Some of us are more introverted—more shy and introspective, people who expel energy to be in large groups of people—while others are more extroverted, more talkative and social, and energized by being around others. And these personality proclivities don’t just inform our decisions about what to do on a Friday night; an inclination toward more introversion or extroversion can also help us choose the best careers for our unique personality types.
Here, according to a career expert, are the best career options for introverts and extroverts.
The Best Jobs for Introverts
Creative fields: “Introverts who are creative can be well-suited for fields and positions that require lots of room for imagination and inventiveness,” working as entrepreneurs, marketers, or graphic designers, for example, says Alexandra Clarke, ForceBrands’ director of recruiting. For example, introverts might love being a content writer, she says. “Writing well requires both creativity and close attention to detail,” she says. “Writers often prefer to work alone so they can concentrate their efforts on researching, writing, and editing.”
Freelance work: “Introverts who are self-starters and need less external motivation and validation than extroverts often excel in freelance positions,” says Clarke, “or roles that require long stretches of working alone or unsupervised,” such as graphic designers.
Highly technical work: According to Clarke, “Some introverts prefer to think things over and take a more thorough approach to their work. These kinds of introverts tend to find success in industries and roles that require a lot of problem-solving or involved processes.” For example, an introvert might like to work as a food scientist, a job that “requires a lot of creativity, research, and problem solving—all skills that play to an introvert’s strengths.”
The Best Jobs for Extroverts
Risk-driven work: Extroverts might have a higher tolerance for risk than introverts. And so, “extroverts who enjoy trying new things, taking calculated risks, and driving innovation and company growth will likely thrive in roles like stock traders and investors,” Clarke says. An extrovert might be happy as a sales representative, she says, because “relationship building and persuasion lie at the heart of sales—both strong suits among most extroverts. Negotiating and spur-of-the-moment decision-making are also major demands of this role.”
Network-heavy work: According to Clarke, “Some fields require more networking than others, so extroverts who prefer social settings and enjoy talking to others often excel in these types of jobs.” A human resources position could also be perfect for an extrovert. “Human resources is a social field,” she says. “The job demands working well with others—from facilitating new hires to handling conflicts and providing mentorship and guidance.”
Quickly-changing fields: “Extroverts who are excited by change tend to do better in fields that are continually evolving—think cannabis—or require learning new things as they arise—think beauty tech,” says Clarke. A job that could be appropriate for an extrovert might be working as a financial advisor—as the financial industry often revolves around change and offers other opportunities for extroverts to excel. “Extroverts can sometimes be more confident in their own assessments of others,” Clarke says. “While some introverts may struggle to give someone advice in an area as significant as money, many extroverts have the self-assurance to help others with financial planning. Additionally, financial planners often grow their business by conducting seminars, workshops, and networking.”
Of course, “regardless of whether you identify as an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert,” says Clarke, “career possibilities are endless. And connecting with an executive recruiter—or someone who knows the nuances of a particular job and its respective team—can go a long way in helping to identify the role and the environment that’s just right for you.”