How to Find a Career – For Introverts Who Like to Work Alone

You love working alone – and you want to love your job, right? Here’s how to find the right career for people with introverted personality traits. The first step to finding a job for introverts is to learn what introversion is, and how their personality type affects their career and work choices. Here you’ll also find a link to a handy-dandy personality test for introversion 🙂

“I am a severe introvert,” say GG on Best Jobs for Introverts and Quiet People. “Actually, I have severe social anxiety, more than anything. I’m in school to be a special education teacher, but I have been having doubts lately about becoming a teacher. I don’t even think I’ll be able to even do my student teaching because I’m worried I’ll have panic attacks. Right now I work by myself without a boss around, and I like caring for people. I wish there was a job where I can work one on one or by myself without anyone else around, that I could make a decent living on. I don’t have good IT or math skills. How do I find a career to suit my introverted personality traits?”





Another reader with introverted personality traits asked almost the exact same question on the same article. She was a college student who was worried about doing her student teaching – and she was also wondering how to find a career for people who struggle with severe introversion.

The Best Way to Find a Career for Introverts

Keep moving forward, and don’t let your fear stop you from pursuing your career goals! I’m an introvert, and I taught grade 8 for three years. I learned that many teachers don’t like speaking in front of adults or big audiences, but they love teaching. Teaching isn’t the same as making a speech or doing a presentation – it’s about building relationships with students, and helping them learn what they need to know.

My level of introversion was not well suited to a teaching career. I was emotionally and mentally exhausted at the end of every day, and I dreaded Mondays. But some of my fellow teachers were introverts, and they enjoyed teaching. They just needed lots of recuperation and recovery time (a key trait of introversion is that introverts are drained by spending time with people).

1. Give yourself time to adjust, learn, and grow

When you’re pursuing something you want to do – and I assume you’re studying to be a teacher because something is drawing you towards teaching – you’ll be scared.

Give yourself time to practice, to adjust, to grow into your new career. Like anything, it may very well be awkward and uncomfortable the first few days or even weeks of student teaching…but you need to work your way through that. Don’t let it stop you! You will get through it and you will get really good at it. It’ll just take time. And that’s the whole point of being a student. You’re learning how to be a teacher – of course you’ll be scared and feel awkward. But that’s how to find a career, for introverts or extroverts: accept the awkwardness and keep moving forward.

Also, I encourage you to learn how to deal with performance anxiety – especially if you freeze during job interviews. Read How to Get Over Stage Fright – 6 Best Tips for Introverts.

2. Remember that you can always find a new career

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you may get your teaching degree, work as a teacher for a year or two, and then decide teaching isn’t for you. That’s okay! The only way to find out if teaching is the right job is to try it. That is how to find a career, or the right partner, or the right pair of hiking boots…you have to try different ones on until you find the right fit. Get the practical experience, and see how it fits your personality.

After I finished my three year contract as a teacher, I worked as a Mentoring Coordinator with the Big Sisters/Big Brothers organization. I enjoyed that job, but my current work as a blogger – I created the Blossom blog family – is my passion! It took me years to figure this out, and my only route was through trial and error.

3. Volunteer in different types of roles

Volunteering is a much cheaper way to get experience and try different possibilities out, especially if you’re new to the “how to find a career” game. Remember that you’ll be spending 40 hours a week at work, so finding a career that suits your introverted personality is important to your health, happiness, and well-being. That’s why you need to experiment with different places, people, and things.

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.”

5. Figure out how introverted you are – because it affects your career

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.

how to find career introverts

“Many introverts don’t feel as if they know enough about a subject until they know almost everything,” writes Marti Olsen Laney in The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World. “Introverted people who balance their energy have perseverance and the ability to think independently, focus deeply, and work creatively.” In this book, Laney describes the human brain. She says that the brain’s neurotransmitters follow different dominant paths in the nervous systems of introverts and extroverts. Introverts are oversensitive to dopamine, and too much external stimulation “overdoses” and exhausts them. This has a direct effect on what type of jobs an introvert should seek, doesn’t it?

Extroverts, on the other hand, can’t get enough dopamine. They need the adrenaline they get from being in crowds and the center of attention in groups of people. Laney also says people with extroverted personality traits have a shorter pathway and less bloodflow to the brain. Further, the messages of an extrovert’s nervous system mostly bypass the Broca’s area in the frontal lobe, which is where a large portion of contemplation takes place.

5. Learn more about what introversion is

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: Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead by Nancy Ancowitz.

Author Susan Cain adds: “[Introverts] listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror for small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

The more you know about your introverted traits, the more settled you’ll be with your own characteristics and life. And this will help you learn how to find a career that suits your personality.

If you aren’t sure whether you’re an introvert, take this fast, easy  Introvert Extrovert Quiz.

6. 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.





