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Careers for Introverts

By Wendy Gelberg

There's a wonderful saying: Find a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life. (Often attributed to Confucius.)

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That leads to a frequently asked question: What kinds of jobs or careers are suitable for introverts?

The answer is a little complicated, because introversion isn't the only dimension of personality that relates to job satisfaction.

Knowing that you're an introvert doesn't automatically mean that certain jobs are going to be right for you and others wrong. But it is definitely one dimension to consider as you examine the elements of career satisfaction.

A little research and self-exploration will help you determine some paths to pursue - and this kind of exploration probably suits your introverted personality.

Here are five resources for that exploration:

1. Do What You Are (book by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger, Little Brown & Company, 2007) -

Gain a better understanding of all aspects of your personality type, including introversion-extroversion, and identify specific jobs that are in tune with your all of your strengths.

There's a wide range of jobs suggested for introverts, far too many to list here, but including such diverse fields as teaching, counseling, architecture, engineering, finance, computer science, web design, writing/editing, photography, paralegal, bookkeeping, tax preparation, clergy, social work, merchandise planning, interior design.

2. Professional Associations -

Learn more about a job from the professional associations for that occupation or industry.

3. Google -

If you Google the phrase "careers for introverts" you'll find links for several articles, blogs, book references, etc. There's even a discussion among introverts on just this topic.

4. LinkedIn -

Talk to someone who actually does that job. If you don't happen to know anyone, use the Advanced People search on LinkedIn to find people you're connected to who do that job, and ask for an introduction.

Questions to ask include the following:

  • What does a typical day look like?
  • Does this occupation allow you to work on one task at a time until it is complete, or are you typically involved in multiple tasks at the same time?
  • Is the work fairly structured and routine, or is the work fairly unpredictable?
  • How much time is spent interacting with people? With data? With machines?
  • What does the work space typically look like?

Bottom Line:

A combination of self-assessment and career exploration can uncover the job that's a great fit for your personality.


About the author...

Wendy Gelberg is a Career Navigator at JVS CareerSolution in Boston and author of The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career. She is a certified career coach and resume writer whose expertise is in helping people who are uncomfortable "tooting their own horn." Wendy writes resumes, gives workshops, coaches individuals, and writes articles and blogs on all aspects of the job search process. Samples of her resumes and career advice appear in over 20 books. Wendy has been a career coach and resume writer for over 15 years. She has been an introvert her whole life. Contact Wendy at wgelberg@careersolution.org.


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