The ESTP personality type (as outlined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Assessment, or MBTI® Test) is the Extraverted Sensing with Introverted Thinking type. Individuals that exhibit the ESTP personality type are incredibly lively individuals, full of life and a carpe diem philosophy. They are spontaneous, versatile, imaginative and skillful. When it comes to work efficiently and coming up with solutions, the ESTP type uses creativity to facilitate results:
- Can create new, more efficient measures and methods when others seem outdated or ineffective, or find new ways to use old customs.
- Creatively problem-solve projects that others may not be able to complete, feeling accomplished when they see said projects to completion.
- Work well in group settings because of their ability to think outside the box for solutions and answers, meaning that they are often sought after for group activities (even outside of work, such as sporting teams and friendship groups).
- Learn through doing and watching, meaning that every day is a learning experience.
- Ready for curve balls both in work and in life because of their talent of thinking on their feet, making them also very accommodating to change.
An Out-of-the-Box Problem Solver
Because of their quick-on-their-feet creative thinking and their ability to quickly adapt to difficult or sudden changes, the MBTI Test ESTP personality type produces an out-of-the-box problem solver, often a great component in the workplace. They are very enterprising, choosing to take creative risks in order to produce extraordinary results. Their versatility and amiable nature helps them succeed, especially in areas where they work with others.
Myers-Briggs® test ESTP types are everyday learners, and enjoy various aspects of their surrounding worlds. They find satisfaction in areas such as culture, fashion, nature, and especially new and exciting experiences. Their life-loving philosophy and enjoyment of the present makes them spontaneous, active, and fun to be around. They enjoy trying their hand at new activities, even if they aren’t sure they know how to do it, trusting their innate adaptability to help them. Their friends find them likable and understanding, choosing to find solutions to different problems using logic and occasional clues, rather than letting their beliefs factor into their decision.
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Be Careful Paving Your Own Path
Sometimes, an ESTP personality types tendency to forge their own path and their lack of enthusiasm for rules and regulations can be negative to their work ethic, especially when they feel that an easier solution or procedure is possible. Similarly, this MBTI personality type may find it difficult to organize projects by precedence and importance because of their tendencies to live in the present and make spur-of-the-moment choices. Myers-Briggs test ESTP types can often get caught up in their carpe diem mentality and put important obligations or duties on the back burner in favor of spontaneity and immediate fun. They occasionally focus too much on immediate rewards with little regard to risk, especially that of a physical nature. This also means that individuals with the ESTP type are very loose at following schedules, respecting deadlines, and obeying structured dates.
A thirst for spontaneity and present life can sometimes mean a disregard for long-term issues and the importance of certain traditions and dates of their friends and acquaintances (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). If the ESTP personality types Feeling and Intuitive parts are undeveloped or just not expressed as much, further friendship/relationship apathy can occur, with the ESTP type not fully understanding the ramifications of their actions (or lack thereof). This lack of Feeling can also cause this MBTI personality type to feel uncomfortable talking about serious topics in their relationships.
Lastly, although individuals with the Myers-Briggs Test -assessed ESTP personality type are usually quick problem-solvers and good at split-second changes, stress can occasionally take them down a path of negative self-esteem, especially where they feel as though others may be reacting negatively towards them, regardless of whether or not there is evidence to prove this. Thankfully, by learning to focus some of their attention on their Feeling and Intuitive personality parts, MBTI test ESTP personality types can mold themselves into more effective workers with a better understanding of life as a whole.[Personality type information was referenced from the following publication- (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)]
Career Ideas for ESTP Types
Due to their creative inclination and the enjoyment that they receive from hands-on activities, the MBTI Assessment Type Indicator ESTP personality type usually enjoy employment opportunities that necessitate a particular attention to detail. For this reason, those with the ESTP type preference find success in roles such as bartenders, tax examiners, forestry workers, and carpenters. The hands-on tendency of this MBTI personality type also helps them thrive in jobs that require technological operation, installation, and reparation, such as an inspector, driver, mechanical engineer, manager of weapons specialists, or a control center specialist. Employment in certain military occupations is also a great way for the ESTP personality type to fulfill their need to problem-solve creatively. (Allen L. Hamer, 1993, CPP Inc.). ESTP’s also find themselves working well in employment positions that require them to work with others to provide selling points and promotions for products and services, whether this be advertising or direct sales. Most importantly, ESTP personality types find true happiness in utilizing their skills for the better of a project.
