ENFJ Personality Traits, Career Matches, and Jobs to Avoid
Some of the most famous personalities that are believed to be an ENFJ include Martin Luther King, Jr., Jennifer Lawrence, Morgan Freeman, Nancy Reagan, Sean Connery, Kristen Wiig, Freddie Mercury, and Maya Angelou.
ENFJ stands for: extroversion (E), intuition (N), feeling (F), and judgment (J).
ENFJs are protagonists and leaders. They use their charisma to inspire and drive people to greatness. Only about 2 percent of the population is believed to be an ENFJ, but those few are our politicians, coaches, teachers, and other inspiring leaders. They are passionate about helping others. They believe in the power of community action. They find fulfillment in being a guide and working to improve themselves and the community as a whole.
If you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) test and received the results of an ENFJ, then you may be wondering what this says about you. What are your personal strengths and weaknesses? How can you apply your characteristics to your career, and how can you pursue a career that plays off your inherent talents?
Let’s find out what it means to be an ENFJ!
Table of Contents
ENFJ Personality Traits
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
The MBTI test has 16 possible personality results, which determines your results based on the following:
- How you focus your attention or re-energize (extraversion (E) / introversion (I))
- How you perceive or take in information (sensing (S) / intuition (N))
- How you make decisions (thinking (T) / feeling (F))
- How you orient yourself to the outside world (judgment (J) / perception (P))
As an ENFJ your results are as follows:
- You re-energize around other people and prefer to be surrounded by friends or groups of people — you feel comfortable in social situations (extraversion)
- You tend to think in abstract concepts, or think more “big picture” and don’t worry about the small details — often concentrating on a final product instead of individual tasks that lead to its completion (intuition)
- You often give more weight to social implications than logic, especially in cases where personal considerations or feelings are concerned (feeling)
- You rely on controlling what you can by making decisions early, predicting outcomes, and sticking to plans — predictability is your preference over spontaneity (judgment)
ENFJs are often called “protagonists” or “teachers” because of your penchant for helping and inspiring others for greatness. Your strong personality attracts people to you, and you portray many of the same personality traits as fictional heros: altruism, compassion, and bravery.
ENFJs are great communicators, as you’re not afraid to speak up when you feel a need to address a wrong, and you can easily hold conversations with strangers or friends. You have the ability to persuade people with either facts and logic or an emotional connection, and you can easily see people’s intentions or motivations behind their actions or words. You’re eloquent and intuitive, which makes you a memorable and influential figure.
Many ENFJs have a cause that you strongly believe in, and you’re not afraid to stand up for it. You’re also infectiously enthusiastic about that cause, which can inspire others to mirror your enthusiasm or opinion.
Because of your preference for feeling over thinking, you’re able to both reflect on your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, and you can easily get swept up in trying to fix other people’s problems. You can inspire others to become better people, but you may often overextend yourself in the process. You are not afraid of taking the fall for someone, standing up for what you believe in, or for sacrificing your time and energy to help others.
At times, your giving nature can be detrimental, but it’s also one of the reasons why you make such a great leader. It’s no wonder that many ENFJs become memorable politicians, cultural icons, or inspiring teachers or managers.
ENFJ Financial Habits
Good Financial Planners
Your personality traits don’t just make you an exceptional leader, but you can also become an exceptional financial planner. You are receptive to criticism or feedback, and you’re a quick learner; both of which can help you become a better strategist with your wallet. It can be beneficial for you to seek out advice or guidance from a trusted source: whether that’s your certified public accountant (CPA) or an experienced relative.
Idealistic or Realistic?
Unfortunately, ENFJs can also be idealistic to a fault, and you may cling to financial success stories in the hopes that you’ll have the same luck. Because of this, it’s important to set realistic goals for yourself so that you don’t aim too high and fall short. Creating a personal budget is always a great idea, and the perfect way to track your spending and earning.
Trusting to a Fault
You should also work on being more protective with your money, as you can often be too trusting of others. You don’t mind taking the fall for those you love, but the last thing you want to do is hurt yourself or your finances in the process of helping others. Make sure to do your homework before agreeing to financial terms — such as signing up for a credit card or loan, or purchasing a used car — and protect your assets (if you can) with a lawyer or legal advisor.
