What are the Best Careers for the Enneagram Type 9?

Category: Type Nine

Enneagram Nines are sometimes seen as the “jack of all trades” of the Enneagram. They can have the adventurous spirit of an Enneagram Seven, while boasting of the creativity attributed to Enneagram Fours, and the generous nature of Twos

This can make it difficult to find a career path as a Nine who can hold their own in many circumstances, and often has a tendency to blend into others’ expectations and goals. 

Never fear, Nines have an incredible ability to find their calling and settle into a wonderful, satisfying professional career. 

Enneagram 9 Recap

Enneagram type Nines are all about peace and understanding. At their best, they’re creative and easily connected to their inner selves as well as people around them, grounded and serene. They have a tendency to sink into other people’s expectations and plans as they prioritize peace and harmony, often to their own detriment. 

This peace is both internal and external, meaning Nines are more likely than other type to seek after spiritual connections. Those connections could be with religion, the universe in general, nature, other people, etc. The important aspect is the pursuit and maintenance of inner peace and outer harmony in the world around them. 

The Natural Nine Career Pathways: Combining Physical and Spiritual Health

Given what we know about Nines, professions that connect the physical and spiritual approaches to life are the first ones that come to mind. Think yoga teachers, chiropractors, and the like. These professions have differing levels of spiritual involvement, or at the very least connecting the physical experience with less quantifiable inner experiences. 

In fact, I just met the sixty-year-old male version of myself! (Totally a thing everyone encounters, right?) 

It was quite quickly apparent that this lovely man is an ENFP with an Enneagram Nine personality. Just like me. 

He talks about how every discipline of medicine has its merits and how he loves his chiropractic practice as a way to help people by approaching physical health in a holistic way. He has also made it clear that he prefers to keep the peace and encourages me, a like minded individual, to learn how to speak my mind sooner than he did. It is easy to see he is living his best life because of his ability to connect with and serve others on a daily basis. 

Plus, from what I’ve observed, his staff and all of his patients love him with equal fervor. That’s the power of a Nine in sync with themselves: they become an unstoppable force of good in the world with ripple effects expanding everywhere they go. 

The Natural Nine Career Pathways: Wholesome Encouragement

Other Enneagram type 9 careers: teachers, life coaches, therapists, etc. Nines, with their natural ability to connect with others, often find themselves giving encouragement and building others up. Depending on the career chosen, different levels of creativity are accepted - or even needed! - as they approach fellow humans with goals of teaching new skills and facilitating healing. 

The Nine’s wonderful ability to bring people together is showcased in these careers. Regardless of the setting, healthy Nines have a calming influence on others around them and come across emotionally stable and serene. 

I always imagined this aspect in the form of Lord of the Rings character, Galadriel. And I was devastated when, after trying so hard in my teenage years, I resembled nothing of the graceful, well-spoken Lady of Light. I was *still* a goofy ball of energy that talked with her hands and had way too many ideas trying to come out at the same time. 

Except, you don’t have to be Galadriel’s carbon copy to have that calming influence on others! 

It has been my experience that when people feel understood and emotionally safe, they calm down. Coming across as emotionally stable and serene doesn’t mean you don’t have emotions, it means you are responsible with your emotions. 

And that is where a Nine shines brightest. 

Helping others open up to their true nature, real empowerment, is an important aspect to consider when choosing a career for this Enneagram type. It will mutually help the Nine feel they have an honest contribution to make at work while benefiting everyone who comes across their professional path. 

The Natural Nine Career Pathways: Let Me Do My Own Thing

Nines can struggle to be assertive. In fact, that’s likely an understatement. For most Nines, that is a terrifying thought. Some Nines find they melt into other’s dreams and ideas, never really pursuing their own. 

Other Nines simply take the path of less resistance, not asserting themselves against others, but quietly following their dreams on their own terms. 

As a child, I learned quickly that my ideas would often be shot down or shoved aside by others around me. I got very used to just doing my own thing without the consent or approval of others. 

