“Everyone shines. Given the right type of lighting.”- Susan Cain
You walk into a networking event, or a team meeting and head straight to the back row. From here, you can observe everything uninterrupted. And when called upon, you cringe inside before you smile and speak.
If this sounds close to home, you are likely introverted.
Introverts makeup 16-50% of the population and find energy from being alone. You consider yourself more of a wallflower than a social butterfly.
And hey, that is okay!
You have a set of skills that are quite unique and can be used well in certain industries. You are likely independent, creative, a good listener and have a strong ability to stay focused. On top of that, introverts brains are wired differently and have a lower threshold for dopamine, this means, it takes less stimulation to feel a sense of reward, joy and euphoria.
But in the working world where collaboration and open office environments are on the rise, you likely struggle to find a role that fits for you. Here are five career paths to consider when on the hunt for an introvert-friendly job.
1. Lab Technician
With strong attention to detail and open-mindedness, introverts make great detectives. If you prefer the behind the scenes action, a forensic science technician is a good career to investigate…no pun intended.
You collect and analyze evidence in a laboratory setting and on occasion may travel based on the crime. This job does require a bachelors in a science related field but will be well worth it if you enjoy the daily tasks.
If going back to school isn’t in the stars for you, a lab technician is a great fit. You will stay behind the scenes in work to diagnose patients and the majority of your day will be spent in a lab environment running tests on samples.
2. Creative Artist
Do you have an eye for photography, an ear for music or knack at crafting? You can capitalize on these creative skill sets and build out your own business. The options here are quite broad, as you can work either independently as a freelancer, start your own company or contract your services out to larger organizations.
If you have a creative skill set, begin to search online for jobs that match what you can offer. As a photographer, you can cover anything from stock photos to real estate photography and corporate events. If you enjoy building installations look for events such as store openings, weddings or special events that require a creative eye.
Introverts usually enjoy solitude and time with their thoughts, and a writer will channel these thoughts into a creative storyline. Consider creative writing, ghostwriting or copywriting career paths, all of which lend well to your independent mind and require a great deal of detail and focus.
If you come from a very technical background in a niche field, technical writing may be a great opportunity to break into the writing world. A technical writer will conduct research on a specific area and then produce documentation in the form of manuals or supporting documents for products or services.
You can begin by joining freelance platforms such as UpWork or Copify to offer your writing services for a broad range of clients and from here build out a business of your own.
Through the use of strong math and organizational skills, an accountant will spend the majority of the day working with numbers, not people. You can work for a corporation or open your own accounting firm where you decide who to work with.
In order to become an accountant, you will need a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field. If you aim to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) you will need to pass the certification process. This is a strong career choice if you are looking for the long haul since jobs in accounting are projected to grow 10% by 2026, which is more than any other job available.
5. Animal Care Giver or Veterinarian
You might not enjoy spending time with large groups of people, but you may enjoy spending time with animals. An animal care manager or vet will spend the majority of their time working with animals in zoos, shelters, clinics or animal sanctuaries. Here they will diagnose, train and examine animals.
If the thought of student loan debt to become a veterinarian is overwhelming, research states that offer student loan forgiveness for veterinarians, as locations with vet shortages are likely to offer this plan.
Understand your skill sets and seek jobs that cater to what you do best. Once you step into a career that fits your mold you will be surprised to find how quickly you excel.
The next time you cuddle up on the couch when you avoid going out to a loud and rowdy party, check out the TED talk by Susan Cain The Power of Introverts for some introverted inspiration.