Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone
Introverts have unique strengths and abilities – as you’ll see in this list of the best jobs for introverts and people who like to work alone. I also included a quick “introversion personality test” for people with introverted traits, to help with your job search.
“I’m glad you researched these career possibilities and job types,” said Zora in response to 10 Highest Paying Jobs for College Students. “But I wish you had defined introverted versus extroverted personality traits. Getting a job that pays well isn’t important to everybody. Some of us actually care what the best jobs for us are, like what jobs suit our personalities, likes, dislikes, character traits, values. Personally, I care about the company I work for and hope that I find work with an organization who cares about its employees and the environment.” I appreciated Zora’s comment, and was happy to research the best jobs for introverts and people who like to be alone…
No matter how old you are, you will benefit by knowing what type of personality you have. Even better if you’re a teenager or young adult in your twenties! The more you know about where you are on the extrovert/introvert personality scale, the easier your job search will be. Look for jobs that suit who you are at your most introverted core.
In this article I not only share the best jobs for introverts – I also describe what it means to have introverted personality traits. If you’re an introvert, you’re in the minority. The majority of the world is extroverted…but this doesn’t mean it’s “bad” to be an introvert. I love my fellow introverts 🙂
What Is an Introvert?
“You’ll find introverts in all walks of life,” says Shoya Zichy, co-author of Career Match. “However, you’ll find that more of them seek professions such as biologists, engineers, computer programmers, economists, and writers. These occupations require that people spend more time alone rather than working in teams.”
After researching the “best jobs for introverts”, I realized that it’s always not a specific occupation that is most suitable for people with introverted personality traits. That said, however, some occupations (teacher, for example) definitely require more time with groups of people. That’s not good news for introverts, who love to be alone.
People with introverted personality traits:
- Get energy from “down time”
- Listen more than they speak
- Prefer to speak with one or two people at a time (instead of several people, or a big group)
- Are more detail oriented
- Need more personal space
- Are usually reserved
- Wait to be approached in social situations
- Are reflective and appear calm
- Think before speaking or acting
- Know a lot about a few topics
- Enjoy working alone or with one person
Source of these introverted personality traits: Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead by Nancy Ancowitz.
Job Search Tips for Introverts and Quiet People
Introverts often have a more difficult time promoting and selling themselves, which means getting hired for the best job may be more difficult. So, while you’re considering the best jobs for introverts, take time to learn a few job search tips.
Figure out how introverted you are
Most people have both introverted and extroverted personality traits. And, most people tend to be a little more one than the others…which is why taking a test for introverted personality traits is helpful! For instance, if you’re highly introverted, then you might want to focus on a job or career that allows you to be alone most of the time, focus on details, and avoid groups or energetic social situations. If you’re only moderately or just slightly introverted, then a more social job might work well.
If you’re not sure if you’re introverted, take this Introvert Extrovert Personality Test. I’m definitely introverted, and found that it took a long time to accept and be comfortable with my personality. I love being alone, and I love writing all day long. I could go for a week without talking to anyone. That’s how I get my energy: being alone! And that’s how I know I’m an introvert. What about you – how do you know you’re an introvert? Do you know what type of job suits you best?
Get comfortable with your personality
Many shy, quiet people think they’re socially inept, weird, or antisocial.
Introverts don’t always realize that they’re simply drained by groups of people and that they process their thoughts differently than extroverts. The more you know about introverted personality traits – and the more comfortable you are with yourself – the easier it’ll be to settle into a career (and a life) you like. And, dealing with workplace stress and office politics will be easier if you have a little self-awareness and insight into how you tick.
If you feel uncomfortable being labelled as an introvert, read Famous Introverts – Actresses, Actors, Talk Show Hosts.
Don’t give up! Keep looking for the best job for you as an introvert
This may seem like an obvious tip, but so many introverts are stuck in jobs that don’t suit their personality types. Maybe they became discouraged during their initial career search and gave up too quickly, or they let a family member or friend railroad them into the wrong type of work. Maybe their supervisor or sheer luck kept giving them job promotions, or they couldn’t afford to quit and look for different work.
Whatever the reason, it’s smarter to stay focused on finding the best job to match your introverted personality traits – no matter how long it takes – than to give up before achieving your professional goals.
Research specific companies and occupations – don’t just look for a job
In the list of jobs for introverts at the beginning of this article, Zichy mentioned writing as a career. While it’s true that many writing jobs allow for independence, a quiet work space, and attention to detail, it depends on where you work. For example, if you’re a reporter for a big city daily newspaper, you’re not likely to have your own office and lots of quiet time (at least not at the beginning of your writing career!).
Finding the best job isn’t just about deciding that writing is a good job for you as an introvert. You need to take it a step further, and research the actual company you’re thinking of working for, the work or office environment you’ll be in, and the specific job you’ll be doing.
One of the best jobs for introverts is blogging or writing
If you’ve always wanted to write, read How to Decide if You Should Go to School to Be a Writer.
“I hope that you’re doing what you love for a living,” writes Nancy Ancowitz in Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead. “If not, I encourage you to take steps in that direction – or at least find a way to include activities that you enjoy during your personal time.”
Here are a few career tips for introverts and people who’d rather be alone…
Best Jobs for Introverts and Quiet People
First, are you an introvert? Take this test for introverted personality traits.
