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Introverts, if we put our minds to it, we can do everything extroverts can.
But the truth is:
Maybe we shouldn’t…
See, forcing yourself to be more outgoing, ignoring your need for alone time, and “faking it until you make it” will ultimately just leave you drained and unhappy.
Because you’re trying to work against, not with, your introversion. In essence, you’re swimming upstream against a mightily strong current.
Certain jobs just simply don’t suit introverts at all. So if you’re currently in these careers or just entering them, beware that they can negatively impact your mental health and wellbeing.
So what are the worst jobs for introverts that you should stay away from?
Be forewarned! Here are 19 of the worst careers for introverts that’ll leave you mentally, emotionally, and/or physically exhausted by the end of the day.
Related Read: 7 Ways Your Job is Draining You (and How to Fix It)
19 Worst Careers for Introverts
Sales representatives are responsible for developing and maintaining strong relationships with customers as part of a B2C, or business-to-consumer role, or business clients (B2B, or business-to-business).
As you can imagine, developing these key relationships requires many in-person meetings, strong verbal communication skills, and a friendly and outgoing personality. Introverts might be friendly, but we aren’t the most outgoing type! And giving presentations and sales pitches? No thanks!
Also, a salesperson must meet weekly, monthly, or quarterly sales targets, making this a competitive and high-pressure work environment. This isn’t suitable to introverts, who prefer a more collaborative and slow-paced setting.
Overall, because sales reps rely heavily on verbal communication and interpersonal skills, this one’s a pass for introverts!
2. Marketing Coordinator
Marketing coordinators have to regularly communicate with a variety of stakeholders, including the marketing management team, employees, clients, and suppliers. That’s a lot of conversing with people!
This role, as well as many others in marketing, require you to attend a lot of meetings, give presentations, and work on a large team to coordinate and develop marketing campaigns. So not a lot of independent, quiet work alone, that’s for sure!
While introverts’ creativity can definitely be an asset to any marketing team, the many other aspects of this job, and others in the marketing department, don’t provide a very introvert-friendly list of job duties.
Therefore, a career as a marketing coordinator might be creatively fulfilling, but it’s sure to leave you burned-out by the end of the day.
Related Read: How to Make Money Advertising for Companies Online
3. Healthcare Worker
While introverts who are also empaths can make excellent healthcare workers, feeling other people’s pain as they’re going through potentially life-altering health issues can be extremely draining both physically and (more importantly) emotionally.
Healthcare workers should have strong interpersonal skills since they’re responsible for assisting patients and ensuring their needs are addressed. And oftentimes, healthcare workers must work in a busy environment and juggle the needs of multiple people at one time. For introverts, all of these simultaneous interactions can be quite tiring.
As well, healthcare workers must liaise with not only patients, but other nurses, doctors, and medical specialists to ensure proper patient care.
So while introverts looking for meaningful careers might find healthcare work appealing, working in hospitals and doctor’s offices presents a challenge when it comes to the work environment.
4. Flight Attendant
Getting paid to travel sounds like the dream, right? Well, not so fast…
A career as a flight attendant is almost entirely a customer-facing role. You’re expected to give safety demonstrations to entire planes of people, assist passengers whenever and with whatever they need, and at times even exercise some conflict-resolution skills to keep the plane at peace.
So basically: a lot of dealing with people!
And perhaps the worst part about this job for introverts, is that you need to always have a smile on your face. You are, after all, the face of a major airline corporation, so your job is essentially to people-please, or at least that’s what’s expected of you. You must provide the best flight experience, even if that means hiding your true feelings about the man in seat A14 who keeps pestering you.
And don’t forget: you don’t have that quiet workspace. In fact, you don’t even really have a workspace. Eek!
Related Read: 17 Perfect Jobs for Introverts That Won’t Drain You
If I had to choose the ultimate, number 1 worst job for introverts it’d probably be this one.
I mean, have you every seen the opening of the stock market?
If not, then let me put it this way: it’s an introvert’s worst nightmare. A massive crowd of people, stockbrokers running around like mad, a giant bell ringing, and thousands of screens flashing information at you. Aaah!
Okay, maybe it’s worse in my head than in real life…
But there’s no denying that a stockbroker works in a high-pressure work environment that introverts would absolutely dread. After all, stockbrokers are responsible for ensuring their clients’ money doesn’t disappear overnight, literally!
There’s a lot of human interaction required for this career, since you need to pitch new clients, maintain strong relationships with existing ones, and liaise with colleagues and executives in your firm.
So while I love watching a bullish stock market run in my investment portfolio, no thank you to this job! A bit too frenetic and way too much pressure for us quiet ones.
