pipeline for a while now and your comment has given me the tipping point to move forward with it.

      The project in question being my own personal website and writing career linked to personal growth. I was fretting that it may not be useful but the feedback I have received from HubPages and your last one in particular has made me realize I need to just grasp the nettle and made me I do have something to give.

      Wish me luck as I wish you luck in all your endeavors.



    • Self Help Tips profile image

      Self Help Tips 5 years ago from UK

      Thank you Kayleigh for your comment from 4 weeks ago - for some reason I was not notified of it prior and only just saw it when I received notification of the more recent comment by Max just now. I hope in the last 4 weeks the inspiration has continued. Your comment has inspired me to continue on with my own career quest so many thanks to you,

      Stay well Noah

    • profile image

      Max 5 years ago

      I have been extensively researching and devouring all I could find about ENFPs in an effort to better understand and motivate myself. Your article is one of the most informative I've read.

      My main handicap is the tendency to overanalyze everything and not do anything. I found comfort in reading that lacking confidence due to unfamiliarity is an ENFP flaw that is countered by just doing things. Seeing the obvious written down makes the abstract seem much more concrete.

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      Kayleigh 5 years ago

      I recently found I was an ENFP, and thought I'd never be happy in my career or relationship. But this has inspired me greatly, thank you.

    • Self Help Tips profile image

      Self Help Tips 5 years ago from UK

      Thank you Robert for your comment.

      I am glad it was useful to you.

      Stay well,


    • profile image

      Robert 5 years ago

      Thank you for this article. It really resonates with me and I feel that it is what I needed to hear at this stage in my life.

    • Self Help Tips profile image

      Self Help Tips 6 years ago from UK

      Thank you HannahGirl for your comment.

      I know where you are coming from. I trained as a medical student (before leaving halfway through) and then was a primary carer for an extended period - all down to the inferior Si functions and going with the 'herd'.

      Glad you have found your path now. All the best.

    • profile image

      Hannahgirl 6 years ago

      Thank you for this posting. I had just read that too often we ENFP's put more value on our weaker influences and be driven towards careers that are not suited for us. I am surrounded by STJ's and I went into nursing. While I love being w/ people and I am good at my job, I have often said this career path plays too much into my weaknesses and not enough at my strenghts and I feel to different. I read that instead of following my intuitions and went for what 'everyone' said I would love and followed my lesser needs that I am actually miserable.

      I am grad school for public affairs and it takes a little bit of all the things I love, psychology, sociology, history, and the need to help others and puts all of this into a field.

    • Self Help Tips profile image

      Self Help Tips 6 years ago from UK

      Hello Gentle Fist

      Thank you very much for your comment and for following me I feel really happy as I've only just started.

      I agree completely with your point - we get it shoved down our throats that we need to be x to be successful or happy when as you said the key is to be ourselves and let success in whatever shape come from that.

      Just in case you are interested I will be writing a more detailed ENFP profile this evening.

      Stay well and thanks again

    • Gentle Fist profile image

      Gentle Fist 6 years ago from Serbia

      Thank you for this hub! It is important for people to know that success is less worthy then being satisfied with yourself, but if you can achieve both, then, why not!


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