Last Updated on August 20, 2022 by Rebecca Lake
Being introverted can make choosing the right career path or even a side hustle more challenging. Some of the worst jobs for introverts are ones that require you to make small talk with strangers, participate in social gatherings or engage in public speaking.
According to some estimates, introverts make up 30% to 75% of the population. And if you’re an introvert you know that we have personality traits that make us great at doing certain types of jobs and lousy at others.
Need some ideas for how an introvert can make money?
Today, I’m breaking down a list of the worst jobs for introverts and shy people. I’ll also share a few of the best jobs for people who struggle in social situations.
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What Does It Mean to Be an Introvert?
Introversion is a personality style that demonstrates a preference for the inner life over the outer world, according to Psychology Today. In other words, introverted people tend to be thoughtful, quiet and reserved, making them the opposite of extroverts.
Introverts are often labeled as shy, but there are social introverts who enjoy spending time with small groups of friends. People who are introverted tend to be good listeners and they don’t need much social interaction to feel fulfilled.
In fact, too much human interaction can be exhausting for those with introverted personality types. Introverts need alone time, away from social settings, so they can recharge their batteries.
That’s why finding the right kind of work–and avoiding the worst jobs for introverts–matters. The right jobs can offer a peaceful work environment without a lot of social interaction, while the wrong jobs can take a toll on an introvert’s mental health.
What Career Choices Should Introverts Avoid?
The worst jobs for introverts aren’t the ones that involve a lot of hard work. Instead, they’re the ones that require you to constantly use your social skills and interact with a lot of people on a regular basis.
It’s not that introverts don’t have excellent interpersonal skills. Introverts can be extremely well-spoken and thoughtful but having to use those communication skills in professional settings can be stressful.
In general, the worst jobs for introverts are ones that require you to:
- Answer questions or make small talk either in person or over the phone
- Interact with large groups of people
- Work in a busy environment where you’re likely to encounter lots of people
- Collaborate as part of a team
- Regularly engage in some form of public speaking
Even something as simple as working in an office could end up being a high-stress job for an introvert or otherwise shy person.
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Worst Jobs for Introverts
Ready to find out which careers you should avoid if you have an introverted personality type? Here’s a look at the worst jobs for introverts and shy people.
1. Police officer
Being a police officer is a stressful job in itself but it can be more so for an introverted person. As a police officer, one of your main duties is interacting with the public, which easily makes it one of the worst jobs for introverts.
Working in law enforcement requires strong interpersonal skills and you need to be mentally equipped to deal with a variety of stressful situations. You also need to be able to think quickly and of course, being a member of a police department means working as part of a team.
Law enforcement officers routinely get tapped for community outreach projects, which means interacting with the general public. Unless you’re working in an administrative role that doesn’t require you to spend a lot of time dealing with people, becoming a police officer might be a poor choice for an introvert.
2. Flight attendant
Flight attendants constantly meet new people as they fly from one destination to another. If you’re an extroverted person, you may enjoy chatting up travelers but if you’re introverted, that could be your worst nightmare come true.
Being a flight attendant and working a hectic schedule may also prevent introverts from achieving the healthy work-life balance they need. And while the average salary for a flight attendant may be decent, they often have to contend with unruly passengers which can make doing their jobs more difficult.
3. Real estate agent
Working as a real estate agent is one of the worst jobs for introverts or anyone who’s not comfortable talking to other people.
Real estate agents rely heavily on their communication skills and interpersonal skills to close deals. And being successful as a real estate agent also means marketing yourself regularly to attract new clients.
Real estate agents are fielding phone calls, answering emails and sending texts for a good part of the day, all things that might seem overwhelming to anxious introverts.
4. Massage therapist
Massage therapists help people to improve their physical health (and mental health) through the power of touch. They help people to relieve stress using their massage skills.
A massage therapist may not be expected to do a lot of talking during a session but this is a very hands-on job that an introverted personality type may not feel comfortable with.
The thought of touching potential clients may be off-putting to an introvert who is shy or otherwise reluctant to have that kind of physical contact with strangers. So this could be one of the worst jobs for introverts if you’re a reserved person who tends to keep to yourself.
5. Bank teller
Bank tellers work with the public every day, handling deposits and other financial transactions. Being a bank teller could be a stressful job for introverts who aren’t comfortable with customer service work.
As a bank teller, you’re accessing financial records for customers so you have to be detail-oriented and focused. But there’s also a social element since you have to make small talk with customers and help them have a good banking experience.
Chatting with people all day can easily be tiring for an introvert. So if you’re not a people person working in a bank is probably not the best job for you.
6. Event planner
Event planners help their clients plan special events, including weddings, anniversary parties and birthday parties. Some event planners also specialize in handling public relations for corporate events.
An event planner spends a lot of their time communicating with existing clients and marketing their business to potential customers. Being an event planner could be a great job for an outgoing person who loves meeting new people and is comfortable with the public.
On the other hand, event planning is one of the worst jobs for introverts who would rather work at a slower pace.
7. Sales representative
Sales reps make money by talking up potential customers and convincing them to make a purchase.
Having worked as a sales rep for a wireless telephone company, I can tell you that this type of job involves a LOT of talking. So it’s definitely one of the worst jobs for introverts who’d rather keep quiet.
As a sales representative, you may spend time talking with potential clients or customers in person and over the phone. You need to have an outgoing nature and a positive personality to do this type of work.
There may be weekly, monthly or quarterly sales quotas you need to meet, which can make sales a high-stress job. All of those characteristics make this one of the worst jobs for introverted people.
8. Taxi driver
Driving a taxi or working as an Uber or Lyft driver doesn’t seem like a bad job for introverts at first glance. After all, those are jobs where your main task is driving people from point A to point B.
But there is a social component that goes along with being a taxi driver or ride-sharing driver. Starting a conversation with your passengers, for example, can be a great way to boost tips.
Sounds easy enough but the thought of breaking the ice with a total stranger can be panic-inducing for introverted types, especially for anxious introverts. So it still ranks as one of the worst jobs for introverts who hate talking.
Teaching can be a lot of work and while it can be emotionally rewarding, it can also be draining in more ways than one.
Public and private school teachers at the elementary and secondary levels have to deal with classrooms full of kids, not to mention the parents of those kids and the school administration. College professors, meanwhile, give lectures to classes that sometimes include 100 students or more.
That’s just part of what educators do. They also have to grade papers and prepare lesson plans or courses.
In the case of college professors, they may be writing books or attending engagements as a public speaker. A professor may also double as a research scientist, which affords its own opportunities for social interaction.
Bottom line? Teaching might be an excellent choice for someone who has a real desire to educate and an extroverted personality but it’s not always ideal for introverts.
10. Healthcare jobs
Working in healthcare may be appealing to people who want to help others. But healthcare jobs can be extremely demanding, physically, mentally and emotionally.
As a healthcare worker, you may be part of a large staff that you interact with every day. And of course, you may also be dealing with a steady stream of patients.
Healthcare workers have to talk to the people they’re caring for and quite often touch them to do their jobs, both of which may be challenging for introverts.
11. Customer service representative
Customer service representatives get paid to field phone calls and emails from customers day in and day out. They can work in call centers or do remote customer service jobs from home.
A customer service job might not seem like a lot of work but it can be hard to do if you’re dealing with angry customers or frustrated people. That can make it one of the worst jobs for introverts who are shy or soft-spoken.
Customer service reps are often on the receiving end of verbal abuse, something that can make for a very stressful job environment if you’re an introvert. So this type of job might be a hard pass if you get tongue-tied in difficult situations or prefer to avoid conflict.
12. Marketing specialist
Marketers get paid to develop and manage marketing campaigns for their clients. They work with businesses to promote new products and services to help attract potential customers.
Working in marketing or advertising often means working as part of a marketing management team. You’re also interacting regularly with potential clients and existing clients to fine-tune marketing campaigns.
If you’re more comfortable working independently without a lot of social interaction, this type of role could be a mismatch for an introverted personality.
13. Team leader/manager
Team leaders are in charge of overseeing a team of individuals who are working together on a project. That type of job is common in corporate settings, where companies may divide up responsibilities for different tasks or projects among individual teams.
Being a team leader or team manager can be a stressful job since you’re basically in charge of keeping everyone else on task and the project on track. And there’s also a certain social element too since you might be spending time around the water fountains or coolers chatting up coworkers or tracking down team members for status updates.
The kind of pressure involved and the social aspect make it one of the worst jobs for introverts who aren’t comfortable taking the lead.
14. Retail worker
Retail jobs are some of the worst jobs for introverts who don’t like talking to other people. You might spend part of your day stocking shelves or rearranging displays but a lot of what you do involves talking to the public.
You might need to help customers find something in the store or check them out when they’re ready to pay. And if you’ve ever worked any retail jobs you know that you’ll also deal with customer complaints from time to time.
Retail work can be easy on one level since a lot of retail jobs don’t require a bachelor’s degree. But the level of mental and emotional work involved may be too much for some introverts to handle.
15. Hotel receptionist
A hotel receptionist is often the first person you encounter when visiting a hotel. The receptionist is responsible for getting you checked in and directing you where to go.
Hotel receptionists also have to field complaints from unhappy guests and sometimes handle emergency situations. If a toilet malfunctions or someone gets hurt on the property, the receptionist may be the first person to respond.
If you’re uncomfortable making small talk with new people or don’t work well under pressure, a hotel receptionist job may not work well for you.
16. Restaurant server
As a restaurant server, there are lots of tasks you have to do but the main goal of your job is meeting your customers’ needs. To do that well and earn big tips, you have to be efficient and have a sense of urgency, but you also have to be personable.
People don’t want to be waited on by a server who acts grumpy or annoyed. So waiting tables is one of the worst jobs for introverts who have trouble making small talk or suffer from RBF.
If you’re interested in working in the restaurant industry, you might be better off with a back-of-the-house job instead.
For example, you could get paid to handle food preparation or wash dishes. Those aren’t glamorous jobs but they do allow you to earn money without much social interaction.
17. Human resources manager
Human resources managers wear a lot of different hats. Their major responsibilities include recruiting and interviewing new hires, consulting with company executives on strategic planning and acting as a go-between for management and employees.
Being a human resources manager is a very social job in the sense that you’re always talking to somebody. You could make a lot of money as an HR manager but if you lean toward introversion, it might not be worth it if you struggle with the communication part of the job.
18. Tour guide
As a tour guide, you make money by sharing your knowledge of a particular area or site with visitors. Tour guides need to be well-spoken and outgoing because they spend most of their day talking.
The best tour guides have plenty of personality, which they use to educate and entertain tourists. So if you’re a shy person, you might find this kind of job difficult.
19. Hair dresser
A hairdresser’s main job is to make their clients look good. But hairdressers can also act as unofficial therapists or counselors for their clients.
Many people feel comfortable telling secrets to their hair dresser that they wouldn’t tell anyone else. And even if they’re not spilling secrets, they may spend their time in the salon hashing over the latest gossip or celebrity news.
All of that means lots of talking, something a typical introvert might shy away from. Working in a salon can be one of the worst jobs for introverts who tire easily from talking or being social.
Mediators help conflicting parties to reach a resolution. For example, companies may hire corporate mediators to deal with internal or external disputes.
A mediator needs to have excellent interpersonal skills and be knowledgeable in conflict resolution. They also need to know how to negotiate in order to reach an agreement that both sides are satisfied with.
Acting as a mediator could be a challenge for an introverted personality type who isn’t well-versed in conflict resolution or negotiation.
Attorneys work with clients to defend them against criminal charges or in civil cases. An attorney can also specialize in handling certain types of legal or financial transactions. For example, an estate planning attorney helps people to draw up wills and create trusts for their assets.
Some attorneys may choose to run for public office and become judges. Others might moonlight as college professors or public speakers, all of which means talking and meeting with people.
Being an attorney is a stressful job and introverts may have a hard time with the level of social interaction involved.
22. Funeral director
Funeral directors coordinate funeral arrangements with grieving family members. This type of job relies on strong interpersonal skills and the ability to be compassionate toward strangers in their time of need.
The funeral director is responsible for overseeing every aspect of a funeral service, from the initial planning up to the interment. So you’ll need to be organized.
Funeral directors also need to be comfortable meeting with people who are going through a difficult time and helping them to navigate it, something that may be awkward for certain introverts.
Tutoring jobs can be a challenge for introverts because they require you to work one-on-one with students. You may not be meeting with large groups of people but there’s still a lot of talking involved.
If you like to teach others but get cold feet about the social aspect, you could try tutoring online instead. Or you might try course creation.
Sites like Skillshare allow you to create evergreen courses and sell them, with no active teaching required. That can be a great way to make passive income as an introvert.
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What Are the Best Careers for Introverts?
The best jobs for introverts are ones that allow you to earn money doing work you enjoy, without constant social interaction.
Creative work that you can do online, from home can be perfect for introverts. While more companies are hiring people to work from home, you could make your own career path by starting an online business or side hustling.
And there are lots of great stay at home mom jobs you can do in your spare time while taking care of kids. Here are a few ideas for ways to make money online as an introvert.
Freelance writing can be a high-paying online business idea for introverts who don’t like talking to people. There are different ways to make money as a freelancer, including:
- Technical writing
- Blog post writing
- Grant writing
- Content writing
- Creative writing
Freelancing is a low-cost side hustle to start. All you really need is a laptop, internet connection and a PayPal account or bank account in order to get paid. And you can tailor the type of work you do to your experience and skills.
For example, I know a lot about money so I’m a personal finance writer. But technical writers get paid to write about technical topics in how-to guides or user manuals.
If you’re an introvert with solid graphic design skills you could use them to start an online business or side hustle.
Graphic designers can get paid to design:
- YouTube thumbnails or cover images
- Website themes or templates
- Ebooks and infographics
- Business cards
- Digital artwork
You don’t need to be a software engineer or design expert to get started either. With a simple tool like Canva, you can start creating designs to sell on Etsy or through your own website.
If you’re interested in setting up a website, here’s a guide to getting started with NameHero.
Social media manager
Social media managers help business owners and bloggers manage their social media accounts.
You might wear different hats, including content manager, scheduler and comment approver. And you might also get paid to track analytics data to see which social media posts people are responding to the most.
Becoming a social media manager could be ideal for someone who loves social media platforms but isn’t comfortable with the idea of becoming an influencer.
Need more ideas for making money?
What job should an introvert get? Final thoughts
The best jobs for introverts are the ones that allow you to enjoy a peaceful work environment while making money doing work you enjoy. If you can make money from the comfort of your own home, that’s even better.
Do introverts have a hard time getting hired? Not necessarily. But if you’d like to avoid the stress of the interview and hiring process, exploring online business ideas or work from home jobs for introverts can help you find the right career path.
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