I can’t tell you how many comments I get from readers who are grateful to learn about introversion. They didn’t realize how normal they were, and why they’re struggling to learn how to find a career that fits their introverted personality traits. Accept yourself, surrender to who you are. The more you know about introversion – and the more comfortable you are with yourself – the easier it’ll be to settle into a career (and a life) you like!

7. Be persistent about finding a career that suits your personality

Don’t give up.

Introverts How to Find a Career

How to Find a Career for Introverts

I know it takes time and a lot of awkwardness when you’re searching for a career that fits your level of introversion. Work in different organizations, accept jobs in different roles in the same company, and talk to other introverts. Stay aware of who you are and what suits your personality and lifestyle. Remember that introversion is simply a way of being in this world, and there is nobody else like you. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a job or company that doesn’t suite your introverted personality type.

Sometimes introverts allow themselves to get discouraged during their initial job search. Instead of learning different tips for how to find a career, they 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 career that matches your personality traits – no matter how long it takes – than to give up before achieving your professional goals.

8. Research specific companies and occupations

Remember that not all “jobs for introverts” actually mean that you’ll be working alone. For instance, writing is typically thought of as a good job for people with a high level of introversion. It’s true that many writing jobs allow for independence, a quiet work space, and attention to detail…but it depends on where you work.

For example, if you’re a writer for a daily content-driven website or 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!). If you’re a freelance reporter or SEO writer, you’ll have to network with other writers, pitch article ideas to editors, and sell yourself on social media. So, learning how to find a career for your introverted personality isn’t just about deciding that writing is a good job for you. 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.

“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.”

Listen to the still small voice inside of you. Keep going in the direction of your dreams until you know it’s time to take a different route. But don’t let fear stop you from taking chances in life!

Help Finding a Career for Introverts

How to Find a Career – For Introverts Who Like to Work AloneIn Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead, 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.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Promote yourself without bragging— when networking, on job interviews, and at work
  • Use your quiet gifts (writing, researching, and listening) to your advantage
  • Be a commanding presenter, despite your quieter nature
  • Formulate your best plans, set goals, take action— and even find a better job
  • Featuring exclusive advice from Warren Buffett, Bill Clinton, Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black, and marketing guru Seth Godin, Self-Promotion for Introverts® helps you progress inward, outward, and onward.

Here’s a wonderful work-related quote from Self-Promotion for Introverts: “We are each an entire universe with unique value and something special to offer,” says Lewis Bernstein, Ph.D., executive vice president of education and research at the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street. “So like my good friend Grover on Sesame Street who is naturally shy, we introverts must all find ways to let our passion and potential bubble out of us so we can share them. Sometimes that takes practice, discipline, and trial and error. It is almost always worth it.

how to find a career introversion

In Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type, authors Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger lead readers step-by-step through the process of determining and verifying different personality types, ranging from introversion to extroversion.

This book identifies occupations and careers that are popular with each personality type, provides helpful case studies, and offers a rundown of each type’s work-related strengths and weaknesses.

Job Ideas for Introverts

Here’s a list of the 10 Best Jobs for Introverts from the job search site CareerCast.com. Every job offers independence, strong projected career growth, and decent pay. If you’re an introverted job seekers, you may find an idea or two here…

  1. Animal Care and Service Workers
    Annual median salary: $19,970 (caretakers)/$25,270 (trainers)
    Projected growth by 2020: 15%
  2. Archivist
    Annual median salary: $47,340
    Projected growth by 2020: 11%
  3. Astronomer
    Annual median salary: $96,460
    Projected growth by 2020: 10%
  4. Court Reporter
    Annual median salary: $48,160
    Projected growth by 2020: 10%
  5. Film/Video Editor
    Annual median salary: $51,300
    Projected growth by 2020: 3%
  6. Financial Clerk
    Annual median salary: $36,850
    Projected growth by 2020: 11%
  7. Geoscientist
    Annual median salary: $90,890
    Projected growth by 2020: 16%
  8. Industrial Machine Repairer
    Annual median salary: $46,920
    Projected growth by 2020: 17%
  9. Medical Records Technician
    Annual median salary: $34,160
    Projected growth by 2020: 22%
  10. Social Media Manager
    Annual median salary: $54,170
    Projected growth by 2020: 12%

“You wouldn’t think that a job with ‘social’ right in the name is suited to introverts, but it’s a great fit,” said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast. “While in-person interaction may not be an introvert’s cup of tea, technological outlets allow an introvert to maintain person-to-person communication electronically without the stresses of actual conversation.”

Introverts, how will you find a career? I welcome your thoughts and questions below. I can’t give job search advice (or any type of advice at all, for I’m a mere scribe). But I’d love to hear from you! Comments welcome below…

xo

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I don't give advice, but writing can bring healing to your spirit and soul.
Take heart, keep the faith, have courage ... Laurie

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56 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    A nuance of being an introvert… Some are shy and demurring- Others just really don’t like being around
    people.For many more, all three are in play simultaneously.Note to introverts thinking – Hmm I’ll be a writer- That vocation was very satisfying for me (& my peers) But writing jobs rarely pay enough nor do they last decades.So the advice is don’t count on a stable, high paying job as a writer unless your last name is King or Rowling.

