For most of us, getting a job is a necessity of life.
Sure, we can tolerate working. Yes, we can learn to enjoy putting our minds, hands, and hearts to work. But a serious problem arises when we find ourselves in jobs that are either (a) unfulfilling (b) too stressful, or (c) totally not suited to our personality type.
If you’re a quiet and introverted type, you’ll know already that our world is full of extrovert-friendly jobs. But what about the behind-the-scenes, non-people-centric vocations?
Is it possible to find a meaningful job as an introvert that fills us with energy instead of depleting us?
Is it possible to find our life purpose while holding down a job?
Yes, thankfully it is possible! Just because you’re a quiet person, doesn’t mean you have to give in to the false standards of success and happiness that our society bombards us with. Finding a truly fulfilling vocation takes a little more digging and unconventional thinking – but it is possible.
So let’s get started …
Table of contents
- How to Find a Meaningful Job as an Introvert
- 30+ Jobs for Introverts
How to Find a Meaningful Job as an Introvert
Here’s the thing: most of us spend two-thirds of our days at work. In fact, many of us spend more time thinking about work-life (aka. drama) than thinking about our friends or loved ones.
To find a meaningful job is not just some fanciful luxury, it is a necessity.
When we find ourselves in jobs we hate, particularly as empathic and introverted people, it’s almost like a little part of our soul dies each day. I know that may sound absurd, but it’s true.
When we aren’t using our life force energy (what some refer to as the Soul) in a way that fulfills us, we feel deep in our bones that something is wrong. We have no creative outlet, no vision, no motivation, and no purpose when we’re in a job that is ill-fitted to us – and it takes its toll on our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Finding a meaningful job, while greatly coveted by most people, can only be achieved by the boldest of souls. You have to be willing to break free of the herd, be a lone wolf, and walk your own path to find a meaningful job – a path with heart.
This often involves questioning what you’ve been taught, challenging the preconceived ideas you have, and often deconstructing old beliefs about what “success” and “happiness” means.
There are many jobs for introverts out there, but how do you know which one is the right for you? First, you need to examine your mindset and do a little bit of self-exploration. Here are some tips:
1. Forget “respectable” – listen to your gut instinct
Janitor, garbage collector, truckie – doctor, lawyer, teacher …
“White-collar” jobs vs. “blue-collar” jobs …
they’re all superficial labels created by the mind. All jobs serve a purpose. Don’t base your career choice on what you think others will think about you. Choose an employment path you think would suit you best, not based on people’s opinions of what is and isn’t “respectable.” Listen to your gut instincts.
Remember: your worth is not gained from a title, a job, or from others. Your worth is intrinsic. You are intrinsically worthy. Don’t fall for the respectability ploy.
Unfortunately, many parents pressure their children to pursue “respectable” degrees as a result of society’s influence. In the end, children end up submitting to their parents to please them – but end up regretting it later.
Isn’t it a sad reality that everyone is trying to be who others want them to be. But who is listening to their true desires? Who is following their authentic life path? To refuse to conform to our parents, friends, and society’s expectations requires courage and grit. If you want to find a meaningful job as an introvert, you need to go against the grain.
2. Observe your strengths and weaknesses (and be realistic)
Arty, earthy, mathematically inclined … you must focus on your interests and skills when you consider a career. Are you good with your hands? Do you prefer intellectual, theory-based work? Sites such as careerpath.com can assist you.
Don’t forget to consider what you would least like in a job as well. What are you absolutely unwilling to tolerate or commit to? What are your weaknesses? What are your hot buttons and anxiety triggers?
When it comes to finding a meaningful job as an introvert, don’t forget to be realistic. It’s unlikely that you will find the perfect job (there’s no such thing!). There’s always bad in the good and good in the bad. For example, if there’s too much good in your job, you will grow complacent and take your work for granted (let’s face it!). On the other hand, the challenges, trials, and negativity you experience all help you to appreciate the good and fully experience any joy that comes in your work. The key is to find a job that has a fair balance of good and bad, comfortable and uncomfortable.
3. Develop more self-awareness by taking a personality test
How well do you know yourself? It’s crucial to introspect and develop more self-awareness to make intelligent decisions about your career.