ENFJ Strengths and Weaknesses
“I am a big believer that eventually everything comes back to you. You get back what you give out.” – Nancy Reagan
Of course, just as with any other MBTI personality type, your personality comes with its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Here are the pros and cons to having an ENFJ personality:
One of your biggest assets as an ENFJ is your charm. You’re a popular person, and you’re more than capable of captivating individuals or an entire audience of people. You can easily pick up on moods, emotions, or motivations due to your high emotional intelligence, and you can use that to your advantage to steer a conversation or persuade others to your cause. Often times you can even imitate the tone of others or an entire room, without sacrificing your unique voice.
You’re also a true team player, and you’re very reliable. Although you may have a high emotional intelligence, you rarely use that to harm or manipulate others. You’re compassionate to people, and are eager to not only talk, but to listen as well. You understand that listening to the opinions or beliefs of others can help you better understand them, and you’re receptive to their answers and feedback. You do well with constructive criticism, and can easily use it to your advantage to better yourself.
Altruistic is a common word to use to describe ENFJs. You are eager to do good, and for no other reason that to find fulfillment in helping others. You’re selfless and genuinely believe that helping others and bringing everyone together can be beneficial for the whole world.
Because of all your different traits — charm, positivity, reliability, and penchant to do good — you’re a natural leader. You can have many admirers that insist you take a leadership position, and they’ll be there to cheer you on along the way to greatness.
Selflessness Becomes Self-Neglect
Your personality has many positive strengths, but a good chunk of those strengths can also be a detriment to your personal wellbeing or mental health. Unfortunately, it’s hard for you to strike a balance between your love for helping others and the need for you to take care of yourself.
Your altruism is one example of how your strengths can also be a weakness. Not only are you selfless, but you can be selfless to a fault. You can easily bury yourself in hopeful promises or helping others. You can very easily spread yourself too thin — not knowing your limit or not knowing how to tell people that you can’t help them now — and then end up not being able to help anyone because you’ve worn yourself out.
Additionally, you can be very overly idealistic. You always want to see the good in people or situations, but that means that when bad things happen, it can catch you off guard. Additionally, you may be surprised when some people fight against what you stand for, and you may feel pity for their opposition; not able to understand why they can’t believe or accept your viewpoint. In their eyes, you may appear naive or clueless.
Sensitive to Criticism
Although you’re receptive to criticism and can use it to your advantage, you can also be too sensitive at times. Especially in cases where you are not directly at fault but perhaps your team messed up (or a friend), you may take the criticism to heart regardless and attempt to fix a problem that was not yours in the first place. You might even get worked up worrying about if you’re doing enough to help.
Because of this, you may also have issues with your self-esteem. You often define your worth by your ability to live up to your ideals, and if you fail to meet a personal goal or are criticized for making even a small mistake, your self-confidence can fall dramatically. You may even ask for feedback out of insecurity instead of confidence, hoping that you can work yourself back up.
Freezing Under Pressure
Lastly, if you find yourself caught between opposing forces (such as best friends that are fighting, or work projects that are both due on the same day), you may freeze up entirely. Many people have a “fight or flight” response to stress or danger, but yours is simply to freeze. It can be tough for you to break out of that state of stress, especially when other people and their expectations are involved. For you, the best option may be to set realistic goals for yourself and to create boundaries to your relationships. Be sure to not overextend yourself, and you may be able to avoid these situations in the first place.
Best ENFJ Personality Careers
“Challenge yourself; it’s the only path that leads to growth.” – Morgan Freeman
ENFJs are known for being inspiring and charismatic leaders, but there’s many more callings available for you out there in the world. You may find that your high emotional intelligence pairs well in other roles besides leadership: such as in mental health counseling or the performing arts. The biggest key for you is to work in a field that aligns well with your belief system and values. Once you can find a calling, dedicate yourself, and stick with it, you may find that you can be extremely successful over time.
However, just like any other personality, your career options are not limited to the results of a personality quiz. ENFJs can perform well in any industry, and the trick is to play off your natural talents to find a calling that best suits you and to stick with it to become an expert. No matter what your MBTI result maybe, there’s a future for you down many different career paths.
