Introverts don’t always get the best rep. Often characterized as antisocial, lonely, or even unfriendly, they tend to fade into the background and can be seen as strange in our loud, team-oriented society.
But introversion isn’t a negative trait at all. In many cases, being an introvert is actually a massive asset — especially for the companies they work for.
“When it comes to creativity and to leadership, we need introverts doing what they do best,” Susan Cain, author of the best-selling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, said in a 2012 TED talk.
12 Best Jobs for Introverts
- Content manager
- Cybersecurity analyst
- Data architect
- Data scientist
- Game developer
- Product manager
- Social media manager
- Software engineer
- UX designer
Being an introvert isn’t the same as being shy, Cain explained. “Shyness is about fear of social judgment. Introversion is more about how you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation.” While extroverts “crave” lots of social interaction, she continued, introverts feel their most capable when they’re in “quieter, more low-key environments.”
Of course, this all occurs on a spectrum. People are neither completely extroverted nor introverted at all times. But, more often than not, introverted people are drawn to deeper, more meaningful connections with others, making them good at listening and building strong relationships. They’re also contemplative and observant, which makes them good at analytical thinking and more creative, detail-oriented tasks.
Studies show that one’s personality has an important effect on their early career outcomes. Therefore, introverted people tend to be better suited for professions that offer them both plenty of space to be independent, with minimal external interactions, as well as opportunities for their analytical, creative, empathetic minds to thrive.
We’ve compiled a list of some positions that could be a good match for people with more introverted personalities, including their average salaries and some current open positions.
The Best Jobs for Introverts
Like so many other areas of finance, accounting requires a high level of detail and analysis, making it a prime career choice for introverts who are also good with numbers. Accountants are in charge of preparing companies’ financial documents and reports for tax purposes, and handling any relevant financial information. One of the biggest bonuses of being an accountant is that you are needed in pretty much any industry, so there are lots of job opportunities.
If you like working with statistics and financial theories, then you may enjoy working as an actuary. Usually found in the finance department, actuaries take a deep dive into a company’s finances to determine likely outcomes and any potential risks, all the while advising on how to minimize those risks. They are in especially high demand within the burgeoning fintech space. For instance, if a startup offers insurance, it may retain actuaries to make sure those policies are financially viable for the company and won’t bankrupt it. And since most of the work is done from a computer, it can be a desirable career option for people who like to spend time working on their own.
In this digital-first reality, maintaining a fresh and engaging online presence is essential to a company’s survival. Content managers are a huge part of that equation. They’re in charge of overseeing everything that appears on a company’s website, including the voice and tone of the content. They are also in charge of strategizing content calendars and bringing more traffic onto the website. Content managers often have to work with people to develop things like blog posts and videos, but they are often able to work remotely, combining both creative and strategic thinking.
Cybersecurity analysts are in charge of protecting a company’s network and system by monitoring for and reporting any security breaches as they arise. Also referred to as information security analysts, they are expected to act as a bridge between a company’s business and technical teams. From malware to phishing, there are all kinds of cyber attacks out there today — meaning no two days are the same for a cybersecurity analyst, so they have to be technologically savvy, detail-oriented and easily adaptable to situations.
Data architects are responsible for making sure that a company’s data is securely stored and appropriately accessible to any given user. Because they have to carefully review and analyze the data infrastructure of an organization in order to manage it effectively, data architects must have strong computer science and analysis skills. And they aren’t required to have a lot of social interaction since they largely work independently on their computers.
Data science is all about identifying patterns and trends hidden within vast amounts of data — extrapolating information that can be used as fodder for algorithms and models to forecast likely outcomes. It is used in a variety of industries, from professional sports and government to transportation and healthcare. Good data scientists are analytical thinkers who enjoy solving problems. They also need to be detail oriented so they can identify patterns, inconsistencies and anomalies in large datasets.
Lots of people like playing video games, but it takes a special kind of person to make them. Game developers have to combine creativity and technological know-how to create a product people enjoy and want to keep playing. Game design is a fairly competitive industry to break into, but it could be a great career choice for a creative introvert. Plus, there are plenty of job opportunities in more than just game studios. Gamification has become a viable growth technique within industries ranging from fintech to fitness, and companies need the talents of game developers to execute this technique effectively.
The day-to-day expectations of a product manager depends on the size and type of company they work for, but in general they are expected to be able to take an amorphous idea and shape it into a viable, worthwhile product. Sometimes a product manager is also an engineer, taking on several tasks at once. Other times they oversee groups of engineers, data scientists, marketers and other team members, who are all working in concert to execute on developing a product. Regardless, all product managers are expected to think strategically, be detail oriented and have strong leadership skills so that they can see a project all the way through. All of these are very common skills among introverted individuals.
Social Media Manager
Don’t let the title fool you, the creative and analytical nature of social media management makes it a solid option for introverted people. Social media managers are typically part of a larger marketing team, and are dedicated to harnessing the power of Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and other social platforms to build a company’s brand, connect with its customers and increase sales. They also rely on a plethora of analytics tools so their use of social media is as strategic, targeted and timely as possible.
In many ways, software engineering is what makes the digital world go round. Behind every website or app is a software engineer who has combined their knowledge in coding languages, engineering principles and computer science to create, maintain and update the software behind these digital products. This is a broad field — there are front-end engineers, back-end engineers, full-stack engineers, security engineers, DevOps engineers — and all of these different positions require their own expertise and skill sets. But, generally, good software engineers are analytical, creative and highly technical, making them well suited for introverts who like to solve problems both independently and on a team.
UX designers are in charge of ensuring that a given digital product is easy to use, engaging and meaningful to its users. They methodically follow a process often referred to as design thinking, which requires careful research and experimentation. Then they take what they’ve learned to create a positive user experience. This requires a tactful balance between being analytical, curious and creative, making it an ideal career choice for introverts. And while UX designers are required to conduct interviews with people, introverts can still find this work fulfilling because it focuses on empathizing with the user in order to improve their experience.
Although they may not be the most talkative, introverted people can be great at expressing themselves through writing, and can turn that skill into a successful career. There are all kinds of writing positions out there, such as copywriting, technical writing and even content writing for a website — and many of them can be done independently, from the comfort of your own home. Copywriters typically reside in the marketing department, and focus on spinning up copy that will grab the attention of users and customers. Meanwhile, technical writing is geared more toward communicating complex information in accessible ways.