Jobs for your Personality: The Best Jobs for Introverts

Nov 1, 2018

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Advance

Finding your perfect job isn’t just about matching your skillset. It’s not just about money either. In fact, there’s one thing that we often overlook when searching for our dream graduate job.

Our personalities.

They have the power to shape our entire careers. That’s why it’s important to identify yours and play to its strengths.

Our Jobs for Your Personality series explores the many different types of character in the workplace. And today, we’re looking at introverts. 

Drawn to independence and single-mindedness, introverts make up nearly half the population. But what skills do they possess? And what careers allow them to flourish? Let’s take a look.

What is an Introvert?

Here’s something you may not know.

Introverts aren’t defined by their desire for isolation. Far from it. Many introverts actually enjoy working and interacting with others. What makes an introvert an introvert is their ability to gain energy from within themselves.

In short, they are energised from having time to recharge, usually alone. But there’s much more to it than that.

We tend to associate introverts with being more quiet, reserved and introspective than most. This doesn’t necessarily make them shy or socially anxious (hyperlink to anxiety article). It just means they work best without high levels of social interaction.

Not sure if you’re an introvert? Why not take the test and find out?

How Introversion Can Affect Your Career

For years, introverts have been misunderstood.

They are often labelled as aloof, disinterested or even arrogant. And with estimates suggesting extroverts outnumber introverts 3 to 1, introverts can fall foul of common misconceptions simply by being in the minority.

Author Jonathon Rauch put it best when he said, ‘Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion… as often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood.’

As such, many introverts wind up in careers that don’t cater to their strengths, abilities or needs.

What’s more, introverts’ achievements can sometimes go unnoticed. With extroverted colleagues stealing the spotlight, introverts can be left wanting when it comes to promotions. In fact, highly extroverted workers are 25% more likely to land a top job.

Strengths of Introverts

But here’s the thing:

While they may slip under the radar, introverts tend to possess skills that are absolutely invaluable. Here are just a few…

Self-motivated

How often do you see job listings looking for ‘self-starters?’ Well introverts are just that. They are able to push themselves to high standards of performance without constant mentoring.

Team players

Introverts are naturally collaborative and supportive. Unlike some personality types, they are able to put their egos to one side for the good of the team.

Introspective

Blessed with a brilliant understanding of themselves and their abilities, introverts are able to constantly reassess their goals and ambitions. They’re refreshingly down-to-earth too. 

Empathetic

One of the beauties of listening more and talking less is the ability to pick up on subtle hints from others. As such, introverts tend to understand their colleagues better than anyone else.

Leadership

Quiet and introspective may not sound like the traditional qualities of leaders. But introverts can make great managers. Measured and empathetic, with a strong focus on autonomy, they can help those around them thrive.  

Best Jobs for Introverts

There are a great selection of jobs, graduate schemes and internships that put introvert strengths to good use.

And it gets even better:

There are some that even encourage an introverted state of mind. Here are some of the best jobs and work environments for introverts.

Translator

A career in translation allows introverts to operate alone while still working meticulously. It’s a great career for lovers of language too.

Archaeologist / Conservationist

Archaeology’s methodical practices tend to suit the mindset of introverts. Plus the open work environments can offer some priceless peace and quiet.

Forensic Scientist

Introverts’ open mindedness and eye for detail make them perfect for forensic science. What’s more, forensic teams tend to be fairly small and close knit.

Film editor / Photographer

After the chaos of the shoot, film editing calls for a good deal of introversion. Careers like photography also allow them to utilise their unique perspective on the world.

Data Scientist

Data scientists are in high demand. And introverts’ propensity for gathering and analysing data make them ideal candidates.

Worst Jobs for Introverts

While introverts can be found everywhere across the career spectrum, there are some jobs that may present more difficulties than others.

Recruitment

Famous for its high pressure and deadline driven ethos, recruitment involves a lot of social interaction, both face-to-face and over the phone.

Customer-facing roles

Packed with social interaction, jobs in hospitality, retail and events may leave introverts feeling drained. And as they prefer to focus on one thing at a time, the regular interruptions may throw them off their game.

Healthcare

While introverts love helping other people, they can sometimes struggle with being put on the spot. As such, the fast pace of healthcare may not suit. 

Getting a Job as an Introvert

When getting a job as an introvert, there are a few things to consider.

Assess the industry

Take a look at the industry as a whole and think what it will expect of you. Will your introversion hinder your progress? Or could it set you apart?

Assess the company

Every company will have a mixture of introverts and extroverts but take any chance to suss out the balance. While some companies will insist upon large teams, others may put impetus on independent working.  

Assess the job demands

Most importantly, it’s good to know how your introversion will affect your day-to-day tasks and vice versa. Will you be allowed to use your skills effectively?

Thriving as an Introvert

In a nutshell...

Embrace your strengths and enjoy thinking differently.

Many critics are beginning to rethink our attitudes towards introversion. And after decades of bias towards the extrovert skillset, we’re beginning to see just how crucial introverts can be.  

When searching for entry level jobs, it can be common for introverts to disregard their personality  and adopt CV-friendly extrovert tropes.

But the reality is this: 

Introverts are calm, insightful, and fiercely intelligent. And as the world looks for its next generation of leaders, introverts may just hold the key.

Careers
film editorphotographerskillsforensic scientistArchaeologistcomputer science internshipsdata scientistscience internshipsintroverttranslator

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