An Introvert Asks: What would be ideal jobs for introverts?

97

An introvert named Paul sent me a message asking what sort of jobs would be best for introverts. Although I’m sure there are happy introverts in every sort of position, I did tell him that I myself would prefer something one-on-one like counselor, or just working alone, like writing or doing very technical work in the background. In the comments please share with him your own ideas and experiences.

One thing I’d be curious to hear some input on would be ideal jobs for introverts… I say this having gone through a couple of sales-related positions, and having been miserable doing them. I’ve been looking for work for a little while now, and am curious to find out where other introverts have found success and fulfillment at work.

——————————————————————–
IntrovertZone Update: I just bought a book a couple of weeks ago: Do What You Are : Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type–Revised and Updated Edition Featuring E-careers for the 21st Century. It has been out for quite a while so you may be able to find it in your library or at a very cheap price somewhere.

The book includes chapters for verifying your personality type, then it has four chapters about temperament and learning your own strengths (and which ones you like to use publicly vs. privately).  THEN, it has a separate chapter for each of the 16 MBTI personality types. The book ends with a chapter on putting it all together and creating your personal career plan.  Looks like a great resource for people making decisions even as early as high school!

Share.

97 Comments

  1. I’m currently trying to get a job as a medical writer. This job seems ideal for an introvert like me; it doesn’t involve any ‘networking’, it doesn’t involve any quick/on-the-spot thinking, it requires thoroughness and a close attention to detail, and (I’m hoping!) it’s the type of thing where you can be left alone to complete your assignment. The only problem is that I work more slowly (and thoroughly!) than others, so meeting endless tight deadlines might be stressful!

    By the way, on another topic; I absolutely *love* this site. I only discovered it about a month ago, but your posts and comments have been a great source of insight and encouragement for me. I certainly no longer feel so weird for having my introvert tendencies!

  2. I agree with this post. I knew at a very early age that I wanted to work with computers or in a technical field. Now that I have some work experience in an office setting (office politics, external customers etc) that I have gained from an on campus college job, I realize that I much prefer working with a computer and maybe a small team. I functioned fine in the office setting and even excelled, but found it to be very exhausting at times and it would make me miserable after a while. I used short walks and small cubicles to hide away and “recharge” when I felt myself becoming irritated by others.I know for a fact that I have no interest in sales because dealing with others can be irritating. Office settings can also be a problem if the culture is strongly based on politics instead of the work that needs to be done.

    So, in short, an ideal job would be any that allows to have a comfortable amount of exposure to the elements and lots of time to yourself. In my case, technology is best. I am a recent college graduate searching for entry level programming or web development positions because these positions only require minimal supervision and small team projects. Most of the work is done individually and the team may only meet to discuss goals and integration once the development is done.

  3. A great question…the answer lies within finding your passion, purpose and strengths. Looking for and environment to do that in seems to be secondary. I realized that I have a lot of life experience to share and that writing (happens to be through blogging) is an excellent way to achieve this.

    Writing, computers, one on one counseling and many creative jobs are great for both right and left brained introverts. Look at your core values and strengths and you will find the right role. Networking to find it seems to be the harder part.
    simply stephen´s last post ..innovation and spirit – changing your perspective

  4. I have always wanted to make movies since I was a kid (Writer/Director), as I got older it devolped more into creating stories whether medium of movies, comics, books, etc. However I don’t think being a director is an ideal job for an introvert, and the only reason I want to pursue that line of work is because it’s always been my dream, so I’m willing to exhaust myself in the process. However I think the writing part is massively ideal, so long as you have the creativity, whenever I write I find such solace that is only beaten by music.

    I have tried work in warehouses, stores, restaurants, painting (and other work similar) and roofing, and the only one where I really felt comfortable is painting barns, sheds, fences, etc when I was younger and also to get some extra money, the reason for this is because I do it allow, the other most comfortable job was working in a warehouse, which I found to fit my needs very well, I could engage in conversations but they were always some ones because after completing one thing I could go and do another thing, the only time I disliked working their was when I would have to deal with dvd/cd cases (by sorting out the stickers on cases) because I might be next to somebody who feels uncomfortable in silence (however their was music on, so I can’t understand why anyone would feel the need to do smalltalk).

