ESTJ Career Guide: Best & Worst Career Paths for Executives
by Lisa Sparrow
ESTJs (Executives) are considered among the most hardworking personality types. While their determination and strong work ethic can help them succeed in any field, success comes easier to them in some career paths compared to others. That’s exactly what we’ll cover in this all-in-one guide to ESTJ careers.
Keep reading to discover the best and worst career matches for ESTJs, their strengths and weaknesses in the workplace, and what they’re like as teammates and leaders.
8 Best Career Paths for ESTJs
Let’s start our deep dive into ESTJ careers by exploring the best career options for this personality type:
#1. Business and Management
Given that people with the ESTJ personality type can also be called Executives, it’s no surprise that business is one of the best and most popular career choices for ESTJs.
As dominant extraverted thinking (Te) users, Executives are rational, organized, and decisive. They prioritize efficiency and results, which helps them achieve their business goals. Thanks to their drive, confidence, and resilience, they also tend to embrace competition rather than feel intimidated by it.
Most importantly, pursuing a career in business and management allows them to utilize their strengths, including their exceptional leadership skills, resourcefulness, and problem-solving abilities.
For this reason, ESTJs often build fulfilling careers as:
- Project Managers
- Management Consultants
- Office Managers
- Business Owners
- Operations Managers
- Data Scientists
#2. Finance and Accounting
It’s no secret that ESTJs tend to have good financial habits and manage their money effectively, which is why they’re often drawn to jobs in finance and accounting.
Not only that, but Executives also possess strong analytical thinking and strategic planning skills, allowing them to make smart financial decisions. As extroverts, they also often derive satisfaction from helping others—be they organizations or individuals—improve their financial health.
When it comes to finance and accounting, a tiny error can cost millions, so attention to detail is of paramount importance to any job in this sector. Luckily, ESTJs are not only responsible but also incredibly detail-oriented thanks to their auxiliary introverted sensing (Si) function. So, if you’re looking for someone to handle your finances, you can trust an ESTJ to do it right!
Here are some excellent finance-related career options for ESTJs:
- Budget Analyst
- Financial Analyst
- Credit Analyst
- Loan Officer
- Cost Estimator
- Financial Manager
- Financial Consultant
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Thanks to their dominant cognitive function—Te—ESTJs are known to be fair and objective. Coupled with their tendency to care more about facts than people’s feelings, these traits help them build successful and fulfilling legal careers.
When it comes to law, ESTJs have many options to choose from. Since they aren’t afraid of confrontation—in fact, they tend to be quite confrontational themselves—they can put their communication skills to good use by representing people’s interests in court. Alternatively, they can help companies adhere to laws and regulations, deal with legal paperwork, and so on.
Some great career choices for ESTJs interested in law include:
- Corporate Lawyer
- Employment Lawyer
- Contracts Lawyer
- Compliance Specialist
- Court Operations Manager
Engineering heavily relies on analytical thinking and logical reasoning, making it a great career option for ESTJs. Not only are they capable of solving complex problems, but they also have an eye for detail and strong organizational skills, both of which are crucial for engineers.
Organized and goal-oriented, ESTJs excel at juggling various tasks and managing their resources as long as they know what exactly is expected of them.
Since engineering requires adherence to established standards and best practices, Executives are more than capable of succeeding in this field. Most importantly, they have no trouble delivering projects on time and within budget.
For best results, ESTJs should look for teamwork opportunities or, better yet, lead a team of engineers. Due to their extroverted natures, they may not find solitary jobs satisfying.
Some examples of excellent engineering career choices for ESTJs include:
- Flight Engineer
- Civil Engineer
- Electrical Engineer
- Mechanical Engineer
- Automotive Engineer
- Aerospace Engineer
- Industrial Engineer
#5. Law Enforcement
If there’s one thing ESTJs are known for, it’s their respect for rules. Not only do they do their best to be lawful citizens and upstanding members of their communities, but they also expect and encourage others to do so. Naturally, law enforcement is a great career choice for them.
While they aren’t necessarily concerned with harmony, ESTJs care tremendously about establishing and maintaining order—be it in their homes or in society. As such, they’re great at mitigating chaos and can act as a stabilizing force in tense situations, especially since they tend to be fairly resistant to stress.
Not only that, but they also tend to gravitate toward jobs that allow them to contribute to society in practical ways, making law enforcement very suitable for them.
Needless to say, ESTJs can’t go wrong with any of these career paths:
- Police Officer
- Animal Control Officer
- Military Police Officer
- Patrol Officer
- DEA Agent
Thanks to their organizational skills and meticulousness, Executives excel in all types of healthcare-related tasks, such as keeping patient records, conducting medical examinations, and administering medications. Reliable and trustworthy, they take their jobs very seriously and are dedicated to delivering high-quality care for their patients.
On top of that, ESTJs tend to be drawn to high-paying jobs that are generally regarded as honorable. Since many jobs in the healthcare industry tick these boxes, it’s not unusual for Executives to pursue the following careers:
- Healthcare Administrator
Outgoing and energetic, ESTJs shine in fast-paced work environments and often have a knack for sales. After all, they tend to have superb communication skills, a charmingly assertive personality, and good business sense, all of which combined enhance their sales skills.
Rather than appealing to people’s emotions like extraverted feeling (Fe) users, ESTJs utilize facts and logic to convince buyers they need their product or service. They also usually have excellent negotiation skills, which can help them close sales and/or sign contracts with clients.