That got me in a lot of trouble in grade school…

Balancing that attitude with my natural relationship building skills (as discussed in the above sections) ended up being the perfect blend for a career in freelance writing. 

I take on projects and clients that speak to me - I even write fiction under a pen name - and maintain the ability to balance the opinions presented with my own quiet trail-blazing. 

This can come in many different shapes and sizes. Freelancing is only one way this can appear for a Nine. Other Nines might open up an Etsy shop and profit from their creativity, quizzically finding themselves as entrepreneurs, or contract with skills they find interesting. 

Career Hiccups: Conflict 

First off, we already hit on one of the soft spots of a Nine in the professional setting: having to speak up and be assertive. Unfortunately, no matter what career pathway an Enneagram Type Nine finds herself in, she is going to have to learn how to deal with conflict and assert ideas. 

Thankfully, this doesn’t mean you have to develop an alter-ego of a mean ol’ cuss. Instead, investing in learning conflict management techniques can be extra helpful to any Nine. 

I personally enjoyed learning negotiation tactics from Chris Voss, who wrote Never Split the Difference and runs “The Black Swan Group.” While negotiation has never been a main factor in any job I have had (hello, I’m a Nine) – Voss quickly points out that we engage in different types of negotiations every day. The conversations we have with our spouse about where to eat, the disagreement we have with our coworker, and so on. 

Suddenly, the words hit much closer to home. His approach teaches first listening to others, practicing empathy, and asking questions. 

How very “type Nine” of him! 

This has greatly improved my ability to deal with conflict in my life as well as enhanced the way I show up in regular conversations; 10/10, I would recommend Voss' techniques to any Enneagram Type 9. 

Career Hiccups: There’s Nothing Wrong Here

Another difficulty springs from the Nine’s tendency to focus on the silver lining and block out unpleasant news or observations. In fact, a Nine reading that sentence likely experienced a brief lapse of focus to escape that uncomfortable voice in the back of their head saying I may be right. 

At least that’s what happened to me the first time I read that little factoid. 

One of my all-time favorite people is my opposite in many ways. I have a tendency to tell her something crummy and say “but it’s okay because [insert ridiculous/tiny reason the sun is still shining]” and she’ll respond with a gentle reminder, “it’s okay to be disappointed, Kim.” Or, “it’s okay to have a hard time with this. This is hard.” 

That’s it. That’s all it takes. It’s a brief but beautiful reminder that I, as a Nine, need more often than I want to admit. 

It can be difficult to admit, but we can’t show up authentically to our lives and relationships while we deny the less-than-desirable experiences in our lives. We can’t love others when we’re not fully present with them, and thus it actually improves our relationships when we honestly acknowledge those rain clouds. 

Alright Nines, share your wisdom below! What career pathways did I neglect to include? What bits of professional advice would you give you your younger Nine-self? 

Kim Jacobson

Kim spends her time as a freelance content marketing writer and indie author. Her focus is on empowering others to make healthy choices, and personality theory plays a large role in that calling. What else would you expect from an ENFP? She lives in the mountains with her ISFJ husband and two incredible kiddos.

Comments

Brandon Marsh (not verified) says...

Great article and definitely on point from my perspective! I jumped from job to job and place to place until I was about 27. I picked up a camera for the first time with intention of creating something and here I am today at the happiest point in my life working as the owner and photographer of a commercial photography business and expanding into photo education so that others can learn from my mistakes. Took a lot of work to get here and a lot of personal attention but, it's been one hell of a ride that I am very grateful for.

Fabian M Martinez (not verified) says...

You was so on point with the careers! this was like a confirmation, I’m currently pursuing those dreams of becoming a yoga teacher or life coaching something like that… this described the 9 pretty well and gives like a guide for the numbers 9

Tony Villanueva (not verified) says...

I've never met another ENFP Enneagram type 9.  I didn't think it was possible to be this pair since most type 9s are introverted preference types.  Would like to compare notes, especially in regards to entrepreneurship. 

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