Best Careers for Introverts, HSPs, and Other Sensitive Souls

Sensitive souls (including introverts, highly sensitive persons [HSPs], and people with big hearts) need to be careful about our work environments and career paths. As a highly sensitive introvert who got so drained by many jobs I tried, I learned the hard way.

We can really thrive and excel in the right environment, and we can wilt easily in the wrong environment.

If you have a yuck feeling about work, I bet it is because the work itself or the work culture are a bad match for you.

You have so much to offer. Yes, YOU. The world needs your gifts. I mean it. You can find a better fit. Not overnight, but a better way is possible.

There are low stress jobs for introverts, HSPs, and other sensitive souls.

No, there are no perfect stress-free professions. But lower stress is definitely a worthy goal. Yes! Stress is a natural part of life and we can be even more vulnerable to it as sensitive souls. We can do self-care, but that’s not enough if the situation continues to be draining.

So often people simply put up with far too much of a stressful situation, thinking we are the problem. Let’s rethink this.

My experience:

I’m a highly sensitive introvert with a big heart. (If you’re a Myers-Briggs Type fan, I’m an INFP which explains a whole range of sensitivity.)

I’ve tried all kinds of work environments from classrooms to cubicles, and many kinds of careers, and there were many rough patches in my work life. Now I have landed happily with being a self-employed career/ business coach.

In those various work experiences, sometimes I felt alive and energized and sometimes completely drained and MISERABLE. Oh I can feel the bad memories in my body as I write this. I want to reach out to you if you’re feeling that misery and beg you to believe it can be different.

Now I get what works:

I’ve studied what factors work for me and what works for others with a similar temperament.  Now I can fairly easily tell you what is important for us in choosing our work environments and career paths. Work can feel great, really! I’ll explain what you need to know.

[image - wondering where to go]

What Works for Us and What Doesn’t

Of course everyone is unique in their talents, so this list of factors below is not the whole list you’ll need to find the right fit for you, but it is a good starting place as you create your own work wish list. And yes I will give some career ideas below that.

As you read these workplace qualities, they might seem obvious to you, but you have likely not let yourself want these things.

Please let yourself want what you want, and to name it, in writing out your own work wish list. Dismiss whatever doesn’t feel true for you. (Writing down what you do want is super helpful for calming the mind and manifesting amazing things.)

Work Environments Where Sensitive Souls Can Thrive:

  1. Freedom to organize our own time.
  2. Time to work alone.
  3. Allows us to think deeply or explore options deeply.
  4. Systems are clear and logical.
  5. Teams with a culture of kindness and respect.
  6. Work in which our sensitivity to others’ needs is valued.
  7. Work that calls on our best talents so we can feel energized in our work.
  8. Work that aligns with our values.
  9. A culture in which authenticity is valued.
  10. Where we can prioritize quality of life over other measures of success.
  11. Where there is enough quiet to think.
  12. Access to nature or views of outdoors.
  13. Honoring of nature or animals. (We tend to be big fans of nature.)

Elements That Will Drain Our Energy/ What to AVOID:

  1. Loud and highly stimulating environments, like most cubicle arrangements.
  2. Non-stop people time.
  3. Where our time is strictly managed.
  4. Work that is not aligned with our values.
  5. Lots of meetings that are not organized well.
  6. Competitive, cut-throat, unkind work cultures.
  7. Poor organization and illogical systems.
  8. A culture in which inauthenticity reigns.
  9. Gossipy and judgmental team cultures.
  10. Intense emotions are flying around, such as frequently angry customers or bosses.
  11. Salesy energy.
  12. Lack of any connection to nature, such as a windowless work area.
  13. Insensitivity to the earth or animals.

Is Self-employment a Fit for Us?

As you can see from the above list, being in control of our own work environment and decisions is looking quite good for us. Which makes you wonder about self-employment, as it did for me.

