The MBTI® ENFJ and College
A typical ENFJ (Extraverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging) Personality Type will often stimulate and reinforce their enthusiasm for innovative pursuits by expressing themselves well, particularly in group settings. Often, these individuals openly broadcast regard for others and have a work ethic which reflects this behavior. An ENFJ’s engagements are usually driven by a people-oriented idealistic vision that they genuinely believe can be accomplished. It is common for ENFJ students to focus on the outer world, paying most of their attention to the people and events in their external environment, and in doing so, they are energized by this innate behavior. When ENFJ personality types process information, they tend to become aware of the meaning and relationships that go beyond the information that is given. They are known to focus on the big picture and attempt to calculate the foundational patterns and possibilities for the future. It is common for this personality type to make decisions by considering what is cherished to not only them, but also what is important to others, basing their decisions on instinctive, people-centered values.
Learning and Being Studious
ENFJ personality types often communicate that the highest priority of college education is to learn how to bond with many different types of people. It is common for this personality type to prefer to study with their peers and often have been found to organize study groups. In order to accomplish their highest potential, an ENFJ is known to require a harmonious environment. If this type of individual is in an environment with peers who are not getting along, it has been reported to affect their studies. This personality type is often active in campus events, usually as a leader who assists and nurtures their peers.
ENFJs are known to initiate many get-togethers in their college dorms but have been also known to first ask others how they would like to spend their time. Individuals with this personality type often throw themselves into work but will find their work more satisfying if it involves helping others. ENFJs tend to learn best when action is incorporated into their studies. They have been found to do their best thinking aloud, by bouncing ideas off others. However, this personality type will also often be attracted to literature, still having an open-mindedness for speculation. ENFJs have shown accomplishment through dedication, determination and tireless work. They often want their studies to pertain to human values and development. It is common for ENFJs to appreciate physical activity and may even invite their peers to join them for physical feats. More often than not, ENFJs will enjoy studying with others. This personality type has been known to say they’re proficient in verbal and interpersonal skills but may need assistance or training in reading and writing papers. ENFJs will often want their peers to review their writing or have a group session to discuss assigned reading. It has been shown to be helpful for ENFJs to include background sounds to help them study, being in an excessively quiet environment can be unproductive for them.
Many ENFJs have reported wanting faculty members who applaud and encourage class discussion. Because this personality type often is an advocate for quick insights, uses imagination to besiege facts, values authenticity, creates their own directions, likes theories to give perspective, and reads between the lines, they will typically prefer faculty members who encourage independent thinking. It is common for ENFJs to want to be able to relate to their educational material personally, but most can easily find parts of it to appreciate. ENFJs often want nothing more than to appease their instructors, and typically learn best by being supported and appreciated. It is common for this personality type to want faculty who are willing to establish a personal rapport with their students. Because of this, ENFJs may want to seek out colleges and universities with a reduced student to instructor ratio. These students also are known to like formal instructions for solving problems and want faculty to be organized. ENFJs have been known to value reliability, plan work well in advance, work continuously toward their goals, and typically are purposefully moving toward closure. “There are three times as many students who prefer Sensing and Perceiving as there are faculty with this combination. SP students prefer a flexible approach to factual material. Their NJ professors, on the other hand, prefer structure and theories.” (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc., P.7) Due to this fact, an ENFJ will have an easier time understanding their professor’s overall personality behavior. Studying for Intuitive types often involves working toward understanding concepts. In doing so, they typically try to find the essential facts, or overall meaning of the material, focusing on broad ideas while trying to relate one idea to another. The possible disadvantage of this study habit style is that they often have difficulty supporting their ideas or conclusions with facts or real examples. A study habit which ENFJs have been known to find success in, is their effective time management skills. Judging types like to start organizing their time as soon as they receive an assignment, and an ENFJ is no exception to the rule. Additionally, an ENFJ will often need to feel that they are making steady progress. In relation to test taking, Intuitive types will flourish on objective exams because they tend to follow their first hunch. However, it can sometimes be helpful for ENFJs to go back to check for details they missed the first time in order to earn extra points.
Reading and Writing
Due to their people-oriented personality type, ENFJs typically prefer to read about human interest rather than technical subjects. This personality type also has been known to prefer talking about these subjects over writing about them. It is common for ENFJs to read-aloud their first draft of an important paper. However, an ENFJ may want to examine their final draft to ensure it is in sequence with its prepared outline, and to remove any excess attributions to their own personal ideology. At times students and writers can experience “writers block” whereas they get stumped and have difficulty with their usual writing habits. ENFJ personality types can experience this problem. Here are some tips to help you with such a situation.