  2. Laurie says:

    Dear Pawal,

    Thanks for sharing what it’s like to work amongst a team of people when you’re an introvert! I would be totally exhausted at the end of the week, too. It takes a lot of energy to work surrounded by people, especially when you have introverted personality traits.

    And, it takes a lot of energy to try to stay positive. When I was a teacher, I was exhausted by 3:30 PM. Trying to maintain a positive attitude was so hard – but I really wanted to because I was teaching 13 year olds. I was a role model, and I didn’t want them to see me unhappy or negative. When you are an introvert working with a group of people it’s definitely not an easy task. So, I really feel for you.

    Keep looking for that new job! I don’t know what your financial situation or entrepreneurial skills are, that you might consider finding contract work as an accountant. Lots of small businesses need short-term accountants to do their taxes and bookkeeping, but not work for them full-time. If I were you, I would search the Internet for accountant jobs that allow you to work from home. There must be forums and blogs that support small business accountants, to encourage and teach each other how to have their own business.

    Look into it, and that me know what you find!

    Blessings,

    Laurie

  3. Brad says:

    Helpful knowledge for how to find a career for introverts, thanks. I work in a lab and am alone most of the time, which I love.

  4. Mike B says:

    Thank you for your insightful article on being an introvert. I suffer from it and I say suffer because it can be a very tough thing to live with. I dread speaking with groups of people at functions. I am always thinking about what I will say or do next.. and the worst part is the longer I’m quiet, the harder it gets to say something. This doesn’t have to be with strangers either. It could be with people that I know for years. I can count on one hand the amount of people I feel comfortable enough around that I can be myself. This has seriously affected my career ( at the age of 42, I currently don’t have one ) I have always worked and gotten by, but I feel I will never get that career. Partly because I don’t know what I would like to do but mainly because I have no confidence either due to this problem.
    But there is hope and with a great article like this.. I know I’m not alone. Thank you 🙂

    • Alexia says:

      Mike, you are absolutely not alone. I can echo all of your 99.99% of your words. I feel that I can do anything that I set my mind to but when I think about what that looks like, I stand in my own way.

    • Pawel says:

      It is just totally unexpected to read your words, because this is exactly my life and how I feel about it and myself. I am almost 40, currently working in business process outsourcing company as accountant and absolutely hate it, because I have to endure 8 hours a day working in big open space, within team of other people, who just can’t be silent for like 15 minutes and I don’t feel like taking part in their small talks The more I sit there, the more it drains me and makes me anxious and sociophobic. After some time It’s harder to even ask for something work related, because something is shuting down in me. By the end of the week I’m totally exhausted and wish I have never see this people again.

      Currently I am trying to look for a new job, but I have no idea what should I look for. I don’t think that I have any career ahead, because I lack education or skills related to jobs associated with introversion. I always wanted to work alone and do something with passion and only one I can recognize in me is fascination with universe and astronomy. I can discuss , read and watch documents about it with passion, however I chose economics instead of astronomy during my university times, which I greatly regret now.

      I try to stay positive though, which is not that easy in these circumstances and sometimes I have to fight depressive thoughts and mood in any possible way.
      I just hope that in the end we can find a silent job, with no or minimal amount of people and being reasonably paid (I get a feeling that it is almost impossible)

  5. Daniel says:

    that was a nice article you wrote about finding a career for introverts,but I still need help,I have too much in my head and I don’t seem to be able to figure something out …..

  6. Laurie says:

    That’s an interesting perspective, thank you Dany! Some introverts might find it extremely beneficial to be “forced” to work in a job that requires socialization and interaction. This way they don’t isolate themselves…like I tend to do. The more time I spend alone, the more I want to be alone. This can be unhealthy.

  7. Dany says:

    Am an introvert and I have always known this. Honestly speaking I rather work in a place where I have to socialize and interact with people than work in a solitary place.

  8. Laurie says:

    I think all careers and jobs involve interacting and talking to other people, to some extent. I’m a writer and blogger who works from home, and I definitely have all the introverted personality traits in the book! But even so, I have to talk to editors, publishers, fellow writers, web developers, my web hosting people, etc. I should say I GET to talk to them, because it is good to have interaction with others…especially for introverts who work in jobs that allow them lots of alone time 🙂

  9. mara says:

    I really enjoyed reading all of these comments I feel it really describes my life. I’m an introvert and I’m happy to be this way, but for some reason other people never understand. I like to write and I just started a blog like 5 seconds ago haha but 1 in 1000 are actually rewarded from it. I love to draw and I considered a career in graphic design or being a tattoo artist but then there goes my introvertness blocking me again ,so I changed my mind. I ended up picking one of the most social jobs there is available, a hairstylist! what was I thinking? I really don’t know. so for a while I’ve been living a big oxymoron and it feels totally weird. so now I’m in culinary school and im shooting for a small bakery and hopefully I wont have to talk as much lol.

