Enneagram Assessment and Career

by | Mar 31, 2022 | Video

Enneagram. Core Fears, Motivations and Desires often show up in work. Getting clear about these elements can give you valuable insights about what you need next in a role.


Hello, we’re back again with work your best life. It is an unfiltered conversation about when work isn’t working. And today we are going to discuss the ever-exciting Enneagram assessment and how it is affected or related to career.

This is one of my favorites and probably one of the most misunderstood. I am an Enneagram one. Mm-hmm <affirmative> what are you Heather?

I’m an Enneagram two. Awesome. Always here to help <laugh> yes. So, we are not Enneagram experts, but we, we are is Enneagram connoisseurs.

 We love to use this assessment with all of our clients and believe that it can bring some really valuable information to you as you are navigating your own career choices or career change.

Yeah. It’s definitely a part of that getting clear and understanding yourself. I think it’s one of the ones that we do early on to really help understand the foundation and who you are at the core, because I know they say that Enneagram, I mean, they/you, know “it” as early as five, six years old.

They say it doesn’t oftentimes change. I have heard some people say that it does in their life, and I do think during trauma and other areas that different assessments can change.

So, I wouldn’t say you’re stuck with it forever, but anyway, so I even find it fascinating in life just to make sure I know what the family is.

Yeah. So, the number one question here, why Enneagram, why would you use any Enneagram when you’re exploring your career? Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah.

What I find most beneficial, you tell me if it’s the same for you, is just understanding those core fears, motivations, desires, and it gets to that pretty succinctly and quickly.

And so many times people will read it and either say that it nailed exactly what they were feeling. If they don’t, oftentimes they come back to it and understand that subconsciously it was accurate.

They just weren’t aware they weren’t being self-aware in terms of what the assessment talked about. So, I rarely find a client that says they see no value in it.

Agree. It’s so important to understand those motivations and fears, because it will show up in your job. Mm-hmm <affirmative> in your job when you’re going through conflict.

Yeah. Whether it’s with liking your role or with a boss or a supervisor. So being able to have a language for what fear or motivation is, or is not showing up for you.

<affirmative>. Yeah. And I also think it can be really crucial as you’re going through the change process because to take action requires motivation.

Often your fears are pinged. So being able to understand what those are and navigate them is, is really key. Yeah.

Also, and it helps you understand what you are really desiring and what you’re going towards. So many times we’ve blocked that, or we’ve become so narrow focused in the job that we currently have.

That’s where the struck comes from. It’s all we can see, we can’t see how we could use these skills, any place else.

And so, I think when we’re all locked up like that to get back to, oh, this is my core desire.

And in which careers could I get that? Could I act that out, is so helpful. Yes. Yeah. <affirmative> so tell me, you’re an Enneagram two, which is one of the popular numbers.

Oh, what shows up for you as a fear or a motivation that you could shed some light and give some examples here, as it relates to career?

Well, for me, I just, I’m, always fearful of not being enough or helping enough, so my fear is really in, am I doing enough for myself and/or others to be worthy and to know that is really helpful.

I say that stuff all the time, even in my family life, I’m like, oh gosh, I’m sure I’m being needy right now.

Uh, you don’t need my help. I’ll back off, but to know the natural tendency so that I can then adjust it based on the people I’m dealing with, whether it’s at work or with a client or with my family has been really helpful just to understand that, oh, this is me needing again, when I need to feel useful when I can actually be useful to myself, not just to other people, but that’s the hard part to remember.

Yeah. What about you as a one?  Enneagram one- the perfectionist <laugh> the core desire is to be good. When I was going through my own career change, there was a of feelings that popped up for me over, was the change I was making good mm-hmm <affirmative> for other people.

Was it the right choice? Was I doing the right thing? Yeah. And that blocked me for some time. Yeah. So understanding that was really a key, pivotal moment to understanding, oh, there is not a good one/right answer. And it understanding and knocking that block down was the key to moving forward. Yeah, no, I definitely have a lot of clients that have, that need that validation for, is this the best or the right choice?

