Best Jobs for Shy People & Introverts
Some careers are well suited to introverts, and some aspects of a job require a more extroverted personality. If you’re someone who prefers a little peace and quiet, starting a career where you’re expected to meet new people all day might be a tough place for you to flourish. Fortunately, there are plenty of quiet jobs and high paying career opportunities that are ideal for introverts.
Understanding Introverted Personality Types
Everybody has different needs for mental stimulation. Extroverts often need more stimulation from their environment. These are people who have to listen to music while they work, feel trapped if they’re at home on Saturday night, and are always chatty.
On the flipside, introverts require less stimulation from their environment – and can even be worn down by overstimulation. An introvert’s perfect weekend doesn’t involve leaving the house. These personalities are often reserved, shy, detail-oriented, and reflective. You can find them listening more than talking, and relishing the chance to work independently or in smaller, one-on-one settings.
What Do Introverts Look For In a Career?
There are some jobs where introverts and shy people tend to struggle. For example, many sales jobs require you to engage in endless waves of small talk or cold calls. Positions such as receptionists and tellers that involve constant socializing can also present more difficulty. An introvert can do these jobs, but will probably find them draining.
Introverts thrive in quiet jobs and careers where they’re allowed to work independently. For example, software developers often require solitude, quiet, and deep concentration in their work. Social media managers, animal service workers – any career where with restricted face-to-face interactions can also be a safe bet. The same solitude that could drive an extrovert to madness is exactly what makes an introvert thrive in those positions.
Many introverted people have similar strengths and weaknesses. Introverts aren’t particularly comfortable with public speaking, and they certainly don’t want to be the center of attention. They have a sensitive, quiet, and (at times) anxious disposition that doesn’t fit in positions where you need to be constantly assertive.
However, their attention to detail can catch a small problem before it becomes a disaster and their ability to self-motivate lets them work independently in a way many employers can’t expect of a lot of employees. If you fall on this side of the spectrum, check out our Career Wizard to see what kinds of careers match up with your own shy or introverted traits.
Best Careers for Introverts
Contrary to popular belief, introverts are actually a majority, accounting for 50.7% of the U.S. population (compared to 49.3% that identify as extroverts). There are countless careers where introverts can thrive. Here, we’ll highlight some of the best industries and positions for introverts, detailing job requirements and starting salaries for those hoping to get their feet wet.
Creative & Design Careers
Arts and design careers often give introverts the latitude to work independently and exercise a strong creative streak. While many introverts aren’t particularly vocal in business settings, working on the content or design side of a business gives them a chance to let their work speak for itself.
One of the best design careers for introverts is working as a multimedia animator. About half of animators are self-employed and work from home -- ideal circumstances for an introvert. Animators get a competitive entry level salary around 40k, which isn’t bad for going to work in your pajamas.
Careers in Social Work
Introverts can also make exceptional social workers, counselors, and therapists. While these careers involve interaction, they tend to be one-on-one interactions and make extensive use of listening skills. For careers in social work, one of the best entry level jobs for introverts is as a school counselor. The starting salary varies widely, but most social workers earn more than $48,000, which is respectable pay for work that offers a positive impact on young people.
Introverts will also find themselves very welcome in the insurance industry. Insurance companies need underwriters, claims adjusters, actuaries, agents, and similar positions that provide the kind of independent work introverts thrive on. For example, an actuary uses mathematical analysis to predict risk so insurance companies can figure out what something should cost. Actuaries have a high competitive starting salary around $50,000 -- and that figure can quickly double once job experience comes into play. Many of these entry-level insurance jobs require no more than an Associate degree as well.
Many healthcare careers are good choices for introverts, too. Physical therapists, nutritionists, veterinarians, audiologists – there are dozens of high paying jobs in the medical field for introverts that involve either working in a lab, dealing with patients one-on-one, or a combination of both duties. One of the top healthcare jobs for introverts is working as a veterinarian. It’s detail-oriented work that requires in-depth knowledge, patience, and a sense of empathy for both four-legged patients and their two-legged owners. And with a median salary of $88,000, veterinarians clearly have considerable potential for professional growth.
Careers in Communications
Last but not least, jobs in the communications field are excellent choices for introverts. Editors, writers, and translators are needed in dozens of different industries. But the best communications job for an introvert is no doubt in writing. Most writers are self-employed and choose their own hours, which is ideal for a self-starting introvert. Additionally, researching various topics and distilling them into easy-to-understand articles and more can be extremely satisfying for introverts. However due to the creative nature of communications work, earning potential for these jobs can vary widely. The starting salary for a freelance writer is as modest as $27,000, but the sky's the limit when it comes to growth potential in creative work.
If you’re an introvert, there are nearly limitless possibilities for you to grow and thrive in a career of your choosing. It takes all kinds of people to build a successful company and not everyone finds fulfillment in being the “face” or “voice” of a company. Introverts span the career gamut from entrepreneurs and executives to people who are instrumental behind the scenes, such as engineers and writers. If you’re an introvert, don't get yourself down. There's a perfect career for you if you only look.