In order for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ESTP personality types to work most effectively (in immediate terms and long term), they must focus their energy on looking beyond the present moment. This includes creating long-term goals that are achievable through small, everyday success, as well as considering a job’s long-term potential to further a career, life-long goal, or simply to produce a long-term benefit for the ESTP. This will help them not get so caught up in the everyday, and their decisions will move towards what will affect them (and those around them) over the course of years.
Furthermore, because of their amiable demeanor and tendency to enjoy working in groups, Myers-Briggs test ESTP types can occasionally lose focus and become too talkative in the work environment. By being aware of this and its effect on the productivity of the workplace, individuals with the ESTP type preference can learn to limit details when unnecessary and focus on making sure that everyone is heard equally.
Finally, with their analytical nature and occasional lack at assessing their actions and decisions over a long period of time, MBTI test assessed ESTP types must learn to focus on discovering their values in terms of long-term goals and important decisions, so that they can live a more fulfilling life in the long run.
Click on one of these corresponding popular ESTP Careers for detailed information including Career Stats, Income Stats, Daily Tasks and Required Education: Automotive Specialty Technician, Construction Laborer, Counter and rental clerk, Electrician, Farm and Ranch Managers, Firefighters, Freight Handler, Loan Officer, Restaurant Cook and Construction supervisors.
Further Understanding ESTPs
ESTPs are creative, active problem solvers who enjoy the challenge of finding elegant but simple solutions to complex issues. They are highly curious people, who thrive in the adventure of exploring the world around them, from food and clothing to people to the great outdoors. They live for the experience. They are also highly observant, taking in every detail of every experience, while still remaining logical and grounded. They tend to be straightforward and assertive in their decision making process, but remain relatively good natured and flexible to changes in the world around them.
ESTPs are generally well-liked by others around them. Their enthusiasm is contagious, as is their high activity level. They are also unusually good at rallying people together, especially behind a cause that they are invested in. That said, it is very important that Myers-Briggs® ESTPs’ talents and energy be recognized and appreciated, and that their shortcomings be developed. For instance, they may tend to put adventure above responsibilities at times, and they may need support remaining focused on the task at hand. They also tend to have difficulty maintaining and meeting deadlines, or being aware of the possible ways that their own behavior might affect others, both in the workplace and outside of it. However, with a little support and understanding ESTPs, like all personality types, can be invaluable members of any workplace or organization.
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ESTPs’ Learning Style: Responsive and Active
ESTPs are highly active – they enjoy spontaneity and have difficulty with staying focused on one idea long enough to reflect on it in-depth. Instead, they have a tendency to value common sense and practicality, and get the most out of classes or workshops in which they have the opportunity to apply information they are learning to solve real-world problems. As such, they are often bored by formal learning situations, even to the extent of avoiding them whenever possible. Lectures, teacher-centered PowerPoint presentations, and the like generally fail to provide ESTPs with the active, engaging learning environments that they thrive in. Instead, they glean the most benefit from group activities and task-oriented lessons in which they have the opportunity to work together with other individuals to accomplish a common goal. As such, it should be noted that theoretically-oriented group discussions have little interest or value for most ESTPs. In the same way, activities that are incidentally interactive, for instance, filling out a worksheet in groups rather than as individuals, has little engagement value for ESTPs. On the other hand, some examples of engaging activities could be laboratory experiments, applied research projects, or simulations. In all of these activities, ESTPs have the opportunity to make concrete connections between the real world and their theoretical knowledge, and they also have the opportunity to build relationships with their peers as well. Another way of keeping lessons and workshops interesting for ESTPs is to include a range of different kinds of media and types of experiences. This variety increases the number and depth of connections ESTPs are able to make, and also increases the breadth of their sensory experience, making content even more memorable for them in the long run.
ESTPs need to have instructors who are able to design lessons and workshops that are active enough to engage them. They rarely build close personal relationships with their instructors, but they are more likely to continue to learn from instructors who are energetic and fun, especially if they are able to provide real-world experiences that illustrate the points from the content they are teaching; even personal experiences or anecdotes are interesting and engaging for ESTPs. In the same way, instructors should be willing to give ESTPs relatively immediate feedback. One way of doing this is to provide checklists or rubrics, so ESTPs can evaluate their own progress. Another option is to provide frequent written feedback or have periodic meetings to give oral feedback.
ESTPs’ Leadership Style: Dynamic and Flexible
MBTI® Test ESTPs are competitive, good-natured leaders. They have an uncanny ability to quickly assess situations, identify relevant information, and evaluate the potential costs and consequences of a particular course of action. As they do so, they do not shy away from risks necessarily, but rather are invigorated by them—they often believe that great progress is only made when one takes risks. However, this focus on present action, even to the point of being impulsive, sometimes limits ESTPs’ ability to consider possible long-term effects of their current behavior. They tend to lose patience with detailed strategy meetings, as they tend to believe that too much deliberation leads to missed opportunities. This is also why they may overlook or undervalue the contributions of other individuals on their teams, particularly those whose views may differ from their own—more options necessarily imply more deliberation time, which ESTPs often view as being wasteful.