    Overall I would suggest a line of work that allows you to be by yourself for most of the time.

    • Apologises for the spelling errors caused by writting too fast, it may not bover anyone else but it personally bovers me.

  5. Funny that I ran across this the same day I quite my job to work online from home.

    Being the Introvert I am, I’ve been waiting all my life to live like this. Just finished a 14 year run in retail and sales. Enough! I’m TIRED!

    I’m now writing and copyediting content for various web sites. I also do web developing (mainly as a hobby) but do land the odd contract here and there. I found enough work via “freelancer for hire” type web sites to support my quiet lifestyle. AND it’s paying me better than any other job in recent years.

    Don’t discount freelancer sites because you aren’t ‘technical’ minded. There are jobs there in many categories including the content writing I mentioned above.

    I’m now 100% independent and my solitude is now secured. Hours are… well… whenever you feel like it. 🙂
    Me!´s last post ..Those Eight Deadly Words…

    • That sounds amazing! I just recently graduated with a my BA and I’ve now been working in a customer service position for about 2 months. I’ve been finding that what I miss the most about being on the college campus is the solitude to be left alone to do your own work, and also doing your own work on your own time/pace. I do find myself to have more introverted tendencies, and working with customers is making me miserable. Now I guess I’m just browsing web-site to see what would be a better job.

  6. Haven’t been on this site in awhile…so glad to be back. Everyone has different asperations in life but mine has to be in a field where I can actually help ppl in need. My drug of choice is the hospital scene. Still trying to get a job at hospitals, but I volunteer for the hospital offices like HR , medical filing, etc. I love dealing patients b/c everyone has a story but I would rather be surrounded in a orderly world of paper work. That way I am helping ppl, just indirectly.

  7. Oh, this one’s easy: Air traffic controller.

    Seriously, you don’t need to talk to anybody except the pilots under your control, and when you do, it’s very regimented, routine, and there is no superfluous dialogue. There’s no dealing with the masses, it’s just you, the pilots, and maybe a half dozen other people (depending on your location) in your immediate vicinity. And communications with these colleagues are all business. No room for small talk when you’re responsible for the lives of hundreds of people at any given moment. 🙂

    That’s my plan anyway. 🙂

    • My boyfriend’s a pilot, and yes a lot of times you’re busy and it’s all business, but he also tells me of the “slow days” when both pilots and ATC just wanna chat… i guess you never have to meet the pilots face-to-face though, which is a plus!

  8. Yes, an Introvert can thrive in any career. TV news reporter to plumber, research scientist to actor. That said, there are careers that are easier on the introvert than others.

    I got into computers. I started out in engineering but the advanced calculus defeated me. Computers were very easy for me. I’m now combining computers and writing.

    Engineer, researcher, statistician, truck driver and landscaper come to mind as posibilities.

  9. Market research analyst, finacial analyst, accountant, auditor or other finance jobs would be good for introverts. Of course, only if you’re the one who’s strong at analytical thinking, good at math and out of box thinking.

    Yeah, these are jobs I aim for because I’ve always been a logical and deep-thinking person. I have started a commercial apprenticeship, and it’s fucking boring. The job is not hard. If you want to be good in the eyes of your boss, you just have to smile (or fake it) and talk a lot. I’m glad I’ll be getting my degree in this summer!

    I’m not saying it’s a bad education. It’s a good basic education. I’m so looking forward to go to a school to earn a bachelor degree soon. 🙂
    BlinKinGhost´s last post ..When to Not Have a Bad Conscience about Ditching School

  10. The best work for introvert (for me as well) is creating sites, blogs and SEO. That’s calm and quiet kind of activity that just gives money and allow you to travel or read or do whatever you want.

    • Hi Allison, I just happened upon this website and think it is great! If I knew “then “what I know “now” my life would have been so much easier!

      I am recently retired and am looking for an engaging activity that doesn’t require all the things that extroverts crave and are good at. I am absolutely “done” with role playing, team activities and being dinged for not being more outgoing.

