What 3 Elements Do “Questioners” Look for in Jobs?

Questioner's wishes

Drawing by Elizabeth Wagele

Some Questioners like a job where they can fight for a cause. Some like a job where they can use their gifts of loyalty and compassion. Others want to use their intellect. Still others care mostly about things like safety, security, and having a boss they can trust.

No matter what your Enneagram type, however, according to Ingrid Stabb in The Career Within You, if you’re looking for a new career or assessing your present career, it’s likely that one of the following career needs will outweigh the others:

  • the opportunity to work on your interests or passions
  • the income it will provide, or
  • successful affiliation with other people. Here’s a Questioner example of each:

Affiliating and fighting for causes

Ouklemedao worked to foster developing governments in Ethiopia and Palau after graduating from law school. Then he joined a nonprofit called the Consumers Union, where he discovered a discrepancy between what the group sought to accomplish as a civil rights organization and how it was treating its own lower-level employees. The group’s terminology was an example of the problem. There were “the professional staff” (the lawyers) and “the nonprofessional staff” (the workers, who were all women of color). The professional staff acted surprised when a nonprofessional came up with a good idea. Even though he was seen as a troublemaker stirring things up, Ouklemedao pushed for and held a series of meetings to help employees resolve problems such as this in the workplace.

Working for money and gaining knowledge

Hailey joined a start-up after college, learned accounting on the fly with her college textbooks, and got an accounting degree in her off hours. Three years later her company had millions in revenue and employed over a hundred people, and she was fulfilling the role of company comptroller. Accounting wasn’t stimulating enough, however, and her hard work wasn’t yielding the rewards she expected. She then got an MBA and chose a traditional path at the Clorox Company in order to best obtain classical brand management experience. At such a large corporation she didn’t like having to go through seven layers of bosses to get decisions made. She realized start-ups were better environments for her to use her strong problem-solving skills. Once Hailey moved to a product marketing position at a more entrepreneurial online photo company, she was pleased with her career choices.

Following her passion and expressing loyalty

Arlette’s career path didn’t look like it would end up where it has. After college, she studied in France on a Fulbright scholarship, then came back to New York to pursue acting and get a graduate degree in French literature. After getting married and having two children, she became interested in social welfare and worked one-on-one with kids with extremely serious emotional problems. She student taught in East Harlem and got a special education credential. When she substituted in high schools and in difficult fourth to sixth grades classes, a principal heard about how well she worked with difficult children. Children respond to her enthusiastically because of her humor, compassion, and loyalty to them.

(This is the 6th in series of career motivations.

See my Psychology Today blog of 5/17/11 for Perfectionists:             http://www.psychologytoday.com/

my WordPress blog of 6-14-11 for Helpers: https://ewagele.wordpress.com/

my Psychology Today blog of 6-21-11 for Achievers,

my WordPress blog of 6-28-11 for Romantics,

and my Psychology Today blog of 7-5-11 for Observers.)


Buy the The Career Within You,

Career Within You e-book

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