In this article, you’ll learn what an introvert is, some of their traits, and the best work environments and jobs for introverts.
What is an introvert?
First off, let’s define what it means to be an introvert. When you think of an introvert, you probably think of someone shy and quiet who likes to keep to themselves – but this is not always the case. Introversion is actually characterized largely by how someone gets their energy. While extroverts feel recharged by being around others, introverts can feel drained. Instead, introverts tend to recharge when they are spending time alone and focusing on their inner thoughts. It is also believed that no one is a true introvert or extravert, rather everyone falls somewhere along the spectrum.
- Introverts feel more energized spending time on their own than in large crowds
- Characteristics of introverts include being self-aware, independent, focused, empathetic, and disciplined
- Introverts want jobs that offer them independence, flexibility, a calm workplace, focused work time, a strong support system, and a work-life balance
- Some great jobs for introverts include content writing, accounting, engineering, architecture, information technology roles, and others
What are some traits of introverts?
In general, some characteristics of those who are considered introverts are:
- In tune with their feelings
- Good listeners
- Can find social situations with crowds over-stimulating
- May experience social anxiety and/or shyness
- Do their best thinking/idea generation when alone
- Needs peace and quiet to concentrate
- Takes time with decision making
- Comfortable being alone
- Prefers small circles to large groups
- Values one-on-one time with others
Top things introverts look for in jobs
As an introvert, it’s best to find jobs that will energize you and allow you to leverage your character traits. Based on the mentioned characteristics, there are some things that introverts look for in jobs, that will make the workday more enjoyable and productive.
Introverts prefer jobs that have an aspect of independence while working. Having the autonomy to make their own decisions, working alone on projects, having management that trusts them – these are all aspects that contribute to independence in a job.
Along the same lines as independence, flexibility may be something introverts seek in jobs. That’s why many introverts work freelance jobs because it allows them to be flexible with their time and set a schedule that suits their needs.
A calm workspace
Although open office plans are ever-popular, they can be distracting and feel chaotic to introverts. The constant conversations you hear, general disorganization, and lack of privacy can feel overwhelming. Instead, introverts need a quiet workspace in order to concentrate and get work done. Having a job that allows you a calm workspace helps with productivity and prevent this over-stimulation of the senses, which can be draining.
Focused work time
Collaboration in the workplace can be helpful, but too much of it allows for little deep focused working time. Focus hours are uninterrupted stretches of time in the day where you can get tasks done. Often, focus hours are hard to come by when there are constant meetings or events going on. That’s why it’s important to find a job that allows for this time to do deep work.
A supportive work environment
In any job, you want to have coworkers that you enjoy working with. Introverts in particular though, are more drained by others’ energy, and this can be heightened when they feel that the people they work with are unsupportive or overly competitive. Having coworkers that understand you and how you like to interact with others makes the workday so much more enjoyable.
A positive relationship with managers
Part of having a supportive work environment includes feeling supported by managerial figures. A manager should be working to best use your strengths, not work against them. Introverts and extroverts have different communication styles and comfort levels in different situations, so it’s important that a manager recognizes these differences.
Introverts need time to recharge after a day of work – especially if their jobs involve a large amount of social interaction. Because of this, having a schedule with what you deem reasonable hours is important. That way, you can have specified time ‘off’ to prepare you to be at your best self when you are at work.
List of jobs for introverts
You can find introverts in any field and any role, however, there are some that they might gravitate towards based on what they are looking for. They tend to gear towards jobs that offer independence, where they can use their strengths, such as being empathetic, observant, and disciplined. Thus, here is a (noncomprehensive) list of jobs for introverts and their average salaries in Canada:
1. Software engineer
Software engineers create and design applications and software for computers. Software engineers require strong analytical skills and focus, making it a great career choice for introverts. As well, though you may work as part of a team, there is a lot of time spent independently, coding and working on various projects.
Average annual salary: $92,478 CAD
Architects plan, design, and oversee the construction of buildings and other structures. Introverts have the ability to work in their minds and are great at understanding others’ needs – these quiet strengths are well applied in the field of architecture. By combining their analytical and creative minds, introverts can thrive in this career path.
Average annual salary: $90,872 CAD
An actuary is someone who manages and analyzes the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. Both the actuary exam and profession require intensive calculations and a lot of self-study time, so it’s important to be able to thrive when working alone.
Average annual salary: $87,000 CAD
4. Data scientist
Data scientists design models, create algorithms, and extract data to help businesses achieve their goals. This role offers a good amount of autonomy and leverages key skills of introverts like being observant and disciplined.
Average annual salary: $80,765 CAD
Therapists are trained in providing treatment and rehabilitation to others, in areas like mental wellness. Introverts are typically great listeners and are good at empathizing and analyzing others. These traits will help in the field of therapy. As well, therapists operate on one-on-one conversations with clients, which introverts prefer to a larger group setting.
Average annual salary: $70,043 CAD
6. Social media manager
Social media managers are responsible for a company’s interactions with the public through social media platforms. They may create content, analyze insights, and plan digital campaigns. Introverts are thoughtful and observant, qualities that are important when choosing the best response to social media.
Average annual salary: $69,047 CAD
7. Technical writer
Technical writers are responsible for researching and writing things such as product manuals, how-to guides, and journal articles. In this role, it is important to have uninterrupted stretches of time as it takes focus to distil complex information into clear communication. Introverts will find this aligns well with their working preferences given the independence and alone time.
Average annual salary: $58,105 CAD
8. Graphic designer
A graphic designer is someone who creates visual communications or designs digitally for purposes such as displaying on billboards or product packaging. Similar to technical writers, graphic designers tend to have more flexibility when it comes to working environments. They can work on their own for uninterrupted, focused periods of time, meeting with supervisors only when necessary, which is an introvert’s dream.
Average annual salary: $45,000 CAD
Getting People Right (GPR) is an educational website providing professionals from all types of businesses with practical education in human resources and leadership. To keep evolving your leadership toolkit, additional GPR resources below will be useful: