The Truth about ENFP Career Lists and What To Do Instead
I hate to break this to you, but if you’ve been looking for ENFP career advice, I got to tell you, the list out there, listing all the careers for ENFPs, as a whole, they are complete and utter BS, and in this video, I’m going to tell you why and what you should do instead to figure out what the heck career you should take on as an ENFP.
So at this point, in your search for ENFP career advice, you may have even seen my older video on three disappointing careers for ENFPs where, if memory serves me, I talked about digital marketing, architecture, and teaching.
ENFP Personality Tip: Ignore Career Lists
If you’re interested in one of these three, don’t freak out just yet, but in general, these can actually be very disappointing careers for ENFP. I’ve been on this path for a while warning ENFPs about these careers, and other careers, that can end up being really disappointing.
Now, when you go there, and you search for careers for ENFPs, you’re going to find these long lists., and the thing that no one really tells you is these lists are archaic, and everyone’s just copying everyone else. Someone in the 1960s came up with a list and then every other blog ever just copies these ENFP career lists and passes them around and whatever else. So whether or not they hired a writer to write a cute little blurb at the beginning, there’s actually no thought going into these lists, and really thinking about what actually matters for ENFP when it comes to your career.
So you might see something on the list, like being a teacher, and on the surface, being a teacher can be a great job for ENFPs. We like teaching, that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. ENFPs can be great teachers and mentors, and in theory, high school or elementary school teachers can do really well in it.
Here’s the problem. In a lot of countries, the teaching system is a bureaucratic nightmare, and the actual thing ENFPs do well, teaching, is like holding up behind a gate and an electric fence and a moat with alligators and stuff, and the teachers I’ve talked to often feel like they’re in a battle just to do their job having to deal with all kinds of bureaucracy, funding issues, paperwork, all kinds of other things.
This applies to a ton of other jobs. If there’s a huge level of bureaucracy, you’re often not spending a lot of your time doing the thing that you love doing, which is sometimes what those career lists are based on.
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So I found in many cases that your job title and essentially, the purpose of what you’re doing, like teaching isn’t actually as important as the culture, the people you’re working with, and most importantly, in my opinion, the day to day of the job. How do you actually spend your time?
I’m not trying to pick on the teaching role, and I actually have an interview with an ENFP teacher who has some complaints but generally likes the profession, but if you were to talk to a teacher and ask them, “How do you spend the 8-10?” – what you would find is some teachers at some schools would spend 95% of their time teaching and inspiring, and having a great time doing it. That teaching job is amazing as an ENFP, but you might find others caught up in bureaucratic nightmares, spend 20% of their time doing administrative work, 30% of the time dealing with some kind of budget stuff, dealing with conflicts with parents, all this and maybe only 40% of their time is actually spent teaching, and that’s not very fun.
I forgot about marking papers, we’ve include marking papers in there somewhere as well, and going through paperwork, usually not our most fun thing to do either.
Digital Marketing is another example that I discuss in that video, and in digital marketing, there is a wealth of options. First of all, it’s not even really a job. It’s dozens of jobs, but you might have this vision because as ENFPs we like to watch movies and TV shows and imagine ourselves in those roles.
I thought I wanted to be a lawyer for a period of time because I watched “The practice” and coming up with really crazy ways to get clients off. Seemed like something I could do. Turns out lawyers mostly just fill out forms and review documents, and that doesn’t seem like something I could do.
You might think of marketing and think that you’d be able to come up with really creative campaigns and understand people and get into psychology, and this would be really interesting.
A few digital marketing careers are that way, but a lot of them are spreadsheets and repetition. So some digital marketing jobs involve creativity and making something amazing. But a lot of them involve spreadsheets and data and letting the algorithms do stuff, and basically not ENFP friendly kind of work.
Now, at this stage, I have to say, don’t get down, don’t get worried, I’m going to provide some resources here and some advice to help you along the way. So this is not going to end with a “Well, we’re all screwed, pack it in.” There’s a lot you can do differently, not relying on these archaic ENFP lists.
One of the last issues with these lists and looking at careers in a very broad sense is within a career, you move up a ladder, usually, if you’re working for a company, and along that ladder, seems to me like people didn’t really think through how it goes. So the lawyer example, at the top, when you become a partner, in a lot of law firms, your work is around getting clients, it’s around recruiting and mentoring younger lawyers, it might be around handling really big cases… It’s probably somewhat ENFP-friendly work, ENFP – ENTP friendly work (A lot on theory, mentoring, relationship, sales, etc.). The Problem is, to become a partner, you are driving on the paperwork, highway of hell, and basically, if you do not have an insane level of grit to just power through, you’re not going to get to that partner stage.
Now some people are good at both of those roles, and all the roles in between, but some people aren’t.
Tips for Selecting the Right Career Path as an ENFP
A lot of careers are weird like that, and that leads me to my major piece of advice here. The number one tip that I always share with clients about this is – whatever career you’re considering, speak to at least five people who work in that career. When you hear that, it seems obvious, but how many people will actually do that? Pretty much nobody. When you’re speaking to those five people, ideally, you want to spread them out on the ladder a little bit.
If you’re thinking of becoming an architect, speak to that person who is 50 or 60, and has reached the top of the architecture ladder, and find out how they spend their time and what the job is like and think about it. Aks yourself, “Do I want this? Is this what I want to be doing in 20 years, 30 years?”, which is a tough question for an ENFP, and then talk to people through the ladder as well, and when you’re speaking to them, don’t ask vague questions, get very specific.
“How do you spend your time? What are the three most important things about your job? What do you do on a typical Wednesday from eight to five? What are you actually doing?”, and then ask yourself, “Is that how I want to spend my time for the next X number of years”, and if it is, then move on to investigating that career more.
Figure out how you would do it, the opportunities, and everything else, but if the way they’re spending their time is not appealing to you, even if having that great job title of architect sounds really cool, then it’s probably not a good career choice for you.
That is my number one piece of advice. If you do that you will learn more about a career than anything you’re going to read online.