I’m often asked “what is the best job for an introvert?” To answer that, let’s begin with what is NOT the best job for an introvert:
Wanted: Outgoing multitasker with superior communication skills, a team attitude and a love for working with people. The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years experience working in a fast-paced customer service environment. Leadership skills are a plus, but not required. Entry level wages.
If you’ve ever searched for work for any length of time, the above job description probably sounds familiar. You looked for jobs that called for introverted singletaskers who love working alone, but there weren’t any.
Unless you work in a technical or artistic field, introvert friendly jobs are hard to find. Even jobs that are typically seen as introverted, such as IT jobs, often hire and evaluate employees with the extrovert ideal in mind.
One of the saddest aspects of living in an extrovert obsessed society is that the world misses out on all the gifts introverts have to offer.
The best job for an introvert is one that draws upon the below innie strengths.
After years of exalting multitasking as the ultimate form of productivity, researchers are now finding that single-tasking introverts had it right all along.
A Stanford Study found that people who are media multitaskers do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.
In other words, multasking decreases productivity. An introvert’s focused approach is better for the brain and the bottom line.
In a world of constant chaos and interruption, an introvert’s desire to work in solitude is a great asset. For a while, “groupthink” and “synergy” were the productivity catch phrases of the day. Companies took the idea of team work to a sickening level by making employees brainstorm and develop ideas together.
For introverts who work far better alone, this meant creative suicide. It turns out, there is real merit to our lone approach to problem solving and innovation. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak explains:
“I don’t believe anything really revolutionary has ever been invented by committee… I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone… Not on a committee. Not on a team.”
One of the other advantages of working in solitude is that it gives us greater access to our intuition. Once written off as a fluffy, and insignificant attribute, intuition is now gaining the credit it deserves. This Steve Jobs quote offers words to live by for the intuitive introvert:
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
A Quick List Of The Best Jobs For Introverts
- Animal care attendant
- Software developer/programmer
- Online entrepreneur
- Lab technician
- Tradesman, such as a carpenter, or plumber
- Ferry boat operator
- Intuitive healer
The Worst Jobs For Introverts
Considering that all introverts are unique as snowflakes, there will always be those of us who excel at seemingly extroverted jobs. That said, the jobs that most introverts would find challenging include:
- Customer service agent
- Tour guide
- In-person sales representative
- Public relations officer
- Dental hygienist
- Human resources specialist
- Event planner
What about teaching?
I often hear from introverts who want to know if teaching is a good job for an introvert. First of all, it’s important to recognize that there are different kinds of teachers. There are elementary school, high school and college teachers. Not only that.
There are also educators in nearly every field. Coaches, trainers, mentors, and writers all teach people in their own way. Spending five hours a day in front of a classroom is too draining for some introverts. But spending an hour or two a week training people in person or online can be just right.
This is what I’ve found for myself. I absolutely love teaching introverts through my webinar classes, and video courses. This year, I also been mentored an elite group of INFJs who helped me to build a free private INFJ forum.
The key to choosing the best job for an introvert
It’s crucial for introverts to consider our unique energy needs when choosing a job. We must keep in mind that working in extroverted work environments will deplete us. Sometimes it is worth it. Sometimes not.
Dr. Arnie Kozak, author of The Awakened Introvert, explains:
“If you have sought work that helps people even as it puts you in extroverted roles, such as health care professional, educator, or actor, you have a greater challenge. If you work in a role that is unrelentingly extroverted with no time for recovery, you will be at a great disadvantage.”
The good news is that there are ways that we can cope with extroverted work environments. The key is to take deliberate action to restore ourselves.
“If you work in a space without privacy, quiet, or time for introspection, then you will have to deliberately counteract the adverse effects of this environment,” says Kozak.
Should I just fake it till I make it?
Introverts who involuntarily end up in extroverted jobs, often feel the need to ‘fake it till they make it.’
This was the case for Phillip Richard, creator of WorkingQuietly.com, who became so frustrated with his extrovert-centric work environment that he decided to quit his cushy IT job and start his own business.
Phillip admits that he often felt pressure to conform to the extrovert ideal at work. Despite his discomfort, the term “fake it till you make it” became his reluctant mantra. He explains:
“At the start of my career in software, I grappled with these expectations on a daily basis, always assuming that I had to be the most boisterous, confident looking person in the room to be a respected member of my team.
Underneath that thin smiling veneer of a confident-looking employee, however, was a real person asking himself what it would really feel like to have this confidence that he was pretending to own in spades.”
Of course, introverts don’t have to fake confidence. Anyone can build confidence with the right tools. Feeling like we need to “fake” anything to succeed is the real problem.
I help introverts develop authentic confidence from the inside out. If you want to feel genuinely confident in any situation, I have gifts for you. Signup to my mailing list and receive a step-by-step roadmap for developing confidence and charisma in your own introverted way. You’ll also get my 50-page ebook on making meaningful connections, even if you’re quiet, and shy.
Over to you
What do you feel is the best job for an introvert?
Have you experienced the pressure to be extroverted at work?