Myers-Briggs ESFP Personality Supports Decision to Study Nursing

In terms of personality, the Myers-Briggs test indicates that I am classified as an ESFP personality also known as an extravert, sensing, feeling and perceiving personality. This indicates that I am a person who is outgoing, accepting, friendly, enjoys everything and make things more fun for others. People who share my personality like action and making things happen; they know what’s going on and join in eagerly. They also find remembering facts easier than mastering theories and work best in situations that need sound common sense and practical ability with people.

            As a future student of nursing I was excited to find that my personality type is highly compatible with nursing. Health care provides the opportunity to help others which is very important to me in my career. I enjoy working with other people and tend to work best in a fast-paced work environment, consisting of a variety of tasks. I know this to be true from past experiences and I know that in situations where things are dull or monotonous, I can become easily distracted. Because nursing work requires quick thinking (in most cases) and the ability to calm frightened people during a medical crisis, neither of which are dull nor monotonous since every patient is different,  I feel confident that it can both hold and sustain my attention.

            My personality type indicates that jobs, which offer or require a lot of diversity and personal interaction suit me well. I know from past experience I must be fully engaged in a job and feel like I am making a difference for me to succeed in a job. At the end of the day I want to be able to come home and feel like, because of me, someone’s day was easier or better. Because I am good at problem solving I know I can work to make things easier, or at the very least, to make a tangible difference in someone’s life. Nursing will allow me to do through interaction with people who need help, giving me the opportunity to lend it. ESFPs are generally flexible and adaptable people who are genuinely interested in people and are kind hearted which I believe leads to the ability to really care and connect with patients in a way that other personality types cannot because ESFP’s “tend to be good at comforting others, regardless of what is happening around them and notice much that escapes the eyes of others. They are tied into the present, particularly with people, they may sense what is happening with others before others know about it.” (Hirsch) ESFPs are good with details, especially those that pertain to people. This lends itself to success in nursing because patients need someone who is lobbying for them as a person not a medical condition and sometimes doctors can forget this. Attention to tiny details that may not seem significant at the time can be lifesaving in situations of mystery diagnoses and it is important that a nurse have the natural affinity to detail that ESFPs like myself have.

            I know that I am well suited for a career in nursing partially because of the way I learn. As with most ESFPs, I learn best through hands on experience rather than through studying a book and I do extremely well in situations where I learn by interaction with others. Nursing, similar to many medical professions, is a career that training requires both informational lectures about the basics of nursing and other necessary topics, combined with hands on clinical experience to teach students how to act in live medical situations. By concentrating in a career that teaches it’s trade in the way that I learn best boosts my odds of being compatible with and good at my job.

            “For an ESFP career satisfaction means doing work that:


  1. Lets me learn from hands-on experience, where I look for solutions to problems from gather 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 way 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 fri3ndly 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” (Tieger)


While these conditions above contribute to success among ESFPs I must be careful of common pitfalls that may hinder my success. My biggest personal pitfall is my tendency to become distracted and get off task easily. ESFPs “find themselves easily drifting off while studying and they are ultimately diverted by things more real to them.” (Hirsch) This is something I have struggled with for my entire life, however, I believe that I can reduce the amount of distraction by choosing a career that maintains my attention with diversity and fast-paced environment such as nursing. Since no two people are the same I will be more apt to really focus on new cases because it is something new and exciting, almost like a mystery, rather than the same thing that happens day in and day out. I know that staying active will keep my attention and nursing is an active job where excitement abounds and I can interact with, be responsive to, and make a difference in the lives of others. Being a resource to others is important to me and to my work.

I am generally more successful when I become personally involved in work related tasks but I must be careful that I don’t become too personally involved, as over involvement in my work may lead to the avoidance of tough decisions or risking hurting  someone’s feelings through direct and honest communication. In addition, taking a personal approach to life can lead to hurt feelings when others are not as generous, loving or giving in return so I must make sure to keep my personal emotions and attachments in check while on the job.

I also know that, I in accordance with the EFSP personality type, I may perceive any type of criticism as a personally attack on me as a person. This means I will need to work hard to remind myself that criticism is not always a bad thing, nor is it necessarily a sign that you are doing a poor job. I must focus on the positive aspects of the criticism and look for ways that I can improve in the future if I am to be a successful nurse.

Closely related to my tendency to take criticism personally, is to “have skewed or unrealistic ideas about the feelings of others” which means that I need to work on staying objective about others and work on reading in between the lines in an effort to see the big picture more clearly. Doing so will help me to look for less obvious meanings in something rather than accept it at face value.

When faced with great adversity ESFPs may try to blame their problems on the world at large, choosing to see themselves as the victim battling against incredible odds. Such feelings will often lead to overwhelming tension and stress, which may result in the feeling that the world is out to get them. Also “the tolerance for anxiety for an ESFP is the lowest of all the types often leading the person to avoid anxiety by ignoring the dark side of an issue for as long as possible.” (Hirsch)  Luckily, ESFPs are extremely adaptable so I feel that through acknowledging and considering ways to sidestep these pitfalls I have prepared myself to face these challenges whenever they arise. 

For the most part I felt that the Myers-Briggs Personality Profile provided a pretty accurate description of who I am, and how I make the choices and decisions that I do. There were a few characteristics, however, that I did not feel described me well at all. The profile suggests that I am disorganized, undisciplined and anti advanced planning due to my “tendency to live completely in the present.” (Butt)  While I do agree that I don’t entirely care for theories and planning for the future I am on top of my work, meet deadlines easily, usually with time to spare, and am usually more on top of what is coming up in terms of work and projects than many of my peers. I am overly organized to the point of compulsion because everything has a place (not to mention its own color code and category) and everything is in its place. I rarely loose anything and am known to keep paperwork for years after I need it “just in case.” My friends accuse me of being overly prepared, always having everything we might need for whatever situation might arise, confirming that as an ESFP I am “great for giving practical care.” (The Performer)  

All in all, this test has confirmed for me what I knew all along; that not only do I want to be a nurse, but that my personality is strongly compatible with the profession. While I still haven’t decided which specialty to go into this has given me more insight into which direction to search. For instance, I know I want to be a nurse who is going to be interacting with and helping patients, not for example an administrative nurse who will be focusing on the business side of nursing. I also know that I might want to work with children because according to my personality profile (in conjunction with my life) I have a way with kids. This test has shown me on a little deeper level how to look for what is going to make me happy in a career and how to spot careers with pitfalls that may make the job more challenging for me personally than I can handle. 


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