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The Best Jobs for Introverts

By Tony Lee

Ask any successful job seeker, and they'll say that some level of networking - combined with solid interviewing skills - helped them land a new job. Yet if you're an introvert, the communication that's required to network and interview with others creates intense fear and, in some cases, makes it impossible to job hunt.

The same is true when determining the types of jobs that are best suited for shy people. Sam Williamson worked for more than 10 years as an accountant in the New Jersey state finance department, where he spent his days alone at a computer reviewing and approving spending requests. When he was reassigned to a different division, the new job required that he travel each week to various municipalities to discuss spending plans and budgets with local finance officials.

Unfortunately, Sam was as introverted as it gets, and he was horrified at the thought of having to meet and then lead discussions with people he didn't know. Fortunately, his boss understood his issues and intervened on Sam's behalf, and the reassignment was recalled.

Sam was relieved at the change, but also sad because he realized the new job would have been both a promotion and a chance to advance his skills and knowledge. Yet his fear of having to interact daily with others was too much for him to overcome, and within a few days he has happily managing the same responsibilities he'd handled for years, confident that a dramatic change was averted.

Somehow, many introverts overcome their fears just long enough to land a new job. But for introverts already in the workplace, the security of having a job where the routine is clear and interaction with others is either non-existent or kept to a minimum is critical. For them, having a stable, quiet career often outweighs the need for advancement, say career advisors.

"Shy people often are attracted to positions that limit their exposure to new people, so they're typically found in jobs with functions that tend to be focused around a limited group of people," says Larry Stybel, CEO of Stybel Peabody Lincolnshire, a Boston-area career management firm, who cites accounting, office management and engineering design or research as jobs most appealing to introverts.

"Shy people often feel like left-handed people in a world dominated by right-handed individuals," says Stybel. "Most of their competitors for good positions are outgoing and aggressive, while introverts often have impossibly high standards of excellence and take failure quite hard."

To succeed in the working world, successful introverts find jobs that play to their strengths while avoiding an overload of interactions each day. To help with that effort, we've identified the following 10 jobs from our Jobs Rated report that are best suited to shy job seekers. If that's you, consider whether these jobs match your skills and abilities.

Best Jobs for Introverts: Animal Care and Service Worker

BLS Annual Median Salary: 19,970 (caretakers)/$25,270 (trainers)
Projected Growth by 2020: 15%
Why It Suits Introverts:

Do you prefer the company of four-legged creatures more than their bipedal counterparts? A career as an animal care and service worker may be right for you.

Spend your days working with horses, cats, dogs, birds—but limited interaction with people.

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the happiness and shyness myths

as an experienced introvert (53 yrs) i would like to draw your attention to the misapprehension that all 'introverts' are shy and experience fear in relating to people.  Nope.  I just don't find other people as interesting as they find themselves.  Well, to be honest, i find them hugley interesting but not in the day to day sense.  i dont care to listen to their opinions and judgements (they are commonplace, can be dull and boring) nor am i interested in joining in the discussion.  I am busy looking at who they are and why they think the way they do and what it means in terms of society, humanity and inter-relations.  I geniunely don't want to accept that dinner invitation because I am not interested!  I dont feel shy or awkward or apprehensive (except in the sense that i constantly live with the apprehension generated by being repeatedly pressured to conform and the need to strategize around it!)  I don't care what I wear and I dont want to have to shop to appear as you all want me to.  I dont get a thrill from dressing up, going out, talking small talk.   I would rather sit alone and think over some random human interdynamic that has taken my interest or whatever current thing it is that I am thinking about... it's not always deep...but it often is.I am so tired, fed-up, infuriated, with people who I honestly see as lesser abled than me making judgements about me based on my level of sociabilty...Seriously....I don't have a problem...The 'normalisers' have a deficit.

Jobs for Introverts

Any other ideas?


I thank the person who gave a better definiton of the word. I truly think I am an introvert type person because I work at a Treatment center working with men who goes out and work then comes back to the program to a 7 and 8 oclcok group tha I facilitate. I get pretty drained talking too much and need to regroup my engery. Sometimes I wish I wasn't aan introvert and outgoing. Can a person learn to be an extrovert?

I am both shy and an

I am both shy and an introvert, and I've been told the two descriptions are interchangeable. I'm also an accountant at a small company, which is a great job for me. I work with the same two people every day and I never have to present to a group. If group presentations became part of my job, I'd quit.

Sorry for late response

I wouldn't blame you lol

They are NOT the same

Anyone who tels you that "shy" "introvert" are interchangeable is wrong. Just as anyone who thinks that "extrovert" and "partier" are interchangeable is wrong.You can be both, of course, bt they aren;t the same thing,

i agree

I agree, Don't refer to introvert people as shy, there is plenty of extrovert people who are shy to.


Introversion is not shyness, they are completely different things.  Please stop using them interchangeably.  Being an introvert does not mean you're shy and being shy does not make you an introvert. Shyness is fear of people, both introverts and extroverts get shy.Introversion is being worn out by people and extroversion is being recharged by them. Introverts dislike beging put on the spot and being in large groups but they are not afraid of it.  Shy people are fearful, introversion is not fear.Please get your facts straight.

What about research

What about research librarian? My sister is the shyest person I know, and she's been a happy research librarian for 10+ years cause she spends her day researching questions that people at her pharmaceutical company email to her, and she emails the answers back. She lives in her own world, and it works for her. 

Sounds like the perfect job!

Hi there. I'm not sure if you still frequent this forum, but I was hoping you could tell me a bit more about your sister's work - in particular what she studied and how she found the job? I would love a job like this! I tried searching 'research librarian' jobs under pharma but came up with nothing. I would really appreciate it if you could shed some more light. Thanks! Jack



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