Best Career Matches for ENFJ Types
Possibly your biggest career motivation as an ENFJ is the opportunity to help other people. Luckily, there are many opportunities within different industries that can allow you the sort of human contact that you need to thrive. You can apply your emotional intelligence and altruism in many different ways: both in one-on-one settings, or in larger ways that benefit an entire organization or community.
Plus, you have a unique and creative side that can be applied to more creative jobs. Additionally, you’re very intuitive of people’s intentions or motivations, which means you can make inspiring marketing campaigns or a wise and intuitive salesperson for a company. You can apply your love of people to any creative endeavor, and strike a certain logical or emotional chord in every project you complete.
Other qualities that ENFJs look for in a job include:
- Consistent feedback from managers or coworkers
- Jobs that avoid intense situations that you can’t alleviate (combat, military, medical, or police response)
- Jobs that challenge you and help you grow (whether personally or professionally)
- More people-oriented jobs over system-oriented (avoid jobs with heavy use of spreadsheets, numbers, and statistics)
- Positions that create positive long-term effects (for individuals or a community)
Some jobs that might be perfect for you as an ENFJ include:
- Art and Entertainment, Media, and Design: Similar to INFJs, ENFJs have a very creative side that you can proudly showcase in your career. However, unlike the introverted version of your personality, you’re much more eager to showcase your art of have it be displayed for all to see. In fact, you may even take more bold and loud art forms — such as acting or directing films. You may also easily pick up the written word, and use your intuitiveness to create emotional and compelling written stories. Within design, you can take your love of people and your understanding of emotions to create captivating buildings or designs. No matter what route you take in the artistic realm, you can feel fulfilled knowing you’re connecting and influencing others in a deep and meaningful way.
- Art and Entertainment
- Actor or Performer
- Art Director
- Film Director or Producer
- Author, Writer, or Blogger
- Interpreter or Translator
- Architectural Designer
- Floral Designer
- Industrial Designer
- Interior Designer
- Landscape Architect
- Art and Entertainment
- Business and Management, and Office or Administrative Work: Your natural leadership qualities can easily be applied to business and management positions. Your creative side and ability to connect emotionally with others can also be showcased in marketing positions; where you can create compelling campaigns or host stellar events for your company. Additionally, because of your ability to easily make plans and stick to schedules (judging over perception), as well as stay organized, you can work well within administrative positions. You’re eager to help people reach their full potential or have a positive experience, and all the jobs in this list can help you create a positive impact on people you interact with on a day-to-day basis.
- Business and Management
- Advertising and Marketing Manager or Specialist
- Fundraising Management
- Human Resource Manager or Specialist
- Market Research Analyst
- Meeting, Event, or Convention Planner
- Public Relations Manager or Specialist
- Sales Manager
- Training and Development Specialist or Manager
- Office or Administrative Work
- Customer Service Representative
- Executive Assistant
- Receptionist or Secretary
- Business and Management
- Education, Community, Social Services, and Sciences: If your main priority or interest in life is interacting with others, then these jobs will all give you the opportunity to be one-on-one with people of many different backgrounds. Almost every aspect of your personality can be utilized in these careers: extroversion by working with groups or many individuals in a single day; intuition by being in tuned with your own emotions and the emotions of others as well as being knowledgeable about the subject at hand; understanding feelings via your high emotional intelligence; and judgement helps you follow through on tasks and stay organized to a schedule. Whether in education, counseling, community service, or the sciences — everything you do within these jobs will have a direct impact on other people, and you can thrive knowing you’re leaving a positive impact on almost every person you meet.
