ESFPs Tendency to live completely in the present Explained

ESFP Extravert, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving

ESFPs represent approximately 8-10% of the American population

ESFPs are friendly, warm, and energetic people who usually have a wide and varied circle of friends. They are active, talkative, and easy going with a love of life that is infectious to everyone around them. They look for and find fun in everything they do and are at their best when they are busy doing things with people they enjoy. Realistic, sensible and down to earth, ESFPs are good with details, and have great memories for the facts that pertain to people.

Potential Strengths

Sympathetic and eager to help anyone, ESFPs are usually not interested in judging or trying to control others. Many ESFPs have a great love of animals and nature. Using their well developed common sense, they are usually good at solving immediate problems to make things easier or make a real and tangible difference in people’s lives. Their spontaneity and adaptability enable them to respond quickly to opportunities and keep several balls in the air at one time.


Potential Weaknesses

ESFPs tendency to live completely in the present makes it difficult for them to look beyond the moment and plan ahead. They run the risk of being caught ill prepared for events that might have been easily anticipated if they had focused further down the road. They tend to be pleasant but skeptical about accepting theories or approaches with which they have no personal experience. Their social nature sometimes distracts them from their commitments and they can find themselves over committed because it is so difficult to turn down invitations.

Because ESFPs take a personal approach to life, they can get their feelings hurt when others are not as generous or loving as they are. They base their decisions almost exclusively on their personal feelings and experiences, and can fail to see more logical consequences of their actions. They need to work at staying objective and reading between the lines to get a more accurate view of the big picture.


As an ESFP, I am good at…

  • Hands on tasks that let me use my technical or artistic skills
  • Bringing energy, enthusiasm, and fun to my work
  • Adapting and responding to unexpected changes and crises
  • Communicating with a variety of people, making people feel good
  • Using my common sense to see what needs to be done and getting started
  • Public speaking, teaching, and meeting facilitation


I need to watch my tendency to…

  • Become distracted and get off task easily
  • Avoid making tough decisions or risking hurting others’ feelings by being direct and honest
  • Be disorganized, undisciplined, and avoid planning ahead
  • Avoid theoretical subjects or working alone
  • Accept things at face value and not look for less obvious meanings

As an ESFP, career satisfaction means doing work that:

  1. Lets me learn from ands-on experience, where I look for solutions to problems from gathering all the facts at my disposal and by using common sense
  2. Lets me get personally involved in the tasks at hand, working, directly with clients or customers, out in the field rather than away from the action
  3. Lets me work with lots of other people in an active and social environment, with variety, fun, and spontaneity
  4. Requires skillful handling of people and conflicts, the ability to ease tensions to help groups work more cooperatively, and the ability to motivate others
  5. Lets me juggle multiple projects or activities, especially those that utilize my aesthetic taste and sense of design
  6. Lets me interact throughout the workday with other easygoing and social people who share my enthusiasm, energy and realistic point of view
  7. Lets me work on projects that are of immediate utility and take into account the needs of people around me
  8. Is done in a friendly and relaxed environment, without hidden political agendas
  9. Rewards my hard work and good intentions, and where I feel appreciated for my contributions
  10. Lets me have fun, enjoy everyday surprises, and where there is a minimum of bureaucracy, rules, or restrictions


Popular occupations for ESFPs

In listing occupations that are popular among ESFPs, it is important to note that there are successful people of all types in all occupations. However, the following are careers ESFPs may find particularly satisfying and some of the reasons why. This is by no means a comprehensive listing but is included to suggest possibilities you may not have previously considered. Although all of these occupations offer the potential for career satisfaction, the future demand for some careers is anticipated to be much greater than for others. Based upon our research, the occupations that are italicized below are forecast to enjoy the fastest rate of growth over the next several years.


Educational/Social Service


  • Teacher: early childhood and elementary
  • Child care provider
  • Teacher: art, drama, music
  • Teacher: physically, visually impaired
  • Athletic coach
  • Home health social worker
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Child welfare counselor
  • Marine biologist
  • Developer of educational software
  • Teacher: special education



ESFPs often find careers in education satisfying, especially when working with young children. Elementary and pre-elementary grades sometimes are less formal and structured and offer plenty of opportunities for spontaneous learning experiences. ESFPs enjoy teaching basic skills and helping children get along with one another, a major emphasis in the early grades. They enjoy the activity, energy level, and variety of learning found in elementary school settings. ESFPs usually active and physically skillful themselves, often enjoy athletics and athletic coaching. Playing sports, learning teamwork, and being active outdoors are enjoyable activities for ESFPs. They are enthusiastic, encouraging, and supportive coaches and teachers.