And, part of what we talk through is, I’m not sure you won’t ever know that, but is it the next best choice to where you are going to get to live out being who you really are, and also being valuable within, within an organization?

So, I love that you talked about it through your career change. I know when I was changing career, it was about self-identity.

And because I had only been in advertising- this one field- for so many years and I felt I had created a really great reputation doing that.

And so, I thought when I leave there, am I ever going to get to be good enough at the next thing?

And so that self-identity crisis was really fearful for me. Just understanding if I’m not known as a good advertising person, what will I be known as?

And I think that had to do a lot with my Enneagram 2, for sure. I could see that I could see that there are nine Enneagram numbers.

Everyone has one main number and then a second that’s a wing. Yeah. So me being an Enneagram one, your wing is either side of you.

So it would be a nine or a two mm-hmm <affirmative>.  My wing is a two, which is one of the ways that Heather, you and I connect.

And I think those things are really important to understand too, because I’ve been in workplaces where I quote don’t get along or get along better within a teammate mm-hmm <affirmative>.

And oftentimes it’s because we’re speaking the same language. Yeah. So it’s not the that I could not have a wonderful relationship with someone it’s just that on a very easy and first natural basis, we are, you and I are going after some of the same things.

So it would be a natural connection. So those are some of the other ways as we’re getting into the workforce and trying to mm-hmm <affirmative>, create careers that we want, that we can show up and do that for ourselves.

Yeah. I think it would be really important to know at some point, the people that you work with one on one, especially a supervisor type role, so that you can understand where you can connect and share that same communicative language.

And it could be that you’re on the totally opposite spectrum again, that’s okay. But knowing it and knowing how you can relate, knowing what they need from you and what you need from them and being vocal about it and, and stating what you need and want in an everyday relationship because of who you are, is another key to loving what you do.

I think, yes. One thing that I caution clients against as they’re looking at their Enneagram is that while the answers and that core motivation and core fear are true, it’s not the magic answer or going to prevent you from getting work.

So one number that comes up a lot with clients, who have been struggling to make a change in, in their career and want support is they could be an Enneagram six, which naturally needs a lot of support to make change.

Yeah. And if you look at the Enneagram and say, oh, I struggle making change-  means I can’t do it. Then you’re self-imposing kind of that unhealthy side of the six.

Yeah. Every number has a way that it shows up when you’re healthy in a way that shows up when you’re unhealthy.

Yeah. And it’s more about knowing yourselves that you can navigate and work with the information yeah. Than anything that’s going to prevent you or make you.

I know as six is if you are confident, even if it’s only in one or a couple areas, focusing on that and talking up that particular area can really get you back to the good place of being a six instead of the questioning part of being a six.

So there’s always something that you can glean from it that will help you progress it’s you oftentimes want to see, well, you don’t want to, but our brain naturally sees the negative or the area, of “bad” that we want to focus on.

And it’s really about flipping that switch and understanding how can we use it for action and progress and moving forward.

Yes.  So anyone can take the Enneagram assessment. There are a lot of free variations of the Enneagram assessment.

The main one is Enneagram institute.com. You can go there. There’s a lot of resources online as well for folks who want to dig in and understand what this looks like in real life.

Also on most social media platforms, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, there are lots of people who cover Enneagram and show examples of how each number looks from the outside so that you can also get to know yourself better.

Yeah. And I wrote it down I’ll, we’ll put in the show notes – the link to take it. And yeah, I’ve found that just Googling Enneagram type two, you get a plethora of information and just kind of weeding through and figuring out which pieces of it you’re needing at the moment, whether it’s relationship, job, all of it together is really helpful.

But as you and I were talking about out earlier, Hollis, I know that oftentimes if you’re struggling at work and/ or in relationship or personal or what, you will notice a pattern by looking at your Enneagram of what’s really at the root of and causing conflict or frustration or being miserable, whatever it is that you can really find some answers there.

Yes. I agree. If you’re willing, I would love to know everyone’s Enneagram number when they take the assessment and let us know.

And we’d love to share some tips and insights about it as well. Yeah. Happy to hear, happy to be here, to talk about it for sure.

Awesome. All right. Until next time. See you next time. Bye.