How to figure out your thing {ESFJ, ESTP, ENTP, ENTJ}


Before you read on below …

I am going to assume you’ve read this and this. Otherwise the below will lack context :)


ESFJs are the most people oriented people of the 16 types and their primary motivation in life is to take care of others.

They are life’s mothers. They love to nurture and care for others, especially in ways that are clear cut and easily appreciated.

ESFJs need CONSTANT people interaction (they get pretty stressed by time alone) and thrive in roles where they can be the responsible one supporting others. They also love helping others out in a collaborative effort that involves working side-by-side with lots of other like-minded people.

My sister Robyn is an ESFJ and the description of ‘life’s mothers’ is her to a T. Her dream job is stay-at-home-mum (but unfortunately, too sad too bad, I make her work for me.) Robyn is also the organiser of our family and the go-to when any of us needs help for anything (ok, yes, we take advantage of her.) Right now she has a venture on the side of her paid work with our sister-in-law and I am sure she will agree it is less about making any money and more about being able to collaborate with a like-minded person (our SIL) on something that is fun for both of them.

Monique Fischle is another lovely ESFJ who thrives when helping others feel cared for and loved. She admits this makes her a bit of a people-pleaser (classic ESFJ) but what else can you do when caring about people is your primary motivator in life! Monique is an ESFJ who has found a bit of a sweet spot in her work life working for an organisation that specialises in child sponsorship and helping children living in poverty. One of the things Monique hates most in life is unfairness and being able to help these children in a life-changing fashion is her way of dealing with this.

And just because ESFJs are awesome I have a third example for you! Sonia Bavistock agrees that she is very much a nurturer – she loves taking care of others and making them happy. If you are a friend of Sonia’s you can expect regular text messages or phone call, often just to say hi and touch base. What I really love about Sonia is what she says about her work: I work in admin, which although doesn’t feed my passions, does fit me to a tee. I love helping my colleagues whether it be editing a report, organising a morning tea fundraiser or simply offering my assistance with a task no matter how big or small. 

I strongly suspect that the main challenge ESFJs face is not necessarily finding their ‘thing’ or their sweet spot … rather it is how to prevent all their kindness and giving-ness being taken for granted and over-used. What say you ESFJs?!


ESTPs are motivated to be happy in the moment – they are the “eat, drink and be merry” folks.

Meeting their needs in the moment is a huge driver for ESTPs – it informs a lot of their decisions. They thrive on excitement, change, variety, adventure:  new, new, new.

Never overstimulated, ESTPs are great at winging it on the fly. They are most motivated by concrete goals with an urgent deadline and a high people component.

Yvonne Adele is an ESTP who has found her ‘thing’ and that thing is to bring interesting people together. She adores meeting new people and one of her sweet spots is conference speaking. As she says: A big room full of strangers all ready and willing to learn something new – and I get to be the star of the show because I’m the one teaching them! In addition to her speaking Yvonne is also a social media consultant which satisfies her need for variety – she says she gets to behave as multiple personalities (doing community management on behalf of other people/brands) plus she is surrounded every single day by a mix of people who she can bounce ideas/projects off and whose projects she can contribute to.

Emma Mulquiney came to the realisation last year that she was never going to be a girl who gets one of those long term service awards at a company – she change jobs almost as frequently as she changes her nail polish! She also realised she needs to work in industries that have a fast pace as she gets bored in slow working environments, or places where corporate processes halt progress and innovation. Right now she works for Nike as their social media manager and loves the way her role is hugely fast paced – and very in the moment.

If you’re an ESTP whose not feeling all buzzy with life you might be wondering what is missing.Well you need variety, you need constant people interaction, and ideally you’ll be doing concrete (ideally even hands-on) work that involves winging it in the moment instead of work that you do at a steady pace (day in and day out) toward a far off future goal.


ENTPs are motivated to leave a legacy behind when they are gone.

They are inventors and innovators at heart and are idea generation machines, energised most by future possibilities. They have high standards for their future and are most motivated when the sky is the limit in terms of what they can achieve.

And boy do I have a couple of great ENTP examples!

Valerie Khoo is an accountant turned writer and serial entrepreneur. Val founded the Australian Writers’ Centre in 2005 to meet a very specific need (the one she had when she started writing), education about the practical skills needed to be a successful writer. What a legacy Val has created already! Thousands of writers from all over the world now have the confidence and skills they need to get their by-lines in magazines and online publications. It is a rare day now that Val opens a glossy magazine without seeing the name of a student inside. If I had another thousand words to spare here I would go into Val’s many other ventures – entrepreneurship is truly hard-wired into her.

A thirst for competition is hardwired into Jenny Spring – honed in the 10 years she worked in sales in the US. Now a business owner Jenny says Competition is what can make our own businesses really great. It keeps us on our toes, and in turn means that as business owners, we are always striving to give our customers the results they deserve. Jenny is the first to admit that the sky is very much the limit when it comes to how she thinks but tempers this with the facts that she hates ideas just for the sake of ideas. Hugely result driven, while she doesn’t like getting caught up too much in the details of how to turn ideas into reality … she does expect them to be turned into reality! Jenny’s favourite thing to do with her current business Spring into Sales is when she gets to brainstorm together with her small business clients, work on the strategy and then the tactics. The results her clients get from these sessions are her legacy and they give her a huge buzz.

So if you’re an ENTP you’re going to struggle if there are people around you putting a ceiling on your dreams and ideas. You need the space and freedom to indulge your entrepreneurial nature in some way as well as the opportunity to actively collaborate with others.


ENTJs are the powerhouse type (Donald Trump is a famous one).

They thrive on being in leadership roles and what gets them really jazzed up are roles where they are in the driver’s seat achieving a big lofty goal that involves lots of decisions, problem solving and leading people.

Constantly learning and growing their competencies really excites them as they get bored very easily and love to challenge themselves.  

Strangely – I had a hell of a time finding an ENTJ to introduce you guys to here but finally I found Sarah McKay. After 10 years of university education and research she found herself at odds with the reality of medical research. The actual research and learning energised her, but having her days controlled by others (as Sarah describes it putting others in the driver’s seat of my career) finally wore thin. Now Sarah is a freelance writer and loves being in charge of herself – she chooses her projects, she runs her own days and makes all the decisions about how to grow her business. She is doing what she loves (learning and constantly extending herself) – but on her own terms. And just quietly, she has lots of plans for world domination with her blog.

Just like Sarah, Chiropractor Alison Asher asserts that while she may not run a big corporation, she runs her corporation. And Alison loves a challenge. So much so that she often creates challenges where none exist, just to keep things interesting. (Luckily she has a husband who is happy to go along with her latest crazy idea and knows it won’t be long before the ‘idea’ has run its course and she’ll be onto the next one.) Alison clearly remembers being a student and finding a book in the Melbourne University library written by a medical doctor called The Case Against Chiropractic. It was absolutely vitriolic and she was captivated by the idea that Chiropractic was seen as something so subversive. That something so simple, elegant and sensible could inspire such hatred from another profession. Sarah was absolutely hooked!

ENTJs absolutely thrive on developing long-term strategies or solving complex problems that involve a lot of moving pieces. If you’re an ENTJ you need to be taking advantage of your unconventional mind and leadership skills with large projects that will allow you to make big waves in important areas.