      Can you expand on your work as an archivist a bit? Would love to hear the ins and outs, the potential for engrossing engagements of the mind and the nitty gritty as well…how does one get started and thrive?

      Thanks, Allison.

  11. My favorite job ever was as a 911 Dispatcher. Similar to what Andrew said about Air Traffic Controller; you don’t have to deal with people face to face, it’s all business so no small talk, you are doing something critical and meaningful and… it is pretty exciting and fun.

  12. I also suggest some online jobs. You can work at home and there’s no need to interact with people face to face. There are a lot of online jobs that you can apply for like data entry, seo, writing, etc. Best of luck to Paul. 🙂

  13. I totally agree with Ira. online home based job would fit for people who have introvert personality. It would at least help them do away with socialization. But best if Paul will try to fight his negative personality who knows he might be one of the best employee in a big company.

  14. Pingback: Best Jobs for People Who Like to Be Alone…Introverts!

  15. I think it depends on what type of introvert you are.. Me being an ISFP, I tend to like “doing thing” and feeling the pulse of life in my hands rather than sitting on a computer.. Truck Driving, Welding, or anything that allows you do create with your hand or allows you to FOCUS on a specific task is a perfect job for the ISFP introvert… It depends on your personality type I think i.e isfp, infp, intj, intp, istj ect…..

    • Hi Baron,

      I decided to take up air traffic control recently because I thought it would suit my personalit. I am an ISFP. Mind if I ask what you do?

      Andy

  16. This question is the same if you ask what jobs would be ideal for Sagittarius or Virgo… People all differ!!! They have thier interests, skills and talants. And there can be no right answer for this question!

  17. Here’s a career choice that works for many introverts: it’s life and business coaching. Why is it great for introverts? Coaching is often a home-based business. We connect to other people all the time, but we deplete our energy less when we connect by computer or phone. We still need to market to attract clients, but more and more, we can do that via internet, as well. Social media and BLOGS are great client attraction tools.

    You may already know that coaching is one of the fastest growing careers in the 21st Century. Now you know that it is also one of the fastest growing for introverts.
    Julia Stewart@Life Coach Certification´s last post ..How to Get Life Coach Certification

    • I totally agree with this one. I spent years trying to find the right career combination that allowed me to help others (without being exhausted), work from anywhere, and have the time I need to either travel, be outdoors, or pursue other interests. Blogging and Coaching are ways to feel connected and know you are making a difference – without the backlash of exhaustion!!

  18. The absolute perfect job has to be working from home doing something that would not need and interaction with clients at all, making money from an automated system like adsense or some other affiliate program. This is my dream job, if I was offered the change of that or to a world class tennis player I would go with the stay at home job. I have tried it and its difficult, I think it is possible but would take years to get established.

    Which coaching I have to question if an introvert coaching is a good idea as do we really want to be passing introvert like tendencies onto the people who we are coaching?
    danika´s last post ..Free dating sites

    • Introversion is NOT a curse or bad habit. It’s a natural, inborn trait, orientation or perspective through which one experiences life. There is no best way to be, although certain cultures promote particular orientations. For example, in the US or Brazil- Extroversion is promoted as the ideal. In Sweden or Japan- Introversion is promoted as the ideal. They’re both ideal!! Just gifts differing!!

    • Jessica Dickerson on

      Your comment makes it seem as though being an introvert is character defect. Being an introvert means that your energy comes from within you, whereas extroverts are energized by others and their environment.

  19. Zen Richards on

    School teacher. Although you’re around kids everyday, you can distinguish “on” time from “off” time. I can shut the door when the kids are gone, I’m home early, I don’t have to interact with anybody for two months during the summer, AND, I rarely run into people I’ve taught – or if I do, a simple, “Are you enjoying your summer?” is normally sufficient.

    • Thank-you sir,
      I am a strong INFP, and have struggled with having enough money while doing meaningful work–all my life. Thinking of working with 7th grade kids coming out of elementary school—since as a child’s counselor I saw much pain in this group.

      Do you know what the life and stress level of a 7th grade teacher might be like?

      thanks for your insights!

