If you like to work alone – like most introverts – then you need to find a job that suits your personality.
Below is a list of the best careers for introverts. But first, here’s a confession and question from a reader:
“I am an introvert, and I feel tense if I am suddenly asked to tell something about myself,” says G. on Unhappy Introverts – When Introversion Causes Life Problems. “I do well when I am prepared with my answers. I don’t like to talk to people around me. Moreover, I don’t know what job suits introverts. I haven’t stayed in a job that lasts longer than 6 months because I feel depressed, low, less energetic. What kinds of jobs are good for introverted people? Thanks.”
The first step is finding what your strengths are. It’s fine to prefer to be alone – I know I do! But, you need to take the next step and figure out what you’re good at.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 has received almost 500 reviews on Amazon, and is a bestselling book that will help you figure out where you should be steering your life.
And here are a few job suggestions for people who’d rather be alone…
Jobs Where You Work Alone - Careers for Introverts
First, are you an introvert? Take this test for introverted personality traits.
When I searched for “best jobs for introverts”, I didn’t find many lists of career opportunities. I found a few articles that describe Laurence Shatkin’s types of introverted personality traits. He’s the author of 200 Best Jobs for Introverts, and says introverts can identify their perfect job by learning the type of introvert category they fit into.
Shatkin ’s Types of Introverts
So, if you’re an “artistic introvert”, you’d be happiest in a job that allows you to create art. The best jobs for people who are “social introverts” are those that balance people with working alone.
But instead of focusing on different types of introverts, I’d rather describe a few career categories that people who like to be alone would enjoy.
Self-employment, freelancing, or working from home
I’ve been working at home as a freelance writer for five years, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had. I love to be alone, love to write, and love being self-employed. If you’re an introvert who has a skill (eg, writing, editing, graphic design, etc), the self-discipline or motivation to work independently, and the ability to invest a year or two in starting your business, then self-employment may be the best path for you.
Can you support yourself as a blogger, web writer, data entry clerk, or social media expert? Those online jobs require minimal person-to-person interaction, and lots of alone time. Real Writing Jobs has several types of online job opportunities – not just writing.
Air traffic controller
Here’s an interesting idea:
“As an air traffic controller, you don’t need to talk to anybody except the pilots under your control, and when you do, it’s very regimented, routine, and there is no superfluous dialogue,” says Andrew on What Would Be Ideal Jobs for Introverts? “There’s no dealing with the masses, it’s just you, the pilots, and maybe a half dozen other people (depending on your location) in your immediate vicinity. And communications with these colleagues are all business. No room for small talk when you’re responsible for the lives of hundreds of people at any given moment.”
Quick list of jobs for people who like to work alone:
- Truck driver
- On air personality (radio DJ)
- Internet technology or computer programming
- Night cleaning person/janitor
- Night watchman
- Lab worker or researcher
- Trades: carpenters, plumbers, landscapers
- Science: geologist, pathologist, engineer, statistician, actuary
- Finance: accountant, stock broker, bookkeeper
But the problem with suggesting particular jobs for introverts is that not everyone has those skills! For instance, an air traffic controller may work alone a lot, but she needs to know how to deal with high stress situations.
So, I believe the best way for people to find a job is to find your passion, and then search for the circumstances that allow you to work at your passion alone.
If you know you’re an introvert and aren’t in the best job for you, read How to Quit Your Job When You’re Scared.
Career tips for introverts
Remember that finding the right job isn’t just about being alone. It’s about figuring out what your strengths are, what you enjoy doing, and what makes you feel fulfilled.
Another book for job seekers with introverted personality traits is The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career.
Also, you’ll probably never find a job in which you’ll totally be left alone. Instead, you need to focus on finding a job that minimizes the time you spent with groups of people. This is good because you don’t necessarily want a job that totally isolates you! My job – a home-based freelance writer – is extremely isolating, and after five years I definitely have a touch of cabin fever. I’m starting to look for a part-time job outside of working from home. So, my fellow introverts, be careful what you wish for!
Here’s another article that may help: How to Find a Career to Match Your Introverted Personality Traits.
What do you think – do you have any suggestions for people who want jobs where they work alone? What are the best jobs for introverts?