Enneagram 8 Best Careers: Secret to Eights’ Success (2024)

Eights are among those rare individuals who know what they want from life from a very early age. Hardly anyone can stop them on their quest to get what they believe they rightfully deserve, and asking them to be more patient would be like expecting a bull to tiptoe through a china shop. So, it’s no wonder Enneagram 8 careers often resemble war tales!

In this article, we discover what these powerhouse personalities look for in a job, what their career struggles are, and which professions allow them to grow the most.

Let’s kick in!

What Is Enneagram Type 8 Like?

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Self-confident, assertive, and direct, Eights often seem intimidating, but their tough appearance hides a very warm heart. They will be the first to defend the powerless and will aggressively challenge any injustice they come across.

Energetic and dynamic, they go through life facing both the good and the bad head-on. In general, they have a no-nonsense approach to communication, relationships, and business, which is why they are perceived as bold and daring—or even blunt and aggressive at times.

Power is the central theme of their lives—they see it as a way to ensure their independence and prevent other people from controlling them or taking advantage of them. While they seem ambitious and status-hungry, they are not interested in social validation like Threes butwant to ensure they and their loved ones are protected from the evils of this world.

Eights’ deepest fears revolve around being betrayed, helpless, and used. For this reason, they have trouble showing their vulnerability and building close, intimate relationships. Yet, these fears are what motivates them to take their destiny into their own hands and assert control over their environment.

Insightful, direct, and rational, Eights are excellent strategists, problem solvers, and managers. Due to their natural charisma, people often see them as leaders. And, indeed, Eights do make their way to the top of the food chain no matter where they begin their lives and typically take positions of authority.

Additionally, Enneagram Type Eight is considered one of the most masculine Enneagram types, which probably explains why Enneagram 8 females are much rarer than Enneagram 8 males.

What Do Enneagram 8s Look for in a Career?

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Enneagram Type Eight looks for power and control in a career and simply can’t feel at ease unless they take on a leading role. Here’s an overview of their most important career needs:

  • Independence and autonomy. Eights need a high degree of autonomy and freedom to make their own calls. They can’t stand being conditioned or micromanaged.
  • Influence. Positions of authority and influence are attractive to Eights because they believe the more power they have, the more freedom they enjoy in life.
  • Control. Whatever profession they choose and position they take, Eights want to be in control and readily take charge and responsibility. They need to have a say in their work and always find a way to assert their authority.
  • Results. Eights are very practical and reality-oriented. They never work just for recognition, status, and profit, though these matter to them, too. Eights need to see the results of their efforts and the impact of their work.
  • Justice. Eights are very principled and have a strong sense of right and wrong, so they will never, ever remain silent in the face of wrongdoing. They will be the first to rebel against an unjust work environment and take charge of making changes if this is the case.
  • Challenge. Highly energetic and with an adventurous streak, Eights enjoy challenges and healthy competition. They are not interested in taking the easy way out and will put up a fight for what they want.

What Are Enneagram Type 8 Career Struggles?

Enneagram Type 8 career struggles largely revolve around regulating their aggression and anger. Highly charged, dynamic, and direct, Eights have no inhibitions when expressing their dissatisfaction, and this often leads to unnecessary conflicts.

Here are the most common career challenges they face:

  • Conflict resolution. While their assertive approach gives off the impression they manage conflicts easily, they actually have a very hard time accepting other people’s points of view and finding compromising solutions to complex issues. They may insist on exerting their will just because they don’t know how to handle conflict differently.
  • Control issues. Due to their need to have everything under control, Eights may complicate the workflow as they refuse to delegate tasks. They are also more likely to engage in workplace power struggles for the same reason.
  • Risk evaluation. Eights are known for fearlessly daring to do what others only dream of. And while their self-assurance with taking risks can be great for business in many ways, they may sometimes go over their heads and underestimate the potential consequences of failing.
  • Team play. Eights are natural leaders who impress people with their charisma. Still, their lack of fear, confident attitude, and initiative may be intimidating in teamwork, as their strong presence makes others feel overshadowed.

Top 9 Enneagram 8 Career Options

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The top Enneagram 8 careers are those that allow them to take charge and develop their amazing leadership potential. They are naturally drawn to professions that involve a significant amount of power and authority.