  10. Laurie says:

    Hello Alfredo,

    Great question! I’m an introvert, and I’ve been searching for tips on how to find a career to match my personality traits for years. I did a counseling internship while getting my Master of Social Work, and learned that counseling is definitely not my first career choice.

    I think one-to-one work with clients might be draining for some people with introverted personality traits. That said, however, it really depends on how introverted you are. And, not all clinical psychologists do one-to-one work.

    Here’s what I would do if I were you: 1) research what different types of clinical psychologists do; and 2) talk to at least 3 clinical psychologists about their job. Call them directly, and tell them you’re looking for help making a career decision. Don’t give up if the first psychologist or two is too busy to talk to you, though!

    The best thing is to talk to someone who is working in the field, or who has worked in the field. That way, you’ll get a better idea what career might suit you.

    I hope this helps!

    Sincerely,
    Laurie

  11. Alfredo Ruiz says:

    Laurie, how do you do? I hope, fine. Do you believe Clinical Psychologist could be a good major for a introvert person, specially a introvert intuitive thinker j…, INTJ from Myers-Briggs types? Yes, no? Why? Thanks for your attention.

  12. Justin says:

    Too many people. Too much talking. Not a lot of it valueable.

  13. Justin says:

    I am an introvert and I did something very uncharacteristic of an introvert… I was a teacherfor nine years. When I was teaching, I was constantly forcing myself to be boisterous and engaging and social, all while managing classrooms of 30 kids and delivering content. Then, at the start of this school year, I resigned forever. Now I am a janitor. I am givengiven daily cleaning tasks and I work hard and quietly to complete them on time. I go home to my wonderful wife and we watch tv and cuddle. Then I go and clean again. I love it. No more

  14. Laurie says:

    Thanks for your comment – it’s never too late to speak your mind 🙂

    One of the worst things about knowing you’re in the wrong job is not being able to quit it. The economy is a scary place, and quitting your job may be one of the most difficult things you’ll do. But, finding a career or job that suits your personality traits is so important.

    Is it worth the risk – quitting a job in the hopes of finding a job that suits your introverted, quiet, or other personality traits? I think so….but everyone has decide for themselves.

  15. Brownin329 says:

    Hello, I know it’s late but I’d like to contribute to the comments. I agree with Nicole that shyness (a form of fear) is not the same as introversion (personality trait/disorder (and yes, it is in the DSM-V) depending on who you ask). Introversion-Extroversion is a scale that indicates your preference according to groups of people depending on degree. Some people prefer to be alone, some people tolerate small groups, some people need to be in the middle of groups and all for a variety of reasons in a variety of circumstances. We all go back and forth on that spectrum. I am an introvert and have been trying without luck to find a suitable career my whole adult life (since I was 18). Even in college I had difficulty and not the right kind of guidance. To complicate matters, I am also Autistic (Asperger’s) and have sensory issues in my ears. Right now, I work in an office where people make a lot of clicking and popping noises (I think these people just like making noise). Why do I stay? Bad economy and I was told I’d be working from home when I started. 5 months-still not letting me work from home. I think a lot of people on this and other forums don’t need another list of unattainable careers for introverts. I think we need a list of companies that have environments that are naturally conducive to who we are as people. Or we need a way to adapt the company to fit who WE are as people; they always cater to the extroverts and tell US we have to get with the program-it’s time to push back. I seriously need a quiet environment where I control my space and who I interact with and my work has to be project oriented with deadlines. Instructions have to be visual. Directions have to be clear. The company also has to be stable which is hard in these poor economic times. But you get what I’m saying? We need to speak to the day-to-day experiences within the company culture which may be deceptively hidden when we talk in terms of career, because no career can tell you what your day to day will be like at a particular company.

  16. Nicole says:

    I agree with all of this except the “shy” part. Shy is not the same as introverted! Shy people can be either introverts or extroverts- they are separate.

  17. Jaque says:

    Does anyone know some good jobs for a true introvert that don’t involve a degree? Trying to save up for an apartment and college, but just got fired from my job literally for not being “outgoing” enough even though they said that I was great at everything else. So I’m sick of it, but all the jobs I can find are for extroverts. Help please?

  18. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Larry,

    Thanks for your comment – I love how you see the bright side of being laid off from your job! If you can see it as an opportunity to find a better career that suits your personality, then you’re halfway to success. More than halfway, I reckon.

    The tricky part of finding the best career (or job) for you is being patient. It’s all about timing, and if you’re in a small city or town, it’s even more difficult. Last spring I decided I wanted to take a break from my full-time writing and blogging career, and work in the social services field for a few months. It wasn’t until YESTERDAY – five whole months later – that I got an interview! Mind you, I only applied for about 6 jobs (3 of which weren’t even jobs, just me putting out feelers).

