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What jobs are the best for introverts?

I am a person who works best alone, as I can get pretty nervous when interacting with others. I wanted to know what careers are best for those who don't work well with others. I am thinking something within STEM or something that has to do with art. #art #science #career #math #personality #personality-type #soft-skills

Thank you comment icon As a pretty introverted person, I know it is very hard but I have found great satisfaction in stepping outside my comfort zone. It makes me feel even better to be able to do something that I thought I would never be able to do and to see myself thrive and succeed is great. Now with a lot of jobs being "work from home" it gives the opportunity to push that limit and still stay within a healthy comfort zone with virtual resources. Willona Kinsey
Thank you comment icon It's okay to be an introverted person. There are many types. If you are curious about meeting new people, then do so in small segments or situations. Volunteer to walk dogs at the APL or serve beer at a nearby event so that you will put yourself in a variety of situations. As far as work, it may be in your best interest to follow your gut for types intrests that you have so you can explore options. If there is a time that you are down, know, that it is always okay to reach to others for guideance and help. The important this is that you are comfortable as a person first and foremost. Good luck! Margie Torres
Thank you comment icon I would skip the consulting route and get a job where you actually like the company and its values and a job where you can become a specialist in that field. I find that it is easier to go out of your comfort zone when you have actual knowledge or experience in what you are talking about, rather than just doing a job and talking about things to other people you don't care about. josh l
Thank you comment icon There's a lot of benefits of having introverts in the workplace. Introverts tend to feel more comfortable listening than talking. They prefer to think before they speak and are mindful of what they say. Thus, being a great listener has many benefits in the workplace as introverts can excel in leadership roles and make an asset to any team, especially most of the companies have globalized nowadays, the engagement and working collaboratively with the team has become more importance now. Be confident and learn along the way in interacting and working as winning team. Magic starts happening! Sook Hoon Ooi

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Joseph’s Answer

I'm pretty extremely introverted, and whilst few if any careers are totally free of uncomfortable interpersonal interactions, the sciences have definitely worked out for me as being a great place for me - it's not at all uncommon for scientists to be very introverted; several including myself even sit on the higher-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, and it's generally accepted that sometimes we need a bit of space and time to get on with things by ourselves.
Thank you comment icon This is so true, Joseph! Thanks for sharing these reassuring insights with the Student. Neurodiversity can have enormous impacts on someone’s confidence when searching for a career, but you’re exactly right that STEM careers provide an understanding environment for both those on the spectrum as well as introverts more broadly. It took me a long time to accept not being a “people-person” and resisting pressure to fit the bubbly, charismatic stereotype of a successful person that is often portrayed to young people. From reading your advice, I think you set a great example on CareerVillage as someone who is introverted but also excels at written communication and understanding others! I think it is really valuable for Students to see that “introverted” does NOT have to mean “antisocial” 🙂 Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
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David’s Answer

Hi Anja,

As an innately introverted person myself, I can empathize. I agree with many of the advice that's already been noted in this thread. I don't think there are many jobs or careers that allow you to be completely disassociated from everyone else. I suppose there are some but to be honest, I don't think this is what you're talking about when you're asking about careers in fields that are better suited for introverts.

As noted, the current trend towards work from home will allow you to avoid "small talk" or the forced socializing aspect of being in the office (an introvert's nightmare). But even if that were not true, you'd be surprised at how easy it is to be "left alone" or to be given sufficient space so that you can interact with others on your timeline and at your comfort level. Not all corporate jobs -- or any job for that matter -- force you to do public speaking, presentations, or large collaborations. If you study, train, and hone your skills so that you are good at what you do, you can dictate the terms of those interactions. So there's that. But also, even as you're learning or moving up the company/org/school/etc., you'll realize that you'll be interacting with fellow professionals that share your interests and expertise -- and you might actually enjoy interacting with them. Moreover, these interactions will most likely be in small settings -- 1 on 1, small groups, among like minded professionals, etc. -- so even the most introverted can be comfortable.

