What Are Your Natural Gifts? Is Your Job Making the Most of Them?


gifts pixabay

What comes naturally to us, we often take for granted.  We may think there is nothing special about our abilities and assume these things are easy for others as well.  Not true!

One of the joys of what I do is to help my clients recognize their natural gifts. More often than not, when I point out the natural gifts I see in them, they don’t think there is anything special about these qualities.  The gifts are a natural part of their personality, and they just see them as “who they are.”  I am not referring here so much to gifts such as great musical, artistic or athletic ability, but rather more specifically to personality traits and character.

Knowing what the natural gifts of your personality type are can be very helpful in career development. The more closely your work aligns with your personality and natural ability, the more satisfaction and success you will have professionally.

Here is a list of 9 Enneagram Types with their gifts.*  Do you see one set of qualities that fit most closely with you?  There may be several that you identify with.  Sometimes the people closest to us can more readily identify our gifts than we can.

  • Type 1 – Perfectionist/Reformer – High sense of integrity, disciplined, hard-working, conscientious, purposeful, idealistic, well-organized, responsible, good attention to detail.
  • Type -2  Helper – Helpful to others, generous, supportive, warm, empathetic, caring, self-sacrificing, likable.
  • Type 3 – Achiever –  Goal-focused, motivating and inspiring to others, ambitious, competent, confident, adaptable; a role-model.
  • Type 4 – The Individualist – Creative, sensitive, intuitive, empathetic, aesthetic sensibility, introspective, authentic to self.
  • Type 5 – The Observer – Keen observer, perceptive, knowledgeable, innovative, an expert in their field, problem-solver, curious, calm under pressure, strong powers of concentration, keeps confidences well.
  • Type 6 – The Loyal Skeptic – Loyal, dutiful, committed, collaborative, team player, trustworthy, well-prepared, responsible, natural trouble-shooter, keen wit, hard-working, persistent.
  • Type 7 – The Enthusiast – Enthusiastic, optimistic, high energy, spontaneous, adventurous, engaging, connector of people, quick thinker, versatile, synthesizer of ideas.
  • Type 8 – The Challenger – Self-confident, decisive, willing to take risks, protective of others, strong-willed, charismatic, self-reliant, action-oriented, takes initiative, magnanimous, a natural leader.
  • Type 9 The Peacemaker – Keeper of the peace, brings harmony to situations, good mediator, able to put themselves in others’ shoes, affable, comforting to others, accepting.

How could knowing your natural personality characteristics be helpful when evaluating your career fit? As an example, if someone with the qualities of #8 is considering a job that would not allow him to take on a leadership role and where he has little decision-making power, he is going to be frustrated, and to a large degree, his natural gifts are going to be wasted.  If an individual is most like #6, she will do best in a work environment that is collaborative and supportive, where her hard work and loyalty are not taken for granted, and where she gets to look ahead and problem-solve.  Someone with the traits of #9 has natural gifts for conflict resolution and mediation.  This knowledge could guide career direction or be advantageous in a current job when this talent is tapped into.

If you are interested in finding out which personality characteristics are strongest in you, click here to take the online RHETI personality test.  The cost is $12 for the RHETI independently validated full test.

What comes naturally to you is often a gift.  Don’t take these qualities for granted, use them to your advantage.

*Adapted from The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels, M.D.,  and Virginia Price, Ph.D.

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  1. Susan on October 7, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Hi Heather,
    This is a great post. What are some career types that go well for a 6 personality type?

    • Heather Fork on October 7, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Susan, thank you for reading the post and your kind comment. Type 6’s on the Enneagram, also know as the Loyalist or Questioner, make great doctors and healthcare professionals. Many of my clients are type 6’s. The predominant strengths of the 6’s are: critical thinking, exactness, identifying with others, skepticism and taking precautions (among others of course). Common career areas besides medicine for 6’s are in finance (accounting, financial analyst, investment banking) engineering, the sciences, detective and investigative work, being a judge, technical writer or journalist. They even do well as comedians and actors. They have many talents and diverse abilities. You might also want to take a free 12 minute test to find out your Myers Briggs type if you don’t know it already, and read about this type in the book by Paul Tieger, Do What You Are. Good luck!

      Free Myers Briggs Test: http://www.16personalities.com

      Do What You Are by Paul Tieger: http://www.amazon.com/Do-What-You-Are-Personality/dp/031623673X/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

  2. Daliri joseph on April 30, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Thanks for the post but I fall on number one how will I improve upon it and career will I take so it will help me execute my dreams am not employed but I have this talent

    • Heather Fork on April 30, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      Hello Daliri, I appreciate your reading the post and asking these questions. You ask about how to improve upon your personality type, and said you are a Type 1. In the Enneagram personality system, there are 9 levels of personal development within each of the 9 types, and we can always be growing in our type and capitalize on our gifts and minimize our limiting behaviors and beliefs. You are off to a great start just by being willing to explore this area of self-knowledge and personal development. The Enneagram Institute has a lot of good information on their website about each of the 9 types, as well as the 9 levels of development, and offers recommendations for growth for each type. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/

      I like the book by two pioneers in the Enneagram, Don Riso and Russ Hudson, “The Wisdom of the Enneagram.” https://www.amazon.com/Wisdom-Enneagram-Psychological-Spiritual-Personality/dp/0553378201. You can read about the Type 1 and there are specific suggestions in the chapter on theType 1 for improvement.

