I heard from a job seeker the other day who was working with a career coach. The coach was encouraging her to apply for jobs in which she would work directly with lots of people.
However, the job seeker simply didn't want that kind of job. She is an introvert, and she knew that forcing herself to be outgoing wasn't going to work. She is now working with a different coach who is helping her find a job that's a good fit for her introverted personality.
Introversion and shyness are not necessarily the same thing. Introverts tend to find social situations draining instead of stimulating. Introverts may or may not be shy—the same as extroverts.
If you are an introverted person, there are many jobs that could be a great fit, allowing you to work primarily by yourself—or at least not in environments that require constant social interaction.
Top 10 Best Jobs for Introverts
There are a couple of things introverted job seekers should look for in a job. First, look for jobs that require interaction with a limited number of people. Find jobs where most of the tasks involve independent work or small group work.
Second, think about how many new people you will have to interact with on the job. Many introverts find meeting new people to be particularly tiring. If you have to interact with new clients on a regular basis, it might not be the job for you. Instead, look for jobs where you will generally be surrounded by the same people every day.
Accountants help individuals and companies make sure their financial statements are accurate and in compliance with state and federal regulations. Most employers require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, and some may prefer a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential.
Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants earned a median annual salary of $71,550 in May 2019.
Job Outlook: The BLS projects that employment of accountants will grow 6% between 2018 and 2028, as fast as average for all occupations.
Actuaries analyze risk for insurance agencies and other financial institutions. Using specialized software programs, actuaries determine the likelihood of various outcomes for potential clients and investments. Typically, actuaries have a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, mathematics, or a related field. To achieve full professional status, actuaries must be certified by one of two professional societies.
Salary: The BLS reports that actuaries earned a median annual salary of $108,350 in May 2019.
Job Outlook: The BLS projects that employment of actuaries will grow 20% between 2018 and 2028, much faster than average for all occupations.
Archivists appraise, catalog, and preserve permanent records and other valuable works. They might work in a library, a museum, or even within a corporation’s archives. Most archivists need a master’s degree in archival science, history, library science, or a related field. Because archivists spend so much time either with physical archives or on the computer, they do not need to worry about interacting with too many people.
Salary: According to the BLS, archivists earned a median annual salary of $49,850 in May 2019.
Job Outlook: The BLS projects that employment of archivists will grow 9% between 2018 and 2028, faster than average for all occupations.
4. Court Reporter
Court reporters create word-for-word transcriptions of legal proceedings. They also sometimes playback or read back a portion of the proceedings if a judge requests it. While this job requires being surrounded by people in the courtroom, the court reporter rarely has to interact with those people – they just need to be a good listener. Many court reporters have a certificate in court reporting from a community or technical college, and they receive on-the-job training.
Salary: The BLS reports that court reporters earned a median annual salary of $60,130 in May 2019.
Job Outlook: The BLS projects that employment of court reporters will grow 7% between 2018 and 2028, faster than average for all occupations.
5. Film/Video Editor
Film or video editors use video-editing software to produce a final product. They have to interact with a small collection of other people, including the director, other editors, and editing assistants. However, most of their work is done on a computer, so they do a lot of work alone or in a small group.
Salary: The BLS reports that film and video editors earned a median annual salary of $59,810 in May 2019.
Job Outlook: The BLS projects that employment of film and video editors will grow 11% between 2018 and 2028, much faster than average for all occupations.
6. Elevator Installer/Repairer
Elevators mechanics install and repair elevators, escalators, and other mechanical lifts. Most elevator installers and repairers have a high school diploma and do an apprenticeship before obtaining state licensure. This job is a good fit for those who are handy, physically strong and agile, and able to cope with heights and small spaces.
Salary: According to the BLS, elevator installers and repairers earned a median annual salary of $84,990 in May 2019.
Job Outlook: The BLS projects that employment of elevator installers and repairers will grow 10% between 2018 and 2028, much faster than average for all occupations.
7. Medical Records Technician
Medical records technicians and health information technicians organize and maintain health information data. They might use paper files, computer files, or a mix of both. Technicians might work in hospitals, physician’s offices, nursing facilities, or administrative offices. They do not interact much with patients, but they do work with nurses and other healthcare professionals. They often have to retrieve information for these people. However, much of their work is done behind a computer, so it is a good job for people who want to say out of the spotlight.
Salary: According to the BLS, medical records technicians earned a median annual salary of $40,350 in May 2019.
Job Outlook: The BLS projects that employment of medical records technicians will grow 11% between 2018 and 2028, much faster than average for all occupations.
8. Social Media Manager
You would think that, with the word “social” in the title, a social media manager job would be a bad fit for an introverted person. However, social media managers maintain a company’s brand from behind a computer. They create online content, respond to online comments, and answer online questions. They have to be comfortable creating and distributing a brand’s content on a number of online platforms. While social media managers have to work with their employers and colleagues, they typically do not have to engage directly with clients.
Salary: PayScale reports that social media managers earn an average annual salary of $50,952.
9. Software Developer
Software developers design and build software programs, as well as developing upgrades, testing programs and applications, and writing documentation. Although interpersonal skills and the ability to work with teams are a requirement for this job, there is also plenty of opportunity for heads-down work in many positions.
Salary: The BLS reports that software developers earned a median annual salary of $105,590 in May 2019.
Job Outlook: The BLS projects that employment of software developers will grow 21% between 2018 and 2028, much faster than average for all occupations.
10. Veterinary Tech
Veterinary technicians provide care for animals. They work under the supervision of veterinarians, assisting them with the diagnosis and treatment of animals. Vet techs often administer tests, such as blood and urine analysis, administer medication and anesthesia, and prepare animals for surgery. Typically, vet techs have an associate’s degree and state licensure.
Salary: According to the BLS, veterinary technicians earned a median annual salary of $35,320 in May 2019.
Job Outlook: The BLS projects that employment of veterinary technicians will grow 19% between 2018 and 2028, much faster than average for all occupations.
Job Searching Tips for Introverts
Even if you are not interested in any of these specific jobs, here are some tips for finding a job without having to alter your personality:
Network at Your Speed
Networking is a key aspect of job searching, but if you are introverted, it can be intimidating. Look for networking opportunities that allow you to meet people in small groups or one-on-one. Set up one-on-one informational interviews, or attend smaller networking events or seminars.
Use the Internet
Networking sites are a great place for you to connect with people and share your professional knowledge, without the intimidation of a face-to-face group meeting.
Pay Attention to Company Culture
When applying to jobs, be sure to research the company culture of each organization thoroughly. Read the “About” section on each company’s website, and speak with employees or former employees about the company atmosphere. Is there an emphasis on teamwork and team projects? Does the office have an open floor plan? Only apply to jobs that offer the sort of office environment you are comfortable with.
Emphasize the Positives
An introverted personality can be an asset in many jobs. In your cover letters and interviews, emphasize the aspects of your personality that make you a strong candidate. For example, many introverts are great listeners and strong critical thinkers.
Think about how you can use your personality to your advantage in the job search and on the job.
Prepare to Interview
If you are particularly anxious about an interview or other in-person meetings, be sure to prepare thoroughly beforehand. Create a list of potential interview questions and practice your answers. The more you practice, the more confident you will feel in the actual interview.