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Enneagram Type 3: Traits, strengths & potential careers


The best recruiters know that hiring doesn’t stop at finding the right skills – you also need to assess candidates’ personalities using reliable tools like the Enneagram test. 

The Enneagram test looks at an individual’s core motivations, fears, work preferences, and more. You can use these insights to check how well candidates will align with your company’s culture and working practices. 

There are nine Enneagram personality types – each with different traits and characteristics. This guide looks at Enneagram Type Three, “the Go-getters.” These individuals tend to be highly driven and excellent performers but are also prone to overworking and being too competitive. 

Below, we dive into Type Threes’ strengths, stressors, and more, so you can make an informed decision before hiring and help these personality types make a seamless transition into your company.

What is Enneagram Type 3?

Type Threes, known as “the Go-getters,” are ambitious, motivated, and competent individuals. They love to set and achieve goals, strive for excellence, and are driven by recognition. 

Enneagram Type Threes usually present a polished image and adjust their behaviors to suit others. However, they’re often afraid of failure and focus too much on external validation. 

Enneagram Type 3 overview

Type Threes possess a unique set of traits and characteristics within the Enneagram framework. Here’s an overview of this personality type. 

Key traits

  • Ambitious: Highly motivated with a focus on personal and professional development

  • Productive: Love to set and accomplish goals and are admired for getting things done

  • Energetic: Enthusiastic about their endeavors 

  • Charismatic: Adapt to the people around them and present themselves in a diplomatic and professional manner

  • Status conscious: Care about their image and what others think of them

Basic desire 

At their core, Type Threes desire to be valued and accepted by others. They strive to excel and want to be recognized for their accomplishments. 

Basic fear 

Their biggest fear is being seen as a failure or incompetent. They’re often concerned with their image and worry about being considered worthless if they don’t achieve their goals.

Key motivations

Type Threes are largely driven by external validation and approval. They want to impress and be recognized for their achievements. They’ll regularly set goals and do what it takes to succeed so they can earn praise and admiration from others.  

Type 3 wings

While an Enneagram test helps determine an individual’s basic characteristics, it’s not possible to box someone into one pure personality type. It’s likely that people also share some traits with either one of the Enneagram types adjacent to their type – often referred to as their “wings”. 

Type Threes’ wings will be either Enneagram Type Two or Four. 

Type Threes with a Two Wing

These individuals are ambitious, charismatic, and energetic. In addition to adapting behaviors, they also adapt their attitude based on the setting they’re in. This makes them effective communicators. However, they fear failure, and they’re also afraid of feeling unworthy of love.

Type Threes with a Four Wing

These individuals tend to be driven, task-focused, and serious and more likely to be introverted. They’re afraid of failing and will do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals. They can also change their personalities to adapt to a setting but can sometimes come across as disingenuous.  

Type 3 strengths and weaknesses 

Every Enneagram type has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. At their best moments, you’ll see individuals display more of their strengths. But, under stress or difficult times, some of their weaknesses may emerge. 

strengths and weaknesses of enneagram type 3 explanation graphic

Type 3 strengths

  • Highly motivated to succeed and strive for excellence

  • Inspires and motivates others with their enthusiasm

  • Connects easily with others by adapting to different roles and situations 

  • Great at presenting themselves and their ideas effectively

  • Self-assured and authentic 

Type 3 weaknesses

  • Put too much emphasis on external validation or praise 

  • Can experience high stress and anxiety in failure or from the fear of failure

  • Struggle with being authentic and true to themselves

  • Have a tendency to overwork or become overly competitive – often leading to burnout 

  • Focus too much on their image and reputation 

Type 3 opportunities for growth

Here are some ways to harness Type Threes’ strengths and help them grow.  

  • Self-awareness: Help them think more about their own feelings and needs. They don’t always have to adapt or play a character in different settings. 

  • Personal fulfillment: Show them that their value isn’t tied solely to external validation or recognition. They should focus more on what they find fulfilling. 

  • Gratitude: Encourage Type Threes to take a step back and appreciate what they have in life. It’s tiring to be in a constant race to do and achieve more. 

  • Vulnerability: Encourage them to be open and honest about their fears and insecurities so they can be supported by those around them.

