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Enneagram Type 3 Careers

Best jobs for Enneagram Type 3 and career growth advice

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Enneagram Type 3s lend themselves to being extremely hard-working employees. Their high levels of diligence, goal achieving mentality, and inherent industriousness, makes them desirable for employers who want lots of work completed. However, Type 3 output is often more focused on quantity than quality, and this may reflect the type of career that the Type 3s will often pursue. Equally, Type 3s aim high within employment, and the employer must recognize that if they don't offer a path of achievement for their Type 3 employee, then they will likely leave to pursue something else. Remember, not all roles/careers will be the right fit for a Type 3 personality type. Here we outline the best careers paths for Type 3s by breaking it down into crucial factors in a working environment.

  • Organizational Culture
  • Teamwork
  • Managerial Style
  • Recommended Careers for Type 3

Organizational Culture

What organizational cultures are best suited to Enneagram Type 3 careers?

Type Threes work well in an organizational culture that allows for individual excellence and achievement. Threes hard work and consistently in completing goals that will earn them acclaim as well as recognition as an achiever. They are also very competitive so any culture that allows for a competitive atmosphere against colleagues as well as competitors, will be very stimulating and energising for a Type Three. They also thrive from positive feedback, as Types Threes strive for attention, and they will love a culture that encourages individual reward behavior. The Type Three's achievement nature means that the organizational culture that best suits them is one of competition and recognizable achievements – such as sales or trading.

dim lightbulb

Enneagram Type 3s thrive from positive feedback about their work and achievements, and a culture that encourages this behavior will be ideal.

Type Threes can work in both a formal organizational culture and informal one. However, in an informal environment, the work has to have clearly set goals that can be achieved – preferably through hard work alone, and work that is more about quantity rather than quality, more ‘how much’ rather than ‘how’. Type Threes will likely not be bothered by sleaze or recklessness in an informal culture, as long as it breeds strong results. Threes will likely enjoy a culture that is dog-eat-eat or all out for yourself as this embraces their inner competitive nature.

Overall, Type Threes will want to look for career paths that take them to individual achieving and competitive work environments where they are continually praised for their efforts and for completing their goals.


How do Enneagram Type 3s work by themselves and with others?

Type Threes are often very desirable employees for self-motivated work and when given tasks to accomplish independently. They are very diligent and have a strong work ethic that will enable them to produce work with a high level of output. However, Type Threes work less well in groups. Their highly competitive nature often makes them battle with other team members, looking for an opportunity to show off, rather than work cooperatively. In group situations, they can't rely on praise from others to bolster their proclivity towards earning recognition for their individual accomplishments and as such their motivation is hampered.

Competition as a motivator

Their highly competitive nature often makes them battle with other team members, looking for an opportunity to show off, rather than work cooperatively.

Another important metric is the task itself. Again, Type Threes are more motivated by work that is measured and competitive – in other words, work that enables them to showcase their success. Type Threes should work well in a team if they are allowed to receive individual credit in some fashion but are likely to struggle if there is no mechanism for recognition.

Managerial Style

How Type 3s are best managed and how they manage others

Managing a Type 3

Type Threes can work under both transformational and transactional management, but the metrics of these styles may either help or hinder their receptibility. The potential for excellent and individual achievement is ultimately what the Type Three is looking for and if their manager can inspire this, then it will work well. But, how do you motivate an enneagram type 3? If a transformational manager asks and expects greatness and goals to be exceeded from their Type Three employee, this will be highly motivating – but only if they are recognized and praised as reward. Equally, a transactional manager will work if there is reward and incentive for the Type Three employee on completion of work.

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Type Threes will likely struggle with environments that result in low level rewards and no meaningful progression.

A Type 3 manager

A Type Three manager will be exceedingly challenging and competitive with their team members. They will likely expect excellence and be unforgiving if their goals are not adequately met. Nevertheless, a Type Three manager will not rule from behind, but from the front, charging into the project and aiming to do the most work of everyone. If successful, this can be an effective strategy as a manager for the team will likely be inspired by their hard work, diligence and work output. However, it might be overbearing or relentless, and some employees may find it too stressful. There may be a high turnover of staff under a Type Three manager.

Data: Most Popular Enneagram Type 3 Career Sector

What is a good career path for Enneagram Type 3?

Figure 1: Most popular employment sector for Enneagram Type 3

Results from our self-report survey on career choices for Type 3s. By surveying Type 3s in existing jobs we gain a suggestion of which careers this type is most suited to.

career choices

What this chart shows

The most popular career sector for Type 3s from our survey was 'Finance - Other'. When we compare this to how all types responded, we see there is a higher than average proportion of Type 3s in sectors such as 'Finance - Other', 'Construction/Engineering', and 'Government/Public Sector' for example. There is a lower than average proportion of Type 3s in sectors such as 'Technology - Software', 'Advertising/Marketing', 'Finance - Retail Banking', and 'Entertainment/Media/Publishing' for example.

  • 1. n=27985
  • 2. Population: all
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:

Recommended Careers for Type 3

What jobs are good for an Enneagram Type 3?

So far we've broken down the structures and environments that suit Type Threes, but you may be thinking 'what kind of job should the Enneagram Type 3 do?'. Well, there are certain careers that are better suited to the traits and behaviors of Type 3s. Here we will list the best and the worst careers for Type Threes.

Top 10 Enneagram Type 3 careers

Careers to seek
  • Sales
  • Trader
  • Entrepreneur
  • Professional athlete
  • Politician
  • Lawyer
  • Marketing
  • Acting
  • Journalist
  • Web developer

10 worst Enneagram Type 3 careers

Careers to avoid
  • Nurse
  • Social worker
  • Writer
  • Human resources manager
  • Construction
  • Actuary
  • Engineer
  • Security
  • Electrician
  • Accountant


letter i in grey circle for information point

Note: These career role recommendations are based on what is the best fit for a Type Three. However, this does not mean that a career in the third sector working as a social worker would not work for you. That will depend on the managerial style, other team members and the company values.


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Chloe Yarwood, MSc

University of Chichester, Advanced Applied Psychology

Chloe Yarwood, MSc in Advanced Applied Psychology from University of Chichester. Specialist in personality type theory and developing valid personality questionnaires.