What should an introvert look for in a career?
It’s safe to say that an introvert would feel most satisfied in a job that:
Prioritizes independent work over group collaboration
The idea of collaborating with coworkers on a daily basis, brainstorming on a white board wall would turn off some introverts. Many introverts would prefer to put their head down and work by themselves on projects, coming out of their shell only when they want to.
Offers quiet spaces for working alone vs. open office plans
Constantly being around other people can drain an introvert’s energy, taking away from how much work they can accomplish. The ideal career for an introvert would allow them to work in a solitary, quiet space (or from home).
Lets them focus on one project at a time
Introverts are more likely than their extroverted counterparts to get sucked into a project and focus on it for extended periods of time. They would like nothing more than to see a project through, taking note of every detail in the process.
Is there a better career field for introverts than STEM?
It seems like wherever an introvert looks these days, career resources are saturated with advice about how STEM (science, technology, engineering, & mathematics) jobs, like cellular biology and biomedical engineering, are the best choices for introverted individuals who want a high salary career.
These suggestions do make sense for the most part. Undoubtedly, STEM fields are filled with introverts excelling in their roles. But outside of their high salaries, what makes these jobs ideal for introverts?
The answer lies in the type of work environments they offer. Scientists and engineers are more likely to spend multiple hours in quiet independent study, and work in a private office with little external stimulation.
Generally speaking, scientific studies also require a detail-oriented nature and advanced problem-solving skills–perfect for introverts who tend to be highly cerebral.
“But people are starting to learn that there are many careers outside of STEM that offer these benefits and require less formal education.”
A career in digital marketing offers unparalleled benefits for introverts
You may have heard of digital marketing. It’s been a mainstream industry for years, but is still rapidly growing in popularity. Digital marketing is essentially marketing done online. Many jobs for creatives fall under the umbrella of digital marketing, including but not limited to online advertising, web design, web copywriting, graphic design, and social media manager.
4 benefits of a career in digital marketing
It’s in demand
With commerce moving online at an exponential rate, more companies are realizing the importance of online marketing and looking to hire people in the know. In many cases, the demand exceeds the supply because there are still not many people who have the skills to do these jobs.
Low barrier for entry
Many hiring managers for digital marketing jobs don’t require a digital marketing degree because it’s so uncommon to have one. Digital marketing is relatively new and higher education is slow to change, so there aren’t many colleges or universities that offer degrees or even certificates in it. What hiring managers want to see the most on a resume is experience.
Luckily, experience is easy to get through free online courses that will quickly give you the knowledge you need to start making money in the field.
Easy to pivot
In STEM, once you commit to a career in say, chemical engineering, it would be extremely difficult and time-consuming to switch to another field like mechanical engineering. In digital marketing, all niches within it overlap with each other, and companies love to see people with well-rounded experience. It’s often times encouraged for someone in SEO to learn pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, or for someone in social media marketing to learn PPC. In fact, having experience in multiple digital marketing fields makes you a more attractive candidate for management positions.
Remote work is common
Because digital marketing exists online, it naturally lends itself to remote work. As an introverted working remotely, you can have complete control over your physical work environment, all the while saving money and time by not commuting.
Top 7 Careers for Introverts in 2021
- SEO Specialist
- Paid Search Specialist
- Content Marketer
- Social Media Manager
- Web Designer
- Digital Marketer
In this role, employees have specialized knowledge of how to increase the search engine ranking of websites. Because this is a relatively complex and difficult job, SEOs are in high demand. Companies will pay top dollar to rank higher on search engines.
SEO Specialist Average Salary in 2021: 49,883
Paid Search Specialist
Paid search specialists create and manage paid advertising campaigns. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads. All of this falls under the purview of a paid search specialist. Duties might involve keyword research, working within advertising platforms to lower the cost per click your company pays, writing creative copy for ads, testing which types of ads perform the best and determining metrics of success.
Paid Search Specialist Average Salary in 2021: $57,500
A copywriter can be considered by many introverts to be the perfect job. This role allows a writer to take on whatever project they want and as many as they want. Their projects could include fiction writing, direct sales copywriting, editing, technical writing, and more. Copywriters may find the most opportunities in the fields of SEO (writing site copy) and paid search (writing ad copy).
