Have you ever wondered if you would fit into any job you wanted to get into? Are there specific jobs where certain personality types would do better in than others? The answer to the second question is “yes”, there are some jobs like that. Some environments may not be conducive for the optimal performance of certain characteristics, although some people can adjust better to various environments, despite who they are. In this article, we will explore the best jobs for introverts and why this is the case.
What is Personality?
While there is no one agreed on definition of what personality is, a general definition is that personality is the characteristic sets of behaviours, cognitions, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors (Very Well Mind, 2020). This filters down to the result of the different people we come across every day. No two people are the same and this is because of 1) personality traits that vary across a scale from one person to another and 2) environmental factors that influence how individuals behave such as society and culture.
Another definition is that personality is “the way of thinking, feeling and behaving that makes a person different from other people. An individual’s personality is influenced by experiences, environment (surroundings, life situations) and inherited characteristics. A person’s personality typically stays the same over time.” (American Psychology Association, 2020).
What is an Introvert?
An introvert is often thought of as a quiet, reserved, and thoughtful individual. They don’t seek out special attention or social engagements, as these events can leave introverts feeling exhausted and drained (Holland, 2018). Introverts are the opposite of extroverts, who are often described as the “life of a party”. They seek out interaction and conversations. They aren’t one to miss a social gathering, and they thrive in the frenzy of a busy environment.
When you take a look around, it is nearly easy to tell introverts and extroverts apart. Their interests differ and the way they go about their day to day lives, are not nearly the same with each other.
What are introverts like?
Now that we know what introverts are, to take a step further, it is ideal to understand what they are like and why they perhaps do the things they do. People with different personalities tend not to fully understand why the other person is the way they are. Understanding differences is key to understanding others.
Below are some characteristics of introverts:
- Preferring time to themselves
- Being drained by social interactions
- Preferring to work alone
- Having a close circle of friends and liking it that way
- Being introspective and curious
- Preferring writing over talking
From the characteristics listed above, a picture of the types of jobs that best suit introverts start to come into mind.
The Best Jobs for Introverts
According to Weingarten (2019), introverts are more likely to thrive in calm, uncrowded environments, where there are more occasions for one-on-one interactions, rather than large and loud group discussions or debates. Positions that offer autonomy and introspection and rely less on collaboration are especially attractive.
Tallo (2020), reports that the best jobs for introverts include:
- Biological Technician – Working in a lab is a pretty safe bet for an introvert. As a biological technician, you’ll work with biological and medical scientists, conducting lab tests and experiments.
- Drafter – This job allows one to combine their two special talents by becoming a drafter. Drafters use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create and store technical drawings that can be used to plan projects. This is a great job for introverts because you could easily spend most of your time drawing or reading technical documents, depending on the company you work for.
- Airline Pilot – If one is interested in an aviation career, consider becoming an airline pilot. Once they have reached cruising altitude and are on your course heading, there’s a little conversation that’s required from you.
- Web Developer – A career in web development is a solid career option for introverts. Since many web developers are introverts, there’s a good chance that you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people who prefer to work in peace.
- Writer/Author – Author John Green said it best: “Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.” While the job might not be a good fit for anxious introverts (because of tight deadlines and other pressures), it appeals to those who prefer to work remotely and independently.
- Paralegal – Many people (extroverts and introverts) want to become lawyers because of the money that stands to be made, until realising that they do a lot of public speaking, which is a setback for most introverts. Being a paralegal is an alternative in the law field. Paralegals assist lawyers by conducting research, drafting legal documents, and investigating the facts of a case.
These are not the only jobs for introverts that introverts will thrive but they serve merely as a guide to what types of jobs one must look out for. In addition to the above jobs, the Australian Online Courses (2020), carried out their research on the best jobs for introverts. These are listed below:
- Accountant - Accountants deal with numbers daily and need to be detailed, a common introvert trait, to ensure work is accurate.
- Technician - The nature of a technician’s role will vary depending on the industry but they generally work alone and need to deal with complex, technical, detailed problems.
- Analyst - Analytical problem solving, research, finding and analysing factual criteria are essential to the work of engineers – these are all introvert-biased tasks.
- Urban & regional planner - The day-to-day role of an urban & regional planner consists of report writing, reading detailed legislation and managing small teams. The offices of town planners are generally quiet. There are some extroverts in urban and regional planning but they’re in the minority.
The last job which may come as a surprise to many is being a Social Media Marketer. This sounds like an oxymoron, we know! But social media is computer-based socialising – perfect for those who are introverts. The job is to make sure your company is visible on social networks but one will spend most of the time hidden behind a computer.
Worst jobs for introverts
Where there is a ‘best job’, there is surely a ‘worst job’. Below are some jobs that may prove to be challenging for some introverts to enter into:
- Sales Representative - Working in sales is very difficult for many introverts. The idea behind selling things is to talk to people and convince them why they need whatever it is you are selling. You have to be warm and friendly to your potential customers, and you may also have to make a lot of small talks. Some salespeople also have to give presentations. For example, someone (Vanover 2020).
- Flight Attendant - Flight attendants do a lot more than what many realise. There’s a lot more to the job than handing out snacks and drinks during flights. Flight attendants assist passengers with any questions they may have during, before, and after flights. They also make important safety announcements before each takeoff. Flight attendants are also trained to assist passengers in the event of an emergency to make sure everyone follows procedures (Vanover 2020).
- Bartender - Similar to restaurant servers, many bartenders also work for tips. Because of this, they have to be warm and friendly to all customers, and if any problems do arise, they have to make sure the issues are resolved to the customers’ satisfaction. Most bartenders work of the days, evenings, and nights. They may also have to work weekends and holidays since more people tend to visit bars during these times and days.
- Real Estate Agent – Vanover, (2020), highlights that real estate agents are responsible for showing homes to potential buyers. They have to make small talk with their clients, answer questions about homes, and they may also have to attend closings when homes sell. An agent may have to show a home many times before an offer is made to buy it. Real estate agents also work to sell homes. They have to communicate with sellers to learn about their homes and take pictures to have them included in the listings.
There are many more jobs introverts that many do not know. This article serves as a way to kickstart the thought process of what one can get into. remember, personalities are different and there is always something out there for everyone.
Thandeka Madziwanyika is a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm.
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