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Are you a Troglodyte—not a caveman, but a solitary person with a sixth sense for subtlety and understatement? Then read on!
When it comes to the workforce, introverts are often overlooked for high-pressure leadership roles. Introverts avoid public speaking because they're more likely to receive negative feedback. So, what does this mean?
Should you find an extrovert alter ego to get ahead in business or the workforce? Or simply just avoid the jobs that may not best suit you?
In this article, I’ll provide my list of the absolute worst jobs for introverts to avoid. And when you’re done reading this little gem, be sure to check out my previous article on the best jobs for introverts.
What You Will Learn
- What is an Introvert?
- The 19 Worst Jobs for Introverts
- 1. Insurance Brokers
- 2. Real Estate Agent
- 3. Singer
- 4. Coach
- 5. Recruiter
- 6. Manager
- 7. Politician
- 8. Waiter/Waitress
- 9. Receptionist
- 10. Newscaster
- 11. Tourist Entertainer/Tour Guide
- 12. Expert in Public Relations
- 13. Customer Service Representatives
- 14. Casino Dealer
- 15. Social Worker
- 16. Flight Attendant
- 17. Influencer
- 18. Teacher
- 19. Personnel from Human Resources
- Final Thoughts on the Worst Jobs for Introverts
What is an Introvert?
An introvert is an individual who prefers an environment that is not too crowded with people. In the context of this forum, an introvert is an individual who prefers solitude to social interaction. Introversion does not necessarily mean a person is “antisocial” or “unfriendly.”
It means that they like to be alone or with a small group of people rather than with a large one. Both extroverted and introverted personalities have their strengths and weaknesses. What outgoing individuals may view as frailty—quiet strength, reservation, and shyness in social situations—are what drive introverts.
Introverts may experience isolation in social situations but also enjoy being part of groups. Introverts may not be as comfortable in crowds as others, but they also appreciate the company of others.
The more people you know, the more likely you will experiment with new topics, meet new people, and form meaningful friendships. Conversely, extroverts may not be as accepting of new or different ideas, but they are also unlikely to reject anyone for their own reasons.
Introverts can excel in many areas, and extroverts can excel in others, but there are some jobs and situations where introverts struggle greatly. Extroverts, for example, may feel more at ease when selling something over the phone than introverts.
This is because extroverts are more at ease communicating with strangers or being the center of attention. Introverts may also struggle when they are required to work with a large number of people or in large groups.
Introverts succeed at deducing and optimizing problems for the best possible outcome. They are, in many ways, some of the most well-rounded people. Most fields, however, require an extroverted personality. In the workplace, introverts must learn to express their opinions, seek out the company of others on occasion, and be assertive.
Introverts are gradually taking on a larger role in the workforce, but there are still some fields that they avoid, and for good reason.
The 19 Worst Jobs for Introverts
1. Insurance Brokers
Being an insurance agent isn't ideal for introverts because you need to be able to sell. You'll need to contact potential customers and persuade them to buy your insurance. Extroverts excel at public speaking, networking, and sales.
Introverts find sales and negotiation skills terrifying. Self-paced, interactive modules with visual and auditory support keep introverts focused.
However, irrespective of the product, a typical customer engagement would include a phone call, possibly followed by a face-to-face meeting. Though you'll have to do some investigating, perhaps email correspondence, and keep records, your primary responsibility will be selling and persuasive communication, which may not appeal to an introvert.
2. Real Estate Agent
A career in real estate might be challenging if you are the introverted sort with trouble striking up conversations with strangers. You need to be able to figure out what buyers want, set up and keep showing appointments, and negotiate offers.
Although part of your job will require you to work independently (for example, while adding or editing listings for available properties online), you will also have frequent face-to-face contact with customers. Therefore, becoming a real estate agent may not be the ideal job option for someone who is very shy or introverted.
Being a professional vocalist has perks: you don't have to engage in small talk very often. However, being the center of attention can be taxing for an introverted artist, since they may feel like they have to be “on” all the time.
It may be fulfilling to have a career based on your passions, but if you are introverted, it can be tough to adjust to—especially at first.
Although you may become more familiar with the limelight and being around people, there will likely be a trade-off between being in performance mode and having some alone time.
Your primary role as a coach will be to serve as a role model and source of inspiration for your clients or teammates. You need to know how to bring out the best in each person by analyzing their skills and character flaws.
Those who like solitude may not thrive in a profession that requires constant interaction with others. Some coaching, like a life coach, often only takes on one client at a time.
