I spent a large portion of my career in management. That involved overseeing a team of associates who reported to me, a range of clients I had to keep happy and reporting to upper management who counted on me to keep things running smoothly. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Towards the end, it was mostly the worst of times.
Leaving my management career was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I didn’t fully realize how much I dislike working with other people until after I stopped being a manager. That’s not to say I don’t like people at all. I like plenty of people, especially you guys. But when it comes to work, I really don’t like the responsibility of managing others, having to rely on people to do my job or having to make phone calls and sit in on meetings with people.
Hands down I’m an introvert so I’m very comfortable working alone and not having to constantly communicate with other people. I’d be miserable in any type of sales role, customer service position or public speaking profession. You might feel the exact same way.
Best jobs for introverts and people who don’t like people
Are you an introvert who gains energy and enjoys the peace and quite of alone time? People are great but they can also be really stressful and frustrating to work with. I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of tough days that spiraled out of control because of the interactions you had with other people. I certainly have! Here are some suggestions on the best jobs for introverts and people who prefer to work alone.
Mathematician / actuary. Some people have a natural gift with numbers. I’m not one of them; I’d be lost without a calculator. For those who love working with numbers, equations and solving problems with math, a career as a mathematician or actuary can be quite rewarding and also involve a lot of quiet time alone. Salaries can be quite good averaging around $112,000-$150,000.
Economist. Although I had no desire to become an economist, I took econ classes in high school and college because so much of our lives revolves around economics. Since a good amount of an economist’s job revolves around research, analysis and preparing reports, it can be another optimal lucrative career choice for introverts. Salaries commonly range between $100,000-$150,000.
Mobile app developer. Tech talent is in high demand and will likely only continue to rise. If you have the talent to code and build apps, you might be able to make a career for yourself working as a mobile app developer. A lot of the work can be done alone, especially if you have the skills to start your own independent business. Salaries usually range between $72,000-$110,000.
Data analyst. Like spreadsheets? Data analysts often spend a lot of their time analyzing numbers and facts in various spreadsheets and reports. The type of data can include anything from market research, sales figures, inventory stats, transportation costs and logistics. If you like translating data into plain English to help companies make better decisions, this could be a fulfilling career path for you. Salaries generally range from around $70,000-$115,000.
Professional blogger / freelance writer. Writing requires a lot of concentration and quiet time. I do my best writing when I’m alone without anyone around me coming and going. I love it! It also takes a lot of self-motivation, creativity and focus. If you enjoy sitting in front of a computer alone for hours at a time and pouring your inner voice into written words, you might enjoy a career as a writer. Salaries range greatly depending on niche, audience, talent and networking skills. Typical bloggers and freelance writers make somewhere between $20,000-$80,000. Those who are well established and in high demand, however, can make solid six-figure salaries.
Geological sample test technician. Science fans who want to work outdoors and get their hands dirty testing and analyzing soil, minerals and oil have plenty of alone time at work. Salaries are significantly higher in the private sector and usually range between $50,000-$80,000.
Craft / fine artist. Do you dream of having your own etsy shop or being a regular vendor at local craft fairs? Knitting hats, making jewelry and painting portraits may not be a lucrative career path due to the talent required and its competitive nature, but it is a great route for those who like to work alone. Salary ranges also vary widely, but generally run around $30,000-$50,000
Jewelry repair technician. If you like detailed work that you can do with your hands, repairing watches, rings and other jewelry is a specialized trade that has plenty of quiet time. It’s certainly not a job you can learn how to do overnight, but if you can develop the necessary skills, there’s a lot of satisfaction in store for every piece you can fix. Salaries generally range from $40,000-$60,000.
Foundry worker. First of all, what the heck is a foundry? A foundry is a workshop or factory for casting metal. Jobs can include making various cores or molds that are used in the production of metal casting. Wearing protective gear is part of the norm since Molten or liquid metal are poured into molds to make various complex metal parts. This isn’t a job most people would get excited about, but it’s certainly out of the box. Salaries typically range between $30,000-$40,000.
Fruit picker / farmworker / greenhouse worker. Okay, working on a farm or in a greenhouse probably isn’t at the top of many people’s dream jobs. But if you like plants and the outdoors there’s a lot of peaceful solitude in crop picking and working with plants. I’d consider working part-time in a greenhouse if I wanted a major change of pace because I love plants. And if I were to work on a farm I think I’d choose to pick grapes in Napa Valley, CA because it’s gorgeous up there yet it’s not too isolated. Wages are on the low end ranging from $15,000-$35,000.
Lots of jobs involve working alone
As you can see there’s a huge variety of jobs that are great for introverts and people who don’t like people. None of us could be in business without other people of course, so there’s always going to be some element of integration and communication involved in whatever you do for work. But if you dislike your job and a lot of your unhappiness is due to working with other people, it could be time for you to find a new role with more independence, autonomy, self-reliance and plenty of quiet time to focus.
Break free! If you’re burnt out of your day job, believe that you have options and can turn your career around for the better. I didn’t believe I could escape the grind for the longest time, but fortunately I wised up before stress destroyed my life. I never would have thought I could negotiate a severance package and get paid to leave a job I grew to hate, but I did! Learn how you too could get paid to leave your job like I did and open your eyes to new opportunities.