6. Real Estate Agent
A day-long binge of Selling Sunset on Netflix? I’m in.
But don’t you dare ask me to run an open house!
Real estate agent is one of the worst jobs for introverts because of how much small talk and sales pitches you have to do. Every time you meet potential clients, you better be a great socializer to land them. And even if the house is falling apart, you have to turn on the sales-y speak and turn on the charm to sell it. Ugh!
And another part of this career is being an intermediary between buyers and sellers. You’ll have to negotiate some tough deals, while simultaneously ensuring you’re not angering anyone enough to lose their business forever.
Overall, being a real estate agent involves too much selling and interacting with others for us introverts.
7. Event Planner
Ever met an introvert who loves huge parties and get-togethers with hundreds of people they don’t know?
Yeah, me neither!
As an event planner, you’re in charge of getting these big conventions, trade shows, and corporate events off the ground. And that’s not easy!
Event planners have to establish and manage vendor and client relationships and negotiate contracts. This requires excellent verbal skills and networking abilities, two things introverts aren’t too great at.
Not to mention on the day of the event, event planners are typically expected to direct a large team during set-up and also welcome people once the event begins.
So introverts, seeing as large social gatherings have us running for the hills, I wouldn’t suggest being in charge of planning them!
8. Receptionist / Secretary
Imagine your desk were placed so that anyone could walk up to you at any time and interrupt whatever it is you’re doing… Yeah, not really conducive introverts’ love of long periods of concentration.
A career as a receptionist, be it at a hotel or business, or a secretary is a bad choice for introverts for many different reasons. Not only is it very much a client/customer facing role, there’s also a lot of phone calls, emails, in-person questions, and complaints you have to address.
As well, receptionists and secretaries often have to multi-task and manage multiple duties as one time. Not exactly the slow-paced, low-pressure workplace where introverts thrive.
9. Public Relations
Hah. Sorry, but introverts doing public relations?
Umm, maybe not the best fit.
Public relations jobs are one of the worst for introverts because they require so much socialization and involve primarily forward-facing duties. You have to do press releases, presentations, public statements and pitches. Way too much public speaking for us!
As you probably know, public relations careers also demand a lot of networking with other professionals at media events and conventions, which those environments alone present introverts with many challenges not to mention having to talk to strangers.
Public relations is best left to the extroverts, I’d say. They can be the outgoing, life of the party, and we’ll just relax somewhere on our own, thank you.
As a mediator, you’re sandwiched between two parties or individuals who can’t agree and are currently in court or wanting to take it to court, so they can battle it out.
Mediators’ primary responsibilities are to resolve conflict outside the courts, if possible, and get both parties to work together. This requires not only conflict resolution skills, but also good interpersonal skills for all of these negotiations and meetings required. You have to walk a tight rope, essentially, and that brings with it a lot of pressure.
The job is bad for introverts because it relies solely on your ability to negotiate and navigate tough social situations. This can cause burnout for introverts who naturally seek a more calm, independent work environment. So I’d give this one a pass!
11. Human Resources Jobs
Why are human resources jobs some of the worst for introverts?
Well for one, they have “human” in the name!
All jokes aside though, human resources departments have a lot of responsibility when it comes to keeping employees (and management!) happy. They’re in charge of hiring, onboarding, organizing events, planning and delivering training activities, and not to mention settling employee disputes. Whew! That’s a lot of human interaction.
To be a great HR employee, you ultimately need to have a love of people and the ability to build strong relationships with employees…lots of them. After all, you’re their go-to person for any queries or issues they have, be it with the company or colleague.
HR departments are incredibly vital to businesses and staff, and with this importance comes a demanding job with a large workload and the need to multitask effectively.
The majority of us have worked retail at least once in our lives. After all, retail jobs account for 6.3% of the total US work force.
Retail jobs are also advantageous because of the many career advancement opportunities and the ability to climb the corporate ladder. You can start as a cashier, move to cashier management, then store management and beyond!
But what makes retail jobs bad for introverts is that they require you to interact with customers all day. This is made worse by the fact that almost all retail spaces are open floor plans, so there’s nowhere to hide and no quiet space to work.
Also, depending on the retail store you work at, it can be a quite busy and crowded space. I know the store I worked at was!
So with all the customer interactions, issues, and sheer volume of people you’re around all day, I’d say stay away from busy retail work if you can. Or, stick to jobs at stores that are a bit quieter, calmer, and slower-paced for sure!
13. Customer Service Representative
Customer service representatives are constantly talking to customers and clients via phone, email, or chat. This is, after all, their main job duty!
