Chances are, you’ve heard of Myers-Briggs, or at least know whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert and how your identity affects your work. The Enneagram test is used quite often in corporate settings to understand how individual members of teams work together. If you haven’t discovered your Enneagram Type yet, you can take a free test here. If you already know your type, keep reading to learn more about how your specific type can help you in your career.
Type one: The Reformer
Who doesn’t want a detail-oriented person on their team? Type ones work hard, are responsible, and set high standards for themselves and their coworkers. If you know your employee handbook from front to back, you might be a one. You want to do things the right way.
Opportunities: Ones have an incredible work ethic and strive to do their job well above all else. This means they are committed to quality work from themselves and others and will consistently find the right process to solve a problem or run a project.
Challenges: With perfectionism comes a tendency to criticize. Ones need to be careful of criticizing themselves and others in the office to avoid anger, miscommunication, and conflict. If you’re a one, remember that it’s alright to step outside the rule book and experiment with new ways of doing things.
Type two: The Helper
Type twos are optimistic, empathetic, and interpersonal. Not only do they communicate well, but they also read people well, often anticipating others’ needs and feelings before they express them.
Opportunities: Twos make great managers because they know how to make people feel valued. They sincerely want to make a positive impact and support their team members in compassionate and generous ways.
Challenges: If you’re a two, you know that it can be challenging to set personal boundaries, especially when you love helping others. Set healthy boundaries in the workplace so that you can practice self-care and get your personal tasks done. Reach out to other types that can hold you accountable when you start trying to “do it all.”
Type three: The Achiever
Productivity, personality, and passion—these are three tropes of type threes. If you’re a three, you’re easily motivated and accomplish quick, actionable results.
Opportunities: Threes know their audience well and naturally have enthusiasm for their work. If you’re a three, you might do well in marketing or a related, fast-paced, creative field.
Challenges: The energy that threes bring to the table is infectious but risky. If you’re a three, you should watch out for burnout and burning bridges. Threes have a tendency to get a bit aggressive and impatient when they have a task or goal on their minds. Tap into your inner emotions and be sensitive to them and the people around you.
Type four: The Individualist
Type fours want to express themselves in every aspect of their work. One of the more sensitive types, fours pride themselves on authenticity, meaningful connections, and the overall aesthetics of their work.
Opportunities: This sensitivity allows fours to utilize their emotional intelligence and intuition to uncover the hidden potential in themselves and their coworkers. They are natural problem-solvers and put their hearts into everything they do.
Challenges: Because fours thrive on creativity and emotional connection, it can be difficult for them to enjoy mundane tasks. Fours also struggle with realistic expectations and taking things too personally. When you leave your expectations at the door, you may find that you experience more emotional freedom.
Type five: The Investigator
If you read investigator and immediately thought of Sherlock Holmes or another famous detective, you’re not that off-base. Type fives’ lives are ruled by strategy and the desire to accumulate knowledge.
Opportunities: While fives enjoy becoming experts in all areas of their lives, they value hearing where they can improve and how they can do things more efficiently. They are open to others’ opinions despite their need for autonomy.
Challenges: Because fives dwell in the cold world of facts and data, they can struggle to communicate on a human level. Be aware that your independence can make others feel isolated, and try not to avoid tasks that you feel underqualified for.
Type six: The Loyalist
Type sixes’ key trait is in the name—loyalty. Sixes are committed to their teams and are dependable when it comes to problem-solving and achieving goals.
Opportunities: Loyalists use their knowledge of their environment to create safety, structure, and risk-free situations. Their attentiveness to the world around them allows them to spot problems and challenges early on in projects.
Challenges: Sixes need to be careful about letting their overly cautious nature lead to suspicion or doubt of themselves and their coworkers. If you’re a six, use your loyal nature to err on the positive side and try not to discourage change just because it’s uncertain. Practice processing through your fears and anxieties to make decisions that affect positive change in the workplace.
Type seven: The Enthusiast
Type sevens are the people we all want to be—they think on their feet, they adapt well to change, and they are positively optimistic. For every challenge, they see an opportunity. For every project, they see a world of possibilities.
Opportunities: If you’re a seven, you’re okay improvising when you’re not sure how to do something. You bring a great attitude to every team, and you thrive in fast-paced environments because you always have a new idea and see the best in every person.
Challenges: Sevens are “yes” people and often get carried away with all of the ideas they want to see to fruition. Be aware of the limitations that come with working on too many projects and focus on the present, concrete tasks. Remember to breathe, slow down, and think through ideas in a logical, realistic way to make sure they benefit everyone on your team.
Type eight: The Challenger
Don’t be fooled by the name The Challenger. Challenging others can be a good thing. Types eights are natural leaders who know how to motivate their team to get things done. They will always stand up for what and who they believe in and are fearless in the workplace.
Opportunities: Eights are not afraid of a challenge. They often confront challenges to pave the way for their team members and will always protect the underdog on their team. Challengers are direct communicators, always speaking what’s on their mind.
Challenges: Eights need to be aware of their less vocal, less aggressive counterparts. It’s easy for eights to be forceful and create unnecessary conflict when they’re passionate about certain topics. Embrace your vulnerable side and let others in.
Type nine: The Peacemaker
Type nines naturally create harmonious environments for people to succeed in. They’re balanced, supportive, and diplomatic.
Opportunities: Peacemakers mediate conflict well and support their coworkers with a friendly approach that makes everyone feel included.
Challenges: Nines need to focus on sticking up for themselves. Because they’re used to resolving conflicts, it can be difficult for nines to navigate confrontation and the guilt that comes with it. If you’re a nine, make sure to only say “yes” when you want to and be careful of sacrificing your own work for the sake of your team.