ENFP Career – Should an ENFP Become a Police Officer?
You have to figure out the values influencing your ENFP career choice.
Today we are answering a question about ENFP career – specifically, the Five-O:
Should or can an ENFP become a police officer?
Believe it or not, I’ve been asked about ENFP career as a police officer twice in the last month, so someone has been binge-watching Hawaii Five O and thinking:
Steve McGarrett. That’s me. I want to be doing that.
I’ve talked a lot about careers for people with the ENFP personality type, but never on this particular topic…So where are all my ENFP cops at?!
Even if you are not thinking about becoming an ENFP police officer at all, I hope my answer will be a little bit valuable in thinking about careers that could work well for you as the ENFP personality type or for other people important to you in your life.
ENFP Career in Law Enforcement: Possibilities
The first thing I get into – and this is the same when you’re looking at a lot of careers to choose from as an ENFP – you need to research and figure out the broad possibilities within the law enforcement area.
I was asked about being an ENFP police officer specifically, but we need to expand that and say law enforcement.
And keep in mind, my knowledge on this is pretty much based on TV shows. If TV shows aren’t 100% accurate, then I’m clueless here. 🙂
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There are many areas you can work within law enforcement.
Let’s take the standard beat cop.
The beat cop is the police officer who would basically have a neighborhood, they would walk that neighborhood, and they would get to know store owners and local people, which all is a way of keeping an eye on crime.
People would trust them, share tips, and give information.
What is the role of a beat officer?
Well, one is to be trusted and liked by people, to make people feel good and safe when you’re around, to be good at building connections and interacting with a wide range of people.
It is also to have good intuition, to read people, to put pieces together, maybe see patterns, and notice things that are changing in the neighborhood.
Now, let’s look at another role within law enforcement, perhaps as a detective.
And again, I’m not a detective and I’ve not played one on TV even, but you can imagine a part of it is exploring, building a case, and putting pieces together.
So solving a puzzle, which I would imagine the ENFP personality fit would be somewhere in the middle to ok.
ENFPs are good at taking in a lot of data and understanding things somewhat quickly. sometimes very quickly.
Are we great at really obsessing over one problem rather than kind of bouncing between a lot of problems? I’m not so sure.
But the other part about being a detective – maybe interrogating people, well, that’s not going to be that fun for most of us ENFPs.
Sitting in a room disagreeing with someone…We’re usually inclined to trust people and to like people, so having to grill everyone you meet and assume they’re lying and push them and push them and push them…
Perhaps we could learn it, but it wouldn’t seem like the most natural thing in terms of our ENFP personality type and some of the other MBTI types would be perhaps a better fit as a detective.
By the way, don’t let some guy on the blog decide your ENFP career for you!
When I give ENFP career and job advice like this, I hope it can serve as thinking points for you, where you can reflect a bit more, and it will give you some other opinions and a different perspective.
But I’m not the one to decide whether or not something is a good or not good career for you as an ENFP.
Famously, on one of my most popular INFP personality videos, I make a joke about INFPs not being into sports, which has probably been called out 200 times in the comments. So, you know, don’t let me decide your full ENFP career path here.
We can look at other areas where you could work as an ENFP in law enforcement – being undercover or some kind of special unit.
That is a completely different skill set than, let’s say, being a detective.
It might almost be similar to a beat cop where you really want to get along with people and blend in perhaps.
If we look at some very different areas of law enforcement, some kind of special unit where you’re going undercover, that’s a very different type of personality than probably a detective or beat cop would be, at least a different skill set that you would use.
And I would presume, by the way, that most law enforcement areas and most government agencies, when hiring, have quite an elaborate personality test to figure out if you are a good fit for the policeman job.
So that might be something to look into and, actually, if you can find out what they test for or speak to them, most of these government agencies have recruiting centers I think today probably more than ever.
The law enforcement areas are wanting to make sure they have young people interested in working, so you could probably try that.
One of the ENFP people who asked me was just sixteen, so you could probably reach out to them and ask about it:
Hey, what are the personality traits you look for? What makes someone successful in a law enforcement job? Does it vary by position?