Nonetheless, ESTPs’ charismatic leadership style is highly attractive, as is their ability to give direct, targeted feedback in a way that generally does not come across as being judgmental or harsh. In fact, ESTPs are talented at encouraging others, making them feel as if they are a part of a larger team working in solidarity with one another, and also motivating them to make major contributions to the team. Their ability to garner support from others is one of ESTPs’ greatest strengths. However, their style remains uniquely individual, which can make it difficult for them to build meaningful relationships with others with whom they work.
When it comes to actually accomplishing goals, ESTPs lead how they learn—actively. They do best in fast-paced environments and tend to develop practical approaches to tackling problems while still remaining flexible enough in their outlook to adapt to changing circumstances. They are highly resourceful individuals, and are able to efficiently allocate even scant resources towards solving complex problems.
As ESTPs continue to develop as individuals and as leaders, they may find it useful to identify and emulate specific characteristics from leaders whom they consider to be successful. They may also wish to make an effort to slow down as they make decisions. This will afford additional time to consider the opinions and positions of others more carefully, and will also offer the flexibility to make longer-term plans that are still concrete enough to be practical. An additional benefit of slowing down is that the additional discussion time and more relaxed atmosphere may give members of a team or department some much-needed time to build relationships with one another. In general, ESTPs could make an effort to continue to develop their interpersonal relationships.
ESTPs and Emotional Outlook: Confident and Fun-Loving
ESTPs are action-oriented individuals who excel at balancing practicality and awareness. They are generally confident in their own ability to analyze a situation in-depth and pursue the most logical course of action given their constraints. However, they also tend to be realistic in their self-assessment—it is rare that an ESTP will over-inflate their own competence or their sense of self. That said, their high activity level may make them come across as being restless, sometimes unintentionally. Their constant motion may be a side effect of the fact that their highest emotional fulfillment and satisfaction comes from being in physically stimulating situations—being presented with new knowledge, experiences, or sensory information—and perhaps the fact stillness, especially the forced limitation of physical movement, is extremely uncomfortable for ESTPs. In short, ESTPs pursue their interests energetically and joyfully, constantly seeking out novelty, and they have a strong dispreference for anything that impedes that novelty, from physical restraint to bureaucratic hierarchies to ideological structure. ESTPs need flexibility to exercise their creativity and to thrive. This same flexibility also applies to their physical health—ESTPs often use physical exercise as a way to cope with stress and to enjoy their lives.
When it comes to relationships with others, ESTPs can have some challenges even though they are highly extraverted individuals. For instance, they have a tendency to miss social nuances, particularly if they are trying to resolve a particular problem in a timely fashion. Rather than considering the input of others, they are often focused exclusively on solving the problem at hand. They are generally quick to take action, and are highly committed to resolving emergencies as efficiently as possible. As they do so, they often take charge of situations, sometimes to the extent that others may feel pressured to behave or react in a certain way, or even taken aback by another individual being so assertive. As such, ESTPs may do well to take a step back, slow down, and remember that there are times when building friendships and relationships can be as important as achieving goals or accomplishing tasks. As ESTPs continue to develop their interpersonal skills, they should make a concerted effort to show more empathy for others and to be more patient with those who may need a bit more time to process information or take action in a particular situation. All of this said, ESTPs’ energetic personalities and charismatic leadership style makes them indispensable contributors to any workplace.
ESTP Personality Types in The Workplace
Extraverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiving (ESTP) personality types are action-oriented, resourceful, and grounded. They pride themselves on tackling challenges head on, discovering the most efficient solution, and developing a plan to implement it. Their drive and energy make them exciting people to work with, for, and around. They are creative souls who resist bureaucracy, institutional standards, and set procedures, and instead prefer to operate within existing structures in new ways.
ESTPs are also inherently social people who use interpersonal and group dynamics to their benefit. For example, they might unify groups who do not traditionally ally with one another if they feel that doing so will allow the group to achieve something that would not have been previously possible. Outside of the workplace, ESTPs are popular companions and others often enjoy inviting them to join parties or sports. They live in the moment and encourage others to do so as well.
