In a society dominated by extroversion, introverts are quietly thriving and so can you.
The NEO-PI-R Personality Inventory measures introversion-extroversion under six facets:
- Warmth: Introverts are a slow burn, more likely to mind others’ space and avoid ‘breaking the ice’.
- Gregariousness: Introverts tend to avoid noisy areas and people, preferring their own company and sincere, meaningful conversations.
- Assertiveness: Being unable to speak up for yourself can be frustrating for an introvert, especially when there’s a need that isn’t being met. On the upside, introverts are generally more thoughtful and less abrasive to be around.
- Activity Level: Introverts prefer to take their time and assess situations at leisure. This trait saves them from uncomfortable situations and social faux pas that highly extroverted people end up getting into.
- Excitement Seeking: Introverts don’t require as much stimulation and action as their counterparts. They are mostly content with their own routines.
- Positive Emotion: This doesn’t mean introverts are negative – it means they find it harder to express their positive emotions.
It’s not all or nothing, however. Introverts can be extremely warm and assertive, for example, but still score high on the other facets.
Think of introversion-extroversion as a spectrum:
Understanding your own trail mix of introversion can help define the career path that is perfect for you. Try this quiz from organizational psychologist Adam Grant and see where you fall.
Benefits of Being a Career Introvert
- Introverts often nurture their inner world through personal and professional development. They are able to quietly course-correct by observing their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Introverts actively listen and observe details and patterns that others overlook. They weigh all sides of an issue so that when they speak, it is well-reasoned and cuts through the noise.
- Introverts are highly independent individuals who prefer to work alone. They learn on their own, requiring minimum supervision. While others socialize, they get stuff done. All they need is space to create their own structures and fall into a routine.
So which career paths are most suitable for a person with these characteristics and strengths?
Career Choices For An Introvert
Here’s a list that offers independent, remote work opportunities for the career introvert, away from the hustle and bustle of the corporate world.
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” Virginia Woolf
Writing is a highly solitary profession that requires extremely high levels of focus and self-reflection.
Many introverts are drawn to it because it allows them to express themselves without fear of social burnout. Their keen observational skills, love of learning, and clarity of thought also come into play.
Explore the following options:
Subject Specialist Writer
You could be a subject specialist writer with a deep understanding of a narrow topic, e.g., insurance or travel. With that knowledge, you can create link-generating content like e-books, whitepapers and detailed tutorials.
If you are a person of many talents, or have a high capacity to learn, you could become a generalist copywriter. Learn and write, learn and write. Content types include (but are not limited to):
- Blog posts
- Product Descriptions
Ever heard of brand journalism? You get to write longer pieces like those found in your favorite editorials and magazines. A brand journalist is really good at highlighting the story of a brand while appealing to consumer interest.
UX means User Experience. A digital UX writer’s main goal is to cut through the confusion, helping online users get from A to B with ease. All writing must be clear and useful.
Lead Generation Writer
All copywriting is writing for conversion, true, but a lead generation writer approaches it with the same precision an architect would use to plan out a 30-storey building.
You do this through:
- Landing pages
- Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
- Sales Letters
- Banner Ads
- Pay-per-Click Ads (PPC)
Sound like you? Learn how to be a highly-sought-after copywriter with a diverse range of skills.
This is a job that makes use of an introvert’s attention to detail. A proofreader must be able to conduct research and multi-task on top of being an excellent editor.
- Correcting grammar and spelling on written materials like press releases, web content and emails
- Fact-checking references
- Ensuring all content aligns with brand values
- Making editorial recommendations
A transcriptionist listens to and then types live or recorded audio files, producing a written document of spoken words.
This job is for detail-oriented individuals who type well and can meet strict deadlines.
Perfect for an introvert.
The transcription services you offer may be for business or even medical purposes. Examples include:
- conference notes
- medical dictation
- hospital transcriptions
- medical recordings
- emergency phone recordings, e.g., 911 calls
- court hearings
- witness interviews
To be a successful transcriptionist, you need to know your chosen industry jargon, terminologies and insider references.
Nothing a knowledge-loving introvert can’t master. Start here.
Calling all tech-savvy introverts: this job is for you.
Web developers create and design websites from the ground up, using codes that control what the user sees, its technical aspects, as well as overall website performance.
There are three types of web developers:
They work on the aesthetic part of the website, i.e., what the user navigates. This includes site layout and applications.
They work behind-the-scenes, creating the framework of the site and making sure everything works. For everything the front-end designs, the back-end provides utility.
They do it all. Challenge accepted?
Social Media Manager
Social media management works best for introverts who like to interact from a safe distance.
- creating, planning and engaging with content
- managing platforms and online communities
- generating leads and inbound links
- goal setting
- raising and managing brand awareness
A bookkeeper must be exceptionally meticulous, trustworthy and detail-oriented. They are responsible for a company’s sensitive financial records.
- account management
- bank and credit card reconciliation
- financial advice
- data entry
- inventory management
- financial reports
- tax records
- How does an introvert designer make money from his art without marketing himself?
- By using platforms like RedBubble or Zazzle to display your designs and attract paying clients.
Still new to the design game? Keep learning. Take a look at this list of top 10 graphic design courses.
Whatever career path you choose, be sure to adopt a growth mindset, work towards overcoming anxiety, and accept yourself in all your introverted glory.
Afterall, everybody has to start somewhere.