Your ENFP Cop Job – Where and Why
The other thing to think about – and this, again, applies really in most careers, so it’s a good tip for your ENFP career choice overall – is the mentality where you live.
The second person who asked me about ENFP career as a police officer is in Norway.
Well, Norway has a very different approach to law enforcement and imprisonment than, say, America, or Brazil, so that’s going to factor in a lot.
If the law enforcement is more about rehabilitating people and believing in second chances, it’s going to probably be more aligned with the ENFP MBTI personality way of thinking. With wanting to see the best in people, with believing change is possible and you can get better.
That is all going to be a lot more aligned with the ENFP personality type than somewhere that’s more about good guys and bad guys – and lock them up and put them in prison.
That would be, I think, harder to stomach in many cases if you are an ENFP looking to start a career in law enforcement.
The ENFP Personality and Sense of Justice
The last thing I’ll mention is that we ENFP people are all about justice.
Now, what we think is justice is sometimes crazy.
I mean, ENFP folks are probably some of the wackier people I know.
We can lay claim to a lot of revolutionaries, turn dictators, militant vegans, and other people who believe something very strongly that everyone “has to believe”.
It’s not always a good thing, but we do it nonetheless. Whatever we believe, we have a strong sense of justice. ENFPs are not great at saying:
Hey, I know this guy didn’t do it. But the justice system can’t be perfect. So he’s gonna do a couple of years in prison.
I know this guy did it. But the way the rule of law works is XYZ. And because of that, even though he did kill this person, he’s not going to go to jail because of the justice system, we screwed up with handling the evidence, so that is what’s right.
I don’t think anyone with the ENFP personality is great at that.
If you look at a lot of ENFP dictators in the past, we’re not exactly the people creating highly structured, robust legal systems, so that would be something that I’d have a lot of trouble with.
I, myself an ENFP, I am more on the vigilante side of things. Now, as I get older, I do evolve, mature a little bit around that, but personally, I would find it very tough to see injustices that your hands are tied around.
So…maybe speaking of other types of law enforcement, some kind of a Batman role might also make sense? 🙂
Really, though, a big part will be your local approach to law enforcement.
I’ve mentioned country to country, but also I imagine it varies by office, by district, etc.
Think about what type of approach in a law enforcement career would align with your ENFP personality.
Why are you interested in being a police officer or being an ENFP in law enforcement?
Write your ideas down, figure out what are the values influencing your ENFP career choice?
Is it about protecting people?
Is it about some of the action and things like that?
Is it about righting wrongs?
Is it about connecting with the community and making the world better by making people feel safe and when people feel safe, generally things work better?
What is that for you?
Then look at the different areas of law enforcement and find a connection there.
ENFP in Law Enforcement – Word of Caution
No matter the field in law enforcement you choose as a career, there are going to be areas that aren’t really perfect for you as an ENFP. Things like paperwork probably will not be very enjoyable.
Maybe you can get to a point where you’re some kind of special forces or undercover or just having an assistant, so you don’t have to do the paperwork.
There are certain things that may indicate that becoming a policeman as an ENFP is not going to be a perfect career in terms of everything you need to do, but there are a lot of elements that could be really positive.
And if you can align your ENFP personality values with it, so that you’re internally motivated to do the work because it’s making an impact, you’re making a difference, you’re having a lot of positive connections with your colleagues and the people you serve – maybe the criminals as well, then that is going to likely work out.
But if you will get to work in a district that does not share your ENFP value system at all, that handcuffed you by bureaucracy and paperwork, stagnant rules and structures, then that is going to be extremely frustrating.
I recently did an interview with an ENFP teacher, so you may want to check that out because we do talk about some of these concepts, how the bureaucracy and the system is very different than the day-to-day work necessarily. You can find some more food for thought on that here.
Let me know in the comments:
Do you know any ENFP in your life who’s a police officer, or perhaps you yourself are considering that career path? What are their/your motivations for it?