    The point is that even if you know what career suits your personality, it can be difficult to get a job! It takes time, especially if you don’t have experience in the field or if the job openings are rare.

    Anyway, I hope you let me know how it goes in the security field! I’d love to hear what job you ended up with 🙂

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  19. Larry Lujan says:

    Laurie, I enjoyed taking the test. I always knew my personality. Living in a fast pased society I always needed to follow that theme. So with that said, I worked, & chose trades that demanded huge responcibilities. Auto Body & paint, Motorcycle Mechcanics, Auto mechanics. Customers demanding to know wnen are you going to be done atitudes. I’m 54 years young and feeling like a old man! I’m looking for a job with a slower pace. I was laid off my job collecting unemploment. I now have a chance to look for some type of work to suit my personality. Thats the positive outcome to my layoff. I’m looking into security work. The money as not the best, but a peace of mind is very tempting. Some may differ with me, but I need to get back to work. Any comments welcomed. Thank you for your time. Larry Lujan

  20. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dawn ~ thanks for your thoughts on being an introvert, extrovert, or anything in between! I wish my mom was as supportive and accepting as you are. Actually, I wish EVERYONE’S mom was as supportive and accepting as you. I get tired of the idea that we all have to be alike, or we’re weird.

    Annie94 ~ I don’t think introverts life in misery and shyness! They just need to understand their own personality traits, so they can find a career that suits who they are.

    Here’s an article to help people with introverted personality traits find the best career:

    Best Jobs for People Who Like to Be Alone…Introverts!

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts there or here.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  21. annie94 says:

    I’d be more than happy to get some opinions in here…and another question: what kind of job is suitable for an introvert???

  22. annie94 says:

    Can someone EXPLAIN to me why introverted people are said not to be likely to get promotions in their jobs or to be cursed to live a life of shyness and misery???

  23. Dawn says:

    After reading alot of comments, I have this too say, that we are all perfect just the way we are. Whether we are introvert or extrovert; learn by sight, sound or are kinesetic. You are, “you” – Perfect. It is about undersanding and acceptance. I have tried for years to keep up with the extroverts. And they don’t understand why I just want to be left alone to read, write, sit, or make my earings. That’s okay. It’s finding balance. It’s doing a bit of reasearch for better understanding. I did alot of research when they claimed my son was Bipolar. I didn’t believe that, neither did 3 counselors. He’s just more introvert than I. Yet I’m many years older than he. He hasn’t had the experiences I have had. That’s all. And the claimes came from an extrovert who apparently is unaware of these things. My mother tells me that I was as bad as he. I now believe her. That’s okay. I believe that the introvert & kinesetic need to feel sorry for them. Most of the population is “us”. We have more balance in our lives and are actually more content and happy. We like the rolling river in our lives instead of the tsunami. My life is richer, and so is yours!

  24. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on being introverted, Lisa. I hope your life gets better soon!

  25. Tyler says:

    Laurie,

    You mentioned in your article that introverted people often feel weird or unable to communicate. Often times I have these same feelings and look for articles like this to remind me that it’s just how I am. Thank you for this.

  26. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    It’s so important for introverts to find the job that suits them…that’s the first and most important tip for people with introverted personality traits!

    Thanks for your comments; I really appreciate them.

  27. Find a Career says:

    Being an introvert can be hard sometimes, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. I’d definitely consider myself in the introvert category, and I’ve managed to make my own successful at home business. Things like freelancing writing from home are also a great supplement to my other income too. All those traits listed for introverts are ones that can definitely contribute to a great career, and it’s possible to make it work for you.

  28. jenny says:

    omggggg wow im ontrovent also…..and i haate it…..i dnt see a bright future for myself 🙁
    i blame my bf for the 4 years weve been together he has put me down emotionally……………..
    i feel for all you shy people out there………….

  29. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thank you all for your comments! I’m so glad there are so many introverts out there, and that this article was helpful for many people.

    And you’re welcome, Agnes 🙂

  30. AGNES says:

    I’m a student Studying social work But since my childhood I’ve always admired to be a writer and i believe that is where I’m heading to. Thank you Laurie for this enlightenment. God bless you

  31. Jake says:

    Ok, I agree that we introverts should match our lives to our personalities.

    But at times I have let my shyness (social anxiety) dictate and constrain my life rather than living the life that I really want.

    Shyness made me give up on dreaming of the life I really wanted. And conversly, learning to dream again of the life I really wanted really helped my social anxiety.

