ESTP personality types are active and adventurous. Commonly nicknamed, “The Entrepreneur,” this Myers-Briggs personality enjoys projects that require hard work and dedication. They prefer to take a hands-on approach to the job. ESTPs, also natural risk-takers, prefer to act rather than plan and enjoy careers that are diverse and offer new challenges every day. In this article, you’ll learn common ESTP personality traits, motivations and goals and how they relate to choosing the right careers for you and navigating your work environment.
ESTP personality overview
ESTP types are energetic and prefer to act first and ask questions later. They're rarely idle and enjoy staying busy with new projects and ideas. ESTPs are also highly logical thinkers, using data and patterns to make important decisions. They enjoy learning but prefer to do so on their own terms and timeline. Operating in ambiguity and without a road map does not intimidate ESTPs. Instead, they enjoy relying on their own logic to brainstorm and make their own rules.
Other ESTP strengths include:
- Inquisitive: Highly inquisitive, ESTPs naturally seek out new opportunities.
- Observant: Typically, they are better at seeing what is in front of them than they are at assessing the bigger picture.
- Thrive on challenges: Passionate about their pursuits, these individuals usually charge forward, meeting challenges with solutions. This often brings them success and exciting opportunities.
Career satisfaction for ESTP
While no one career is suited for one personality type, there are certain career characteristics that ESTP gravitates towards and feels most fulfilled in. Knowing what personality traits you have, what motivates you in the workplace and what your career goals are can help you know what to look for in your next position.
Insights into career satisfaction for ESTPs:
Common to ESTPs in the workplace is that they:
- Enjoy consistently meeting and engaging with people
- Thrive in dynamic, always-changing work environments with a variety of different tasks so every day looks different and not routine
- Learn best by doing and in an environment where they can adopt rules and processes that work best for them
- Gravitate toward work that provides tangible, immediate results
Overcoming common ESTP workplace challenges
Finding a role that matches your personality type, traits, motivations and goals is important, but just because it doesn’t meet all of your requirements, does not mean you should disregard it entirely. With some understanding and effort, ESTPs can be successful in any role. Here, we discuss some of the more common workplace challenges that an ESTP could encounter and how to find new ways to think through them:
Routine, monotonous tasks
No matter what the job, there are always going to be things that have to be done. ESTPs want to be active and have fun and may grow to resent or overlook the tasks that seem routine. You can, however, overcome this by adding your own spontaneity into the routine. Try working on these tasks at different times of the workday or at out-of-office locations like parks or coffee shops or adding rewards when the task is complete.
Considering the feelings of others
ESTPs love working with people but also like to solve problems in their own way. Working with others or on teams, ESTPs may run up against regulations or rules that frustrate them and propel them to work on their own. Taking a little time to get to know your colleagues while making it fun can help take this pressure off. Also, consider scheduling meetings in non-traditional environments—like a walk and talk or lunch meetings in the park—which will help you relax and potentially, open your mind to established rules or others’ input.
ESTPs love to be busy. Their active minds are constantly energized by the direct and efficient method of problem-solving. A common weakness for ESTPs is acting before thinking and their unique solution gets missed in the process.
Try to identify where you might slow down the process for the details, particularly before presenting solutions to problems. ESTPs are particularly adept at creating their own processes and this is where you might build your own for methodically working through your problem and solution. Perhaps, start by rereading project documentation before trying to work on the solution or reviewing your presentation before the actual presentation.
Questions ESTPs can ask to find career satisfaction
At the end of most interviews, your interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions. This is their opportunity to gauge how interested you are in the role and company, but also it is your opportunity to get insight into whether this is the right fit for you. By knowing what personality traits, motivations and goals you have beforehand, you’ll be better positioned to ask the right questions.
ESTPs are active and don’t want to be doing the same thing every day. They may place great importance on using their logic to find solutions to real-time problems. ESTPs have a desire for independence and—while they understand rules are there for a reason—they will often create their own processes in order to find something that works best for them. Finding roles that can be unpredictable and call upon their people skills will also be key to their career satisfaction.
Asking strong questions such as these can uncover what you need to know:
- Walk me through your last project, how many different types of tasks were involved and what was the impact of the result?
- How much autonomy will this role have over the day-to-day schedule?
- Will I have an opportunity to learn new skills by on-the-job training or by observing/taking a class?
- (For direct supervisor) What level of independence will I have in making decisions?
Related: All About the ESTP Personality Type