ESTPs and Communication in The Workplace: Spontaneous and Enthusiastic
ESTPs are enthusiastic and open when they communicate with others. They are interested in everything going on around them, from activities to food and clothes to the outdoors, and they are just as interested in people! They learn from doing and talking to others rather than from studying or reading, and they see every interaction as an opportunity to have a new experience and make a new memory. They are spontaneous people and often rely on improvisation, saying what comes to mind and going with their first instinct. In general, they do not take things too seriously, and are non-judgmental when listening to others’ thoughts, opinions, and suggestions. However, they might become frustrated if others are too negative or cautious, and feel that they are taking the fun out of things. Another downside of their passion and spontaneity is that they may not consider the implications of their remarks before they speak. Their comments may come across as being invasive, rude, or brash, even when they are meant with the best intentions.
Seemingly paradoxically, ESTPs also have an exceptional attention and memory for factual information. They can often recall details that others may never have noticed to begin with, and are able to synthesize these facts to offer a realistic assessment of the current situation. They are rarely distracted by personal feelings and prefer that discussions remain focused on objective realities or future plans rather than feelings or relationships. In other words, ESTPs tend to ask “what is going on” or “what can we do” rather than “how do you feel.”
ESTPs and Workplace Contributions: Realistic and Creative
ESTPs are lively contributors to the workplace and make things happen. They approach problems in a direct but realistic way. They start by quickly evaluating the situation and being careful to notice and remember salient details and factual information. Then, they identify strategies for improving the situation and weigh the possible impact of any risks they might be taking. Finally, they execute their vision with razor sharp focus. If they encounter any difficulties or challenges, they draw on their professional networks to determine the best course of action. If they need to, they might negotiate additional contracts or seek compromise to win over their colleagues, clients, or team members.
ESTPs are particularly talented at overcoming obstacles to make their vision a reality. Whether they need to locate additional resources to develop a new approach, or build bridges among different groups of people, they have a way of finding ways to patch problems and continue to make progress. They adapt to changing conditions quickly, and thrive in environments where they are able to implement creative solutions to new problems that might arise. However, their spontaneity can create stress for some team members, and ESTPs may want to make more of an effort to examine a situation in greater detail before committing to a particular course of action. ENTPs may also need to incorporate the human element more into their decision making. That is, they should consider how their initiatives will affect others, how they feel, and their day to day life. While they might become irritated by other team members who prefer to move slower in order to consider such implications, ENTPs would benefit from considering others more carefully before acting.
Another way in which ESTPs contribute to their workplace environments is by actively seeking opportunities to manage stressful situations. Because they genuinely enjoy these kinds of challenges, they can aid others who might not be as confident. On the other hand, other team members might perceive them as being too laid back and flexible to be truly effective. ESTPs also reduce stress by serving as an example for how to balance work and leisure effectively. They rarely take the “easy way out,” per se, but they are efficient. That is, they do not expend energy for the sake of doing so. Instead, they prefer to be practical and take the path of least resistance. However, they do persevere when things take a turn for the worst.
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ESTPs and Workplace Culture: Fun-loving and Comfortable
ESTPs perform at their best in flexible, physically comfortable work environments. They like to work hard and play hard, and need to be able to release stress and blow off steam frequently during the day, even while producing high-quality work. For example, they might have a stress ball on their desk or take a walk around the office from time to time during the day. Their ideal workplace would have flexible hours and a casual dress code, and would have ample space for brainstorming and creative thinking, such as spaces with whiteboards or modeling materials, or collaborative meeting rooms with smartboards and high-tech visualization tools. This is not to say that ESTPs reject all structure or organization, but rather that they rarely derive significant value from the constraints that they impose.
Just as important as the physical environment itself are the people with whom they share it. ESTPs prefer to work with lively team members who are results- and solutions-oriented and who value firsthand experience as much as objective facts. They benefit from having a spontaneous, flexible group of colleagues who encourage them to push limits and perform better and produce more innovative products than they ever thought possible. As a result, ESTPs often make significant effort to foster a casual, nonbureaucratic workplace environment. They enjoy having social and team building events at work, and fostering personal relationships as well as professional networks.
However, ESTPs’ enthusiasm may cause tension with others on their teams, especially if they are too forceful in pushing others to act, or if they are focusing too much on novelty and risk but not enough on content and substance. Another source of tension is ESTPs’ reluctance to commit to set schedules and plans, or to courses of action that have delayed gratification. All in all, to increase their effectiveness in the workplace, ESTPs should make an effort to give others the time and space they need to become fully comfortable before acting. After all, sometimes caution is an appropriate response, even in a critical or high-stress situation.
