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Enneagram Type 8 Careers

Best jobs for Enneagram Type 8 and career growth advice

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Type 8s like to make an impact; they like to do things their own way, and they like to be in charge. They usually excel in fast-paced and competitive work environments, and they are often stimulated rather than drained by situations that many others would find stressful. They are apt to make quick, independent decisions. Patience with others is something they might struggle with. Clear communication and mutual respect among colleagues are both high on their list. They may not be particularly chatty, but co-workers will always know where they stand with their Type Eight manager or teammate.

  • Organizational Culture
  • Teamwork
  • Managerial Style
  • Recommended Careers for Type 8

Organizational Culture

What organizational cultures are best suited to Enneagram Type 8 careers?

Type Eights thrive in organizations where meetings are brief and infrequent, frank communication is encouraged, challenges are embraced, and results are measured and celebrated. They are attracted to companies that adhere to clearly stated missions and recognize the contributions of top performers. When Type Eights are starting out at a lower level, a clear path for advancement is beneficial.

Type Eights prefer to align themselves with organizations that are making a difference in the world by introducing innovative products, pioneering bold new ways of doing things, significantly outperforming the competition, or creating opportunities or safe havens for victimized people. They are not at often derailed by disruption and large-scale change initiatives; in fact, they are often the instigators.

dim lightbulb

Type Eights thrive in organizations where meetings are brief and infrequent, frank communication is encouraged, challenges are embraced, and results are measured and celebrated.

Type Eights are not often found in organizations that are burdened in lengthy bureaucratic processes. It's important that people who hold authority are clearly established and respected, so organizations where consensus-driven decision-making and role swapping practices will be avoided.


Teamwork

How to work with an Enneagram Type 8?

Type Eights prefer to work independently or to fill leadership roles. Comfortable taking full responsibility for the results of their work, they appreciate being allowed to set their own goals and devise their own methods. When working alone, they can be counted upon to keep their motivation strong as long as they are able to see immediate results. In the absence of competition with others, they will often set their own challenges to conquer. This may result in making tasks more difficult than they need to be, but a Type Eight employee will always deliver what is expected.

Autonomous?

Comfortable taking full responsibility for the results of their work, they appreciate being allowed to set their own goals and devise their own methods.

As part of a team, Type Eights are not shy about offering their own suggestions and opinions. When they do, they expect to be heard and respected. They’re not afraid to assume responsibility and their confidence is often contagious. They are at times impatient with group processes and long discussions, preferring to get the ball rolling. They may have difficulty accepting criticism.


Managerial Style

How Type 8s are best managed and how they manage others

Managing a Type 8

Challengers are most productive under managers who respect their capabilities and intelligence, which is often grounded in real-world experiences or based on inspiration and intuition.

How to motivate an Enneagram Type 8

Criticism can be difficult for them to take. They may need some time to absorb constructive feedback, which should always be delivered directly and face-to-face. Though there may be an initial emotional reaction, Type Eights sincerely do wish to contribute their best and will take suggestions to heart. As they value trust and honest communication, to find out later that a manager has withheld constructive feedback can be more devastating than to have had it out in the open straight away.

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Type Eights may need time to absorb constructive feedback, which should always be delivered directly and face-to-face.

A Type 8 manager

Type Eights are most comfortable in positions of authority. They exude and usually inspire confidence that supports high productivity. Their aversion to micromanagement goes both ways; they dislike having to closely direct or monitor the activities of others as much as they dislike having their own performance scrutinized. They may have difficulty entrusting others with responsibilities and letting go of control. It helps when they can see themselves as mentors to subordinates and when they can understand that mistakes will be made.

How to work with an Enneagram Type 8?

Employees can earn the respect of Type Eight managers by demonstrating dedication, taking decisive action, and striving to working independently. As executives and directors, Type Eights confidently embrace innovation and risks that have the potential for big rewards.

Data: Most Popular Enneagram Type 8 Career Sector

Which job sector are Enneagram Type 8s most and least likely to be in?

Figure 1: Most popular employment sector for Enneagram Type 8

Results from our self-report survey on career choices for Type 8s. By surveying Type 8s 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 Enneagram Type 8 career sector 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 8s in sectors such as 'Technology - Software', 'Construction/Engineering', 'Education', and 'Automotive/Aerospace' for example. There is a lower than average proportion of Type 8s in sectors such as 'Advertising/Marketing', 'Retail', and 'Hospitality/Leisure' for example.

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

Recommended Careers for Type 8

What jobs are good for an Enneagram Type 8?

So far we've broken down the structures and environments that suit Type Eights, but you may be thinking 'what kind of job should the Enneagram Type 8 do?'. Well, there are certain careers that are better suited to the traits and behaviors of Type 8s. Here we will list the best and the worst careers for Type Eights.

Top 10 Enneagram Type 8 careers

Careers to seek
  • Business Owner
  • Corporate Executive
  • Financial Advisor
  • Athletic Coach
  • Personal Trainer
  • Police Officer
  • Firefighter
  • Marketing Director
  • Sales Manager
  • School Principal

10 worst Enneagram Type 8 careers

Careers to avoid
  • Personal or Admin Assistant
  • Delivery Driver
  • Driver
  • Housekeeper
  • Bookkeeper
  • Restaurant Waitstaff
  • Retail Salesclerk
  • Helpdesk Technician
  • Computer Programmer
  • Librarian

 

letter i in grey circle for information point

Note: These career role recommendations are based on what is the best fit for a Type Eight. However, this does not mean that a career in the private sector working as a computer programmer 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.