But is self-employment a fit for you in other ways? Some answers and ideas are here:
Self-employment Ideas for Introverts

Career Ideas for Introverts and Other Sensitive Souls

It’s so much about the work environment and team culture plus what makes your heart sing, so it’s really unique to each person, and thus tough to list all the possibilities.

Nevertheless, I’ll give you some pathway ideas to play with and see how your heart responds. I’ve chosen ideas that make good use of your natural talents of tuning in deeply.

Here are some popular professions for introverts and other sensitive souls, assuming the environment and cause is a fit too. These ideas are all real possibilities in the real world market:

  1. Health care professional (occupational therapy, massage therapy, midwife, lab technician, acupuncturist, alternative healer)
  2. Human services professionals/counselors focused mostly on one-on-one interactions
  3. Psychological sciences researcher/educator (psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics)
  4. Project coordinator/ project manager
  5. Leadership roles where authenticity, caring, and depth are valued
  6. Designers and illustrators (graphic design, illustration, web design, landscape design)
  7. Videography or photography
  8. User experience (UX) design/ customer experience research
  9. Anything involving a lot of research or writing, such as grant writing or résumé writing.
  10. Nature-oriented work (ranger, guide, landscaping)
  11. Training people about something you care about.
  12. Accounting/bookkeeping
  13. Veterinarian and other animal care
  14. Copywriting/ online content creator (for topics you care about)
  15. STEM professions (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
  16. Librarian
  17. Executive coach/ leadership coach
  18. Campaign strategist for social justice or climate causes
  19. Social media/online content manager
  20. Database administrator
  21. Cyber security analyst
  22. Yoga teacher
  23. Spiritual counselor, spiritual teacher, or minister
  24. Behind-the-scenes no-nonsense get-it-done person at a great organization (Not a real title but it might get you thinking of good ideas. Sometimes it’s best to start with the cause or organization you care about and then see what sounds good to you among their staff positions.)

How to Choose Your Best Career Path

Now you have a few ideas that intrigue you perhaps, and a bit of a sense of what might fit. But how do you choose?

If you want to know what will fit for you personally, and we’re all unique, there are ways to uncover your best path. I found that knowing more about my values, my strengths, and all the parts of my personality were critical to putting the whole puzzle together.

Once you have the puzzle pieces on the table, you can start to see how it can come into focus all together. If you never let yourself see the puzzle pieces, that’s part of why you can’t see the picture come together.

I discovered that figuring out those pieces is not easy to do by yourself, so you’ll end up thinking it can’t be done. With a little outside help, and some simple steps to walk through together, the picture can come into focus. What a relief.

Taking the time to look closely before choosing is an investment that saves you so much heartache and expense down the wrong road.

To choose well, you could get support from a career coach (for far less than the cost of getting the wrong training for the wrong direction).

There’s also a way to walk through the career clarity steps in a course.

I’ve created an online course to help walk you through the steps:
Check out my course, “Simple Steps to Uncover the Best Use of You Now”.

Learn more here >

Don’t Dismiss Your “Crazy” Ideas Too Quickly

Maybe you think you don’t have good ideas because you think your secret dreams are too unrealistic. It might be more possible than you think.

I’m not about following any wild idea without exploration first. I’m both optimistic and practical.

There are ways to explore ideas before investing down a path. I explain the exploration method in my course. More >

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6 thoughts on “Best Careers for Introverts, HSPs, and Other Sensitive Souls

  1. Pingback: Introversion: 9 Facts to Dispel Common Myths | Val NelsonVal Nelson

  2. Pingback: Career Ideas for Introverts and HSPs – The 2020 Update for Meaningful and Viable Work | Val Nelson

  3. Pingback: HSPに向いている仕事探しに失敗しないための10のポイント ⋆ HSP診断 | 繊細で生きづらい、

  4. Pingback: Self-employment Ideas for Introverts | Val Nelson

  5. I want to start workind. As an sensitive person i don’t like selling, call targets any pressure or data Job. Can you please show me the way to go

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