As strange as it sounds, introversion is having its moment in the spotlight these days. What many people once saw as a border-line behavioural pathology is now the subject of countless posts on Tumblr, books and even career blogs about best jobs for introverts like this one.
When it comes to job search, let career progression alone, introverts can have it quite rough. As Susan Cain writes in her best selling book Quiet (a book I really can’t recommend enough), in the West, the “ideal self is gregarious, alpha and comfortable in the spotlight.” Yet, many introverts would find it difficult, let alone desirable, to display these qualities at all times.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that most introverts prefer solitary jobs that allow them spend more time working alone instead of having to deal with other people. We’ve decided to pick 20 best jobs for introverts — jobs that best suit their preferences and abilities.
Which type of an introvert are you?
The main problem with sweeping categorisations such as the extraversion/introversion one is that each introvert is different. For this reason, psychologist Jonathan Cheek and his team argued for another, more precise model. According to Cheek, there are four different “meanings” of introversion:
- Social introverts are the closest to the commonly held view of introversion. It’s a preference for socialising in small groups instead of large ones. Yet, introverts who fall within this category aren’t shy or socially anxious. They simply prefer situations in which they don’t have to interact with too many people at once.
- Thinking introverts. Unlike social introverts, their energy isn’t drained by social interaction. Instead, they’re simply thoughtful, self-reflective, and have rich inner lives. You could even mistake them for extraverts on the surface. Yet, they tend to get lost in an internal fantasy world and are often highly imaginative and creative.
- Anxious introverts seek solitude because they feel awkward and self-conscious around other people as they’re not quite confident in their own social skills. Even if they’re alone, they tend go through past situations in their mind and scrutinise their behaviour.
- Restrained introverts often appear laid-back and aloof. They prefer to think before they speak and sometimes seem to operate at a slightly slower pace. They’re slow to get going and need a bit of a warm up before they spring into action.
20 Best Jobs for Introverts of Each Type
Each of the types above find most fulfilment and accomplishment in different kinds of jobs. We wanted to consider these preferences when composing this list. Below you can find the best jobs for introverts of each individual type. While reading it, you should keep in mind that no categorisation is perfect. You might even find yourself fitting multiple types at once.
1. Social Introvert Jobs
If you’re a social introvert, you should pay close attention to your work environment. Many social introverts might discover that working from home works really well for them. Others might want to avoid work environments that are crowded, noisy, or don’t offer much privacy.
Most factors don’t depend as much on the career as on your individual employer. This is part of the reason why social introverts have the highest number of options to chose from.
- Skilled trades like woodworking, plumbing, or baking.
- Animal trainer.
- Computer administrator.
- Interpreter / translator.
2. Thinking Introvert Jobs
If you’re a thinking introvert, you probably derive most satisfaction from working creative jobs in which you’re able to develop new ideas and innovations. You should be looking for jobs that will provide you with enough stimuli to fuel these creative processes. Best jobs for introverts of this type would be in fields like design, art, and engineering.
- Software development.
- Copywriting / Social media management.
- Video game development.
3. Anxious Introvert Jobs
Even though anxious introverts might feel really awkward in social situations, they’re absolute heroes when it comes to work that requires close attention to detail. After all, as an anxious introvert, you’re probably a star in imagining worst case scenarios.
Best jobs for introverts of this type involves critical work where failure is not an option or jobs that revolve around keeping people safe. Some of these jobs can be quite stressful but none of them will expose you to anxiety-inducing social situations.
- Accounting / auditing.
- Night cleaner / Watchman.
- Bus driver / Commercial pilot.
4. Restrained Introvert Jobs
As a restrained introvert, you think before you speak. In fact, before you do anything at all you think about all the possible consequences first. This comes with a knack for observation and seeing the big picture.
You might slow to get going but once you do, there’s no stopping you. Best jobs for introverts of this type demand continuous effort over long periods of time. Depending on your other preferences, you might find success and accomplishments in academia or counselling.
- Creative writing.
Find your passion first
It’s impossible to list every possible job suited for introverts of each type. Don’t let this list limit your options in any way. In the end, the best way for an introvert to find a job is to find your passion first. Once you’ve found it, you can begin to search for a work environment or position that would allow you to work at your passion alone.