  20. I think working from home will be ideal, but a problem i think theres difficulty in getting a home job, even setting up your own website if you cant find any good ideas. Other then home job i think working find a job to routinely only work with data will be ideal.

  21. Im Article Writer in Odesk, Im happy to have a introvert job. Because some introverts may have shyness; others are simply examining their lives and exercising profound intuition. Some extroverts are gregarious and good leaders, others may represent the temporal characteristics of the unloaded wagon rolling along a cobblestone street – loud and empty.

  22. Rita the Rebel on

    Help!
    I simply have to find (yet another) career before I dig myself a hole and burry myself alive.
    I have a wonderful job by most people’s standards: I work part time, my hourly rate is high, my boss is lovely, my colleagues are very nice (when I choose to see them) AND I work with a motivated, upper-class, highly appreciative population.
    So what’s my problem? I’m exhausted all the time: being an ESL instructor and having to be “on” with people (even for only three- to five-hours per day) KILLS me because it is so contrary to my introverted personality. I can only take people in small doses or I am drained for the rest of the day and night. I am looking for a career change but I am uncompromising on several points:
    – I can’t sit at a computer all day long. (I have physical limitations due to permanent injuries, although, my keyboarding is excellent and I am more comfortable communicating in writing than in speech).
    – I don’t want to get any more education, beyond (perhaps) a very short course or program. (I already have fifteen years of university — BA, MA, PhD, TRS Cert. (therapeutic recreation specialist), PR Cert. (public relations practitioner)
    Does anyone have any ideas for me?
    Now, before everyone answers at once, let me tell you what kinds of jobs I have already tried, hated and left:
    – University Professor (Sessional) — I don’t want to work at home after having worked all day and I don’t want to deal with undergraduate students anymore (for many reasons!) or all the politics involved in associating with snobby academics
    – Printing Company Manager — too many people and way too much multi-tasking and not enough opportunities to correct/edit/write because customers did their own writing (with generally horrible results)
    – Correctional Officer — too many difficult and dangerous people on THIS side of the bars
    – Mental Health Counsellor/Recreational Therapist — unrewarding because the mentally ill people with whom I worked (patients AND co-workers) never seemed to get better
    – Public Relations Practitioner — too many co-workers with superiority complexes; no appreciation for the importance of ‘communications auditors’ among small business owners who are happy to let secretaries do all their writing for them (…so, with few sales-skills at my disposal anyway, I couldn’t get any ‘freelance’ work for myself)
    Executive Assistant — LOVED being ‘second in command’/ like ‘Radar’ from M*A*S*H, but I detested working in a large bureaucracy
    – Telephone Operator: Canadian Gallup Poll Organization, Various Tele-marketing Companies, Giving Public Transportation Directions — WAY too much talking…to people.
    – Sales: yes, I even did a stint in retail, selling leather. I still have several nice pieces of clothing and that was where I met my best friend, but, otherwise, the job certainly wasn’t for me for obvious reasons.
    – Editor: mixed reviews on this one… difficult to get work, lots of cursing involved at the stupidity of the novelist for making numerous logical as well as writing errors, but good money for what I did (part-time/freelance)
    There are certainly things that I like doing very much — working with clay, playing with dogs, giving advice and providing information, criticizing and recommending, attempting to grow my own produce (mixed results!), playing music, rock-climbing, learning modern languages, etc. — but none of them is especially lucrative, unfortunately, especially when one prefers to avoid extended contact with people and being “on” all the time.
    I am in a situation where I can do many things reasonably well (cooking, playing musical instruments, putting together outfits, painting interiors, dancing, typing, instructing…blah, blah, blah), but nothing REALLY well enough to be an expert at it.
    And, of course, even though I’m very fit (albeit a bit banged up from multiple accidents), I’m certainly not getting any younger but I’m in no position to retire.
    All of this said, I would really really appreciate it if my fellow introverts had any suggestions for me. I am certainly out of ideas at this point.
    Thanks for putting up with my ranting! ~ r 🙂

    • thanks, wow, I’ve also been through a lot of roles, jobs, and realities, and my introversion never goes away 🙂

      The mental health field is difficult when you are expecting to see results, and heartbreaking when the results don’t come or don’t last. My master’s degree only put me on the front lines of a never-ending battle that is underfunded and overly medicated…

      Like you, I have a LOT of aptitudes, but this old desire to have a meaningful life that serves others is really difficult, but being-something-I’m-not is a fate worse than death, especially for an INFP like me.

      love to brainstorm more,
      thanks very much for your post!