The typical writing approach which ENFJs have reported to assist with combating writer’s block are to:
Write from experience Communicate personal viewpoint
Talk about the theme before writing Enliven content with human examples
Leap into writing; outline later Anticipate reader’s reaction
Take breaks for outer Stimulation Writing guided by sense of flow and overall tone
Discuss concepts and implications Narrow options, decide topic quickly
Try out new approaches Follow a set schedule to completion
Attend to interesting complexities Work on one project at a time
Say it with a flourish and with subtlety Work from present materials
*Abstracted from Introduction to Type in College (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc. P.8)
College Direction and Major Choice
It is common for an ENFJ to have their ideal career to be one which allows them to utilize their unique skills and abilities. This personality type has a tendency to initially choose a major and show determination to see it through. Regularly, ENFJs will choose people-oriented majors that incorporate personal association with others, such as teaching, ministry, counseling or sales. ENFJ personality types will most often want an occupation with established structure which allows for the ability to organize. These individuals often like to make a decision and then move on to the next task. It is common for this personality type to have taken a college major assessment to narrow their career options. ENFJs also often find a sense of peace when a decision has been made and projects are completed. ENFJ students often put selecting a college major on their “to do” list prior to their acceptance and it is not uncommon for them to seek career counseling early. When an ENFJ student chooses their major intelligently, they generally advance through a methodical sequence of steps leading up to graduation. “Although their decision making style provides them with a clear sense of direction, it also can have its drawbacks. For example, an EJ student may decide at an early age to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer but then discovers that he or she lacks the necessary ability or the continuing interest. He or she then becomes disappointed and wants to hurry up and choose another major because “I don’t want to waste any more time”. Ironically, what such students often need to do is slow down and collect more information.” (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc. P.4) Once an ENFJ has a goal in mind, they will generally stop at nothing until it is reached. ENFJ personality types often have an innate sense of determination and commitment, and when associated with educational intentions, they frequently will be ranked among the best.
ENFJs are frequently found focusing on:
- Counseling/Human Services
- Art and Music
- Behavioral Science
*Abstracted from Introduction to Type in College (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc. P.5)
ENFJ personality types tend to involve themselves in caring for others, often enough, more so than their own well-being. This innate behavior of neglecting their own needs over others’ can lead to stress. Another possible cause for stress can be related to an ENFJs need to be sociable in situations which do not allow for it. This personality type may want to consider choosing an occupation which allows for interaction with others in order to avoid their less preferred environment of working alone or with few interactions with others. Working or studying alone can be difficult for an ENFJ, who thrives in group settings and human interaction. For stress relief, ENFJs often find enjoyment in activities such as going to dinner or the movies with friends, or other social activities with peers. By nature, this personality type may tend to rely on close friends for behavioral reinforcement. Most often, ENFJs will innately put forth great dedication to any assignments, and this behavior will often follow through to their career. It is common for ENFJ personality types to be bothered by uncooperative co-workers. Most often, it is best for them to feel connected and in conformity. Many ENFJs have said working in an environment which has a disregard for personal principles has been a cause of stress. ENFJs should remember to schedule time to study between their lively social itinerary. Overall, ENFJs tend to manage stress well as long as it is recognized and addressed. Typically, this personality type is energized by their natural capability to regulate their workload and agenda. It is common for individuals with this personality type to use a plethora of outlets to manage their stress. This personality type commonly relies on constructive dispositions, a bright perspective or philosophical and spiritual discipline to identify and manage their tension. ENFJs are most often known to treasure their community support and are not afraid to use their personal emotional resources such as expressed sentiment and sharing their emotions. This often-innate behavior is a substantial component of stress reduction for ENFJs.
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Learn More About the MBTI ENFJ Personality Type
Explore additional information that delves deeper into the ENFJ Personality Type by examining various personality and career based subjects:
- How the MBTI ENFJ Type relates to Innovation
- How the MBTI ENFJ Type relates to Emotional Intelligence
- How the MBTI ENFJ Type relates to Leadership
- How the MBTI ENFJ Type relates to Project Management
- How the MBTI ENFJ Type relates to Decision Making
Click on a link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types
All College-based information was taken from the following publication: (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.)
In the Grip. Understanding Type, Stress, and The Inferior Function (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP)