Some of us quieter, more introverted types don’t always have it easy in a world seemingly built for extroverts. This makes finding jobs for introverts that are fulfilling and also pay the bills a not so easy thing to do. The world does not always cater to us few who shy away from loud people, forced interactions and social craziness. This is especially true for someone like myself who is also a HSP (highly sensitive person.) As a result, when it comes to our careers we often have to choose jobs that aren’t fulfilling or a great fit. It’s very likely that the people we work with will rub us the wrong way and stress us out. Personally I have had jobs that made life feel like it wasn’t worth living if I had to go back to work one more day. Yes, dramatic I know.
I’ve put some thought into this issue and I want to share what I’ve learned. If I could live my life over again with the knowledge that I have now, I would do a few things differently. I think we probably all would. Knowing and understanding my personality as I do now, I would have had different criteria while choosing my career. I would have picked a job that would allow for a little more down time, less constant human interaction, and a job that I don’t bring home with me. I would have cared less about money and job security, and more about the happiness and fulfillment it would bring. What would motivate me and fill me with passion.
I definitely understand that not all of us have the liberty of choosing careers that make us happy. I’m just saying that I would have put a little more thought into it.
Figure out your strengths and weaknesses
An important thing to do when beginning the search for the right career is to realize what your strengths and weaknesses are. Some people (extroverts) tend to view our character traits as weaknesses. They don’t understand us or how we operate. They don’t always take the time to get to know us because they assume we’re weak, shy or boring. Little do they know how wrong they are! They just don’t realize what a wonderful thing our introvert advantage is! We have such beautiful qualities as introverts. We’re more considerate, we notice little things more, and we’re good listeners. We’re insightful, empathetic and attentive. This means we don’t have to be told the same thing twice–which bosses view as a very valuable quality! We zero in on the task at hand and get it done, not feeling the need to socialize, communicate, catch someone’s attention from across the room, etc. We’re good at jobs that require focus and dedication.
That being said, introverts do get distracted! We tend to daydream a little. Introvert’s don’t always vocalize their thoughts so they tend to spin around in their head. We also do this as a way to disengage when there are too many people around or too many noises. We feel more comfortable inside our heads.
Noises can be big distractions, so headphones will be a big help if you’re allowed to wear them. They serve a double purpose: block out noises and serve as a notice to other people that you’re not available to talk: that is if they are able to take the hint.
A few of our more negative qualities are that we can be sensitive at times, anxious and annoyed by interruptions, and sometimes may be considered aloof. We also hate being put on the spot or being the butt of a joke. People have to get to know us in order to appreciate our finer qualities.
Once you figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are it’s time to consider what jobs and bosses will appreciate your unique talents. Consider jobs that allow you to choose when to interact and socialize with others, and when to go behind a closed door. It may be helpful to take a piece of paper and write down both your strengths and weaknesses, then write down several job ideas.
Write your dream jobs at the top and less desirable jobs at the bottom. In a separate section write down what is most important to you in life and what you want your life to look like in 5 years, 10 years, and 15 years. Evaluate which of the jobs on your list will help you to meet these goals.
Talk to other introverted people in your life and get their opinion. Ask them what they enjoy doing and what they would do differently if they could go back and do it again. Ask them if they feel that it’s more important to them to be happy and fulfilled in their career or for them to be able to make good money and have job security.
It’s important to set guidelines for how you interact with people and how you recharge. It can be difficult to be assertive at times, but it’s important to try to communicate with your coworkers that sometimes you need alone or quiet time. Assure them that it isn’t personal and has nothing to do with them. Explain to them that you just need time away from interaction and noise at times, and getting that time will help to make you a friendlier and more productive person. Then (hopefully) they will understand that if you don’t go to lunch with other people or you take breaks alone in your car that it’s not because you’re unfriendly and rude, you just need some peace and quiet. If they still refuse to listen, try physical cues like wearing headphones (if you’re allowed) or shutting your door. Always recognize your need to recharge and set times throughout the day to be alone. Depending on what your job is, it may have to be something as simple as going to the bathroom for 5 minutes or inventing excuses to walk away from the commotion for short breaks.
Types of Jobs for Introverts
As for types of jobs to pick from, there are obviously several options, I will list just a few ideas that someone like myself would be interested in. There are just too many options out there and there’s no way I can list them all.
Virtual assistants/social media managers is a big thing now. People like to hire someone to do all the work for them that can be done online.
Freelance work is another option. Websites like Fiverr showcase freelance workers with every type of job under the sun listed, such as illustrating, website and logo design, programming, marketing…the list goes on and on.
Writing and blogging is another good option if that interests you. I have always wanted to explore my creative side but had to finally accept that I wasn’t artistic. I’ve found I’m best at writing and that helps me to explore my creativity a little. There are tons of articles out there on how to make money blogging, I would suggest Googling some.
Write an eBook. These are rapidly growing more popular and people are making money off of them. Amazon Kindle Publish is a popular publisher of eBooks although there are many other options. Most of these eBook publishers seem to do most of the work for you, you just supply them your book, they publish it and give you the main percentage of profits.
If you are artistic then that opens many realms of possibilities for you such as illustrating (I would LOVE to do this if I were artistic) or painting.
Working with animals is another great option if you choose to do so. Become a veterinarian, animal biologist or dog trainer.
Transcribing, editing and proofreading can all be done online.
VIPKid or Florida Virtual School (if you’re a Florida resident) are two popular sources of online teaching jobs. If you have a Bachelor’s degree in any subject you can become licensed to teach a particular topic or grade from elementary school to high school without having to go back to school. This is true in Florida, I can’t speak for any other states.
Again, I know this list will not make everyone happy but I wrote what I’m passionate about. I’m sorry if you didn’t see anything that interests you.
In closing, I wish everyone the best. I hope you find what you’re looking for, whether it’s a starter job, a placeholder while you pay bills and get your life on track, or your dream job that you’re passionate about. Learn to embrace what makes you uniquely you and don’t cut yourself up to fit the mold. I hope this information resonates within you and motivates you to pick the right career for you. Good luck, and comment below if you have anything to add!