  32. Esperanza says:

    Well I think I’ve always known that I was an introvert but growing up, going to school, being an introvert was seen as negative, as antisocial and of course I didn’t want to be that so I really pushed myself to be more extroverted but it was very hard, I realize now that it was because I was letting go of my true self. I remember watching a video, it was 7th grade I believe, the video was about introvert vs. extrovert, there was a girl who was the introvert, she was at a party of all places! all the other kids were laughing and having a good time and they had the introverted girl alone, head down, and looking very insecure, all the while the narrator explaining that this girl represented what an introvert was. And there I was watching this video thinking “oh my gosh, is that who I am? insecure? I don’t want to be that!” I knew I didn’t like to be in large groups, I was quiet and reserved, exactly what the girl was doing in the video only that they were making it seem like something negative and I was only 12 or 13, the age when you’re just beginning to know yourself. So this video really marked me and throughout school and throughout some of my adult life (I am 31) I put too much energy in trying to be extroverted, I didn’t want to accept that I was an introvert, I always associated it with something negative. So recently I took out a book from the library called “Introvert Power” when I saw it, I thought “how can the word ‘Power’ be associated with the word ‘Introvert’?” so out of curiosity I checked it out (not without a fight with my own mind, still correlating introversion with negativity). OMG! the first pages! WOW! it was like she was talking about in that book! and it wasn’t negative at all! everything was positive! I really recommend this book to all of you, even if you already know you’re an introvert, you’ll realize you’re not alone and we’re not a small group, we’re almost half of the population only that many of us act extroverted (exactly what I was doing years ago) so it makes it seem like there’s more extroverts than there are introverts. So I really recommend this book to every introvert out there and for those of you who have kids, especially teens or preteens who show signs of being an introvert because school can be very hard for introverts. The book is called “introvert Power” by Laurie Helgoe.

  33. MC says:

    There is a difference between simply being introverted and being shy. I define shyness as being uncomfortable in social situations. The actual psychological term is social anxiety. Someone can be introverted but not have anxiety in social situations. From my own experience, and now with 20/20 hindsight, I highly encourage anyone who has social anxiety (shyness) to see a physician (a psychiatrist is probably the best option) ASAP. There are anxiety drugs that can help with the feelings of anxiety (fight or flight feelings, heart palpitations, voice quavering, etc.). Once the physical manifestations are minimized, it will be easier to put yourself in more social situations, including job interviews, dating, etc.

  34. john says:

    Ive made it through the entire work day without saying a word. Im a plumber who works on giant commercial projects. I get so damn lonely I have to go out after work for interaction when I want it. You want solitude? get a career that you can work with your hands and mind so that what comes out of peoples mouths is less important than the production accomplished by the bodys’ efforts. Sometimes I envy my buddies gift of gab but in the end i realize my job is extremely needed and fulfilling whereas running your mouth is sorely overrated.

  35. yolanz says:

    i’m not sure how introvert am I. But if according to this articles, most of the qualities match with my behavior. I’m facing difficulties at work because probably I am too ‘shy’. like to spend time alone rather than have a discussion or meeting with staffs. I work as a manager of a park,which this job need to be with staff to discuss operational matters in the park. I feel very stress before, but now I try to learn to be more socialize. but still have difficulties to mix with staff. I am very young manager, 25 yrs old, but my staff mostly aged from 35 to 50 yrs old. How to solve this?

  36. Mel says:

    Unfortunately, writing is a job that doesn’t pay unless you’ve graduated with an English degree and work for a magazine or newspaper. I’ve always struggled with jobs because I despise “working in teams” (was always the first kid in school to ask “can I work alone” when the class was asked to group into 3s and 4s) and everywhere I’ve worked is a “team based” environment. I despise depending on others to do their job so that I can do mine because they never get their jobs done properly or in a timely fashion and I’m always held back by the team, then get the blame despite being the only person whose job was completed properly and on time. The list above fits me to a T. I don’t like being around people and I’m fine and comfortable with that, but unfortunately the working world insists on the strength of the team and scoffs the work of the individual.

  37. emerson says:

    Being an introvert does NOT mean you are a quiet person (although you may be an introvert AND a quiet person, but they are two different traits). The difference between an introvert and an extrovert, to put it simply, is where one get’s their energy. Extroverts get their energy from being around other people, whereas introverts reboot/gain energy from being alone (introverts expend all their energy when around others, and then need the time to go and “hide” to regenerate). Introverts can be VERY extroverted, but it is NOT where the energy is coming from. Anything else that might be going on is something other than introvert vs. extrovert. Again, the difference is simply a matter of where one get’s their energy from (internally vs. externally).

  38. Silv says:

    When I saw the title of this article, I was expecting something simple about how quiet people can get along at work. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find a more in-depth analysis of what defines an introvert. I’ve always known I was introverted, but I never realized that my other personality traits would be found in the definition. Every single thing in the “people with introverted personality traits” list above fits me. Especially, “prefer to speak with one or two people at a time” and “need more personal space” and “appear calm” (although I usually never am!). I graduated at the top of my class, but I tend to blank out in situations where I’m required to speak in front of others (especially if I don’t have time to prepare).

