Enneagram type 5 personality types are insightful, intellectual and generally quite curious. These traits lend well to career success – in the right situation, that is. In this article, we will explore a type 5’s strengths, what they can bring to the workplace and what careers they are best suited to.
If you have tested as an Enneagram type 5 – or are looking to learn more about career matches for these personality types – then we hope you find this information useful and learn more about the best Enneagram type 5 careers and job matches.
Overview of Enneagram Type 5 (“The Investigator”)
Type 5, or otherwise known as the ‘investigator’ is the fifth personality type of the Enneagram theory. Typically, type fives are alert, insightful, independent, innovative and curious.
They are referred to as “investigators (or sometimes as “observers”) because they concentrate on developing complexed ideas and skills. They are driven by the desire to be capable, competent and to understand the environment around them. However, Enneagram type 5’s can become preoccupied with their own thoughts and sometimes become highly-strung, intense and eccentric.
Many of a type 5’s strengths lie in their helpfulness, competence and their desire to progress their knowledge. At work, they bring key skills and qualities such as:
- Calming presence. Type 5’s have the ability to remain calm in a crisis.
- Problem solving. Type 5’s want to progress their knowledge. Due to this, they think through complexed problems in great detail.
- Observational skills. Type 5’s want to develop their knowledge and gain new skills. Therefore, they are very observational and aware of their environment.
- The desire to constantly learn and pick up new skills and abilities.
Best Careers for Enneagram Type 5’s
Enneagram Type 5’s love learning. They are curious and want to progress their skills. Therefore, they are best suited for careers that encourage continuous learning and skill development. Such careers include actuaries, researchers or roles in cybersecurity.
Type 5’s desire to be valued and appreciated and to be in an environment where their peers will listen to them. They are insightful and independent. Therefore, they are likely to prefer careers where they are given time to work independently in order to reconnect with themselves. They will prefer to work with direct reports who follow expectations, and do not need constant supervision and instruction.
Finally, Enneagram type 5’s must be in careers where they can make intelligent observations about situations and offer strategic solutions to problems. Based on this, type 5’s may be suited to a career as an engineer, computer programmer, statistician, scientist or technician. Due to their strong investigative skills and creativity, type 5’s may thrive in some construction roles too.
Worst Careers for Enneagram Type 5’s
Type 5’s can sometimes appear condescending, disconnected and isolated. They may feel stressed by large groups and emotional expression. They are unlikely to thrive in careers, for example reception work or teaching, that over stimulate them or those that require them to meet with lots of people. Similarly, type 5’s may want to avoid careers where their direct reports need constant guidance, as this may intrude their personal space and overwhelm them.
As type 5’s are more preoccupied on their own thoughts, they are unlikely to like roles that involve public speaking. These types of roles may include politicians, marketing directors, project managers or actors/actresses. Type 5’s are also likely to struggle in careers that involve little autonomy and/or logic.
Impact of Wings on Career & Work Life
Like all Enneagram types, the type 5 has two distinct “wings”, meaning most individuals within this type borrow or lean towards one of the adjacent types on the Enneagram diagram.
Type 5 with a 4 wing (5w4)
People with an Enneagram type five wing four (5w4) personality tend to identify more with the type five, but also share several traits with type four’s. These type fives tend to prefer to be alone to reflect and recharge and are often more emotional and self-expressive than other fives.
Type 5 with a 6 wing (5w6)
Similarly, people with an Enneagram type five wing six (5w6) personality tend to identify more with the type five, but also share several traits with type six’s. These type fives tend to be practical and independent. They also tend to be more cooperative than other type fives.