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Enneagram Type 5 Careers

Best jobs for Enneagram Type 5 and career growth advice

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Enneagram Type Fives are at their best when they are working toward a solution to a difficult problem or a new discovery, and when they are presented with the opportunity to learn and share new information. Their dedication to progress and efficiency is an asset, as they can usually be counted on to develop effective new methods and systems that enhance processes. Type Fives do not always respond well to external pressure, but they do excel in roles where they have a high degree of autonomy and intrinsic motivation.


Organizational Culture

What organizational cultures are best suited to Enneagram Type 5 careers?

Type Fives prefer to work in organizations where expectations are clear and their role is well-defined. They thrive on daily routines and a certain amount of structure (dress codes are not a problem), although space to innovate is also important. They prefer the flexibility to set their own schedules, establish their own boundaries, and make decisions independently.

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Type Fives are motivated to achieve direct, measurable results rather than work toward recognition or rewards, unless that reward happens to be a private workspace.

Type Fives do not like to work in busy, crowded environments where interruptions are frequent and where they are expected to engage in spontaneous social interactions or informal discussions. They function best when they have ample time to prepare for meetings and presentations, and when meetings are structured.

Averse to “jumping through hoops,” Type Fives are motivated to achieve direct, measurable results rather than work toward recognition or rewards, unless that reward happens to be a private workspace.

The ideal organizational culture for a Type Five values the unique skills and contributions of its employees and allows a high degree of independence, allowing the five to pursue knowledge and develop skills within a well-defined structure and an environment that is conducive to solitary work.


Teamwork

How do Enneagram Type 5s work by themselves and with others?

Type Fives are found to be particularly industrious when working on topics that pique their interest, when they are encouraged to develop competencies, and when placed in highly structured environments. As long as at least one of these conditions are met, they rarely have any trouble working independently.

Although they are not usually motivated by status or recognition, Type Fives as team members are as eager as anyone else to contribute their best toward group success. On team projects, they perform well when specific tasks and goals are defined.

Independent or team player?

Type Fives love to share their expertise when they feel prepared to do so, but they don't like having their brains picked with spontaneous questions.

Fives excel when it comes to not only proposing but thoroughly thinking through innovative ideas, however, they may need some extra encouragement to share these ideas during group discussions. Teams that engage in a lot of collaborative brainstorming sessions or require the Type Five to give impromptu presentations will be avoided. Type Fives love to share their expertise when they feel prepared to do so, but they don't like having their brains picked with spontaneous questions. They prefer to work behind the scenes.


Managerial Style

How Type 5s are best managed and how they manage others

Managing a Type 5

Type Fives value clear, direct communication. They prefer managers who let them know exactly what is expected, as well as when there is room to improvise. They perform the best in roles where they can expand and utilize their own areas of expertise and particular interests, so it can be worth a manager's while to take some time getting to know what these are. Type Five employees often lack confidence in their abilities, but a little encouragement can go a long way. Beyond that, a hands-off style of leadership is best for this personality type.

However, Type Fives will be difficult to manage if they are in the wrong role, because they are unlikely to change their outlook and they will also find it difficult to admit when they are wrong.

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Type Five employees often lack confidence in their abilities, but a little encouragement can go a long way.

A Type 5 manager

Most Type Fives avoid situations where they hold responsibility for others, but the exceptions who thrive in leadership roles are not uncommon. As managers, Type Fives value employees who are invested in learning and able to work independently.

These managers are not the type to bounce ideas off others, so the decisions they announce may seem abrupt. You can be certain that a lot of thought has gone into everything your Type Five manager says, but if you want to know how they arrived at a decision you may need to ask.

Data: Most Popular Enneagram Type 5 Career Sector

Which job sector are Enneagram Type 5s most and least likely to be in?

Figure 1: Most popular employment sector for Enneagram Type 5

Results from our self-report survey on career choices for Type 5s. By surveying Type 5s 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 5s 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 5s in sectors such as 'Technology - Software', 'Government/Public Sector', and 'Automotive/Aerospace' for example. There is a lower than average proportion of Type 5s in sectors such as 'Manufacturing', 'Pharmaceutical', 'Chemicals', and 'Professional Services' for example.

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

Recommended Careers for Type 5

What are the happiest jobs for an Enneagram Type 5?

So far we've broken down the structures and environments that suit Type Fives, but you may be thinking 'what kind of job should the Enneagram Type 5 do?'. There are certain careers that are better suited to the traits and behaviors of Type 5s. Here we will list the best and the worst careers for Type Fives.

Top 10 Enneagram Type 5 careers

Careers to seek
  • Scientist
  • Investigator
  • Engineer
  • Author/Poet
  • System Analyst
  • Artist
  • Psychologist
  • Data Analyst
  • Librarian
  • Professor

10 worst Enneagram Type 5 careers

Careers to avoid
  • Marketing Director
  • Salesperson
  • Personal/Admin Assistant
  • Athlete
  • Fashion Designer
  • Vehicle Driver
  • Bookkeeper
  • Therapist
  • Politician
  • Actor

 

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Note: These Enneagram Type 5 career role recommendations are based on what is the best fit for a Type Five in theory. However, this does not mean that a career as an athlete would not work. There are many individual and environmental factors that will

 


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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.