    I truly came to know myself after graduating from college. It was only then that I had to start dealing with my introverted personality in job interviews and more uncomfortable social situations. I’ve slowly realized that I process my thoughts differently from other people, but that it’s okay. Most notably, I always wonder what is wrong with me when my co-workers invite me to happy hour, and I zone out as soon as we sit down at the bar or in the crowded restaurant. I try to follow the conversation, but I always find that I can’t concentrate and that I never know what’s going on (and I don’t drink, so that was never the issue…). Does anyone have any suggestions on how to combat this problem? I want to be social, but it’s very difficult at times.

  39. JDx says:

    Being detail-oriented has nothing to do with being an introvert. There are introverts who are detail-oriented and there are extroverts who are detail-oriented. The two are unrelated. Also the assertion that introverts are people who “know a lot about a few topics” is also inaccurate. There is no such correlation between being an introvert and knowing a lot about a small number of things. I am an introvert, have known for a long time and know a lot of trivia as well as a large amount about a broad range of subjects. Again, this has nothing to do with being an introvert and makes the list misleading. Other than that the list may be helpful for helping people identify themselves as introverts but there are plenty of good personality tests that can determine that with a greater degree of accuracy along a spectrum as everyone has at least some traits that are both introverted and extroverted. I don’t mean to knock this article but as an introvert myself I do not like untrue generalizations or misinformation about what an introvert is all over the place. A lot of people already think that quiet people are weird just because 75% of the population is extroverted and being talkative is the norm. Don’t need any more reasons to discriminate.

  40. Shaina says:

    This introvertextrovert article is great and all that, but it doesn’t begin to describe the company I work for. There’s no way to compensate for Management stupidity. For example: We just spent 19 months changing our entire e-commerce website around. So what happens? Management waits until 2 days before the launch to explain to customer service all the changes and don’t give us time to test the site ourselves and look at it before we have to answer and resolve customer technical issues about it. I worked Sunday night and the entire time the beta site was down for maintenance because they were working feverishly to have it up by 8 am Tuesday. I couldn’t look at a thing. Originally we were told it would live today. It went live yesterday. Now we’re finding out from complaining customers that some parts of the site don’t work AT ALL. 🙂 I don’t remember ever being asked to test any beta in the 19 months they were working on it. So what did they test it with?! LOL The other great thing we did recently was publish a promo email and mailed it to mass customer base saying “For filling out our survey you get 10% off your order with X company *plus* if you buy any items from ABC designer you get and additional 20% off.” What we really meant was you get 10% off survey discount and 20% off ONLY the ABC items. NOT 30% off the ENTIRE order. If that’s the case then we never should have used the word “plus” in the advertisement. So guess what? Every single person that noticed that said “I want 30% off my order or I”m canceling the entire thing” we had to give it to them. We lost a ton of money because we can’t proof read before send anything out!!!

  41. Peter says:

    Being an introvert is not a life sentence of solitude and dead-end jobs. Socializing is a skill that like any other, some people are naturally better at, but anyone can learn the basics with practice. I am naturally a very shy and introverted person, and if I’d continued to go with my natural instincts and avoid interacting with people through my adult years like as I did when I was younger, then I’d still be the same unhappy person I was then. The best thing introverts can do is force themselves to face their fears and engage people. You may be pleasantly surprised how well people respond when you say what you think and are brave enough to show your own personality to more than just a few trusted friends and family members. I think many introverts, like Lisa here, suffer from automatic negative thoughts. They’re so critical of everything that they shoot down their own thoughts and ideas before they can verbalize them. And when they do actually open their mouth, it’s often something negative which gets a negative reaction discouraging them from interacting more. It’s not easy to change, but you can break yourself of these bad habits by making the effort to engage people, taking an interest in others, trying to be outwardly focused rather than concentrating on your own thoughts, pay more attention to nonverbal cues and emmulate what socially successful people do, maintain a sense of humor and just smile every now and then for god sakes!

  42. Ric says:

    Somehow a disappointing article. I thought this article will give a list of possible careers for an introvert.

  43. Cam says:

    I know exactly how you feel, Lisa. Something this nation sorely lacks is a government grant program for working artists. So many of us are required to work terrible jobs we hate just to make ends meet. Some of us manage to find the time and energy after work to produce our crafts. A rare few can actually make a career out of their talent.

    Many, many people have a hobby they call art. But only some of us are cursed with a serious muse calling. I make no illusions about my talent. I’m not Stephen King. But I understand my personality, and if I don’t spend time actually writing, I totally lose my marbles. It’s not a hobby, it’s what I was born to do. And if society meshed better with the reality of human nature, I’d be getting paid right now to write all the time, not squeeze in fragments here and there between hours and hours of banal retail or factory work.

  44. Paul from Honolulu says:

    I’ve worked 24 years at my first job and did not realize that personality could play a part in handicapping a worker’s abilities. Only now during my current job search do I keep that in mind, and this article confirms my thoughts. Being introverted is even harder for a man because we are expected to be aggresive, whereas quiet women tend to do relatively well in society. I’ll continue seeking a job appropriate for my introverted personality and not settle for any job, hoping I’ll fit in. And to Lisa, relax, start small, maybe a blog’s a good start to get your work noticed; good luck.