Here are some great sales-related jobs for ESTJs:
- Sales Manager
- Account Executive
- Sales Engineer
- Account Manager
- Real Estate Agent
- Sales Representative
- Insurance Broker
3 Careers ESTJs Should Avoid
Now that you know which career paths Executives tend to thrive in, let’s explore the worst careers for ESTJs—art, social work, and data entry.
When it comes to career, it’s safe to say that ESTJs prioritize job security and consistent income above all else. Since being an artist usually means that your income varies from one month to the next, it’s only natural that most Executives aren’t particularly drawn to this career path.
Simply put, pursuing a career in the arts can be more stressful than rewarding to ESTJs. While animation, graphic design, photography, and other types of art can be great hobbies for them, ideally, these shouldn’t be their main source of income. As professional artists, ESTJs may have trouble coping with the lack of stability and predictability in their careers.
#2. Social Work
Social work is an emotionally demanding job, which is precisely why it’s one of the worst career paths for ESTJs.
Introverted feeling (Fi) is the inferior ESTJ cognitive function, meaning Executives generally have a hard time accepting and understanding their emotions. Because of this, they may struggle to relate to other people’s emotional experiences, which is a necessity for any social worker.
On top of that, ESTJs prefer jobs that offer plenty of career growth opportunities and, ideally, occupational prestige. Considering all this, it’s not surprising that they rarely, if ever, build fulfilling careers as community, school, military, and other types of social workers.
#3. Data Entry
Although ESTJs have an eye for detail, data entry is one of the worst careers for them. Not only does it offer little to no opportunities for career development, but it is also a solitary career path.
In short, the nature of data entry jobs prevents many ESTJs’ career skills— leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills, to name just a few—from flourishing. For this reason, Executives should avoid working as data entry clerks, healthcare typists, and the like.
What Are ESTJs Like as Leaders?
As leaders, ESTJs are organized, results-oriented, decisive, and efficient. People with this personality type enjoy being in charge and typically strive for leadership positions regardless of which career path they choose. Managing people and projects comes naturally to ESTJ leaders, and they usually succeed in guiding their teams toward excellence.
Being organized and detail-oriented, ESTJ leaders create structured work environments where everyone knows what their responsibilities are and what’s expected of them. They often have a rather traditional approach to leadership and expect others to respect their authority and follow their orders without questioning them.
While Executives value efficiency, they aren’t the type to cut corners and don’t tolerate such behavior in others. Adherence to rules and established procedures is of utmost importance to them. While they excel at ensuring their teams produce high-quality work and meet deadlines, ESTJ leaders may be resistant to change and skeptical of innovations.
What Are ESTJs Like as Teammates?
As teammates, ESTJs are candid, task-oriented, reliable, and hardworking. They share their opinions openly, often using statistics and other factual data to back them up. If the team lacks direction, Executives are usually the first ones to step up and take charge.
While many extroverts focus on forming close connections with their colleagues, ESTJs prioritize tackling tasks. In fact, they may become frustrated with teammates who spend too much time talking about personal matters instead of getting to work. At the end of the day, Executives make sure to do their part and expect others to pull their weight as well.
In terms of decision-making, ESTJs value rationality and efficiency. They also often rely on their past experience when making decisions, which could cause them to clash with colleagues who embrace change and innovation. They may also find it difficult to work with people who lack organization and fail to deliver on their promises.
ESTJ Strengths and Weaknesses at the Workplace
As a general rule, ESTJs should pick a career path that brings out their innate strengths and allows them to put them to good use. Besides capitalizing on their strong points, they should also be mindful of their weaknesses and learn to overcome them to build successful careers.
So, now that you know pretty much everything about ESTJ careers, let’s discuss the key strengths and weaknesses Executives tend to display in the workplace.
ESTJ Workplace Strengths
Some of the greatest attributes ESTJs bring to the workplace include:
- Decisiveness. Assertive and goal-oriented, ESTJs have no problem making difficult decisions all by themselves.
- Organization. ESTJs tend to be very well-organized and often excel at bringing order to chaotic work situations.
- Reliability. Being responsible and hardworking, ESTJs take their duties seriously and do everything within their power to fulfill them to the highest standards.
ESTJ Workplace Weaknesses
Meanwhile, some common weaknesses ESTJs exhibit at work include:
- Inflexibility. It’s not unusual for Executives to resist change. They may also have trouble changing their opinions once they’ve made up their minds.
- Strict rule adherence. More often than not, ESTJs want everyone to adhere to rules no matter what. However, this can stifle some people’s creativity.
- Micromanagement. ESTJs may become overly controlling at work, especially if they don’t trust other people’s ability to do their jobs right.
Top 10 College Majors for ESTJs
It’s no news that ESTJs like living in alignment with social norms and societal expectations. Unsurprisingly, most of them go to college straight after graduating from high school.
While it’s undeniable that you should always choose a college major based on the career path you dream of pursuing, making this decision can often be harder than expected.
On that note, here are 10 college majors any ESTJ should consider pursuing:
- Business Administration
- Criminal Justice
- Risk Management and Insurance
- Political Science
We hope you found this article and our list of ESTJ careers useful and informative.
Before you go, let’s recap the key points we covered:
- Finance, business, law, and healthcare are among the most suitable careers for ESTJs, as these career paths enable Executives to capitalize on their strengths.
- ESTJs should avoid career paths that lack stability, offer little to no career growth opportunities, or require them to connect with people emotionally, such as social work, art, and data entry.
- At their best, ESTJs make reliable, organized, and decisive employees, but they can also be overly focused on rules, rigid, and controlling.