How to Choose the Right Job, When You’re an Introvert
Being an introvert does not mean being socially reclusive. It does not necessarily mean that you are shy, a loner, afraid of social interaction, or that you have bouts of social anxiety. According to Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types, extroversion and introversion are related to how a person derives energy. According to Jung, extroverts derive energy from the external world, through interaction and communication, while introverts derive energy from within through reflection, thought, and contemplation.
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Many introverts can be sociable, the life of a discussion, and excellent leaders, but they need to recharge in solitude. In the modern working world, everybody needs to be able to interact, work in teams, brainstorm, and collaborate on projects, often when crunched for time. While introverts can work this way, it is not their natural strength. They thrive when they find jobs that complement their personality type and boost their strengths. Susan Cain, the author of The New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, says, “The real challenge is not only pushing ourselves (introverts) outside our comfort zones but also allowing ourselves to stay home on Saturday nights and feel great about that choice.”
The Daily Muse reports that introverts perform well in “cerebral jobs” rather than social ones. Some introverts have also found great satisfaction in jobs that are very tactical in nature with few social interactions.
Finding the Right Job
There are many jobs that seem to be well-suited for introverts. Fields like financial planning, graphic design, computer programming, writing, and editing are worth exploring for introverts. For more information on various job titles and industries, click here.
On the other end of the spectrum, a perceived extroverted job could have a lot of elements that require introverted strengths. Example include talk show hosts and actors like George Stephanopoulos and Candice Bergen. These roles could require in-depth analysis and thorough research, where introverts excel. Add to this the fact that there are many new jobs where roles are still being defined, and the possibilities seem endless.
Before Making a Decision:
Because introverts need down time away from office, check to see if your employer will accommodate you with occasional work-at-home days.
Cain points that while teamwork is required of any job, workplaces that have set roles for each employee are usually better for introverted workers than teams where brainstorming, project planning, and decision making is always done together. You can gauge work styles during your interview, too.
There are many resources that help identify the right jobs for introverts. But please note that these are merely suggestions. Your interest, skills, needs, and aspirations play a huge part in deciding what the right job for you is.
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