In terms of professions, I think many fields can satisfy the scenarios I lay out above. A few obvious hitters -- programming, data analytics, research (legal, medical, financial, history... basically anything), finance, accounting, law, etc. -- but some you may not expect -- architecture, design, project management, electrician/plumber/welder, mechanic, writer, etc. To be honest, any and all fields need a balance of introverts and extroverts, cerebral and action oriented team members, risk averse and risk taking personalities, etc. In other words, you can fit in anywhere and do your part. I would advise against pigeonholing yourself -- introverts are in all fields and can thrive. I hope this helps, and good luck!
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Dominick’s Answer

This is a great question that can be explored in a few different ways. First, if you haven't already, you may want to explore where the desire to work alone comes from. If the reason is essentially immutable, great! Search for a career that lists its self as an individual contributor role with minimal direct supervision. You can find roles like this in many industries. Like previous answers noted, the sciences are often a place where you can find consistent career solitude. Other realms I can think of would be Graphic Design, professional writing of any kind (you'd have to deal with your editor but that's about it), and logistics (think truck driver).
If the reason you want to work alone is something more akin to timidity or inexperience, then I would gently encourage you to work a little bit towards branching out of that space. Collaboration is one of the strongest tools any industry has! Some roles even offer a nice hybrid of limited interaction with others while still being a part of team. Honestly, just about any work from home position will give you that environment.
I hope all of this helps; good luck in your endeavors!
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Katherine’s Answer

Hi Anja - This is a great question. I agree with others on this thread that it may be worth exploring why you would like to work alone. If you feel you work best when you can focus for long periods of time in solitude, that can be a great quality in some fields. If you are looking for a career where you can work alone to avoid feeling anxiety when interacting with colleagues, you may want to challenge yourself to grow your interpersonal skills.

Almost every job is going to require you to work with others to some degree. That said, a lot of creative people and even athletes thrive while working for long periods of time alone. They will sometimes describe their state as “flow” when they are completely immersed in an activity, very productive and can lose track of time. As an introvert, I can achieve that state when writing on a topic I am very familiar with or passionate about. For example, I work in SEO, and my day-to-day often involves collaborating with others and analyzing data, but I also have the opportunity to write long-form blogs and website copy. It is a lot easier for me to spend an afternoon writing than preparing a report or giving a presentation, but I’m happy with the balance my job affords me. I would consider your interests and strengths foremost when choosing a career path. Careers in software development, research, data analysis and writing (technical or creative) tend to be well suited for introverts.

It may benefit you to develop your interpersonal skills so your hesitation to interact with others doesn’t become a limitation in your career. Usually as you progress in any career, you will have to collaborate with others and maybe even lead others. If you feel this is a weak area for you, you could take small steps towards becoming more comfortable in social situations, such as asking questions in class or joining a club. Voluntarily facing situations that make you nervous can build your confidence. For example, I have a fear of public speaking. Early in my career, I had a job that required daily public speaking. While I was very nervous at first and still do not enjoy public speaking, that role forced me to develop those skills. I found ways to make it less intimidating, like preparing what I would say and memorizing the introduction, having notes to fall back on and encouraging the audience to be interactive throughout.

I hope this helps and good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Anja
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Vianna Selene’s Answer

I think Accounting may be a good option
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. naomi
Thank you comment icon Hi Vianna! Thanks for leaving a suggestion for this student. I’m curious, why do you recommend accounting for introverts? Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
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Feng’s Answer

