Wondering about what types of careers are best for you, based on your Enneagram test results? If you're a Type 6, these are the best Enneagram type 6 careers (and the worst!).
What is an Enneagram personality type?
First things first, Enneagram tests are similar to the classic Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test. Essentially, an Enneagram helps you find the specific traits that make up your personality type.
According to the Enneagram Institute, there are nine Enneagram types and “it is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself." The one that stands out is "your basic personality type.”
The nine Enneagram types include the following:
- The Reformer — the rational and idealistic type
- The Helper — the caring and interpersonal type
- The Achiever (sometimes referred to as the Motivator) — the success-oriented and pragmatic type
- The Individualist (sometimes referred to as the Artist) — the sensitive and withdrawn type
- The Investigator (sometimes referred to as the Thinker) — the intense and cerebral type
- The Loyalist (sometimes referred to as the Skeptic) — the committed and security-oriented type
- The Enthusiast (sometimes referred to as the Generalist) — the extroverted and spontaneous type
- The Challenger (sometimes referred to as the Leader) — the powerful and dominating type
- The Peacemaker — the easygoing and self-effacing type
That said, you can also have a wing type. "Usually one has characteristics of one of the types that lie adjacent to one's own that are more prominent — this is called the wing," according to Electric Energies. "So someone who is a type 5, might have a 4 wing or a 6 wing. This may be abbreviated to '5w4' and '5w6.' If one doesn't have a dominant wing, it is said that the wings are balanced."
What is the Enneagram type 6 personality?
Type 6, the loyalist, is "the committed, security-oriented type," according to the Enneagram Institute. "Sixes are reliable, hard-working, responsible and trustworthy. Excellent 'troubleshooters,' they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive and anxious — running on stress while complaining about it. They can be cautious and indecisive, but also reactive, defiant and rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and suspicion. At their Best: internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others."
Here’s what you should know about an Enneagram type 6 personality in a nutshell:
- Their basic fears include being without support or guidance.
- Their basic desires include having security and support.
- Their key motivations are to have security and feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance, and to test the attitudes of others towards them. They want to fight their anxiety and insecurity, though it does indeed affect them.
Some classic examples of type 6 personalities include Mark Twain, George H.W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Bruce Springsteen, Mel Gibson, Eminem, Marilyn Monroe, Mark Wahlberg, Woody Allen, Sally Field and more.
Type 6 personalities are dubbed loyalists because, of all the personality types, they are the most loyal to their friends, their beliefs, their ideas and systems, according to the Enneagram Institute. “They will ‘go down with the shop’ an hang on to relationships of all kinds longer than most other types.”
What are the characteristics of a type 6?
Here are some characteristics of a type 6 personality.
Type 6 personalities are very reliable and dependent. You can almost always count on them to be there for you and/or get the job done — and efficiently so.
"The reason sixes are so loyal to others is that they do not want to be abandoned and left without support — their basic fear," according to the Enneagram Institute. "Thus, the central issue for type 6 is a failure of self-confidence. Sixes come to believe that they do not possess the internal resources to handle life’s challenges and vagaries alone, and so increasingly rely on structures, allies, beliefs and supports outside themselves for guidance to survive. If suitable structures do not exist, they will help create and maintain them."
Part of why type 6 personalities are so reliable is because they're so hardworking. They focus their energy and pour their time into their work, but they also are super systematic so they know how to expend their energy and use their time wisely and efficiently.
Type 6 personalities are known for being well-trusted people. They have a strong sense of commitment, which means that they're committed to their work, the people with whom they surround themselves and their passions.
What are the best careers for type 6 personalities?
There are tons of jobs in which the investigator type would excel. But here are seven to get you started.
Type 6 personalities value knowledge, are creative and are devoted to helping others. For that reason, they make ideal teachers. After all, they're known as the loyal type dedicated to supporting others. They also value security, so they tend to be invested in the secure futures of their students.
Because type 6 personalities are so loyal, they make excellent and reliable caretakers. Their basic desire is to feel security and support and, because they understand the longing, they’re able to provide it for others, too. Plus, because they sometimes have problems with self-doubt, devoting their time to investing in others' wellbeing may help their own wellbeing.
3. Environmental Specialists
Type 6 personalities care a lot about their passions. As such, becoming an environmental specialist makes sense. They can pour their energy into saving the planet and doing work that benefits the greater good — something that they believe in. Beyond that, because type 6 personalities are so adept at foreseeing problems, they can develop plans for the planet that are preventative rather than solely reactive.
Again, because type 6 personalities are the loyal types, they make reliable security guards. They're known for their courage and how well they look out for others, after all.
5. Au Pair
Type 6 personalities are the best type for looking after others, since they're so dependent and trustworthy. These are, perhaps, two of the most necessary qualities in an au pair.
Veterinarians care deeply about animals, and type 6 personalities would make great vets. This is because they care so deeply for others, too. Plus, because they sometimes can struggle with self-doubt, working with animals is proven to ease stress.
An executive assistant needs to be reliable and well-trusted in order for the top people at a company to feel comfortable sharing their personal and professional lives with them — and to depend on them. And that's exactly what a type 6 is known for being. Beyond that, a job as an executive assistant is usually a secure one, which is comforting for type 6 personality types.
What are the worst careers for type 6 personalities?
Some career paths are better than others for different types of people. Here are three careers type 6 personalities may want to avoid.
Type 6 personalities work best with others. Because programmers tend to work in isolation, it's best for them to work in other careers that allow them to collaborate more personally with teammates.
Type 6 personalities like to see their impact on the world — they tend to prefer work with direct, personal meaning since they’re so attached to their ideas and beliefs. While accountants certainly help people to manage their finances, mitigate risks, etc., type 6 personalities are better off working in careers where their change is more immediately influential.
Project managers deal with large teams and multiple projects at once, with a lot of people reporting to them. Because type 6 personalities tend to work so well for others, they make better workers than leaders sometimes. That's largely because they can easily become overwhelmed with too many demands and are notoriously indecisive and evasive, as well.
Type 6 personalities have a gamut of career possibilities to explore thanks to their unique nature. That said, there's always room for improvement. In order to truly excel in their careers, type 6 personalities can improve in the following areas:
- An unhealthy level of type 6 personality is when someone begins to "[fear] that they have ruined their security, [becoming] panicky, volatile and self-disparaging with acute inferiority feelings," according to the Enneagram Institute. As such, type 6 personalities can work on being less self-deprecating.
- Because type 6 personalities are so loyal to others, they often worry about those others letting them down or betraying them — and, as such, they can work on being less absorbed in what others think and do and, instead, focus on themselves more.
- Type 6 personalities can easily become evasive, indecisive and procrastinatory if and when they take on too many tasks for others; they can work on managing their time and expectations better, so that they don't react in these ways.
If you're a type 6 personality and make sure to work on those areas of improvement, there's no doubt you can succeed in one of the aforementioned careers.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.