With that in mind, here’s an overview of the most inspiring Enneagram 8 career options:

#1. Business Owner

Entrepreneurship provides Eights with the opportunity to work independently, make all the important decisions, and build something from the ground up. Full of ideas, initiative, and energy, Eights are excellent business strategists, perfectly capable of managing their own businesses.

They take pleasure in facing and conquering the challenges of running their own businesses and thrive in the fast-paced, unpredictable atmosphere of startups and growing companies.

Moreover, these people want to reach a point where they have the utmost control over their lives and can live completely independently. Needless to say, a career like this gives them both of those things.

#2. Lawyer

Eights have a soft spot for the underdog and are generally concerned with issues of social justice. Plus, they enjoy confrontations, heated discussions, and a good challenge. So, as lawyers, they have the chance to use all that aggressive energy to their and their clients’ advantage.

Additionally, while Eights are typically associated with raw strength and willpower, they also have a strong intellect and a quick wit, which are a must in this line of work.

#3. Financial Advisor

For Eights, money is the means of power. Therefore, they are naturally inclined toward careers in the finance sector. These people are not afraid of the huge responsibility that comes with top roles in finance, and being in control of the money flow feels natural to them. Plus, these careers typically offer structure and a clear hierarchy, which Eights find important.

#4. Surgeon

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While Eights have many traits of top surgeons, they succeed primarily because of their ability to stay calm and rational under pressure and endure the toughest challenges without losing focus or enthusiasm.

When operating on a patient, a surgeon is essentially in charge of their life, which is why the responsibility is so great, but also the power and control that come with it. Although Eights are drawn to the field of medicine out of a desire to help others, the prestige and authority that come with a career in surgery or medicine are what really draws them in.

#5. Sportsman

Eights can achieve enviable success in sports, as they often possess exceptional physical fitness and strength. They are persistent, strong, self-disciplined, competitive, and stress-resilient, which makes them perfectly equipped for a career in any sport of their choice.

As athletes, Eights feel the rush of competition and the fulfillment that comes from pushing themselves to their physical and mental limits. Their drive and skill can serve as an inspiration to others, so they also make excellent coaches.

#6. Sales Director

Because of their charisma,determination, communication skills, and ability to persuade others, Eights make excellent sales managers, directors, and representatives. Along with the prestige and respect that come with sales success, the cutthroat nature of the industry itself serves as a constant source of motivation for these individuals.

Additionally, the sales sector is very structured, and career advancements are based on results, which is also something Eight appreciates.

#7. Politician

Eights make successful politicians because of their charisma and drive, and what draws them to politics is often the desire to challenge authority and advocate for change. They feel comfortable in highly responsible leadership positions in public office and dare to introduce innovative approaches and question the status quo.

Having the power to influence their communities' futures and their surroundings is inspiring and empowering for them. Eights find it rewarding to use their willpower and assertiveness to address the key issues in their community.

#8. Police Inspector

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Eights find careers in law enforcement and military service attractive because they offer a structured environment where they can practice their leadership skills while protecting others. Plus, they thrive in high-pressure situations that call for bold action.

In addition, they take pleasure in the sense of responsibility, discipline, camaraderie, and authority that these roles bestow upon them.

#9. Performer

Challengers thrive in the spotlight and enjoy the opportunity to make their voices heard, regardless of whether they are actors, musicians, TV hosts, or journalists.

They have strong communication skills and a natural presence, which is important for a career in media and broadcasting. Journalism and other media careers give Eights a platform from which they can influence public debate and express their opinions.

Enneagram 8 Wing 7 and 8 Wing 9 Careers

An individual's core Enneagram type is influenced by their adjacent personality types, or "wings," which give their personality more complexity and depth. Enneagram Type Eight can have a Seven or a Nine wing, meaning they can have some or many of Seven’s and Nine’s traits.

8w7s are more hedonistic versions of the Challenger—they are more spontaneous and uninhibited than typical Eights and enjoy being in the limelight. Due to this, careers that offer excitement and variety and involve a high degree of risk are very appealing to them.

So, the best jobs for 8w7s are performers, reporters, entrepreneurs, and marketers, as they enjoy the fast-paced, dynamic environment such professions provide.

8w9s are less confrontational and calmer versions of Type Eight. They prefer stability to the thrill of adventure and lean toward careers in management, diplomacy, law, and mediation. Therefore, the best jobs for 8w9 are lawyers, social workers, doctors, and politicians.