Health Care


  • Emergency room nurse
  • Social worker
  • Dog trainer
  • Medical assistant
  • Dental assistant and hygienist
  • Licensed practical nurse (LPN)
  • Physical therapist
  • Primary care physician
  • Home health aide
  • Massage therapist
  • Dietitian/nutritionist
  • Optician/optometrist
  • Emergency medical technician (EMT)
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Veterinarian/veterinary technician
  • Occupational therapist
  • Personal fitness trainer
  • Home care worker for the elderly
  • Hospice worker
  • Emergency room physician
  • Podiatrist
  • Speech and language pathologist
  • Pediatrician
  • Vocational rehabilitation counselor
  • Art therapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Registered nurse
  • Nursing instructor
  • Cardiology technologist
  • Transplant coordinator



Health care and social work provide ESFPs with the opportunity to help others. These careers require the acquisition and then repeated use of skills. Most ESFPs enjoy working directly with other people and thrive on a varied and fast-paced workday. Emergency room nursing requires quick thinking and the ability to calm frightened people during a crisis. Many ESFPs love animals and enjoy working with them either in a medical setting or as trainers. The field of social work allows ESFPs to meet and work with many different people, helping them identify resources available to them. They establish rapport easily and find satisfaction from helping make life easier for someone else.


Entertainment/ “Action”


  • Travel agent/tour operator
  • Photographer
  • Film producer
  • Musician
  • Performer: dancer, comedian
  • Promoter
  • Special events coordinator
  • Painter/illustrator/sculptor
  • Costume/wardrobe specialist
  • News anchor
  • Character actor
  • Park naturalist
  • Flight instructor
  • Commercial helicopter pilot
  • Entertainment and sports agent
  • Forester
  • Television camera operator
  • Cartoonist and animator
  • Insurance fraud investigator
  • Fire investigator
  • Police officer
  • Wilderness adventure leader
  • Radio/television announcer
  • Sketch artist
  • Farmer
  • Carpenter



ESFPs enjoy entertaining others, in a formal capacity or informally with friends. They often have a strong sense of aesthetics and a good eye for the fresh and beautiful. Some ESFPs enjoy performance of their art; others simply want to be among other artists in the exciting and ever-changing world of entertainment. ESFPs enjoy travel and make good travel agents because they listen well to what their customers want in a vocation and work hard to find the right match. They are adept at juggling several projects at once, or elements of a project, and often find career satisfaction in special event coordination.




  • Retail merchandiser/planner
  • Public relations specialist
  • Fund-raiser
  • Labor relations mediator
  • Receptionist
  • Merchandise planner
  • Diversity manager: human resources
  • Team trainer
  • Travel sales/broker
  • Insurance agent/broker: health or life
  • Real estate agent
  • Sports equipment sales/marketing
  • Retail sales/management
  • Home health care sales
  • Manufacturer’s service representative



ESFPs do not generally enjoy the world of business, especially the corporate world. But those jobs that involve a high degree of interaction with others, and where there is a less structured schedule, can be enjoyable to ESFPs. They often enjoy real estate sales because they spend much of their time out of the office, working directly with a variety of people, showing all kinds of homes. They often enjoy public relations, fund-raising and mediation, where they are able to use their naturally persuasive nature. These careers let them use their interpersonal skills and their ability to gather information. Many ESFPs are drawn to retail careers, especially when they are able to use their eye for fashion and flair for the dramatic.




  • Flight attendant
  • Secretary/receptionist
  • Waiter/waitress
  • Host/hostess
  • Floral designer
  • Police/corrections officer (specialty in remedial training, rehabilitation, counseling)
  • Landscape architect
  • Chef and head cook
  • Interior designer
  • Recreational therapist
  • Aerobics instructor
  • Gamekeeper
  • Landscaper and grounds manager
  • Exhibit builder
  • Eco-tourism specialist
  • Professional photographer
  • Merchandise displayer
  • Silversmith





  • Environmental scientist
  • Social conservationist
  • Zoologist
  • Marine biologist
  • Geologist

The service industry attracts many ESFPs primarily because of the interpersonal contact and the ability to use acquired skills. ESFPs are often warm and friendly and have the ability to make others feel relaxed and at home. They enjoy the atmosphere present in many restaurants and clubs and are sociable