The 11 Best Jobs for Introverts
If you’re an introvert, the idea of a typical nine-to-five office job—with all the meetings and presentations and networking events—sounds like torture. Luckily, there are a ton of careers that cater to an introvert’s preferences. Here, six of the best.
1. FreelancerFreelancers are their own bosses and can usually work from home. That kind of autonomy is gold for introverts, who get hives just thinking about team brainstorming sessions or office happy hours. One caveat: In order to form connections with contract employers, you will have to do a little marketing of yourself up front. Once you line up some steady gigs, though, you’re pretty much on your own.
2. Social Media Manager
It might seem contradictory that a job with “social” in its title would be ideal for introverts, but the thing is, private types often find it easier to communicate via the internet (as opposed to face-to-face interaction). Social media is a great way to reach thousands of people without the stress of talking to them in person.
3. Software Developer
Not only are jobs in tech in high demand, they’re also great for folks who work best on their own. Oftentimes, developers are given an assignment and given the autonomy to complete it by themselves.
It’s just you, your computer and your ideas when you write for a living, which is pretty much bliss for introverts, who are way more comfortable expressing themselves through written words anyway.
Would you rather spend your time with numbers than with people? If so, accounting might be for you. Another bonus: Because you’d be dealing with cut and dry facts, there’s very little discussion. (Numbers don’t lie.)
6. Netflix Juicer or Tagger
Dream job alert: Juicers watch some of Netflix’s 4,000-plus titles and choose the best still images and short video clips to represent said title to help other users figure out what to watch. They’re paid $10 per film or show, but since they’re technically independent contractors, they aren’t eligible for overtime or health benefits. Another perfect job for anyone whose idea of fun is watching OITNB and Stranger Things all day. Netflix taggers watch movies and TV shows and identify appropriate tags to help categorize them (think “sports drama” or “action movie with strong female lead”). By tagging the platform’s many titles, they help Netflix provide with genres you might find interesting.
7. Clip Researcher
Employed by shows like Ellen and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, clip researchers do just what their title suggests: They find video clips on TV and the internet that can be re-shown on the programs they work for. In addition to researching clips, they’re also sometimes called upon for more general digging, like finding info on show guests.
8. Closed Captionist
Companies like Caption Max hire people to watch videos and create the captions you can choose to see on the bottom of your screen (for people who are hearing impaired or just when you forget your headphones on a plane). Sometimes using with a stenotype machine, captioners must be able to type a shockingly huge number of words per minute, so brush up on your keyboard skills before applying.
9. Website Tester
This one is less a full-time job than a simple way to earn a little extra each month. Website testers, who spend about 15 minutes on new sites determining whether or not they’re intuitive and easy to navigate, earn $10 to $15 per test. Some dedicated testers take home up to $200 per month.
10. Search Engine Evaluator
For $10 to $15 an hour, you’ll receive search terms (think: “work from home jobs”) from companies like Google and Yahoo and be tasked with looking up the terms on their sites to determine whether the results they provide meet your needs. An added bonus, you’ll probably gain a whole lot of useless information in the process.
OK, so obviously you have to be fluent in a language other than English, but virtual translators make a median hourly rate of $20 per hour translating audio files or documents. It’s a nice way to keep up with those Spanish skills you worked so hard to acquire.
4 Ways to Succeed at Work as an IntrovertIf you are an introvert working at a job where collaboration and community are highly valued, consider these tips from Liz Fosslien and Molly West Duffy, authors of No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work.
1. Avoid Sending Long Emails to Extroverts
As an introvert, it’s probably much easier for you to get all of your thoughts and feelings out in an email than it is to march up to your project manager and tell them everything that’s on your mind. But you know how your emails tend to get…long? “Extroverts, who often prefer to discuss issues or ideas in person, might skim through only the first paragraphs,” Fosslien and Duffy tell us. Write out everything you want to say, then edit it down into concise bullet points—or even better, bring your notes over and chat it out in person.
2. Find a Quiet Place to Recharge
More than 70 percent of offices reportedly have an open floorplan. But for introverts, working in a sea of other people (who are also talking and eating and making calls and trying to get work done) can be extremely distracting. That’s why it’s imperative that you find a quiet spot—whether it’s a little-used conference room, a corner of the hallway or a bench outside—to decompress. You’ll be surprised how much more rejuvenated and energized you’ll feel after only a few minutes of quiet time.
3. Be Honest About When You Need Space
Your extroverted seatmate would gladly spend the whole day working while simultaneously telling you about her weekend plans, the guy she went on a date with last week and the new guy in HR that she thinks hates her. She doesn’t realize that as an introvert, it’s extremely difficult to concentrate while she’s performing a four-hour monologue. It’s up to you to set these boundaries. Maybe tell your chatty colleague something like, “I need to hear the rest of this story, but I can't multitask. Can we go on a coffee break in like ten minutes?” Of course, if you’re working on a group project, you’ll probably have to interact more with your co-workers—but otherwise, knowing how you work best and communicating it to your seatmates will make a huge difference in your ability to get productive work done.
4. Speak Up During the First Ten Minutes of Meetings
For introverts, big meetings can be a minefield. Do I have something valuable to add? When do I say something? Is everyone thinking I’m slacking off and not paying attention because I haven’t said anything yet? Set your mind at ease by making a goal to speak up within the first ten minutes of the meeting. “Once you’ve broken the ice, it will be easier to jump in again,” Fosslien and Duffy advise. “And remember, a good question can contribute just as much as an opinion or statistic.” (Although those stats about baby pandas you memorized in high school might be a hit, too.)