The Career Within You

Finding the perfect job for your personality

What 3 Common Elements Do Perfectionists Look for in Jobs?

First in series: Career motivations for Perfectionists

Perfectionist's wishes by Elizabeth Wagele
Perfectionist's Wishes by Elizabeth Wagele
Elizabeth Wagele
In Chapter ten of The Career Within You, "Fundamentals to Look for in Your Work Situation," we list these elements people look for in a job:

• the income it will provide

• the opportunity to work on their interests or passions, and

• successful affiliation with other people.

We give examples of ways each of the nine Enneagram types have of satisfying their needs. In this blog I'll concentrate on situations that work for Perfectionists. Perfectionists want to carry out their ideals, which can come in many forms. Some are interested in making details perfect. Others care about being organized or organizing their work environment. Still others want to make reforms and make the world a better place.

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Working for income and attending to details.

R.W. changes the world one individual at a time by teaching others. After he became a certified public accountant, he worked in client education. The accounting aspect of the work suited his interest in paying attention to details. R.W. always tried to get ahead in the company he was in or he changed companies if that was to his advantage. Many years later R.W. assumed a managerial position in a large accounting firm.

Following her passion and making improvements.

Julie gives children the attention and expertise they need and loves to see their progress. She works with difficult cases, such as children born with birth defects or children who are developing slowly. Being introverted, one-to-one relationships with clients in a quiet atmosphere suits her temperament. After working in a private speech therapy office in a large city for many years, she moved to a small town to work in a Head Start program. She demands precision of herself at work and does art and enjoys the natural environment of her wooded home setting after work.

Affiliating and using organizational skills.

Originally Mark got off on the wrong track, thinking he wanted to become a massage therapist. He attended an expensive holistic institute that involved a thousand hours of training. "School was great and the fellow students I practiced on were young, attractive, and athletic. But once I had to work with real clients, I found I wasn't comfortable doing hands on body-to-body work." Mark left that field and became a project manager for a nonprofit, where he likes making a difference by supporting its mission. He works long hours, making the most of his strong organizational skills. He's made many new friends and has had many promotions.

Job Fit Worksheets

In The Career Within You, examples of income, passion, and affiliation are followed by a job fit worksheet for each type, where readers are asked to match what they want from a job (for example, to be able to carry out their ideals or to be able to use their ability to improve for Perfectionists) to jobs they've had or are thinking of pursuing. Rating how well these preferences have been (or would most likely be) fulfilled helps them pick the best job placement.


Elizabeth Wagele is the co-author with Ingrid Stabb of The Career Within You: How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality.


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