  • Self-care: Help them set boundaries between work and their well-being so they’re not stretching themselves too thinly.

Type 3s in the workplace 

Type Threes are great assets to any company if they’re in the right working environment. It’s important to understand their motivators – what energizes them at work. But also their stressors – factors that drain them. 

Use these insights to place Type Threes in jobs and teams that bring out the best in them. Also, share Enneagram test Type Three results with hiring managers so they can correctly support their new Type Three employees.

What motivates Type 3s at work?

  • Setting and accomplishing ambitious goals 

  • Admiration and praise for their achievements 

  • Working on new, challenging, and high-profile projects

  • Having to meet and influence new people 

  • Opportunities for growth and career advancement 

What are Type 3s’ stressors at work?

  • Projects or problems that are difficult to solve or have higher chances of failure 

  • Lack of recognition for their efforts 

  • Lack of progress, promotion, or a stagnating phase in their careers 

  • Being perceived negatively by others 

  • Adapting to too many changing environments can be draining and disorienting

How to support Type 3s in the workplace

Type Threes’ core work preferences: 

  • Set clear goals for them to work towards

  • Be direct with your requests – Type Threes are straight shooters

  • Be concise in your emails, calls, and other forms of communication

  • In meetings, focus on the topic and end with a clear list of actionable items

Place Type Threes in roles that: 

  • Adequately stimulate and challenge them 

  • Are structured with a designated set of tasks

  • Are high-stakes and contribute directly to company goals

  • Require them to be influential and win people over

Encourage managers of Type Threes to: 

  • Regularly set goals and check in on progress

  • Recognize and value Type Three’s efforts through praise, promotion, and rewards

  • Provide regular and constructive feedback and show them exactly how they can improve 

  • Check-in on their workload and ensure they’re not getting burnt out

  • Support their growth and provide them with career advancement opportunities 

Surround Type Threes with people who:

  • Enable them to accomplish their goals

  • Admire and praise them

  • Are honest and willing to openly discuss conflict

  • Respect them and listen to their instructions – especially if they’re direct reports 

  • Enjoy some amount of healthy competition 

Potential careers for Type 3s

Type Threes, like any other Enneagram type, have the ability to thrive in a large range of jobs and careers. Based on their key traits, here are a few of the many potential career options for Type Threes. 

Type Three trait

Job qualities

Job/career options


Specific and challenging goals 


Investment banker

Wealth manager

Financial analyst



Requires influence and winning people over

Sales and marketing


Real estate agent







CEO in any business

How to determine a candidate’s Enneagram Type

The most convenient and effective way to determine a candidate’s Enneagram type is to have them take TestGorilla’s Enneagram test during pre-employment screening. The test comprises 45 questions and can be completed in less than 10 minutes.

Once completed, you’ll receive a comprehensive report with the results delivered straight to your inbox. 

The report indicates the candidate's basic Enneagram type and provides lots of practical advice and information to help you interpret the results. You can also share the results with your candidates. 

While the Enneagram test is an indicator of your candidate’s personality type, it shouldn’t be the only test used to make hiring decisions. Using a combination of pre-employment tests to assess candidates’ job-specific skills and personality traits enables hiring teams to make informed, data-driven decisions.

Luckily, TestGorilla has a library of more than 300 tests in 12 languages. You can use these to create tailored assessments that evaluate personality traits, job-specific skills, cognitive ability, coding skills, and more.


TestGorilla’s Enneagram test is a valuable addition to your pre-employment screening process and saves you from wasting company resources by hiring the wrong candidate. 

There are nine Enneagram personality types, and in this guide, we looked at Type Threes. At their best, Type Threes are driven, productive, and self-assured workers. But the wrong environment can lead to unhealthy competitiveness, overworking, and more. 

Place Type Threes in challenging and high-stakes roles with managers who can support their goals and recognize their efforts. Doing so can help you make better placement decisions within teams and ensure that your Type Three new hires integrate seamlessly into their roles.  

Watch a quick demo to see how TestGorilla works. Paid plans start as low as $75 per month but you can also sign up for a free plan to get your hands on the Enneagram test.


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