Deciding what to be when you grow up can be really tough. It's an adult decision that people often feel rushed to make. If you’re already overwhelmed by the possibilities, then one easy way to break down all the career options is by assessing your personality type.
Are you an introvert? An extrovert? Somewhere in between?
Have no fear. We’ll help you figure out which career could be best for you based on your personality and traits.
What are Introverts and Extroverts?
Our personalities are complex, and no two people are the same. Basically, people who are introverts can be described as individuals who direct their energy inward — focusing on feeling and thought. Extroverts tend to direct their focus outward, gaining energy from others around them and their surroundings.
Extroverts can be described as the life of the party. Feeding off of the vitality of flowing places and seeing people — it recharges you. You tend to exude approachability, and others flock to you because of it. You're a talker and you can come to life in large groups.
Yet, you're not so self involved that you aren't willing to let others have a say. It's just that too much time alone makes you want to crawl out of your skin, so you seek out companionship — maybe more than the average person. But, that can be great for your career.
Extroverts can be inspired by the people they're around and the environment they're in. Your best ideas may manifest in the middle of a big event you're a part of. And you love working with a team.
There are four types of extroverts: sensors, feelers, intuitives, and thinkers.
Sensor extrovert: Sensor extroverts are highly tuned into their senses. Sights, sounds, textures, and tastes impact your overall life experience; they inspire and charge you. You’re likely a more athletic person, partaking in extreme sports or other intense physical endeavors. You see people the same way you observe everything else — focusing in on the way they look, smell, and sound. You feed off of the energy you are around.
Feeler extroverts: You’re the textbook extrovert. You’re at your happiest being around people — and the more, the merrier. You are a great communicator, using listening and speaking skills in equal amounts. At times you can feed off of other's emotional energy; their happiness and sadness can become intermingled with your own feelings. Positive energy gives you a natural high, and you seek out as many people to chat with as possible.
Intuitive extroverts: If you were placed on a scale with other extroverts, you’d be leaning more toward introvert status. But you’re still an extrovert! You enjoy being around other people, including strangers, because you thrive on their energy and like to learn from them. Debates and idea bouncing are among your favorite pastimes. However, if you find no one is equally as engaged in the discussion, then you’re just as happy standing on your own. You are also the most likely of all the extroverts to spend an evening talking to just one person who captures your attention at that moment.
Thinker extroverts: You look at the networking possibilities of a party, as opposed to the actual social enjoyment. You are methodical and structured, and some may even call you controlling. You know where you are now compared to where you want to be, and you will do whatever it takes to reach your end goal. While you do enjoy being around other people, you aren’t considered to be the warmest person in the room. You can be very charming, but it’s mostly a tactic to get what you want — not necessarily in a malicious way. Your loved ones are very close to you; you're just a very driven person with high expectations for yourself.
Famous extroverts are: Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, Winston Churchill, Oprah Winfrey, and Madonna.
Introverts are more low key. At times more quiet than extroverts, they take pleasure in more minute details and tend to turn inward to rest and recharge.
It's not to say that you're shy or avoid large groups altogether as an introvert. You just tend to observe more than you participate. Observations in fact, can feed your inspiration. You tend to prefer the company of close friends, rather than large group settings. Your personality seems to shine brightest around those who know you best.
In addition, you need time away from others — including those closest to you — to relax. Your thoughts may work to ground and inspire you in ways that extroverts don't often experience. You may be someone who needs time to think and process your emotions before you act.
There are four main types of introverts: social, thinking, anxious, and restrained.
Social introverts: When you think about the typical introvert, a social introvert is who probably comes to mind. Social introverts would rather hang out with a tight group of friends than go to a jumping nightclub. They may even prefer to stay in and be with nobody at all. Social introversion has nothing to do with shyness; it’s more about a personal preference and where someone chooses to allot their energy. However, you are most likely to develop some of the deepest, most emotionally intimate relationships with social introverts.
Thinking introverts: If you’re a thinking introvert, you have a tendency toward self reflection and living in a bit of a fantasy world. However, unlike social introverts, you really don’t mind being around a lot of people. You probably don’t even pay attention to them—you’re too busy plotting out a novel. You’re one of the most creative personality types, full of ideas and innovations because your muse is always in high gear.
Anxious introverts: You might feel socially awkward or uncomfortable in large group settings. You tend to gravitate toward solitude, maybe a watch a show or read a good book with a glass of wine (or beverage of choice). Your people skills are most likely fine, but you may fixate on situations and replay them in your mind, picking yourself apart. Really, you're in tune with yourself and others in more ways than you might know. And your attention to detail, when not self-critical, can be top-tier.
Restrained introverts: You are considered to be reserved, maybe even a bit aloof. You measure your actions and words carefully before doing anything. It can take you a while to warm up, whether it’s to an idea, an activity, or a conversation—you’re slow to start. Because you’re more introspective, you excel in reflection and wisdom.
Some of the most famous introverts are: Robin Williams, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Mahatma Gandhi.
One Personality Isn't Better Than the Other
Both introverts and extroverts can be adaptable in their own way. One isn't destined to have a more successful career than the other. You just have different likes and dislikes, and regain your energy in different situations.
Both can pour their hearts into work when they enjoy a role. Listed below are careers considered great for introverts and for extroverts. However, remember both personality types can excel at any career they love and set their mind to. Read further to see if any of these careers seem suited for you.
