Home How to Find Your Life Calling: Professions for Introverts and Extroverts.

How to Find Your Life Calling: Professions for Introverts and Extroverts.

by Matt Pappas

To get started, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. An introvert is somebody who recharges by being alone. They can easily get drained by being in large groups. They often prefer in-depth conversations with one person over several superficial ones with groups. Extroverts, in the meantime, actually recharge by being around people. They will get tired and listless if they spend too much time alone. They also prefer being in a group conversation and lots of small talks. What the terms do not mean is shy and gregarious. You can have gregarious introverts and shy extroverts.

Another big point is that it’s not two polar positions and you’re either one or the other. You can also be what is called an ‘ambivert’. They’re somewhere close to the middle. What that means is that you can exhibit traits from one camp or the other.

If you’re not sure what camp you belong to, then there is a test to do. Here is a good one from psychology today.

Public service is better for extroverts

Things like the police or fire service are generally better for extroverts, as these are team-based activities. Of course, there are a lot of other careers where teamwork is very important. You could choose for anything from ambulance work or security.

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Similarly, activities where you have to dive right in – like emergency rooms – will do well for the extroverted individual. And that makes sense. After all, the extrovert needs more arousal than the introvert (we’re not talking about sexual arousal but mental arousal, here). So, if there is a lot going on then extroverts will prosper.

Then there are options where you have a lot of interactions with individuals, such as physical therapists, caregiver or masseuse. There is also some kinds of law, of course. Though you probably don’t want to be the one who has to do the research.  Another great choice is a teacher, professor or tutor.

Freelancing is better for introverts

Freelancing is a career where you really want to be good at spending time alone as it can get lonely. For that reason, it’s very good indeed for the introvert. Of course, there are different kinds of freelancers. Some types o

f careers will require a lot of back-and-forth with clients, others less so.

If you’re looking to not have to engage too much with clients, then look for project-based freelance jobs. For example, you can consider graphic design or writer. This is also because introverts are very good at working long-ter


m on projects on their own. They shine when they get to create something meaningful.

Jobs where it might be a little harder as an introvert are jobs like a virtual assistant or team-based projects, where you have to work more closely with other individuals or a team.

Social careers are for extroverts

Another route that you certainly choose as an extroverted person is a social one. For example, you can look into something like something in food and beverage or event management. Even working in the kitchen can be quite e

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xtroverted as you have to work together with big teams in bigger restaurants.

Of course, you don’t have to work in restaurant, cafes or bars. There are plenty of other careers where you’ll need to be social. For example, tour guides need a big social aspect, as well as people that offer information – like in malls or museums.

Introverts do well in research

As introverts are very good at focusing on long times on tasks that require concentration, they’re naturally going to do well in research environments. Of course, there are different kinds of research and different aspects of the research, so here too you’ll need to choose carefully.

A good place to start looking is at universities. There is generally a lot of research going on in these places and though obviously professors also need to teach, there are plenty of jobs where you can still do the research without having that title. For example, you can help do literature reviews, help with statistics or do many other projects that are a part of that landscape.

Even if you don’t work directly for the professors, there are still plenty of jobs, anywhere from the IT sector to something like ultius review.

Of course, universities are far from the only place where research gets done. If you have the right degrees you can also consider getting a position in many companies. There the research will be more directed and you’ll have less trouble complaining about how what you’re asking them to do is so unfair.

Last words

Do what you find interesting. Just because you’re extroverted or introverted does not mean that you definitely can’t do the kind of job that belongs in the other camp. There are plenty of extroverted researchers and introverted bartenders. The reason that’s the case is that you can’t just divide us along one dimension as many people try to do when they talk about introversion or extroversion. The introversion-extroversion dimension is in fact only one of the big five (along with open-mindedness, neuroticism, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

So though you can use this kind of advice, don’t let it decide your life. Give whatever you’re interested in a try and only give up on it when you’ve decided for yourself that it really isn’t for you.


The preceding information was shared, was written as a guest blog piece by Nelma Lumme.