Enneagram Type 8 Careers to Avoid

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Enneagram Type 8 careers to avoid include all those roles that limit their autonomy, have low impact, and require a high degree of submission. Here’s a brief overview of the professions that do not fit their nature:

  • Administrative assistant. Routine tasks, limited autonomy, paperwork, and no room for development can be very frustrating for the Challengers and trigger their unhealthy behavior patterns. They may start at the bottom, but they need a lot of room to grow.
  • Customer service agent. Eights are the least motivated by the desire to please anyone and don’t have a lot of tolerance for complaints. Their direct style of communication is not ideal for this position either, as they may provoke conflicts instead of resolving them.
  • Elementary school teacher. This kind of role requires tact, kindness, and a lot of patience, all of which Eights don’t have in abundance. Plus, this profession doesn’t provide them with the kind of power they want.
  • Data entry specialist. Eights are not into details and repetitive tasks. They think big and want to make an impact, which is impossible in this kind of role.

What Kind of Organizational Culture Enneagram 8 Prefers

Enneagram 8 prefers organizational cultures that align with their need for autonomy while providing a solid structure and room for growth at the same time. Some important aspects of an Eight’s ideal work environment include:

  • Meritocracy. Eights thrive in a professional environment where success is based on performance and merit.
  • Challenge. Highly charged Eights are easily bored when everything goes smoothly. They enjoy solving tough problems and overcoming obstacles.
  • Empowerment. Eights need freedom to take charge, make decisions, and have a say in how the work is done. Otherwise, they feel frustrated and unmotivated.
  • Transparency. Straightforward communication and a no-nonsense attitude are Eights’ trademarks. They want to be in touch with what’s happening in an organization and appreciate direct feedback.
  • Growth opportunities. Eights may start from the bottom, but they will either make their way to the top or leave the company. If the company doesn’t provide growth opportunities, Eights will find them somewhere else.
  • Leadership. Since they are natural-born leaders, Eights need an organization that will encourage and nurture their leadership potential.

How Enneagram Eights Act in Teams

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Enneagram Eights quickly emerge as leaders in teams due to their dominant and assertive nature. Plus, because they always see the big picture, they know what needs to be done before anyone tells them, which also contributes to them being perceived as team leaders.

However, they can’t tolerate rivalry and will use all their power and charm to overshadow their competitors, which may sometimes cause friction and tension between team members. Also, Eights are in only as long as they see room for their personal advancement; otherwise, they will rebel and unconsciously sabotage the teamwork.

Still, when they have autonomy and enough space to develop within a team, they are truly inspiring coworkers who push the team to do their best and achieve amazing results.

Curious about your colleagues' types and how they influence teamwork? Give our Type Guesser test a try!

Enneagram 8s in Leadership Positions

Enneagram 8s show all their best qualities in a leadership position because being a leader feels like their most natural role. They are actually way more intense and dominating while they are paving their way to the top, but once they are on top, they become more balanced and show more empathy toward other people.

Enneagram Eights are decisive, assertive leaders who understand that managing people means being able to motivate and inspire them. They dare to dream big and allow others to do so as well, which is why they can recognize and reward effort and motivate others to achieve greatness.

In general, Eights often end up as the leading decision-makers and key actors in their communities, to whom everyone turns for support and direction.

Key Takeaways

The bottom line is—if you see an Enneagram Eight struggling, you should not worry too much about it because they are probably just paving their way to taking the top positions in society.

And now, let's resume what we have learned about Enneagram 8 careers:

  • Driven by their hunger for power, Eights readily take responsibility and initiative and devise plans for the future, which eventually leads them to positions of authority in the community.
  • Leaders, surgeons, athletes, performers, politicians, and managers are all examples of ideal Enneagram 8 job types.
  • The Challengers can’t stand repetitive, routine-based jobs that have low impact and limit their autonomy.
  • Eights will find their way to the social ladder, no matter where they start. Confident and driven, they want to leave their mark in their community.

Explore the best and worst career options for your Enneagram type in the posts below:

  • Enneagram 1 Careers
  • Enneagram 2 Careers
  • Enneagram 3 Careers
  • Enneagram 4 Careers
  • Enneagram 5 Careers
  • Enneagram 6 Careers
  • Enneagram 7 Careers
  • Enneagram 9 Careers
Enneagram 8 Best Careers: Secret to Eights’ Success (2024)
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