One of the easiest ways to expand your self-understanding is by taking online personality tests. Even if you can’t be bothered to finish them, they will provide you with useful insights. They may also help you consider other dimensions of job-seeking that you hadn’t considered before. These following tests may help:
- Open Colleges’ Career Quiz
- Fingerprint for success
- Alternatively, we have many free tests for you to take (I recommend this free personality test)
4. Think, how much is too much?
Money. It’s the main reason why people bother getting jobs. But how many things do you actually need?
The old truism says that money is the root of all kinds of evil. You don’t have to look very far to see the thefts, manslaughters, adulteries, perjuries, and other atrocities that stem from the desire to obtain money.
Your life is limited – don’t waste your time in a job that demands too much from you. It may pay well, but what for? Ask yourself what is important: fancy houses and cars, the latest iPhone or TV, big houses and mortgages … or something else that doesn’t depend on the external world? Happiness, enjoying time with your loved ones, savoring the present moment, learning new skills, and walking a spiritual path are all inner riches you can easily access without excessive money.
So ask yourself, how much money is too much? You need to think about this question carefully. Many people work themselves silly for their entire lives, never really stopping to realize that (1) they don’t have to, (2) overworking decreases their overall quality of life and wellbeing, and (3) they don’t need that much money to live on anyway.
Financial security is important, yes. But be pragmatic and realistic. Calculate how much money you’ll truly need to adequately support yourself and your loved ones, without the soul-draining excess. While you’re at it, check out the supremely interesting philosophy of minimalism for inspiration. Less is more, when all is said and done.
5. Toss a coin (literally)
Eventually, you’ll stumble across a few intriguing job options – but how do you choose between them? My solution is simple: toss a coin. But why do something so seemingly flippant? The answer is that tossing a coin helps to reveal what you really want unconsciously. If you find yourself hesitating over the side the coin landed on after you flipped it, this is a good indication that you either need to (a) rethink both options or (b) choose the other option, as deep down you know it’s a better choice. Note: before you flip a coin, remember to make sure you give a thorough think about both of your options. You don’t want to make hasty, impatient decisions and use the coin as an excuse to “get it over and done with.”
6. Deathbed meditation
To some, this may sound macabre. But if you truly want to find a meaningful job as an introvert, think back on your life from the perspective of your deathbed. What would you be most proud to have committed to? (This is also a great way to personally answer the eternal question, ‘what is the meaning of life?’) Whatever your mind and heart focus on is your answer, your path. It may seem intimidating and unreachable, but by setting small, actionable steps, you can get there.
30+ Jobs for Introverts
Now that we’ve examined how to find a meaningful job as an introvert, let’s look at some suggestions. Take these purely as inspiration. If you have any other ideas about jobs for introverts, please comment below to help make this list more comprehensive:
- Animal groomer
- Animal trainer
- Animal walker
- Boat/ferry operator
- Bus Driver
- Data Entry Officer
- Factory worker
- Freelance writer
- Geological engineer
- Government librarian/library assistant
- Greenhouse tender
- Mail poster (Postie/Mailman)
- Medical laboratory technician
- Online counselor
- Records manager/officer
- Software Developer
- Truck driver
- Vlogger (youtube creator)
- Web Programmer
Finding a meaningful job as an introvert is unique for everyone. What your heart and soul feel drawn towards may not be what society deems as “successful” or “acceptable.” Ignore those f*ckers. Walk your own path! Listen to your destiny! You have a right to listen to your calling and follow it, even if that means moving one millimeter at a time. Eventually, with commitment and dedication, you will get there.
Tell me, after reading this list of jobs for introverts, which one appeals to you the most? Also, feel free to leave your own recommendations below.
I didn’t see translator on the list. Wouldn’t that be a good choice for an introvert who is compatible with languages? And does a library assistant job require a degree in a specific field of study?
I am a loner in many many ways. I spend most of my time alone. I am happy when I’m home with my music, books and a cup of coffee in my hands. I am most happy in rainy days where everything is serene and peaceful. To me it’s heaven here on earth.After I went to med school, everything changed. I need to talk to people, engage to small talks more frequently, attend to parties and be part of a very big organization full of people. My world revolves on meeting new faces and be part of their lives.Thus, my world revolves on people and crowds. Outside my home is a very busy life, an exhausting one. But whenever I close my door, my home welcomed me with its comforting silence and I am happy once again. I usually grab my blanket and meditate while waiting for my coffee or sometimes place my feet onto a basin of warm water with magnesium salts. I then realized, this is my life now, wearing heels and talk to people.Too bad my alone life has narrowed down to couple of hours.