As a customer service agent, you’re there to promote products/services, answer questions, and resolve customer complaints all day long. So yes, you get the private desk, but you’re still always around people, just digitally.
While online customer service chats might not drain introverts as much as phone calls, this job still involves way too many conversations for our liking. Customer service work necessitates good verbal communication and interpersonal skills, otherwise you’ll receive some pretty poor ratings!
I don’t know about you, but going to the salon is one of my least favorite things to do.
Think about it:
It’s guaranteed, 1 hour or more, small talk. Unless your friend or family member’s cutting and dyeing your hair, then you’re forced to sit there and come up with things to talk about. Ugh.
All that small talk, in my opinion, makes hairdressing one of the worst jobs for introverts. It’s all about keeping clients happy, asking them surface-level questions about themselves, and standing all day in a wide open space surrounded by more small talk.
So unless you’re helping close friends and family members with their cuts, I’d say stay away. You’ll be longing for more meaningful conversations on the daily.
15. Restaurant Server
Ever seen a waiter running around a restaurant like mad on a Saturday night? Yup, me too.
Restaurants can be crazy busy, frenetic work environments. Often servers are juggling multiple tables, answering questions, acting as mediators between the customers and the kitchen, and given very little thanks for all of it!
Working as a waiter or waitress is a bad career option for introverts because of all this surrounding chaos. And in the midst of it all, you’re expected to smile, be cheery, people-please, otherwise: no tip!
Put that serving tray aside, because this job just isn’t made for people who need to work alone. Not only will your feet kill you by the end of the day, your brain will be exhausted to boot!
Well if being a server at a restaurant isn’t a great idea for introverts, then bartending certainly isn’t either.
Again, it’s almost exclusively a customer-facing role in a chaotic space, to say the least. You’ve got a crowd of people you don’t know, drinking alcohol, and partying like they’re in high school. Ya know, like all those high-school parties you hated or entirely avoided…
I’d definitely say that, unless you’re bartending at a fancier restaurant that allows you some quiet time, don’t take a job as a bartender, introverts. You might enjoy those quiet one-one-one moments with the occasional customer, but the weekend shifts will put you through the ringer.
17. Public Speaker
Just reading the name of this one probably fills you with dread.
I don’t know about you, but I’m flashing back to school presentations and that feeling of being so red in the face that I thought my cheeks were on fire. I might’ve absolutely rocked those posters, but something had to make up for the presentation grade!
Public speaking, whether it’s because you’re a life coach, guru, or motivational speaker, is definitely not a career suited to introverts. Presenting to crowds all day, conversing with endless amounts of strangers, isn’t exactly a walk in the park for us.
Although introverts can dial up their extroversion a bit and seriously rock the occasional public speaking gig, doing this job full-time is bound to leave you drained and miserable.
Teaching is near and dear to my heart. I taught for over 6 years and loved so much about this profession, especially getting to know my middle school students and recommending books for them to read.
But unfortunately, connecting with students is just a small speck on a huge list of job responsibilities a teacher has. There’s endless professional development trainings to attend, school meetings, supervising lunch and recess, public speaking, and collaborating with colleagues to plan instruction. It’s all of these responsibilities outside of the classroom that end up consuming the majority of your day and causing burnout for introverted teachers.
So while I do think that introverts can make great teachers, build strong rapport with their students, and help introverted students immensely in the classroom, teaching also requires far too much verbal communication and socializing. If you can get past those aspects, then teaching is an incredibly meaningful job that introverts can excel at.
19. Police Officer
A police officer is a very public-facing role and as such, requires you to constantly interact with other people.
Officers must patrol, help citizens when and where needed, and also employ conflict-resolution strategies to defuse situations. This obviously involves strong verbal skills as well as negotiation tactics, two things introverts aren’t always great with.
Police officers are also requested to be involved in public events and community gatherings that might include public speaking. As well, being a team-player and constantly collaborating with other officers and members of the police department is a must.
Overall, introverts won’t get the quiet, alone time that we require in this profession. We’d definitely need to work in a more administrative role in the department, rather than in the field, or else we’d collapse by the end of our shift.
Our job, and the career path we’ve chosen, is something we dedicate a significant amount of our time to.
But ask yourself:
Are you working to live, or living to work?
If you’re energy is depleted at the end of every day, then you’re living to work because there’s nothing left of you for your partner, friends, or family. Every single day you’re giving all of your energy to your work and not your life.
Steering clear of jobs that don’t suit your introversion is crucial to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
So don’t try to change your introversion, embrace it. You can find ways to make money where you’re working to live once again.