Finding the right career path can be a challenge for anyone, so finding a job you will love and that suits your personality type is true gold. If you consider yourself an introvert, this might seem a tricky path, but in reality, there are many careers in which introverts can excel.
Typically, introverts tend to think they need to work on being more extroverted to be successful. However, channeling your skills, experience, and personality to your best advantage is a better approach for long-term happiness and career success.
Read on to find out the ways to make job-hunting work for you, regardless of your level of social energy. With some practice and adjustments to your job-search plan, you can make your reserved nature work to your advantage.
In this article, we focus on helping you navigate the job market as an introvert by exploring:
What is an introvert?
Identify your introvert strengths
Choose the right job opportunities
Networking as an introvert
Top jobs for introverts
What is an introvert?
Being an introvert or an extrovert may seem like polar opposites, but actually most of us have a blend of these personality characteristics. People who have an introverted personality tend to find prolonged social interactions a challenge and prefer calmer, less energized environments.
Introverts are more than capable of handling the same responsibilities as extroverts, but they work better when in a career that is more focused on their strengths. The ability to be independent, a good listener, disciplined, observant, and a compassionate leader are some of the key qualities an introvert can offer in the workplace.
Identify your introvert strengths
No matter who you are, you need to be honest about yourself in the job hunt. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
This means it’s okay to be honest during networking and interviews about how difficult it can be to make connections with new people, or how intimidating the process is. Odds are very good that they can relate.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a complete introvert, it’s worth identifying and emphasizing the strengths that introverts typically have: organization, focus, creativity, and others so you can demonstrate how you show these qualities in your work.
Choose the right job opportunities for jobs for introverts
If you are an introvert looking for minimal social interaction in your career, then analyzing the language in a job description is a good place to get a sense of what the job will involve and what company culture is like. Look for clues about how much interaction is required to perform your role and what socialization looks like between employees.
Phrases like “working and playing hard,” “significant client liaison,” or “regular social gatherings” are often indicators that social interaction levels will be pretty high. This may not be your cup of tea!
On the flip side, introverts can often thrive in collaborative activities. If the description of the work itself describes you–if they’re looking for someone who’s “detail-oriented” and “a team player”–that might work to your advantage. Think hard about the level of socialization you want within your work environment. Then consider the qualities of other workspaces you’ve enjoyed in the past. Use these to identify a role as well as company culture and values that work well with your personality.
Networking as an introvert
Many introverts are scared away from the idea of networking because of a fundamental misunderstanding of what networking is. There’s an idea that in order to get a great position, you need to connect with as many people as possible. In a sense, it’s true that your opportunities may grow with the size of your network. But at the same time, having more connections does not necessarily mean having better connections. It’s possible to have 1000 contacts that are doing you absolutely no good.
If the idea of connecting with a bunch of people makes you want to crawl into bed and hide, then it’s time to target your search a bit more. Focus your attention on building one-on-one relationships with a handful of people (like recruiters) who you really want to have in your corner.
Say you send out one purposeful LinkedIn message a day (just one!). By the end of the week, that’s five connections, and if only two or three people respond, then you can focus your energy on them.
These relationships will be more manageable and valuable to your search than competing for attention with hundreds of others.
Address any career anxiety issues as an introvert. Talk to a trusted friend, stay fit and healthy, practice relaxation exercises, and start a journal to manage these feelings.
Don’t view introversion as a negative. If you have a burning desire to start your own company and be CEO, go for it! Channel your introverted strengths to your benefit.
Top jobs for introverts
If you recognize yourself as an introvert, what are the best options for your career? Listed below are jobs that are ideally suited to introverted personality types, with average salary information gathered from Glassdoor.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting / (Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License a plus)
Average Salary: $59,330 / yr (Higher for CPAs)
If you are an introvert with a talent for numbers, then working as an accountant can be a great option. Accountants are always in demand and can work in-house, via an agency, or on a freelance basis. You will spend a fair amount of time analyzing and evaluating financial records, which is largely a solo activity, so perfect for an introvert!
