Best Career and College Advice for ENFPs from Three Successful ENFPs

enfp

ENFPs represent about 8 percent of the population, and stands for Extravert, iNtuitive, Feeling. Perceiving. Just a quick look at famous ENFPs should give you a clue to the personality characteristics. ENFPs are warm, people-centered and creative. They are resilient and live life spontaneously. They enjoy the emotional connection made with others. But they are also fiercely independent. ENFPs are naturally curious about others and preoccupied with discovering the deeper meaning in people and ideas. Maybe that’s why they feel so comfortable in occupations in the social service realm (psychologist, counselors, teachers). The creative aspect of their personality also makes them natural performers or leaders in business.

Some famous ENFPs are Arianna Huffington, Kurt Vonnegut, Oliver Stone, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Ellen DeGeneres, Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, J.J.Abrams (Star Trek, Star Wars director) and Jennifer Anniston.

Looking for the best schools for this personality type? We’ve surveyed thousands of programs and ranked them in our personality-type college rankings. Check out the ranking of the 25 best schools for ENFPs here.

Interviewee 1:head_two

Age: 60

Gender: F

Location: Victoria, BC

Job Title: Author/Business owner/Trainer/Consultant

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?

A: I started with a 4 year Bachelor of Science in psychology, a Masters degree in Educational Psychology, followed by a PhD in counselling Psychology in the department of Education and Leadership Studies.

Q: What is your current position at work?

A: Author/Business owner/Trainer/Consultant

Q: Do you feel like your education was a good fit for your personality?

A: The content of the education, Psychology and Education, was great as it matched my interest in learning about people and fostering human development. The process of education, structure, professors who were interested in power and control, rigid rules, and little flexibility did not suit me.

Q: Do you feel like your current role at work is a good fit for your personality?

A: Yes

Q: What are strengths in work and school that you’ve gained from your personality?

A: I believe my ENFP preferences have served me well at work when I generate ideas for books, facilitate workshops with humour and energy, and interact with people empathically. In school, my preferences focused me on integration and summarization of complex concepts and ideas. Give me an essay topic and I can find lots to write about.

Q: What are weaknesses in work and school that you’ve felt due to your personality?

A: Having ENFP preferences, I am not as interested in setting and following schedules and routines that could, perhaps, make my life easier in the long run. However, I am OK with the trade-off, as I love my flexibility. I also dislike editing and dealing with the details. Memorizing facts in school was tedious. I have managed that by dealing with small amounts of these at a time. I have also learned that others can see my enthusiasm and excitement as too idealistic so can turn it down a bit when I think it is necessary. When I was younger, I had strong negative reactions to people using “authority power” to restrict or control others. This was probably one of the reasons I have worked in my own business for over 30 years, which I love, so the weakness actually resulted in great outcome!

Interviewee 2:head

Age: 42

Gender: M

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Job Title: Psychologist

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?

A: I followed a non-linear career track, that’s for sure. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do as a career other than wanting to help people. I thought about law. Nope. That didn’t work out. A bit too structured coursework for my liking. I hit upon counseling, then psychology, or some kind of psychological service. I wound up going to a very large school, but one that had a good teacher to student ratio and that was important to me.

Q: What is your current position at work?

A: I have a private practice and teach clinical psychology at a local college.

Q: Do you feel like your education was a good fit for your personality?

A: Yes. For one thing, going to a large university provided me, post-graduation, with a wide range of personal and telephone contacts. I expend a lot of energy in maintaining my career and personal relationships. The friends I made in school are still friends although they live around the country. [Some are still here in Ohio, where I now live and work.]

Q: Do you feel like your current role at work is a good fit for your personality?

A: Yes. As an ENFP I now realize (it took me a while to figure this out) my most satisfying work is something to do with caring for other people. As a psychologist I genuinely have an interest in helping my patients.

Q: What are strengths in work and school that you’ve gained from your personality?

A: In the social sciences, I’ve learned it is up to each individual to create his or her own career path. And that fit my personality to a T, although as I’ve said, it took me some time to narrow down my career choice to psychology. I’m kind of a social animal, make friends easily and people seem to like me. More importantly, I get along with all types of people, which is essential, if you want to practice psychology and (in my case) also teach. Intuitively, I eventually chose the right career.

Q: What are weaknesses in work and school that you’ve felt due to your personality?

A: You see, when I was younger, I was making major and minor changes in my goals. I wanted to be a lawyer, then a physician, but I hated the rote memorization that those majors required so I went for a more problem solving approach.

Interviewee #3:head_two

Age: 33

Gender: Male

Location: Chicago, Il

Job Title: Director in an ad agency’s marketing department; creative division

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?

A: In school, I felt like I had five lives. I went to a prominent business school only with the long term goal of getting into management, and for that I figured I would need that M.B.A. But I wasn’t sure what I wanted to concentrate on. International finance, where I could travel and meet people? Accounting? Tried it all. Finally sat in on some marketing courses and felt comfortable learning how to create compelling ads that worked online, in different media.

Q: What is your current position at work?

A: I work in an advertising agency, leading the marketing team.

Q: Do you feel like your education was a good fit for your personality?

A: Once I began serious marketing courses as electives, yeah. Marketing and working on the creative side in business is a perfect fit for the way my brain works. I went to a nationally known business school and once I set a course, and sat down with my advisors, it was smooth sailing after that. I made lasting relationships with my professors, whom I still call on for occasional advice. I joined clubs, played some sports, stayed in the spotlight you might say, which fits the profile of an ENFP, although I didn’t know it at the time.

Q: Do you feel like your current role at work is a good fit for your personality?

A: Definitely. But what I found tough was sticking with the firm I joined long enough to get into a position where I knew I would be of most value — – on their creative team. I mean, I knew I couldn’t start at that position, as the creative director. That was hard for me, because I am creative and my personality lends itself to leading a team and coming up with good ideas. Right now I’m in a good place. Middle tier ad agency on the rise, and I’m well respected. If you live in or near Chicago you’d see my ads on TV. We’re making a name for ourselves.

Q: What are strengths in work and school that you’ve gained from your personality?

A: My charming, winning personality? OK, that’s my ego speaking. Truth is I’m a hard-working, fun loving guy on a hell-bent mission to be the best ad man in Chicago. That’s a lofty goal. You’ve seen Mad Men on TV? I’m nothing like Don Draper (he was probably an ENFP). But I think my personality lends me to a leadership role. And I like being recognized and performing.

Q: What are weaknesses in work and school that you’ve felt due to your personality?

A: In school I jumped around trying to find the right path to walk in. That took me into my junior year before I settled on marketing. Wish I had settled on something sooner; it would have led to less angst when I was 19 years old. I have been told that I’m not the greatest planner, which is a problem for the people who work with me. [I refuse to say they work for me … we are a team.] I don’t always follow the rules. That said, I lucked into a company where our C.E.O. trusts me enough to let me run wild with my creative juices, instincts and leadership abilities.

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