Jobs for introverts are luckily plentiful, contrary to popular belief. The difficulty, however, is often understanding and embracing your introvert personality and finding a job that suits you best.
Introverts don’t want just any job or career. They want to do something they love, something they are passionate about. This is particularly true for INFJ personality types. They want to do what “ they were born to do,” to use their creative gifts and abilities in ways that bring personal fulfilment and contribute to the collective good.
“Especially in the first half of life, Introverts are most interested in discovering exactly what it is they have to offer the world. They see self-knowledge as a prerequisite to authentic action. Without an adequate map of themselves, they feel lost and aimless. For them, external circumstances are far less important than self-understanding and self-direction. Once they have a sense of who they are and what they should be doing, they feel they can be happy anywhere.”
Introverts, however, face unique obstacles when it comes to their careers. They tend to have more of a difficulty in attaining this proverbial goal due to their personality types.
Why a majority of introverts are not happy at work:
As an introvert, there are plenty of external factors that can cause frustration, energy drain, and burnout on the job. For instance:
The interview process often prioritises social ability over concrete skills and competence, even if the job isn’t necessarily a people-facing position. Naturally, this is often a barrier to entry for many introverts.
Modern office layouts have become predominantly open plan, which can bombard introverts with noise and distractions.
A majority of managers tend to prioritise collaboration instead of focussed work. Where introverts tend to enjoy working independently and working in smaller groups rather than large crowds.
Most managers simply don’t realise that introverts bring unique strengths to teams, and don’t know how to get the most out of their introverted employees.
These are, of course, not all the contributing factors to job dissatisfaction. Much has to do with introverts understanding and accepting their personality types and making career discussion based on that.
Some of the most successful introverts have found careers that let them take control of their work and process, making the most of their unique set of skills and the way their brains are wired.
Some key strengths introverts bring to the workplace:
Introverts tend to be focused, diligent workers and very productive as they enjoy working independently. They are good listeners, taking the time to understand an objective before proceeding.
So let’s look at some of jobs options for introverts of all kinds.
JOBS FOR INTROVERTS
There are certain industries or fields of work that tend to suit introverts quite well. Here are a few wider industries to consider, with plenty of jobs within each sector for you to discover. We will delve into more detailed jobs later on.
As naturally introspective individuals introverts often gravitate to caring professions. Working as a therapist or a mental health counsellor requires deep thinking, empathetic listening, and focusing on one other person exclusively — all skills that introverts have in spades.
Introverts’ natural empathy and ability to listen deeply and help people come to a realisation about themselves is why many introverts succeed in this profession.
There are researchers in nearly every industry and while each field will have its own unique attributes, all research positions require two things that are introvert strengths – written communication and extensive independent work.
It is important however to be aware of your preferred work style as different research positions entail different procedures. For instance. Marketing research is likely to involve big-picture thinking and identifying trends, while other research positions such as medical or financial research will be more repetitive requiring you to follow the same procedures every day.
Contrary to popular belief, lawyers aren’t all strong-voiced extrovert who’s always up for public debate. Research shows that the majority of lawyers are in fact introverts. Even trial lawyers spend the majority of their time researching, writing and preparing cases.
Paralegal work is also well suited for Introverts as it’s detail-orientated work that is big on research, writing and is predominantly work happening out of the spotlight.
Information Technology (IT)
The information technology industry involves a lot of focused, individual work and is still very much a growth industry with plenty of opportunities. Especially in the roles of systems administrator, software engineer, data analyst and web developers.
These jobs aren’t just in high demand but are generally well paid as well. They often have an emphasis on creative problem solving or creating something new, which are all introvert strengths.
This can take on many forms as you may choose to start your own business or work as a freelancer working on a project-by-project basis. Introverts thrive working for themselves as they love working independently and having the ability to forge their own way.
Transitioning to self-employment is however difficult and needs to be done gradually in most cases. It is often easier to slowly build your client list as a side-hustle and then transiting to full-time self-employment.
Introverts tend to need plenty of nature time to recharge their social batteries, hence why any nature related work suits introverts well. Whether it’s landscaper, park ranger, forester, or botanist, outdoor work tends to involve a lot of long quiet periods.
The field works well for people who communicate best one-on-one since you’d be working with an individual or a small team to beautify a space.
Introverts tend to be naturally creative in general so creative professions tend to suit them well. With the prevalence of freelance gigs and work-from-home jobs on the rise, the need for face time in the workplace has decreased.
Positions such as a photographer, video editor, animator or writer fit introverts particularly well as they all involve a lot of solo work. It is important to evaluate the company culture though when not working freelance since many companies focus on collaboration while others understand the need for focussed work.
While these are certainly not all the industries that introverts can thrive in, they are some broad strokes to help you identify where your introvert strengths could be well suited.
JOBS FOR INTROVERTS WITH ANXIETY
Anxious introverts often find it even more difficult to deal with large groups of people and will not be happy in a job where this is a major part of the role.
Some things that that a job should not include to help anxious introverts would be a role with lots of networking, loud, noise and bright environments, pressures such as sales quotas or benchmarks, presentations and sales calls and unstable working conditions.
Granted, very few people would enjoy those factors in any job, but they are particular trigger points for introverts with anxiety.
Here are some jobs that would suit introverts with anxiety:
Number & Data crunching: economist, tax preparer, mathematician, statistician, astronomer, actuary, financial analyst.
Tech-related: Computer hardware engineer, computer and information systems managers, application software developer, and others.
Service jobs: Janitor, gardener, tailor, truck driver, garbage truck driver, mail deliverer, house painter, dog walker
Industrial machine repair
Social Media Manager
CREATIVE CAREERS FOR INTROVERTS
A lot of introverts tend to be naturally creative, that does not always mean creative in the simple sense of being an artist. Introverts are creative thinkers and have a natural tendency to want to find the beauty in everything.
Here are some creative job ideas for introverts:
Market Research Analyst
Chef, Pastry Chef, or Line Cook
TRAVEL JOBS FOR INTROVERTS
Introverts who love to travel might find travel related jobs very appealing as it does not require office based work. Working remotely has become more prevalent than ever before and therefore there are many more jobs being created every day that can suit a travel lifestyle.
All of these jobs will allow you to travel the world while suiting your introvert needs.
English teacher abroad
Import & Export
Work for an international hotel chain
Social Media Manager
WORST JOBS FOR INTROVERTS
We all have predispositions as to what careers we are likely to enjoy and not enjoy dependant on our personality types. This is no different for introverts. Introverts do not tend to enjoy work environments with lots of distractions and large groups of people.
Introverts find enjoyment in helping people, though some environments don’t lend themselves to introvert needs.
Here are some jobs introverts tend to avoid:
Call centres/ cold calling
Real estate agent
Human Resource Management
TV Show Host
Introverts are more inclined to seek meaning in their work since it’s not the workplace camaraderie that they enjoy but rather doing the work itself. They have a deep desire for their career to have a purpose and not just to have a job.
It is important to understand your introvert personality traits, strengths and weaknesses.This will help you choose a job that is more likely to suit your deepest desires. Introverts bring a myriad of strengths to the workforce and can find success in many industries that will hopefully bring them personal fulfilment as well.
What are some of the worst and best jobs you have had as in introvert? Tell us in the comments below.