Copywriter Average Salary in 2021: $63,200
Content marketers are responsible for organizing and strategizing a company’s content development. This could involve building an editorial calendar, content publishing, and managing brand alignment to their company’s goals. This is often a supervising role over other writers.
Content Marketer Average Salary in 2021: $50,928.
Social Media Manager
Social Media Managers are immersed in the social media strategies of their companies. They create, strategize, and publish social media marketing campaigns, curate their company’s social media platforms, analyze their company’s performance on various platforms, and even respond to follower comments and questions. For introverts who live and socialize online, this could be a natural fit.
Social Media Manager Average Salary in 2021: $51,445
Web designers combine the technical with the creative. They must have an eye for design and also knowledge of front-end code (HTML, CSS, etc.). They commonly work within content management systems such as WordPress, Drupal and Shopify. While this job involves more collaboration and interacting with other people than most of the other jobs on this list, it still ends up being mostly independent work. Because this is a highly technical field, the average pay is relatively high, especially if you learn web development skills.
Web Designer Average Salary in 2021: $52,691.
Some digital marketing roles are less specialized. There are roles where you’ll be expected to be effective in multiple fields. It’s not uncommon for companies to look for someone who is proficient in SEO, paid search, social media, and maybe even basic web design. For introverts who enjoy new challenges and constantly learning, a career as a digital marketer could be the perfect fit.
How to Excel in the Job Field as an Introvert
First off, it's important to note that introverts and extroverts can do equally well in the same roles. The differences between introverts and extroverts–as studied by multiple psychologists and researchers over many decades–reside mainly in how they react to external stimulation. The stereotypical idea of an introvert is a person who is shy, speaks softly, and can be socially awkward or even avoid social situations entirely.
While this is a fair description, its verbiage is through the lens of an extrovert and doesn’t actually capture what’s going on behind an introvert’s social face. Introverts are often labelled as “shy” and soft speaking because they’re more likely to listen first, think about what they’d like to say, and then speak.
Their perceived social awkwardness can be correct–especially if social anxiety is at play–but its roots lie in an introvert’s need for “me time” to recharge, since being around too many people can be draining. Additionally, most introverts prefer to be behind the scenes: they’ll avoid public speaking, they’ll be a “wallflower” at parties, and they’ll hate being the center of attention.
This isn’t true for all introverts of course, in fact, no single definition can place people exclusively as an introvert or an extrovert–everyone exists somewhere on the sliding scale between the two opposites. However, among the many theories of introversion, it's been suggested that this personality trait can come in four types.
The Four Types of Introversion
Jonathan Creek, a modern psychologist and researcher, supposed in 2011 that any introverted person may fall into one of four categories of introversion:
This is the classic introvert. In social situations, they’re the “wallflower” that keeps to themselves. They’re happiest alone and having time by themselves is essential for their mental health. If this is you, working frequently with a team or having many one-on-one interactions may not be the best fit for you.
Good Careers for Social Introvert
Web designer, social media manager, content marketer
This type is similar to a classic introvert, except that these types are motivated by their social anxiety. Their dislike for socializing stems from feelings of panic that are triggered by large crowds and many people paying attention to them at once. Maybe even conversations with people they don’t know, even in a one-on-one circumstance.
Good Careers for Anxious Introvert
SEO specialist, copywriter
These types are the ones that embody the term, “head-in-the-clouds”. They’re most often spending their time lost in thought and have a rich inner life. Barring any social anxiety, thinking introverts take no issue with socializing. Working on a team or having one-on-one conversations is perfectly normal–as long as they get to recharge.
Good Careers for Thinking Introvert
SEO specialist, copywriter, web designer
A restrained introvert is one that enters a situation shyly, but then blossoms as they adjust to the environment and the people around them. They can be perfectly sociable.
Good Careers for Restrained Introvert
Paid search specialist, digital marketer, content marketer
Which type are you?
The differences between these types of introversion can highlight why you’re introverted, as well as the social and external situations in which you thrive. By identifying the environments that allow you to excel, you can more accurately choose the right in demand career with the best company for yourself. This can lead to long-term job satisfaction, positive mental health, and a decreased likelihood of burnout.