These days many traditional employers are keen to find “team players” and people who thrive in “dynamic environments.” This turn towards open space workplaces and constant cloud based collaboration has left some introverts feeling left out in the cold.
However, there are still great jobs for shy people out there…you just need to know where to look.
This article takes a look at 10 career options for introverted people, offering options across several different employment sectors.
Work from Home Careers for Introverts
With more and more companies outsourcing freelancers with specific skillsets, there are a great deal of opportunities in the modern job economy for introverts. Key to learning to navigate the emerging gig economy is to find platforms to connect with clients, such as UpWork, or successfully building a client base through your own website and/or social media platforms.
While working from home takes a certain degree of self-discipline and trial and error, it can be a way for introverts to manage the anxieties that come from working in crowded work environments that often place a high degree of emphasis on collaborative work.
Working from home lets you choose the clients you want to work with, offers a high degree of autonomy on the kinds of work you do, and allows you the luxury of working mostly on your own.
#1: Freelance Writer or Editor
If you have strong writing and editing skills, then you are in luck. Due to the increase in online commerce, companies are always on the look out for talented writers and editors to add to their team to develop strong content which drives traffic to their websites. There are plenty of opportunities to develop content writing expertise in areas that you have a particular interest or knowledge base in.
Editing work is usually considered the next level for people trying to make a career out of working from home in this niche. Strong developmental editing skills, often gained first through writing on a regular basis, are in high demand. Many small business owners need the help of talented editors to help them share their message with their audience through social media, blogs, ebooks, and other written content.
If technical writing and research is something you excel at, grant writing offers excellent pay and is often relatively easy to find once you have some experience under your belt. Along those same lines, entrepreneurs often write applications for loans, investor white papers, and patent applications that need highly skilled technical writers to add finesse and polish.
Many introverts have a creative passion that they are keen to explore. Although learning to monetize your art can be challenging, the world of digital marketing and online platforms have made this career more economically viable than ever before by connecting paying customers and artists.
Often, the trick to turning your art into a successful financial venture includes finding the right platform to showcase your products and talents to the right customers. For example, if you work in a craft medium, Etsy may be a good starting point for your wares. If you are more interested in fine arts, a site such as ArtPal may be more your speed.
Jobs in IT for Loners
Jobs in IT continue to outpace demand, offering high paid work for those who are technically minded. Although there are many opportunities for introverts in this field, it is a myth that all IT jobs are perfect for introverts. In fact, many people with technical skillsets are required to work closely with other people in collaborative and often competitive environments which are ill-suited for loners.
That being said, there are still some great niches within IT where introverts can find a rewarding career. Here are a few examples:
#3: Graphic Designer
Graphic design skills are in high demand and often small businesses and even larger companies are increasingly outsourcing this work to freelancers who work from home. In addition, sites such as CreativeMarket are tailored to helping digital artists find a market for their work.
Graphic designers do need to have a high degree of technical skill to be able to work in various environments so that their work can be optimized in different contexts (web design, posters, printed media, ebooks, etc.). However, picking up these skills along the way allows you to put your creative powers at the center of your work – something that many introverts need to thrive in their careers.
#4: Digital Marketing
If you love working with numbers, then digital marketing is a career that is currently growing in demand. You can learn many of the tricks of the trade through reputable online certification programs, sometimes in a matter of 6 weeks or less. This work often involves analyzing data from advertising campaigns to refine audience targeting and optimize conversions such as click throughs and sales.
The opportunities for using your digital marketing skills are fairly endless. However, many introverts appreciate working one on one with small businesses and entrepreneurs to help them get their business off the ground with sound marketing principles, data analysis, target refinement, and SEO strategy.
Trades for Shy People
Many trades offer career opportunities for people who prefer to work on their own. Your local community college may offer 1 or 2 year programs to train and certify you in one of the skilled trades that are in demand in your area. If you are a shy person who likes to work with your hands, it is definitely worth a little bit of research into local opportunities to learn a skilled trade. A few of the many trades that are ideal for introverts include:
Plumbers work in residential, agricultural, commercial, and municipal environments. For the introvert, consider focusing on building a private practice or apprenticing with an established local plumber in your area. Although you will need to have enough people skills to work directly with your customers, residential plumbing in particular offers many hours of solitary work that is both financially and psychologically rewarding for those who prefer to work with things over people.
Another trade to consider if you are interested in a skilled trade is electrical work. Offering lots of opportunities to work on your own or with a small team on a contracting job, this is a career that can be both satisfying and lucrative.
College Degree Professions for Introverts
If you excel at book learning and are looking for a job that will make use of a college degree, then as an introvert you may be somewhat overwhelmed by many college careers that focus on team building and social skills. However, there are still some great professions that offer you the chance to work mostly on your own.
A few include:
Whether you decide to open your own practice or work at a larger firm, accounting is a job that includes plenty of quiet time playing with the numbers. If you have strong analytical skills and an interest in seeking out the legal loopholes, then accounting may offer you a rewarding career even if you are a shy person.
Many introverts are outstanding listeners who are reflective and empathetic. While a career in psychology will absolutely require you to work with people, it is often in quiet and controlled one-on-one environment where many introverts thrive.
Psychology careers come in many forms and different levels of certification and training are required for each. For example, you can start your career in psychology with an associate’s level degree in social work or counseling, although the pay is generally limited at this level.
On the other hand, if you invest in a Master’s degree in clinical psychology, you will find that you have the ability to open your own practice or find higher paying jobs at institutions such as correctional facilities, juvenile detention facilities, and other areas where high risk patients are in need of help.
Careers with Animals or Nature
Finally, many people who find social situations awkward and stressful appreciate the calming effect of working with animals or enjoying nature. A few ways to dovetail these passions with mostly solitary work include:
#9: Animal Trainer
Professional animal trainers spend the bulk of their workday working with animals. With minimal online certification programs in animal training techniques, as well as some hands-on experience, you may find that you are able to build a career as a professional dog trainer.
Other opportunities that offer a more secure career could include pursuing a bachelor’s degree in animal behavior and then translating that degree into a job working at a zoo or aquarium. A degree in biology or related discipline may be a career starter for people who want to work with animals in a wildlife context such as a career as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service.
#10: Nonprofit Animal Rescue
There are many non-profit organizations devoted to working with animals in a wide range of contexts. Both domesticated pets (dogs, cats, birds, etc.) and wildlife are the focus of rescue and rehabilitation work going on across the country. Although this work typically does not pay well, for many introverts the opportunity to work closely with rescued animals offers other rewards that may be more important than a big paycheck.