I took the test on SimilarMinds. The results were very negative. If anyone had been through what I’ve been through he/she would probably score similarly.
Thanks for this site though. And this article. :)
One trade that might be of interest to some, who are mechanically inclined is that of tool and die/machinist. the trade has taken a beating, but the demand is returning as old tradesman are retiring. Generally over interaction is discouraged. A guy that plugs his earbuds in and talks very little is considered a good worker.
The big draw back is in entering the field, which often requires doing very tedious jobs for a few years until you earn some respect. Additionally work is often in smaller shops where the owner may be a bigot, misogynist, and or super religious. You are expected to agree.
Tool and die repair conversations with co workers are technical. Managers generally just want to know how long and how much. Fabrication machinists/tool makers are left alone except for modifications and dimensions. Maybe some jockeying for machine access. Production machining is entry level and very boring, can be fast paced, but may lead to set up and programming jobs. Polishers are considered the odd balls of the whole lot. They are expected to be eccentrics. It takes a a certain kind of personality that can rub on one spot for two days.
Can someone suggest something. My son is 25 years old. He has a degree in history but has been unable to get a job since leaving university 5 years ago with a 2:2. He is very quiet and introverted. He was bullied and around the same time his dad left home (he was 12 years old). We eventually moved and I met my partner who he gets on with. He hasn’t had a friend since he was 12 – he shuts people out. He works voluntarily doing ebay sales at a charity shop. He lives with us and his brother who is a sou chef and his complete opposite (but he has had his own problems – mild bipolar disorder in the past and ongoing). A typical day when not working at the charity shop: he gets up and walks the dog then he job hunts, reads, watches tv, plays computer games and helps with the chores. On odd days he will go out shopping or to the cinema. He is interested in World War 1, sci fi, fantasy type thrillers. He is academic rather than practical. He is kind and considerate and caring but finds it hard to socialise… Read more »
Another job to add to the list: Pool Maintenance. Drive a bit, add chemicals to peoples pools, skim the leaves, talk to almost no one.
The extroverts have really ^&%$ up this world, haven’t they? Sometimes you have to look at more than the job/career and look at the environments of different companies. There are places that are socially focused, but are quiet. I went to vocational rehab once in Newark, NJ and was pleased, not by my counselor (she was an ijit), but by how quiet the office was. High-walled cubicles, no endless gossiping, no loud music or gum popping, but they deal with people 9-4. I am I work as a preschool special education itinerant teacher in New York City. I can’t possibly tell you all the ways I HATE that job, but I cannot seem to get a job outside of teaching to save my life. I’d really like to be a full time blogger, photographer/videographer, but I can’t for the life of me think of how to make that work without a lot of dinero. Seems like everyone online willing to teach you is running a scam. I am an artistic but REALISTIC and autistic introverted highly sensitive person, so right now and for the past 20 years I’ve been trying, mostly on my own because people are usually no help,… Read more »
I am currently unemployed and I’ve focused my job search into ones that require less socializing. I really just want to get things done and small talk irritates me. Recently, I’ve been interviewed for an Inventory Control Admin job and I realized that the position only required talking to team members occasionally. Shy away from ads that say customer or service-oriented. Maybe look into ads that require you to specialise in a certain function – like, inventory, records keeping or even basic bookkeeping. Some of these skills don’t need extra schooling although if you wish to really develop yourself professionally, investing on education (even if it’s just an online course on Coursera where verified certificates cost around $50) will be necessary.
I have to disagree with you about a bus driver being a loner job. As someone who rides the bus a few times a week, I notice that a bus driver is constantly interacting with people. He/she answers customers’ questions, secure wheelchairs, and even administers first aid if needed. Yes, the driver is the only employee in the vehicle, but that doesn’t mean he/she is a loner.
@ skye teague, I’ve experienced a very similar thing as a brand ambassador (motivator) whereby I spent majority of day roping people in off the street rather than rotating like the rest of the team because of my looks. I appear to be a very extroverted person according to one personality test that I’ve done twice 5 years apart however I have a hard time believing that the results are conclusive enough to change my path. Btw, great article and breakdown! Many people are confused and unhappy because of opting to follow a path their peers chose at the time(ending highschool) and some never right the course but I now know how to justify my change. Merci!