      • Yeah, I feel for you. I’m pterty excited for Benton to talk, just so I can have a two-way conversation. Not that it will be about anything more than dirt, but that’s something. I agree that blogging is definitely a good outlet. I so wish we were neighbors! Maybe I need to make an effort to meet my real neighbors over here. Hmmm…

    • I am going through the exact same thing. Trying to find the right fit for a job is difficult with our personalities. Have you ever considered working with animals? Working at an animal shelter or veterinarian office? Perhaps a zoo? I have often thought about these things but have not tried them. Some of it is seasonal work, often times low paying. But it’s a thought. Good luck. 🙂

      • Working at an animal hospital and being in the veterinary field (15 years now), I know first hand that this is NOT aplace for an introvert (myself included). Too bad it took me going to college for 3 years and many thousands of dollars in debt for that schooling, to give me the “opportunity” to find out that this is not the field for me. I have been at roughly 8 animal hospitals over the last 15 years (I average about 2 years at each place before I get overwhelmed with the people there) and I find them all the same. The fact that you are dealing with the pet’s owner more than you deal with the pet, and EVERYTHING revolves around finances and your ability to “sell” diagnostics/food/products/vaccines to the owners. I am currently faced with considering a new profession. After 15 years, the college education, my love for animals, and the desire to educate clients, I really feel like I have failed at what I have always “wanted” to do. If there was a way that I could by-pass the whole people aspect of the job, then it would be great! Just my insight on this 🙂

    • Can you elaborate further on your statement. You mentioned that you wanna know your job. What do you mean by that? Thanks

  23. I think being an air traffic controller is definitely an option. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to handle the stress. It is a job that suits an introvert well. Some people are laconic by nature, yet they are intelligent and can handle non-face-to-face work situations well.

  24. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have consider your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I really like what you’ve bought right here, certainly like what you’re saying and the best way through which you say it. You are making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful site.
    top langauge jobs´s last post ..1

  25. I would say a great job for an introvert is to write a column for movie reviews. You find a lot of introverts enjoy watching others without necessarily participating which is pretty much what watching movies are all about and then getting paid for your thoughts on them is the icing on the cake

  26. My husband and i got really fulfilled when Michael could finish up his analysis through the entire precious recommendations he grabbed in your site. It’s not at all simplistic to simply always be handing out secrets that other folks have been selling. We recognize we have got the writer to be grateful to because of that. The specific illustrations you made, the simple site menu, the friendships you will make it easier to create – it is most unbelievable, and it’s really helping our son and our family do think that theme is thrilling, which is certainly pretty important. Many thanks for everything!
    music education´s last post ..1

  27. My ideal job is in a back office but there seem to be no such jobs anymore. I would be happy in a job where I could work at my own pace with few interruptions. There would also have to be no speed factor and no multitasking involved. Again, it seems there are no such jobs. I like to idea of working from home, but there are too many scams out there My skills and education are suited to such jobs as Virtual Assistant. This type of work seems to be done mostly in the third world countries such as India.

    I volunteer and I hope to find some leads through that if I can find anything that isn’t all volunteer work.

  28. I’m an introvert and studying Architecture. Its hard most of the times in this field as so much networking with clients, etc is involved, not to mention my problem working in a team.
    But I’m optimistic about my future as there is scope of opening my own architectural firm/office where I can work on my own or as a freelancer .
    Now-a-days so much software works is involved is this field – good news for us, introverts.
    One can easily spend the day working on computer making 3D models, renders, etc.

    So I think ARCHITECTURE or LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE is a very nice career option for us introverts as we are also known for being creative !!