  45. Arlene says:

    This a good article. It helps me recognize my true self being an introvert person which all the personality traits applies to me. But being an introvert does not mean that you can’t land a job that you really like most. Yes, its true its very disappointing sometimes when it comes to interviews. However, there’s one solution for that, its called “MIND SETTING” as a first step of getting a job that you like. If you THINK that you can do the job and most importantly, the DETERMINATION and BELIEVE you can have it, then it will be yours. But if you THINK otherwise, then its your SELF that has a problems, not the interviewer.

  46. Lacey says:

    I thought this was a great article. Out of the 29 traits I agree with 28. I was recently let go by my employer because I “wasn’t a good fit.” “We are all pretty social here and you’re not so I’m letting you go.” I would rather be home working on my art alone but that dose’nt pay the bills. Reading this article made me feel better though. Atleast I know I’m not alone, or crazy.

  47. Brenda says:

    I’m so glad you have figured out who the few introverts are. I honestly believed that there weren’t alot of people like me. I like spending time with people, but not as much as others. I know alot of needy people who would much rather be with others than by themselves. They always puzzled me. I thought it was a self-esteem issue, but I never really knew. I enjoy my “me” time, and feel suffocated by people who mess up that flow. Their negativity drains me literally. I used to write short stories and poems, but now I write and sing songs. I’m into the arts like dancing, singing, writing. It’s the only way I can express myself without feeling judged. Thanks Laurie, please make more articles like these!

  48. morgan says:

    Are you kidding. It’s practically impossible to get a job if you are an introvert. People who are quiet are socially stigmatized from grade school on. If introverts think they are socially inept, weird or antisocial it is because this idea has been repeatedly pounded into them by society. The quiet children are an easy target, and extroverts have no qualms about announcing their obnoxious opinions. By the time everyone is adults, the mantra has been repeated so often that people believe if you exhibit a little reserve you are somehow freaky and subhuman. I’ll graduate next year with a business degree in accounting and economics. Despite the fact that I have worked twice as hard in school as most students, and will graduate near the top of my class, I have no illusions that I will land some great job.

    • Mike says:

      True words indeed… If people think it’s hard to get a job as a “younger introvert” it’s damn near impossible if you have any supplemental challenges. For 50+ / introverted/ and dealing with a medical condition – it 10Xs harder.

  49. Mel says:

    Lisa, maybe portraying a more positive/less bitter attitude will help you find a better job and start making connections? Just a thought. (I know you think it’s probably a dumb one.)

  50. Jennifer says:

    Lisa,
    This is a good article. Not everyone is lucky enough to know what you already know about yourself and may find the article interesting or even find that it backs up what they already were thinking. If you gave up on finding a job that you love, that is your own fault. There are ways to find your dream job without all the horrible probing, prying, nerve-wracking interviews. I have had more luck in going to temp agencies and proving my abilities while in the job and working my way where I want to be within the company once I am there. I understand about the interviews. I hate them too. No one wants to hire a shy introvert who is crazy nervous about the interview itself. Good Luck and keep trying.

  51. Rachel says:

    I think this was a great article because of the checklist! I never put two and two together when it comes to my own personality. I am a pretty friendly person…but I do require larger amounts of “individual” time than the average person. I spend alot of time in meetings at work…and I like to be alone on the weekends to “recharge”. Working in larger groups is draining for me. I have known what the word introvert means for some time, but just never associated it with myself. I guess because “not working well in groups” is considered negative, and no one wants to associate something negative with themselves.

  52. Janet says:

    Oh my gosh! I am 57 years old and have never understood why I have never fit the mold. Though I have heard the terms extrovert and introvert, I have not given it much thought until I read this article today. In general, I resist categorizing people, but this article is so enlightening!

    Thank you Laurie! I have a feeling that my future may hold more true happiness than my past, simply because I now understand myself better. I have never really been successful in any job, although my employers generally approve of my performance. However, I do have a book that I just completed last month. Writing is where my true passion lives.

    Again, Thank You! Thank You, Laurie! Great article. Keep up the good work!

  53. Lisa says:

    This article couldn’t have been anymore useless. I have known I was introverted my whole life so I don’t need some dumb check list to determine if I am or not. In addition to that I know what kind of career I want. I have a degree in English so obviously my dream job would be to become a writer. So now where do I stand? I know my personality is best fit to become a writer but those jobs are very few and far between. Now do you have any help? Want to trade jobs? I work retail so I doubt it. Want to find me a publisher? Yeah, I doubt that as well. I don’t care what anyone says… finding a good job is simply about having connections and luck. I could apply at jobs until the sun goes down but that doesn’t mean any of these places are going to hire me. Being shy has been a huge disadvantage when it comes to job interviews and picking a terrible major in college hasn’t helped me at all either.

    I must have been kidding myself to think I would ever find a job I actually liked after graduating from college.

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