Model Defines "At Home" and "At Work" Personalities

by Larry Gabbard

A model was developed during a Master's Project at Regis University to relate the sixteen MBTI types to the nine personalities of the Enneagram. The model indicated that each of the nine Enneagram types could be represented by two MBTI types or an MBTI Pair.

Based on these Pairs, MBTI-like personality descriptions were constructed for the nine Enneagram personalities. These personality descriptions compare favorably to Enneagram descriptions and helped students confirm their Enneagram results.

However, several students had MBTI results that did not match the Pair used to construct these descriptions. But, these students insisted that these Pair descriptions described the way they worked. This is consistent with beliefs that Enneagram personalities are "public" personalities, similar to working personalities. In contrast, MBTI personalities are regarded to be "shoes off" or natural expressions of preferences. These personalities are more likely to be expressed when one feels at home.

The conclusion was that the MBTI instrument captures our "At Home" personality and the Pair (expressed in the Enneagram result) captures our "At Work" personality. While there is no one-to-one relationship between type and Pair, there are very strong patterns of relationships, Enneagram Patterns in MBTI Type Tables (Gabbard 2001).


Usually, MBTI occupational lists are constructed for each of the sixteen types based on the type fraction from occupational type tables. However, these top 50 lists do not represent a consistent occupational theme. If the top 50 lists are coded for the nine basic occupational groupings, or business chapters used in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Atlas of Type Tables (Macdaid 1986), rarely does any business chapter comprise more than 20% of these lists.

Unlike ordinary MBTI occupational lists, these lists are constructed for a Pair (two MBTI types). The rankings of occupations from the MBTI Career Report Manual (Hammer 1992) are used in creating Pair scores to identify occupations that are mutually attractive to two MBTI types. The simplest way of constructing Pair scores is to add the rankings of the two MBTI types used in the Pair. All of the Pair scores for an occupation can be compared. Based on the rankings, the low Pair score wins. (Low scores indicate high preferences.) Code letters, which represent each of the different Pairs, can be used to create occupational codes. Code letters are reported in the order of ascending Pair score. Codes are reported for the lower 40% of the Pair score range and codes for the lower 10% are capitalized. Finally, these codes can be sorted to produce focused lists with strong occupational themes, Occupational Lists for Career Counseling Professionals (Gabbard 2003).

MBTI arrangements result in twelve occupational themes and Enneagram arrangements produce nine occupational themes. Both can be depicted on a chart of twelve occupational lists. Nine of these lists will be common to MBTI and Enneagram users. Three lists will be unique to MBTI users but will also apply to certain types of Enneagram results.

The resulting lists are called Type Occupational Theme (TOT) Lists and the occupational codes are called TOT Codes. TOT Codes can be used exactly like Holland Occupational Codes. If you know your MBTI type, a List Order Table directs you to the Themes that have the best occupational matches for your type. Comparison of type and Pair can give a prediction of occupational burnout. Knowledge of your Enneagram type, Point or number, will provide direct access to these lists. Knowledge of the Enneagram will also allow client discussions about:

  • Career limiting personality dynamics (Fixation, Passion and Trap)
  • Extra work functionality (Wings)
  • Stress at work (Stress Point)
  • Following your bliss (Heart Point)
  • Transcending personality limitations (Transformation)

In summary, MBTI professionals can be directed (List Order Table) to these very focused TOT Lists in an efficient manner. Please remember that these focused lists will be readily accepted or rejected by clients. If rejected, simply proceed to the next list. This is much easier than searching through top 50 lists that are a rather random mixture of these themes. A knowledge of the Enneagram can provide a wealth of occupational information for your client. This information is being presented on June 26th in a roundtable session, MBTI Occupational Themes with Enneagram Applications, at the NCDA 2003 Career Development Across the Lifespan Conference.


Gabbard, L. J. (2001). Enneagram Patterns in MBTI Type Tables. Arvada, CO: eLCie.

Gabbard, L. J. (2003). Occupational Lists for Career Counseling Professionals. Arvada, CO: eLCie.

Hammer, A.& Macdaid, G. (1992). MBTI Career Report Manual. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.

Macdaid, G. P., McCaulley, M. H. & Kainz, R. I. (1986). Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Atlas of Type Tables. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press, Inc.


Larry Gabbard,
Career Counselor, Trainer. B.S.M.E., M.S., M.A. Trained in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Studied, researched and taught the Enneagram. Authored Occupational Lists for Career Counseling Professionals and Enneagram Patterns in MBTI Type Tables. Supervisor engineering teams, AT&T. Trainer, Forty Plus of Colorado. Presenter Association for Psychological Type, Colorado Career Development Association and International Enneagram Association conferences. Website: www.elcie.com



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