The Trait Others Envy You For, Based On Your Enneagram Type
March 10, 2021
In a world that moves quickly, reacts swiftly and latches on as instantly as possible to whichever solutions fit the bill, you naturally zoom out to observe the threads that are connecting it all.
Most of us are aware of the pitfalls and benefits of our personality types. We may see ourselves as enthusiastic but flakey. High-achieving but self-critical. Compassionate but conflict-avoidant. The list goes on.
When it comes to the Enneagram of Personality, our strengths and weaknesses often go hand in hand. But the perspective we very often find ourselves lacking is the one that might benefit us most: the strengths that we hold in our blind spots.
Each Enneagram type naturally possesses a skill set that the other eight types lack. These skills are like the air we all breath: necessary, but largely unnoticed. What others envy most about us tends to be the very traits we fail to notice in ourselves. In case you’re wondering what those traits are, here’s the inherent skill set that gives each Enneagram type a natural edge.
Enneagram Type 1
Nobody else can match: Your Crystal Clear Vision
You’re an idealist at heart but a pragmatist by day—a combination the other eight types are wholly unable to mimic.
Your ability to see through to the core of an issue and know exactly what needs to be done to realize its potential is unmatched. The other types can certainly perceive problems, theorize solutions and move competently towards their goals. However, your laser-focus on precisely what’s needed to achieve sustainable outcomes is an intuition that cannot be taught. Your natural precision and attentiveness to detail is a workplace skill most other Enneagram types only dream of possessing.
Career paths to explore: engineering, psychiatry, business, anything with data.
Enneagram Type 2
Nobody else can match: Your Awareness Of Other People’s Needs
For as long as you can remember, you’ve been attuned to the subtlest of movements, expressions and state changes in the people around you. While noticing these minute shifts is a habit that comes as naturally to you as breathing, other types don’t share the same natural inclination. The word ‘fine,’ to some people, truly does only mean ‘fine.’
While you may sometimes wish you could tune out your emotional responsiveness, it serves as a superpower that other types could never come close to embodying. You notice the precise moment in which a colleague, client or boss begins to disapprove of something being said. And the speed with which you can shift the situation back around is nothing short of incredible.
Career paths to explore: social work, counseling, special education, behavioral analysis, anything at Apple.
Enneagram Type 3
Nobody else can match: Your Stamina For Success
Everyone knows you work hard—but not everyone knows how you manage to power through the inhuman number of projects you take on. And if you’re being completely honest, neither do you.
You experience a natural tunnel vision once you set your sights on a goal. The energizer-bunny levels of energy that appear to propel you towards your vision may come naturally to you, but it’s a phenomenon most other types aren’t blessed with. You can achieve to seemingly no end, with little need for rest and replenishment. Your disinclination for overwhelm is a trait that most other types are in awe of. And we all know it gives you a natural leg up in the workplace.
Career paths to explore: CFO, CMO, CTO, CEO... anything starting with "C" and ending in "O," basically.
Enneagram Type 4
Nobody else can match: Your Patience With Pain
You tend to gravitate towards fields that require a deep understanding of the human experience—and achieving that understanding requires a seemingly bottomless sense of patience.
While you’re perfectly comfortable diving into the deep end of what makes people tick, most other types couldn’t imagine coping with the intensities that you encounter. You find solace in the oddities and incongruencies of mankind. While rooting through these inconsistencies may feel las naturally as breathing to you, it requires a sense of patient curiosity that most other types couldn’t possibly mimic. And it makes you a master at the work you do with people.
Career paths to explore: nursing, social work, teaching, working with the elderly.
Enneagram Type 5
Nobody else can match: Your Thirst For Thorough Understanding
As far as the other Enneagram types are concerned, you consume information at the speed of light. And what’s more, you retain what you consume.
While learning may not feel like a superpower to you (after all, you have been doing it for as long as you can remember) it’s a trait that most types can only dream of. The patient and thorough approach you take to processing information is a skill that is surprisingly difficult to teach. Your ‘to-read’ may feel like a never-ending intellectual quest. But keep in mind that it’s a quest many others never get started on. When a topic needs to be understood thoroughly and deeply, it’s always you the other types turn to.
Career paths to explore: chief technology officer, chief learning officer, education or academia, anything at Google.
Enneagram Type 6
Nobody else can match: Your Fast-Paced Thoughts
You’re known for being fiercely loyal to the people and projects you commit to. But what most others don’t pick up on is the rapid-fire processing that’s constantly happening behind the scenes. After all, you do not choose your loyalties blindly!
You make a point to stay hyper-aware of any information that might impact an outcome in the workplace. You question, compare and contrast information at a speed that others simply cannot match. If there’s a problem to be forecasted and avoided, you’re on the case well before it shows up on anyone else’s horizon. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
While your constant behind-the-scenes processing may not seem out of the ordinary to you, you’d be surprised to take a trip into the minds of other types and discover just how little they focus on the wide breadth of stimuli that consumes you. This potential to spread your attention makes you invaluable to any workplace.
Career paths to explore: big data, big money, big law.
Enneagram Type 7
Nobody else can match: Your Ability To Bounce Back
Other types might make light of your optimistic attitude—but when the stakes are high and morale is running low, you’re the exact person everyone wants around.
You’re a natural at perceiving possibilities where possibilities don’t seem to exist. Every failure, every setback, and every challenge looks like a new opportunity for growth to you. While this outlook feels as natural as breathing, it’s a skill most other types simply can’t manage. If you could take a trip inside some of your colleague’s minds, you’d likely be shocked at the lack of endless options they pick up on. When you look at it that way, your tendency to seek them out effortlessly seems like nothing short of a superpower.
Career paths to explore: finance, medicine, social work, teaching.
Enneagram Type 8
Nobody else can match: Your Natural Leadership
You may not technically be in charge in your workplace—but everyone knows you’re unofficially in charge. Your natural ability to take charge of a situation and provide structure where structure does not exist is a skill most other types only dream of. Leadership comes so naturally to you that you often don’t even notice you’re exercising it.
Your protective presence—combined with your decisiveness and directness—are traits you’ve employed for as long as you can remember. More often than not, you don’t even notice the option to back down. This way of existing may just seem like common sense to you, but it looks like a miracle to most of the other types watching.
Career paths to explore: entrepreneurship, nursing management, supply chain operations, school administration.
Enneagram Type 9
Nobody else can match: Your Unending Awareness
You live in a perpetual state of acknowledgment and adaptation—a state that feels seamless to you but impossible to achieve for many other types.
In a world that moves quickly, reacts swiftly and latches on as instantly as possible to whichever solutions fit the bill, you naturally zoom out to observe the threads that are connecting it all. What seems fragmented and unrelated to others looks like a tapestry of interconnection to you. And this ability to stay steadfastly aware is one that most other types can only dream of. While others quickly shift their attention, you train yours firmly and patiently on the bigger picture—a skill that may as well be a personal superpower.
Career paths to explore: climate change and sustainability, social entrepreneurship, genetic counseling.
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