Being a coach is a bit like being a human GPS. You need to be able to help people find their way, whether that's by providing directions, support, or motivation. You also need to be able to read people well to help them get to where they want to go. And just like a GPS, it's not always ideal for introverts who may prefer working alone.
Being a successful recruiter requires more than just being able to talk to people. You also need to be able to sell your candidates to customers and negotiate the needs of both parties.
You need to put your people skills to good use and be able to sell. This means you must be good at finding candidates, interviewing them, and staying in touch with them throughout the hiring process.
As a recruiter, you must also be able to communicate with and negotiate your customers' needs. Jobs in recruitment are often fast-paced and require a wide range of skills, which can be challenging for people who are shyer and more introverted.
You'll need to like interacting with others to do well in this role. A big part of management is overseeing and guiding subordinates, responding to complaints and requests, and keeping an organization running on a day-to-day basis.
To be an effective leader, you must put yourself in other people's shoes and deal assertively with any issues they may have—all while keeping an eye on meeting both customers' and workers' needs.
You may have to deal with conflict and angry people to perform well in a management role—the ability to keep your cool in heated situations. The last thing an introvert wants is to have to embrace a need for confrontation.
Some politicians may have a more reserved temperament, but they are rare, and this job is all about people, popularity, opinions, and the public interest, among other things. Political participation often requires a person with strong leadership skills and persuasive abilities to get people to see your point of view.
They also have to deal with hostility and criticism from the media, the people they represent, and the rest of the community.
Being a politician is a bit like walking a tightrope. You have to be able to keep your balance while being pulled in different directions by the people you represent. Let’s face it, you have to be prepared for the fact that there will be detractors, and no matter how honest or capable you are, not everyone will agree with you.
A server's job can be intimidating. It could be purgatory for the social butterfly. Introverts could consider this career, but you don't need to be extroverted to succeed. Every customer must be treated with respect. Depending on where you work, you may get to know the regulars quickly. The new environment may become less uncomfortable and constraining over time.
But why risk making your worst career move? Extroverts get the most tips, and you're hired to interact with people on all shifts. As a server, you'll be getting paid to be friendly. Shy, reserved, and quiet is innate tendencies in your personal life. How much is it worth to be something you’re not? You'll only find solitude in the bathroom between bussers, porters, cooks, and peak hours. The manager wants diners to eat, drink, and be merry. Introverts shouldn't apply.
If you're an introvert, you might find working as a receptionist a hit-or-miss career choice because it could be an excellent profession. Still, it depends significantly on the specifics of the position and the number of people you're expected to interact with.
It's a common misconception that extroverts who enjoy socializing don't need alone time. Still, as a receptionist, you'll likely only be working with a few other people, so you'll have plenty of downtime between calls.
This isn't an introvert-friendly job. If you're naturally withdrawn, you may struggle in a busy, phone-heavy environment.
It depends on the introvert and the job. Being an introvert may not be a problem for some reporters, but it may be if they have to make phone calls and conduct interviews. If they like their job and coworkers, a position where they gather data (by analyzing reports or attending events), write news, and fact-check material may be ideal, even if they're introverted.
Introverts prefer work-from-home jobs. You'll have more time to complete projects and less stress than in an office. Instead of attending local events, you could read the government or nonprofit reports. Introverts could fix mistakes in recorded interviews or data.
11. Tourist Entertainer/Tour Guide
Being an introvert doesn't mean you can't enjoy people; you may not want to entertain a group. Talking to strangers without being asked may be terrifying if you're shy.
Introverts can be tourist entertainers. Introverts enjoy making sure others are having fun. Most people with a reserved temperament would rather not be in the spotlight.
Introverts can struggle in a world where most people enjoy the spotlight. Being an introvert isn't necessarily a deal-breaker for this job. You can still be a thriving tourist entertainer or tour guide, though.
You just need to be aware of your tendencies and adjust. Being a tour guide involves more than being friendly and outgoing. It can be physically draining, as you'll need to speak nonstop. You should know enough about the area's history to discuss local customs and quirks.
12. Expert in Public Relations
You'll also need to be comfortable going to public events, networking, and fielding questions from the press. If you're timid, this may not be right for you. Your job as a public relations expert is to improve and safeguard your clients' image.
Most introverts wouldn’t be able to do this effectively because you'll need to be able to be a people person and communicate well in many different social settings.