    • I disagree with Raktim’s comments. I’m an architect, and find the constant client meetings, consultant meetings, and hearings overly stressful as an introverted person. Yes, you do get to draw and sometimes be creative, but this is a very extroverted profession. Only inexperienced interns right out of school get to quietly draw on the computer. One option may be draftsman, which seems to be more behind the scenes.

  29. I’m an introvert but for me, ideal jobs would really be up to you. the important thing is you love the job, the nature of work and the work place. But I do agree also that we prefer solitary activities, then you may choose any jobs related to writing, computer (online), composer, photography, etc.

  30. I had a job online and I earned much from it. I’m happy and very much contented to what I have now. It’s just, you need to enjoy, believe in yourself, and work where you are comfortable.

  31. I think working online would be best for introverts. I am not a public type person so I prefer just being at home in front of my computer. I enjoy it most than being with somebody because I don’t have to think of topics that we could both talk about.

  32. Well there is no hard and fixed rules that introverts would be better suited for writing or those back office jobs, where little interaction with others would be required. In my opinion it is matter of discovering yourselves. I was also an introvert and thought sales would be some thing I could not excel.

    But when I started out my business, I hired people for sales and after a while getting frustrated with their output, I myself started selling and found it to be a very challenging and rewarding experience.

    So bottom line is to find what you really enjoy and do not hinder yourself with some self defeating label.

  33. I have just finished high school and I am having a gap year before hopefully heading into the army as a medic. At the moment I have two jobs.. one at a fast food joint which I hate because it requires me to interact with random people and then a kitchen hand in a warehouse (random job) this job I enjoy because I only have to talk to the other few employees but unfortunately this job is only seasonal and will soon be over.
    So I am unskilled and desparate for a full time job (hate shift work) which requires no or little interaction between me and a customer. Because lets face it I can’t talk to people, they make me nervous and I don’t like how forced I feel when I am supposted to sell them something. It’s just not me. So I need help with jobs that I can apply to.

  34. I think introverts can do jobs that require an extroverted personality if they are good actors. I find it extremely tiring to always be playing a role. I must hide my personality and pretend to be someone I am not. This is what I find extremely difficult about today’s workplace, where only extroverts are wanted.

  35. This is a great site! I am a true introvert, and also antisocial (not saying that’s good or bad, it just IS a fact of my life). I currently do premium audits both phone and field (guess which one I like best???). It’s frustrating for many reasons but I keep reminding myself that I am at HOME (my most important goal) with my kitties and I can fling my finger up in the air and shout if I choose and do not have to answer to anybody. I can get up and go the bathroom when I choose and nobody is looking for me while wondering “where did Michelle go???, what is Michelle doing???, why has Michelle been gone for 5 minutes???…and on and on and on. I am at peace working at home. And it’s so funny, people referring to role playing, you are SO right on…when I go do field audits, I psyche myself out, plaster on the “smile” and actually have a nice interaction most of the time, but my ideal is still dealing with nobody. I think the more I read and analyze this, if I could write books that would be ideal. No interaction (except with publishers, etc.). This is an enlightening and self-affirming site, it makes us realize we’re not alone AND that introverts come in all forms – some of us are happy with an office of our own, some with minimal interaction, and then some, like myself, are happiest with NO interaction!! Thanks everyone for your contributions and even more chances for further analysis. 🙂

  36. Thanks so much, I read all the comments and it helps me a lot. I always thought I was weird or had a mental illness because I didn’t want to speak to people, wanted to stay home, liked to be alone doing my own stuff. And if I go out, I always have to playing a role, hide myself and pretend to be someonelse, smiling etc…
    My ideal job would be to write books.

  37. Career Counsellor? You’re highly educated yet can’t make up your mind, how about helping people make up THEIR minds. You would be working with people who are more than likely immigrants, unemployed, underemployed. Perhaps your vast job experience can help you to help people out to determind what will and will not suit them?

  38. Yeah innies do have a tough life but everybody does. Best thing is that there are websites like this that can let us out of our houses without leaving the security and comfort of our homes

  39. I too am an introvert and probably always will be. Having said that, I am a freelance writer and I love my job. I write from home and never have to see anyone. The less contact with people, the better I say.

Leave A Reply

CommentLuv badge