A woman sitting at a table at work is on her computer.

If you’ve ever known someone equal parts resilient, traditional, ambitious and down-to-earth, you may have encountered a Capricorn. Capricorn people are born between December 22 and January 19, but since these dates sometimes differ because of the winter solstice and leap years,  some astrologists say December 21 to January 19 or 20. Represented by a sea-goat (the body of a goat, the tail of a fish), Capricorn is the last of the zodiac’s earth signs. 

As a cardinal sign, Capricorn is a born leader who’s unafraid to initiate new experiences. There’s more to them than hard work and fearlessness, however – let’s take a look.

Capricorns are fearless trailblazers driven by ambition

The most cited trait of a Capricorn is their fearless ambition. These personality types aren’t afraid to blaze their own trail and don’t give up when things go wrong. When a Capricorn sets their mind to a task, they’ll see it through to the end and make sure the process goes off without a hitch — no matter the growing pains and speed bumps. 

While Capricorns are sometimes deemed cutthroat at work because of their relentless ambition, it doesn’t mean they’re heartless. It’s just that a Capricorn is willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want, and sometimes that means unwittingly hurting people’s feelings. It isn’t personal, but Capricorns can have a blindspot when pursuing their goals.

On the flip side, Capricorns have a lesser-known reputation for letting loose — and doing it very well — whenever the occasion calls for it! So don’t expect Capricorns to always stay calm and collected at parties.

Because Capricorns are one of the most goal-oriented and disciplined zodiac signs, it’s easy to name some famous sea goats. Some iconic, trailblazing Capricorns include Dolly Parton, Michelle Obama, John Legend and Kate Middleton.

Down-to-earth Capricorns are grounded in reality, logic and facts

While a Capricorn can appreciate a dreamer’s vision, these zodiac signs want action. They want a plan. They rely on logical steps and work systematically to reach their goals, and they make decisions based on facts. Capricorns don’t focus on abstract concepts, no matter which facet of their life a decision applies to. Forget idealism; Capricorn will always have a realistic plan.  

Capricorns are responsible traditionalists.

When a Capricorn gives you their word, you can trust them to follow through. Capricorns are reliable and responsible, and they take their commitments seriously. As natural rule-followers, they like having a plan and parameters, which is one reason they’re so reliable. Where there’s a plan, you can expect Capricorn to stick to it. 

These earth signs are also traditionalists who prefer to play it safe. They are drawn to the conventional. They believe good things come in time and aren’t afraid of the hard work it takes to get there. 

Persistent Capricorns are as tenacious as it gets.

While Capricorn people are traditional, they’re also quite adaptable when change arises. The sea goats of the zodiac are excellent problem-solvers who can go through challenging situations and come out ahead. Their discipline and determination keep them going when trouble arises, and their strategic approach to life helps them create a plan of action to overcome whatever life throws at them. 

Capricorns are also quite patient, which helps them keep a level head when things go awry. 

At times critical and stubborn, Capricorn people can seem unforgiving. 

One of the more negative traits of Capricorn people is their critical side. Because Capricorns can be perfectionists, it can be hard for others to please them if they don’t meet the Capricorn’s high standards. When something doesn’t go how a Capricorn hoped it would, it’s hard for them to set aside their desire for perfection and let it go.  

They can also hold grudges. For example, when someone at work drops the details, the Capricorn will remember how this person did not meet the Capricorn’s standards. Their cautious, suspicious side doesn’t lead to forgiveness easily.

Which of the 16 personalities is a Capricorn most likely to be? 

Looking at the 16 personality types, Capricorn traits align with one type in particular: ISTJ. There are lots of similarities between these personalities. Both have a strong independent streak and love for keeping their head down in work. Both care about facts and logic. Both make  decisions based on practicality, and both are skilled in time management and organization. 

Both Capricorns and ISTJs like routine, are avid rule-followers, are hard workers, and are among the most persistent, reliable people of their respective systems. 

More extraverted Capricorns might type as an ESTJ, a close second in similarity to the zodiac sign.

Which Enneagram is a Capricorn most likely to be?

Of the nine Enneagram types, Capricorn most aligns with the Enneagram Type 6. Why? Because Type 6 people share Capricorn’s desire to be prepared, to have security, and to follow the rules. Type 6 also echoes Capricorn’s cautious, skeptical nature. At heart, Enneagram Type 6’s deepest fear is to be caught unprepared and defenseless in the face of danger or conflict. This fear drives them to prepare themselves for the unknown. 

While Capricorn is most likely to type as an ISTJ and Enneagram 6, everyone is different, and there are no rules regarding the combination of personality types you might have.

Summing up the Capricorn personality type

Capricorn is a zodiac sign that takes the lead and does so with a critical, discerning eye. Lovers of the details, the rules, tradition and structure, it’s easy to see how so many Capricorns climb whatever ladders are in front of them. But while Capricorn is all about ambition, persistence, reliability and pragmatism, they can be a lot of fun when they blow off steam. 

Capricorns are the friends and co-workers you can count on, but remember, these zodiac signs are also slow to forgive when someone has wronged them. Despite their stubborn streak and intense go-getter attitude, Capricorns are some of the most dynamic, level-headed of the zodiac. Just like the earth signs they are, Capricorns know how to stay grounded and true to themselves.

Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.