When I searched for “best jobs for introverts”, I didn’t find many lists of career opportunities. I found a few articles that describe Laurence Shatkin’s types of introverted personality traits. He’s the author of 200 Best Jobs for Introverts and says introverts can identify their perfect job by learning the type of introvert category they fit into.
Shatkin ’s “Types of Introverts”
So, if you’re an “artistic introvert”, you’d be happiest in a job that allows you to create art. The best jobs for people who are “social introverts” are those that balance people with working alone.
But instead of focusing on different types of introverts, I’d rather describe a few career categories that people who like to be alone would enjoy.
1. Self-employment, freelancing, or working from home
I’ve been working at home as a freelance writer for eight years, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had.
If you’re an introvert who has a skill (eg, writing, editing, graphic design, etc), the self-discipline or motivation to work independently, and the ability to invest a year or two in starting your business, then self-employment may be the best path for you.
People always marvel at how “self-disciplined” I am because I work from home. The truth is that I just love writing and working on my blogs, so motivation is never an issue. Boredom became a problem after six years or so – and I think it’s because I was chasing money. I was blogging to make money, not to point people towards Jesus. Now that I’ve connected with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit on a deeper and richer level, I’ve found a new purpose for my blogs. Blossom! This is not only the best job for me as an introvert, it’s my calling.
Has God given you a calling?
If working from home isn’t for you, read How to Find a Career for Introverts.
2. An online career – one of the best types jobs for introverts
Can you support yourself as a blogger, web writer, data entry clerk, or social media expert? Those online jobs require minimal person-to-person interaction, and lots of alone time.
Remember that you’ll probably never find a job in which you’ll totally be left alone. Instead, you may need to focus on finding a job that minimizes the time you spent with groups of people. This is good because – no matter how introverted you are – you don’t necessarily want a job that totally isolates you.
My “online career” (I created my series of Blossom blogs, and I work on them full-time) is extremely isolating. I don’t even use social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, which isolates me even more! And I love it. But after six years I started to feel too-alone so I went back to school. I got my MSW (Master of Social Work)…and here I am, three years later, writing and blogging full-time again! I learned from my practicums (internships) that I really just want to write and blog.
I’m definitely an introvert, and I have the best job in the world.
3. Jobs that involve structured and limited communication (eg, air traffic controller)
Here’s an interesting career idea:
“As an air traffic controller, 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,” says Andrew on What Would Be Ideal Jobs for Introverts? “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.”
My Big Sister (a volunteer mentor from the Big Sisters/Big Brothers organization) was an air traffic controller when we were matched. She said it was an extremely stressful job, even at an airport in a small city. And yes, she confirmed, it’s definitely one of the best jobs for introverts and people who like to work mostly alone – but who can also work with others in high-stress environments.
Quick list of best jobs for quiet introverted people:
- Truck driver
- On air personality (radio DJ)
- Internet technology or computer programming
- Night cleaning person/janitor
- Night watchman
- Lab worker or researcher
- Trades: carpenters, plumbers, landscapers
- Science: geologist, pathologist, engineer, statistician, actuary
- Finance: accountant, stock broker, bookkeeper
The problem with suggesting specific jobs for introverts is that not everyone has those skills, education, or interests. For example, an on-air personality or DJ has to have a personality that touches people through the airwaves. An air traffic controller may work alone a lot, but she needs to know how to deal with stressful situations.
The best way for you as an introvert to find the right job is – if you can – try different occupations. I worked at nearly 60 jobs before I found writing and blogging! Although, truth be told, I always wanted to be a writer. The internet just didn’t exist yet.
What about you – have you found your passion? If so, start looking for circumstances that combine what you’re passionate at doing with the freedom of working alone. (I know, I know….easier said than done!)
Career Resources and Job Tips for Introverts
Remember that finding the right job isn’t just about being alone. It’s about figuring out what your strengths are, what you enjoy doing, and what makes you feel fulfilled.
Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead by Nancy Ancowitz is an important read for introverts who are searching for a job. Since you spend 40 hours a week at work, finding a career that suits your introverted personality is crucial to your health, happiness, and well-being. But first, you need to know how to get ahead – perhaps despite your introverted personality traits.
In Self-Promotion for Introverts®, business communication coach and intrepid introvert Nancy Ancowitz helps introverts tap into their quiet strengths, articulate their accomplishments, and launch an action plan for gaining career advancement. She teaches introverts how to promote themselves without bragging – when networking, on job interviews, and at work. She also describes how to use your “quiet gifts” (writing, researching, and listening) to your advantage, both at work and in other aspects of your life.
In Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference, Jennifer Kahnweiler explains that introverts may feel powerless in a world where extroverts seem to rule. But there’s more than one way to have influence and power!
In this book, she describes how introverts can find the best ways to make a difference in the world and how to use their natural strengths to make a difference. Kahnweiler identifies six unique strengths of introverts and includes a Quiet Influence Quotient (QIQ) quiz to measure how well introverts are using these six strengths now.
Another book for job seekers with introverted personality traits is The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career.
What do you think of these jobs for introverts and quiet people? I welcome your thoughts below! If you’re making a midlife career change, read 10 Tips for Making a Career Change at 40.
May you become who God created you to be. You were created for a purpose, and you will fully realize your true identity when you connect with and hold on to Him! He knows you, He loves you, and He wants you to grow into yourself in ways only He can make possible.