ESTPs and Leadership in The Workplace: Charismatic and Efficient
ESTPs are natural leaders. They are charismatic and enthusiastic, and have a direct, assertive style that makes others feel comfortable falling into step behind them. They never hesitate to take charge in a crisis, and their values are often in line with achieving the best results. They value efficiency and practicality, and often aim to derive the greatest benefit from minimal effort and resource expenditure. Their ability to weight the costs and benefits of courses of action quickly, like their focus on driving results, makes them ideal leaders in crisis situations.
ESTPs lead in an efficient and organized manner. They are able to quickly evaluate situations and issues and identify salient facts that might influence an appropriate course of action. However, they do have a tendency to focus on short-term gains rather than long-term benefits or how their decisions might impact their future options. In fact, they may even become frustrated or impatient with team members who are interested in considering implications or developing contingency plans. However, they are politically perceptive and are excellent mediators. Their charisma can help them push their own agenda through governing boards and team meetings even if their plan is not necessarily the most informed or the best conceived. Nonetheless, they are excellent at implementing their visions and motivating others to work with them.
As ESTPs continue to grow and develop as leaders, they should make an effort to think before they act. They can benefit not only from independently considering the implications of their decisions, but also by soliciting and seriously considering the opinions and positions of others. Furthermore, checking in with their teams periodically cannot only help them stay motivated, but also shed light on any problems or inconsistencies before they escalate.
ESTPs and Problem Solving in The Workplace: Systematic and Focused
ESTPs approach problems in logical, concrete ways. Their first step is to articulate the problem. From their perspective, they cannot begin developing a solution without having a clear target at which to aim. The second step is to gather as much information as possible about the issue within the shortest amount of time. Most of the time, they prefer to talk to others and get their opinion about the situation, but they might also read documents, watch videos, or observe the situation directly if it is possible to do so. ESTPs have an uncanny ability to remember seemingly minor details and detect larger patterns within them. Third, they analyze and apply these details to develop a solution to their problem and a realistic course of action that can help them achieve it. Finally, they implement their vision by communicating it in a clear, concise, and assertive manner to their team members. They might also build relationships among different groups or negotiate contracts that make it easier to reach their goals.
This systematic, logical approach allows ESTPs to overcome the majority of the challenges that come their way. However, they do have a tendency to value immediate results, which can cloud their judgment or cause them to make decisions that their colleagues or co-workers might disagree with. Furthermore, they might not give others opinions or beliefs adequate attention, which might cause hard feelings or tension in the workplace. However, these oversights are not actively malevolent, but instead are just inherent characteristics of ESTPs.
ESTPs and Areas of Growth in The Workplace:
As ESTPs continue to grow and develop, the following small changes might allow them to become even more effective in their personal and professional lives.
First, ESTPs have a tendency to come across as overly blunt or even insensitive in the way that they behave, speak, or make decisions. This perception is in part because ESTPs are task- and outcome-focused and may not take the time to consider the feelings of others or how they might interpret their behavior. If you are an ESTP, challenge your tendency to act rather than reflect. You might derive significant benefit from considering more options or asking others for their opinions before you make a decision or implement a plan.
Second, ESTPs tend to be impulsive and even short-sighted. They feed off the thrill of putting out fires, while much time and effort might be saved if they took the time to fireproof their process or workplace. In other words, while solving problems and mitigating crises can be exciting, more often than not it is actually more efficient to build a long-term vision and lay a solid foundation for the future. Doing so also allows time for reflecting upon broader implications and long-term consequences of behavior rather than simply the immediate effects.
Third, ESTPs often reject rules, standards, and procedures out of principle rather than making an effort to see their value. If you encounter such a policy that you initially think is unreasonable or unnecessary, ask yourself why it is there and what benefit it can provide. You might surprise yourself.
Learn More About the MBTI ESTP Personality Type
Explore additional information that delves deeper into the ESTP Personality Type by examining various personality and career based subjects:
- How the MBTI ESTP Type relates to Innovation
- How the MBTI ESTP Type relates to Project Management
- How the MBTI ESTP Type relates to Emotional Intelligence
- How the MBTI ESTP Type relates to Leadership
- How the MBTI ESTP Type Communicates
Click on a link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types
Introduction to Type (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)
Introduction to Type and Careers (Allen L. Hammer, 2007, CPP Inc.)
Introduction to Type and Leadership (Richmond, S. CPP. 2008)
Introduction to Type and Learning (Dunning, D. CPP. 2008)
Introduction To Type® and Emotional Intelligence. (Pearman, R. CPP, 2002)
Introduction To Type in Organizations (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J. CPP Inc., 1998)