Many people believe introverts are just shy or antisocial. But there is much more to introversion. Introverted people actually get energy from being alone. Some introverts describe being alone as feeling like an actual place they go. When introverts are alone, they spend a lot of time on introspection, and on analyzing the stimuli to which they were exposed during the day. Being alone is actually a rich and uplifting experience for introverts. On the reverse end of things, being around a lot of people drains introverts of energy. Being in crowded or chaotic places can be overwhelming for introverts because they struggle to take in and dissect a lot of information at once—their circuit overloads. Introverts don’t necessarily dislike people so much as people just exhaust them. That’s something to think about if you’re an introvert trying to choose a profession. Here are the best and worst jobs for introverts.
Best: Online business owner
If you have an online business—let’s say on Ebay or Etsy—you’ll never have to interact with customers in person. You can simply enjoy making your product in the privacy of your home and filling customer orders.
Worst: Cold calling sales
Since introverts hate feeling like others are encroaching on their personal space, an introvert would hate being in cold calling sales. This job is all about pushing boundaries and trying to interact with people who don’t want to interact with you. Introverts barely want to interact with the humans who do want to talk to them.
Best: Freelance writer
This job depends on what exactly you write about. But if you write about topics like health, relationships, or education, you can do most of your research online rather than through interviews.
Introverts should avoid politics. You can’t advance in politics without being out at events every day, speaking to people interpersonally and on a platform (like on television). Simply publishing your policies and intentions won’t cut it.
Best: Animal care
Extreme introverts could love being in animal care. If you’re a vet tech, then you can simply work with animals—the doctors and front of the house staff are the only ones who need to speak to the owners.
Worst: Real estate agent
Even if you don’t need to meet with large groups of people as a real estate agent, you do need to be energetic and perky in the presence of people—something introverts typically are not. It doesn’t matter what a great price you can get someone on a house; people want to work with social, personable real estate agents.
If you are an archivist or curator for a museum, you hardly need to speak to anyone at all. You can simply hide in the back of the museum, researching historical documents and restoring art and artifacts.
Worst: Event planner
Event planners need to not only handle chaos—they need to thrive in chaos. You’ll have to speak to vendors, venue owners, and clients constantly. You’ll regularly have to face the fear of letting someone down, and you’ll have to be a great negotiator so that you don’t let anyone down.
Best: Court stenographer
While court stenographers are surrounded by people in a trial, they don’t need to speak to people. They simply document what occurs in the trial. If you’re the type of introvert that just doesn’t like speaking to people, but is okay with the presence of them, this could be the job for you.
Worst: Flight attendant
Flight attendants are rarely alone. They’re either in busy airports or catering to the needs of passengers on airplanes. They need to remain energetic and positive after speaking to hundreds of people every day, even when many of those people aren’t very nice to them.
Best: Travel agent
While flight attendant isn’t the best job for an introvert, travel agent is actually a good one. When people come to travel agents, they’re usually in a good mood because they’re planning a vacation. Travel agents can do most of their communication with clients, colleagues, and vendors over phone or email.
If you aren’t genuinely happy to see customers (or at least don’t pretend to be happy) customers can actually report you to your manager. Shoppers expect retail associates to speak to them, compliment them, and be at their service the second they call them from the changing room.
Best: Social media manager
Even though the word “social” is built into the name, this is actually quite an antisocial job. You can be the social media manager for a company almost entirely from the comfort of your own home. Even if you need photos or content from the company, most can simply email you that material.
Doctors need to be excellent communicators, they need to thrive in chaos, and they need to be very good team players. Introverts often struggle to say what they need to say in a calm environment, so having to rush to communicate information that could save someone’s life is their worst nightmare.
Best: In-home nurse
While introverts may not make the best doctors, they can make good in-home nurses. If you are a private nurse for an elderly individual, you’ll mostly only deal with your patient and occasionally a few of his family members. But your days will be overall quiet and slow.
Stockbrokers need to be pushy, assertive, loud, and convincing if they’re going to succeed. The stock market floor is like hell on earth for an introvert.