First, technical positions. Strong specialization is the most prominent characteristic of technical positions. Psychologists say introverts are more focused and engaged, and are more likely to concentrate on technical problems, such as programming and debugging. Therefore, they are particularly suitable for professional positions. For example, Internet (game, product) development.
Second, financial positions. Introverted people tend to be thoughtful, careful and patient, combined with a unique principle and meticulous work attitude, they often do a good job in accounting or filing.
Third, scientific research positions. Introverts are used to thinking independently, sitting down, being quiet, and having depth and substance in their imagination, which is exactly what a scientific research position requires. Careful observation of life, we will find that many scientific research positions are silent.
Fourth, creative posts. We know that creation requires deep thinking, and inspiration often comes from the casual. Introverted people are quiet and good at being alone. They are also more creative and imaginative. They tend to find their inner inspiration and emotions and accurately reflect their creativity and ideas in their works. Therefore, introverts are better suited to creative work, such as writing, painting, arranging music, and so on.
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Hannah’s Answer

I am in a Sales Support position at my current job. It is fully remote and I am not customer facing at all. I help our sales people create contracts and send out samples. It's a good place to be where I can just get my work done without having to be people facing, and being remote I get to be in my own environment which helps a lot. Look into support positions.
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Taylor’s Answer

As an introvert, going into a job where you will have regular interactions with others can really get the nerves working in overdrive. I have been there!! But don't limit yourself to or from a particular job based on that factor alone. Despite my introverted nature, I am incredibly successful at talked with others, often strangers, all day long. Understand what it is that drives you as a person and build from there.
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Bradley’s Answer

Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to be able to push yourself to continue to grow. You don't have to make a huge leap, baby steps work the best. Each week try something different that puts yourself out there. Networking can drastically help you in this area.
With so many virtual jobs out there, instead of finding one that you speak to people face to face- try finding one that is chat-oriented.
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Bill’s Answer

Hi Anja!

I have a friend (who is a deep deep introvert) that works in classifications - in that she has to watch a bunch of television and tick of lists to figure out what classification they should have (G, PG etc).

She gets to watch most popular shows at least two weeks in advance and does it in the remotest part of the building by herself.

She also has to sit through alot of European 'art' movies and gore flicks (which meshes well with her interest in serial killers).

I hope this helps!
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Qortni’s Answer

It is less about the role itself and more about your own self-awareness - know how being an introvert impacts how you show up and lean into that. I position my introversion as my core strength and essential to my leadership style. I am a strong listener, a diligent observe, I see the big picture through deep analysis and I encourage and empower others to have a voice.

Be conscientious of when to stretch yourself as well. Is it really too many meetings or are you just feeling people fatigue?

Make space for yourself. I’ve started scheduling meetings to end 5-10 mins early so I have breathers to regroup and decompress. It’s absolutely helped with feeling drained and the need to “be on”.

Overall, I’d say find a role you gets you excited, be authentic and make it work for you.

Qortni recommends the following next steps:

Read When by Daniel Pink
Read Quiet by Susan Cain
Talking to Strangers by Malcom Gladwell
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Ashleigh’s Answer

I attribute myself as an introvert however I've managed to build confidence through learning easy conversation topics that help to ease the transition into collaboration with others for work. I took on the challenge of becoming a project manager and that role has really helped me balance the feeling of anxiety in social situations and my desire for working alone. Finding some good trainings online for learning the art of small talk could definitely help you to build the confidence to explore a variety of positions within a company regardless of the interaction level with others!
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Douglas’s Answer

I have a relative who is also an introvert and extremely shy, she became a Pharmacist. She works at a hospital now where her interactions are more with a team rather than the public. She selected the hospital for this reason rather than Retail. So far it has been very beneficial for her. She enjoyed science and now makes a great living in the medical field. She can still keep personality.
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Christopher’s Answer

Some of the best jobs for introverts are those working with people. Positions that take you our of your comfort zone may be the most rewarding. Positions in Tech allow you to work on your own while being a part of a group.
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Theresa’s Answer

As someone who also considers themself an introvert, I always tried to look for "back-office" roles that didn't interact too much with others. Over the years though, I found (as others have mentioned) that stepping outside of my comfort zone has helped me grow, both professionally and personally. While I still consider myself as an introvert, I don't let it limit my career path. Every role needs a diversity of personalities and skills. One important key is to set limits and be aware of your boundaries and mental health needs.
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Matthew’s Answer