      In considering your career path in conjunction with your Enneagram type, one resource is “The Career Within You” by Wagele and Stabb.

      I hope this helps!

  3. Enciu Dumitru on May 28, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Hi, We couldn’t find the page you were looking for…when I enter the link.
    Can I ask you about my type, I find myself in many of them, not a specific clear one, how can I find it out?

    • Heather Fork on May 28, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Hello Enciu, thank you very much for letting me know the links are not working in this blog. The Enneagram Institute recently updated their entire website and the links changed. I have updated all the links now, so they should be accurate. Here is the link to take the $12 online personality test. I highly recommend this test as being the best one I know of to help you determine your primary type. https://tests.enneagraminstitute.com/test/1/code

  4. Nismy on October 21, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Hi Heather

    Thanks for your interesting article.

    May I know any technique to understand the personality type without using questionnaire or involving examinee. I want to understand my kids.

    • Heather Fork on October 22, 2017 at 4:04 am

      Hello Nismy,

      You are most welcome. Thank you for interest. By reading about the Enneagram and going to some workshops, you will gain a better understanding of the different types, however, it can still be hard sometimes to accurately guess someone’s type. Sometimes it is easy and very clear, and other times it can be confusing, even to the individual. I like the book, The Wisdom of The Enneagram by Don Riso and Russ Hudson, and any of the trainings and workshops done by the Enneagram Institute, but there are many good books out there on the Enneagram.

  5. Amirshakur Ibrahim Ikoko Musa on October 28, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Hi,I did not understand anything

  6. Nduaka Benedicta on April 24, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for the post but I fall on number two what career would I be good at, and where can I use this gifts maximally.

  7. Evans kipkorir on May 22, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Can a gift be a talent?

    • Heather Fork on May 22, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks for your questions Evans! Yes! A gift can definitely be a talent, and gifts most often are our talents. Gifts can be almost anything – such as a gift for writing, singing, athletics, empathizing with others, leadership, running a business, being a parent, etc. When someone has a gift, they have a natural ability for something. It doesn’t mean they have to make a career out of their gift, that is great, but people can also make careers from abilities that they work hard at to acquire. In her book, “Grit” Angela Duckworth talks a lot about how grit and persistence can make up for not having a natural gift or talent in something, as well as expand upon a preexisting gifts or talents.

  8. Mesame Agnes on August 20, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Please what are some carer works that go with number 2 personality?

    • Heather Fork on August 21, 2019 at 1:38 am

      Type two’s on the Enneagram, also know as “Helpers” like to be in roles where they interact with people. They do not do well stuck behind a desk all day by themselves or isolated crunching numbers or data. Depending on whether they are more introverted or extraverted, they might prefer one-one interactions or being involved with groups of people and teamwork. Two’s like to connect with people and feel that they are helping and making a difference directly in the lives of others. They may be found in a wide variety of professions such as in healthcare, teaching, service industries, front-facing business, the healing arts, counseling, etc. This is a book that addresses career fit and Enneagram type for additional ideas: https://www.amazon.com/Career-Within-You-Perfect-Personality/dp/0061718610/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=the+career+within+you&qid=1566351468&s=gateway&sr=8-3.

  9. Monica M Marcinkoski on September 28, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    I believe my daughter is a 3 and 4. Her major is accounting and hates her job and doesn’t feel she is successful in the field. What positions should she been in instead?

  10. Archie on October 8, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    I am a tertiary STUDENTS and i find it hard to identify my gift but i believe i am a type 3 how do i use this to my advantage and be able to choose the best career which will work best for me ??

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I had been a practicing Internist for 20 years when I reached a point when I needed to make a serious change in my career path. While I enjoyed seeing patients, I was not satisfied with my life-work balance. My job was taking me away from my family and left me little time and energy to do other things that are important and meaningful to me. I came across Dr. Fork's podcast; The Doctor's Crossing Carpe Diem Podcast, it is such an informative and enjoyable podcast for any physician who wants to do more with their career and life in general. Then I had the pleasure to get career coaching from Heather, it was truly an amazing experience. Heather has broad knowledge of all the different career paths that are available for physicians, she is so insightful and very easy to talk to. She helped me clarify my goals, examine my own mindset and definition of success. Together we developed a clear plan and actionable steps to reach these goals. I eventually made a career transition to a remote non-clinical position that allows me to do meaningful work which aligns with my personal and professional goals and priorities. 

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