Bad Career Choices and the Enneagram
As stated in my earlier entry about the Myers-Briggs Type indicator and career choices, your personality is an important component to consider when choosing a career path.
Could it be that what you do for a living is just wrong for your personality type? Let’s find out! At the very least, you’ll figure out what field NOT to ever explore. If your type corresponds to one of the careers listed below, you might want to look for another line of work!
The first step is to find out what your primary enneagram type is. Go here to do this. If you already know your type, you can skip this step.
If you are truly a 1, you are more likely than any other type NOT to understand The Great Office Escape. What are you doing on my website anyway? You need job security! The 9-to-5 world is actually built for 1’s, so I don’t need to give you much help. But, I’ll do it anyway. Since you are great with details, fixing mistakes, getting to the bottom of what is wrong, you are suited to jobs that allow for these kinds of tasks. But anything open-ended where there is too much need for creativity and improvisation wouldn’t be as good. You like having guidelines and clarity. In fact, uou wouldn’t know what to do with yourself without them. (Admit it, it’s true!) Therefore you should avoid the following occupations:
Careers for 1’s to Avoid
- Public Speaker
- Radio Host
- Writer (unless you are a technical writer)
2’s need to love and be loved in the workplace. They want to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. Therefore, as a 2, you would hate doing something which might hurt someone else, like perhaps being a police officer. You’d also be unhappy working for a big, faceless corporation that was harming the environment. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy career! As a 2, you should do something where you can make others feel good, and you can see the results of your efforts. Don’t do the opposite. Avoid these occupations like the plague:
Careers for 2’s to Avoid
- Law Enforcement (You would feel bad about having to hurt someone)
- Tax Collector
- Collections Agent
- Prison Guard
- Prosecuting Attorney
As a 3, you like to know that you are getting somewhere with your life. Stagnation is your enemy, and so is feeling like nobody can see your progress. Part of the fun of success for a 3 is knowing that others are just a bit envious of your life. The world is your stage. And no actor wants to give their best performance to an empty theater. People are very important to you, so make sure that you head in a direction that gives you the ability to work with others, and especially allows you some degree of recognition.
Careers for 3’s to Avoid
- Humble Office Clerk (Any office job where you aren’t at or near the top)
- Computer Technician
- Factory Worker
- Technical Writer
- Lighthouse Operator (Ok, so this is WAY out there!)
This type has it tough. The working world isn’t the easiest place for a 4. A 4 can have a lot of trouble finding the right career, because they tend to be idealists and dreamers. They can find some sort of fault with almost any career path unless it is perfectly aligned to their ideals. Let’s face it; you’d hardly be happy working in an environment filled with abrasive or shallow** people doing work that is only for the money and isn’t personally fulfilling to you. I’ll bet a lot of 4’s love this website!
Careers for 4’s to Avoid
- Stock Market Trader
- Accountant/Financial Advisor
- Mid-level Manager (almost any occupation)
- Police Officer
- Military Cadet
- Construction Worker
**In no way am I implying that everybody these professions is abrasive or shallow!
The most introverted of all the types, you probably are not going to be happy if you have to deal with a constant bombardment of people. In general, you have a certain kind of disdain for the public, crowds, and excessive noise. It would be wise to avoid these things on the job if you can get away with it. Also, you need mental stimulation and a sense that you are accomplishing something worthwhile in your profession. 5’s love to blaze trails of discovery within a field of focus. They do not like to be in boring, stale environments with little room for growth. Avoid these occupations, dear 5’s!
Careers for 5’s to Avoid
- Salesperson (5’s are NOT persuaders)
- Retail Sales Clerk
- Delivery or Bus Driver
- Professional Athlete
- Fashion Designer
Of all the types, 6’s may have the easiest time finding a job that fits. This is because a 6 needs to feel secure in their field and generally makes a great long-term employee. As a 6, you might rather know where your next paycheck is coming from than find the “perfect” fit. It’s a tough world out there and many people have difficulty making ends meet. You don’t want to be one of the “dreaded” unemployed. You also like working for a company that has a good group of people where you can fit in and attain a sense of belonging. Any job without any sense of camaraderie and security is likely to frustrate you.
Careers for 6’s to Avoid
- Small business owner (too much autonomy for your type)
- Investment Banker
- Pilot (Too solitary)
- Freelance Designer (or anything freelance, really)
Probably the type that this website would appeal to the most, 7’s need to be constantly stimulated, excited, or have some sort of ongoing adventure they are passionate about. 7’s have a deep need for fun, and this comes before almost anything else. Because of this, you probably have had a difficult time finding the right profession and have jumped around quite a bit. 7’s like to experience all life has to offer, and they will wear many hats in the process. They hate confinement and feeling like they are missing out on life. Therefore, as a 7, you should avoid these awful traps… I mean jobs:
Careers for 7’s to Avoid
- Office Clerk, Secretary, Administrative Assistant, manager, or anything else office-like
- Lawyer (Too much detail/too much work)
- Doctor (You’ll never make it through Med-school)
- Customer Service Rep.
- Debt Counselor
- Librarian (You’ll want to tear out your hair)
Nobody can tell you what to do! 8’s hate being controlled, and they hate being beneath anybody. You probably are a leader in more ways than one, and for you to be truly content, you must have some professional influence. My idea of an 8 in hell would be one who went their whole life without making a difference in the world. You have a big heart and truly care about your cause. You also believe that your way is best and will go out of your way to make sure that others don’t impede your progress. After all, what do they know?
Careers for 8’s to Avoid
- Low-level office clerk
- Retail sales clerk (little room for advancement)
- Delivery Driver
- Inventory Checker
- Food Busser/Cleaner
- Insurance Agent (a dead end for this type)
You are very laid back about work, and as such, prefer a slow-paced environment where you can dress as you like (and maybe even come and go as you like!) It’s important for you to avoid places where there are too many pointless rules and too many harsh people. Unfortunately, this is common in the working world. Deep down, most 9’s would rather not work at all. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but unfortunately the rest of the world doesn’t seem to agree. If you can find a way out of the 9-to-5 life, you’ll be happier.
Careers for 9’s to Avoid
- Investment Banker
- Police Officer/Government Agent
- Mid-level Manager at a large company
- Administrative Assistant/Secretary
- Short-order Cook
- Construction Foreman
To learn more check out my other article: Career Choices for Enneagram Types
How to Find Legitimate Telecommuting JobsMarch 31st, 2010
Getting Fired is GoodAugust 18th, 2008
Applying to the Wrong JobMay 9th, 2008
Job Comparisons: Before and AfterMarch 4th, 2008
When No Job FitsDecember 13th, 2007