Public relations professionals improve and protect their clients' images. PR pros plan and execute campaigns to boost their clients' and products' images. Celebrity publicists are well-known. Celebrities hire PR teams to manage their public personas.
They're trained to handle interviews, TV appearances, and photo shoots. This is not for the faint of heart.
13. Customer Service Representatives
Working in customer service can be challenging for many reasons, like being on the phone for long periods and dealing with angry or frustrated customers. Introverts may do better when engagement is through chat or email, but even that comes with considerable intellectual exhaustion.
Still, many companies tend to expect their customer service employees to have some communication on the phone, which could be hellish for an introvert. Having to appease someone or “smile through your voice” when a customer is angry or rude would make this profession one of the worst jobs for introverts.
14. Casino Dealer
Casino dealers must be numerate and quick on their feet to deal with the various games. This role isn't for introverts. It's a fun and lucrative career for gamblers or casino game fans. Introverted gamblers are likelier to stick to slot machines than card or roulette tables. They'd be bad dealers. A dealer must chat with random, often drunk casino patrons.
Casino dealers must be agile to deal cards and spin the wheel. Despite the drunk and obnoxious customers, they should be pleasant. Gambling dealers have a job for extroverts. They're used to working in high-pressure situations. Dealers prefer obnoxious and familiar people, while introverts don't.
15. Social Worker
While introverts aren't always antisocial, they should probably avoid any job that includes the word “social.” As the term implies, a social worker is someone who assists others.
You will be expected to help people of all ages, from babies to grandparents, deal with challenging situations by giving them information and advice, making decisions, and talking to your bosses.
When working in this field, you will frequently contact particularly vulnerable people, such as the elderly, the homeless, drug addicts, and those suffering from mental illnesses.
This job necessitates a great deal of compassion and empathy, traits that are not limited to any one personality type. On the other hand, introverts may find working in this field too demanding.
16. Flight Attendant
As a flight attendant, your line of work will force you to connect with individuals from all walks of life. To top it all off, many individuals you'll have to interact with are likely to be exhausted, tense, hungry, or irritated due to their travels. This is a bad situation if you tend to be an introvert.
Flying is a stressful job. To ensure passenger safety, you must deal with air travel's physical and psychological stresses. This means that passengers may be stressed, which can strain the job. Social requirements and service responsibilities can be demanding for reserved and withdrawn introverts.
Most social media stars' income comes from endorsement deals with companies whose goods are relevant to their audience or their way of life. If an influencer is both exciting and famous, they may demand payment in exchange for promoting a product or service on their page.
Extroverts may enjoy the spotlight and exposure, but introverts may be uncomfortable taking digital risks. It's possible to wield influence without attracting attention, but it's difficult in practice because of how social media works. Introverts are often hesitant to share online.
Though they don't like the spotlight, they're not immune to risk's rewards. Introverts may not be good influencers, but they can use social media to build an online following. Extroverts may do it better.
Being taught by an excellent but maybe introverted professor nearly kept this job from cutting. Nevertheless, an introverted person probably shouldn't pursue a career in teaching. It may be psychologically and physically tiring for an otherwise reserved teacher if they have to spend much of their day interacting with and talking to their pupils.
Motivating students to grow personally and professionally can boost job satisfaction in teaching. Dealing with students can be difficult for introverts because you'll be around them for long periods or most of the day.
Teaching requires patience and skill. You'll need to demand respect and attention, meet their needs, and stay organized while adapting. You must also work well with your coworkers, manage and follow the rules, and talk to parents, volunteers, and administrators.
19. Personnel from Human Resources
To a large extent, human resources work involves interacting with other people, and it may be just as stressful as, if not more so than, selling or marketing. People who want to work in human resources need to be outgoing, but people who have trouble making friends may not do well in such an environment.
HR professionals must often communicate with a mixture of simple or complex engagements. These workers must know what motivates their coworkers and monitor morale.
A human resources professional interacts with outsiders and coworkers. They recruit people and bridge internal and external interactions, which introverts don't like.
Final Thoughts on the Worst Jobs for Introverts
Introverts or anyone else should avoid jobs they hate. When people hate their jobs, they're not very good at them. Whether you're introverted or extroverted, know your motivations. It could lead you to the perfect career. Don't forget to have a look at my list of introvert-friendly jobs if you need inspiration.
Stay away from these worst jobs for introverts if you love who you are and are confident in what you can offer. Instead, follow your passions and avoid anything that doesn't boost your skills, values, and interests. You deserve to love what you do!
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.