Good Careers for Extroverts
As an extrovert, being around people and helping others is great for your mojo. Careers in a cubicle don’t really float your boat; you need to be able to flit around where all the action is. And, if you’re not the one wandering, others can come pay you a visit in your office. You have a no-knock policy, and your team is appreciative. Careers that are a perfect fit for extroverts are:
- Paralegal: You’ll be a crucial part of a legal team, working to support lawyers. Associate and bachelor’s degrees are available for paralegal studies. These days, most employers do prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing schools.
- Mediator: To be a mediator, not only do you need to appreciate being around people, but you also have to know how to talk to them. This isn’t a problem for an extrovert. You’ll be helping to settle disputes in a non-biased manner. Mediators usually start out as lawyers, judges, or business people, and then go on to add this specialty to their resumes.
- Hairstylist/Cosmetologist: Cosmetologists usually have an engaging personality. It’s your cut and color skills that keep clients coming back, yes, but it’s also the manner of your interaction. To become a cosmetologist, you’ll need to go to cosmetology school. Each state has its own specifications, but on average, it’s 1,500 hours, or around nine months of training.
- Registered nurse: Extroverts make great nurses — your personality is approachable and engaging to both the patients and medical staff. There is no alone time when you’re a registered nurse, a perk in your eyes. An associate degree is the minimum level of education, but to advance your career, you may want to get a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
- Human resources: A human resource specialist is a great career fit for extroverts; you’re the one doing the interviewing, recruiting, and training for your company. So, you need to have some degree of an outgoing personality. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to find a job.
- Restaurant management: Because you’re constantly around others, extroverts thrive as restaurant managers. You’re in charge of the daily operations of a restaurant, from hiring staff to making sure the diners are satisfied.
- Physical therapist: As a physical therapist, your job is to help patients better function. Because you’re an extrovert, you have the personality that will inspire your patients to do well at and in between appointments.
- Dental hygienist: So many people have a fear of going to the dentist. But not when you’re their hygienist! Your engaging and bubbly personality immediately puts patients at ease while they are in your chair. There are both associate and bachelor’s degree paths you can take.
- Teacher: Extroverts can thrive as an educator heading up a classroom filled with eager (and not so eager) learners. Your people interaction happens all day long, from students to faculty to parents. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in education—or up to a doctorate, depending on which level of education you plan on teaching.
- Vet tech: Not only are you around furry friends, but also you get to hang out with their owners, as well. You’ll help the vet perform routine check ups and assist during procedures. You’ll need either a certificate or an associate degree.
Here are some different careers you can train for in 6 months or less.
Good Jobs for Introverts
You don’t need to be part of a large team to perform well at work. You’ve pretty much got that covered all by your lonesome, because introverts’ inspiration comes from within. Some careers that are a perfect fit for the introvert are:
- Welder: Welders often work with very little supervision and interruptions, which is a huge draw for many social introverts. To start a career as a welder, look into an apprenticeship, which lasts 3-5 years. You’ll earn as you learn, so that helps to offset some costs that may be associated with the education.
- Plumber: If you’re a social introvert, then plumbing is a great career for you. You have minimal interaction with humans before you’re left alone with your tools of the trade. You can train at a trade school or community college, or you can choose to do an apprenticeship.
- Medical lab technician: Because of your preference for working alone, you’ll thrive as a medical lab technician. You’re still part of a medical team, but you’re very much solo while doing your duties of analyzing bodily fluids such as blood. All you need is an associate degree to qualify for this position.
- Baker: Being a baker is perfect for the introverted foodie. Aside from a few others around you in the kitchen here and there, it's a profession leaving room for a creative mind to cook up some wonderful pastries.
- Video game designer: You will have very little contact with people outside your work team, and many designers choose the freelance route, giving them even more alone time. A bachelor’s degree in animation or a related field may be required from an employer. However, there are many successful video game designers who are self taught — you just may need the right connections.
- Interior designer: Interior designers need to meet with their clients and vendors. Generally, there are also many hours in the week where you can just be alone, focusing on design and your craft. Most interior designers have bachelor’s degrees in interior design.
- Graphic designer: While graphic design is usually a team-oriented job at digital marketing/other agencies, you can also work on your own as a freelancer. Whether freelance, or part of an agency, graphic design lends room to allow your creativity to flourish. Associate and bachelor’s degrees are available for graphic designers.
- Technical writer: If you’re an introvert, you’ll appreciate the fact that much of your work making difficult documents easy to read can be done from home. A bachelor’s degree plus a certain amount of on-the-job training is usually the prerequisite for technical writers. Generally speaking, you’ll need some sort of experience in the field you’re going to be writing about. So, if you’re an IT tech writer, you should have IT background.
- Anthropologist: Restrained introverts, with a heightened sense of observation, find this career field highly satisfying. You’ll need a bachelor’s and master’s degree, which can take over seven years. There is a field study portion of the career, as well.
- Author: Writing is an absolutely perfect career choice for introverts; it’s very much a one-person gig. While you may need the help of other people to move your story forward, or to edit, everything can be done online, so you really don’t have to be around anyone if you don’t have the desire. However, networking may make breaking into the industry easier, so you may want to foster any connections you have.
Or maybe you'd prefer to work from the comfort of your own home? Here's some information on remote careers.
Realistically, being an introvert or extrovert doesn’t have to be a factor when you’re considering which career you choose to pursue, but it is an excellent way to narrow down any possible ideas. Both personality types can be artists or world leaders or entrepreneurs. Your only limit is how high you choose to reach.
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