- Adult Literacy Teacher (English as a Second Language or ESL)
- Childcare Center Director or Worker
- College Administrator
- College Professor or Instructor
- Health Educator
- K-12 Teacher
- School Principal or Administrator
- School Counselor
- Special Education Teacher
- Community and Social Services
- Career Counselor
- Conflict Resolution Specialist
- Marriage and Family Therapist
- Mental Health Therapist or Counselor
- Rehabilitation Counselor
- Religious Leader, Counselor, or Minister
- Social Worker
- Social or Community Service Manager
- Anthropology or Archaeology
- Forester or Conservation Scientist
- Urban or Regional Planner
- Healthcare: Healthcare is another career path, similar to teaching or community work, where you can have a direct and positive impact on others. However, healthcare can also be tricky, as you want to make sure you don’t pursue a very high-intensity calling. If you work in a spontaneous or erratic environment (like the trauma unit or ER), you can easily be overwhelmed. Additionally, if you work in a very negative or emotionally trying environment (such as hospice or oncology), then you can easily get emotionally exhausted and become discouraged. Be sure to find a healthcare calling that provides you with a positive conclusion, such as therapy or training, so that when patients leave your office, they’re one step closer to recovery.
- Athletic Trainer
- Chiropractor or Physical Therapist
- Dental Hygienist
- Dietician or Nutritionist
- Fitness Trainer
- Genetic Counselor
- Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant
- Occupational or Recreational Therapist
- Speech-Language Pathologist or Therapist
- Medical or Health Services Manager
- Law and Other Trades: Finally, ENFJs can also succeed in a handful of other trades, as long as they provide you with the ability to interact with people and create a positive memory or experience. Your natural charisma and intuitiveness can make you an impactful lawyer, a memorable flight attendant, or a talented salesperson.
- Legal Mediator
- Other Trades
- Flight Attendant
- Insurance Sales Agent
- Real Estate Broker or Agent
Highest Paying ENFJ Careers
ENFJs, as well as any other personality type, do well when you can stick to one career path and work on becoming an expert in your field. With time, dedication, and perseverance you can become an influential and intelligent leader in your industry.
Luckily, because you have the natural inclination to lead teams of people, you often do well in management or leadership positions — both of which can often earn you a healthy paycheck. However, your goal isn’t to make a living, but to help people with the work you do. Because of this, you’re not eager to seek out high-paying jobs, and it might be rare if a high-paying job falls in your lap.
You’re also eager to seek out opportunities for growth, which can help you become a well respected member of any team. Your inherent charm can also come in handy when trying to negotiate your salary, ask for a promotion, or ask for a raise. When you can understand how to persuade people, you can use that to your advantage to convince them that you deserve more for your hard work.
No matter how you decide to make money, ENFJs have many inherent skills that make you into a devoted and talented worker. With dedication and skill also comes competitive salaries and prominent leadership positions. As long as you stick with it and work hard everyday, you’ll be able to make a comfortable living doing what you love.
ENFJ Jobs to Avoid
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
It should be noted that ENFJs — or any other personality, for that matter — can succeed in any career. However, there are some careers that might better match your personal talents, mode of thinking, or natural behavior. If your career is not playing off your natural inclinations, then you could find that job draining, unappealing, or might even suffer from burnout. It could be that you need to quit your job and switch career paths.
In general, ENFJs enjoy environments that harbor teamwork and personal growth; that are harmonious and allow you to help other people. If you work in the sort of environment that encourages competition or being the best of the best, then you may feel as if you’re exhausted trying to constantly meet unachievable standards without the opportunity to benefit the lives of others. This is also why jobs that rely heavily on numbers or spreadsheets also don’t match well with your skills: you interact better with people than you do with numbers and logic. Rigidity is also not welcomed for ENFJs, so jobs that have a military-like heirarchy or require order might be threatening or disheartening for you. You function well in constructive environments, not ones that tear others down.
These jobs may not be the best fit for you due to your ENFJ personality:
- Computer Programmer or Analyst
- Electrical, Mechanical, Chemical, Technical Engineer (etc.)
- Engineering Technician
- ER Nurse or Trauma Nurse
- Factory Supervisor
- Medical Records Technician
- Military Officer or Private
- Power Plant Operator
- Systems Analyst
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Katie McBeth is a researcher and writer out of Boise, ID, with experience in marketing for small businesses and management. Her favorite subject of study is millennials, and she has been featured on Fortune Magazine and the Quiet Revolution. She researches SEO strategies during the day, and freelances at night. You can follow her writing adventures on Instagram or Twitter: @ktmcbeth
This post was updated February 28, 2019. It was originally published June 20, 2018.