Qualifications: Doctor of Psychology
Average Salary: $277,430 / yr
Amazing listening skills and an empathetic approach are key skills to being successful in the field of psychiatry and mental health. Introverts have these skills in spades and will enjoy working with clients and patients in typically one-to-one or small group sessions. Core responsibilities include the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health issues.
3. App Developer
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering / Certified Google & Apple Developer
Average Salary: $107,000 / yr
Application developers apply their skills to create, develop, and update programs and apps for devices across diverse companies and sectors. These roles tend to be completed in a part-time, full-time, remote, or hybrid working situation. If you are an introvert with bright ideas and strong technical skills this could be the job for you!
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Art (not essential) / Industry experience
Average Salary: $42,144 / yr
If you are a talented artist then pursuing a career as a painter, sculptor, or textile artist could be a great option. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, a career in art can be extremely rewarding, with the additional benefit of being able to work from home independently.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering
Average Salary: $81,204 / yr
Engineers apply mathematical and scientific skills to solve technical problems via a team or independently, so for an introvert this can offer a great job opportunity. Specialties can include biomedical, aerospace, civil, or mechanical engineering sectors.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s & Master’s in Architecture
Average Salary: $86,106 / yr
Creative, problem solver with a passion for design? If so, architecture could be your career path. Planning and designing a range of commercial or residential buildings can be an exciting prospect and offers the ability to work independently. This role requires minimal social interaction, apart from occasional client meetings and site visits.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, English, or Writing
Average Salary: $52,535 / yr
Whether you choose content writing, copywriting, technical or creative writing, developing a career in writing can be a rewarding career if you are an introvert. Typically introverts tend to be brilliant at expressing themselves in writing, so a writing role can be a great option and all you need is a quiet space and a laptop.
8. Digital Marketer
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing
Average Salary: $81,591 / yr
Looking to apply your creative and technical skills to promote brands, increase market reach and create new sales opportunities? If so, a digital marketing career could be the one for you. If your skill set falls in this area then working from home is a great option and a perfect solution for a creative introvert.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s & Master’s in Library Science
Average Salary: $56,779 / yr
If you love books, are super organized, and enjoy a quiet environment then becoming a librarian could be the perfect role. A librarian will be responsible for liaising with clients, maintaining catalogs and periodicals, and overseeing budgets.
10. Graphic Designer
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design or Fine Arts
Average Salary: $47,008 / yr
Everyone is always looking for a talented graphic designer. The ability to translate creative ideas into visuals via cutting-edge technology is a true gift. Graphic design offers an amazing career for creative introverts, who can work remotely to produce their projects.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, English Language, Writing, or Journalism
Average Salary: $56,326 / yr
Strong language skills and a passion for reading could lead to a successful career as an editor. Editors are required across diverse industries, with responsibility for reading and polishing content before publication. The ability to work autonomously will be attractive to introverts, with many editing jobs offering the option of remote working.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s & Master’s in History or Information Science
Average Salary: $61,494
Archivists tend to work solo, so for introverts with a strong interest in art and/or history, this career choice could be a good one. Archivists maintain and oversee historical items and artwork, typically located in libraries, universities, and research institutions.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s & Master’s in Life Sciences
Average Salary: $135,057 / yr (approximately)
Introverts tend to excel in scientific fields due to the fact that the role requires a creative approach, a rational mind, and a high level of focus – all common traits of introverts. Scientists complete research activities on their own and with others, but the level of social interaction in this role is fairly low. This career path also offers diverse opportunities, from a botanist and geologist to a chemist or zoologist.
Introverts enjoy being alone, prefer one-to-one or small group conversations, think before speaking, and feel drained when around lots of people for prolonged periods of time.
Introverts perform best in calm, less stimulating environments. If you are an introvert, channel your skills, experience, and personality to your best advantage in the workplace.
Choosing the right job opportunities is vital. Introverts excel in careers such as accounting, engineering, writing, art, IT, history, and science.