It used to be difficult to break into a lot of industries without a lot of experience, contacts or a very expensive college degree. The advent of the Internet has changed the way we work and no group has been more impacted by this than introverts.
There’s a misconception that the best jobs for introverts are those that avoid all human contact. I’ve had jobs like shepherd and lighthouse keeper suggested to me in this past on the basis of this! This arises from a fundamental misunderstanding in the rest of society of what an introvert is. An introvert is the master of the mind and the abstract, we are reflective and pensive.
The very jobs that have become more accessible to introverts from the rise of online working are the very ones where they will excel. An introvert will never shine as a salesman, but as a writer or designer, the possibilities are endless. We are moving from business done in person, in which extroverts excelled, to business done online which favours introverts.
The Internet has created a meritocracy in online working, where how good you are at your work is more important than holding a degree. The Internet has made learning and working much more open. Vast amounts of training and information are available free online.
Projects such as MITs OpenCourseWare put massive amounts of degree course material freely available online. From YouTube to StackExchange, there is information on how do just about everything. Open Source software not only makes software free to use, but also free to develop and extend. Huge volunteer communities have built up around free software like LaTeX and Inkscape.
The recent explosion of freelance sites, like Fiverr and Freelancer.com gives introverts the opportunity to work with people all over the world. As we move further towards an information based society, the demand for digital services, particularly from individuals and small businesses will continue to grow.
Not only is it the future, but it is a future that is much more suited to an introverted style of working. Introverts are much more likely to separate work and play. Extroverts see the workplace as just another social outlet.
As society in general moves towards digital services, cloud computing and distributed working teams, aspects of working environments that introverts found difficult are changing for the better. The prime example is communication. Communication has moved from face to face, intensive meetings, which introverts find very draining, to instant messaging and email where communication is stripped back to the essentials, clear and to the point, without any unnecessary interaction. This exactly what introverts love.
Introverts are, by their very nature, creative. As more and more people begin to launch their blogs and small businesses online, the demand for graphic designers has exploded. An eye-catching logo or profile can mean the difference between going viral or getting lost in the masses.
Graphic design is a true meritocracy. No one cares what university you went to, or who you know or what big company you worked for. Your portfolio is all that matters. It really is only focused on the finished product. As a totally digital service, the world is your marketplace. Today you can be working with an Indian blogger and tomorrow you could be designed a logo for a new gym in New York.
There are no barriers to entry, you just need a laptop, some software, like the excellent free Inkscape and your own creative flair. Start designing and building your portfolio. Show people your talent, it’s the only currency that’s recognized in this world.
Introverts are the greatest readers in the world. Reading great authors hones your own language skills. That, together with the natural creativity of introverts, makes for great writers. Writing is an introvert’s dream job, time spent alone reflecting, creating and expressing.
Most of the content we consume online is written, whether it’s your friends Facebook status, your favorite blogger’s new post or an article in the New York Post. There is a huge market out there for appealing, engaging content. You often only get one chance to impress a reader.
Not everyone can craft words into something memorable that grabs your attention. If you can, there is millions of people, companies and communities who will want you to write for them.
Freelance writing is very easy to break into. All you need is a computer, a gift for language and an account on a freelance site like Fiverr.
The other option if you can write is blogging. It’s more than just writing though. You need a niche, a real passion of yours that will show through in your writing. It can be as mainstream or as obscure as you want. The world is a big place and there are thousands of like-minded people out there waiting to discover your blog. The more obscure and smaller your niche is the better, it becomes entirely yours and you bring your own personality to it.
Blogging allows you to express yourself and engage readers in a way that suits introverted personalities. Even engaging in your niches communities is done by reading, commenting and posting. There is no need for constant draining interaction and you get to indulge your passion.
It takes a little study to get going, understanding site design, SEO and affiliate marketing but it’s your love for the subject that will drive the success of a blog.
There are plenty of free blogging platforms, like Tumblr, Blogger etc. If you really want to make a mark in the blogosphere, you need to self host your own WordPress site. However, that’s pretty straightforward. Now, you just need fill your blog with your thoughts, opinions and musings.
What used to be the preserve of merchant banks and hedge funds, trading stocks, futures and currencies has become so accessible that anyone with a laptop can do it from their home. It’s ideal for introverts because of its mix of research skills and hard science.
There are hundreds of different trading and spread betting companies open for business with the smallest of investors. Online day trading isn’t easy, but it’s perfectly suited to an introvert with a flair for maths and computing, and an interest in the markets.
Spending your days working alone, researching, building models and following trends isn’t for everyone, but for a financially minded introvert it is a dream job.
All the major trading providers have demo accounts where you can trade with virtual money to learn before you commit to real world positions.
Have you an insight in how world events and business news affect the market? Do your research and take a position.
Tutoring? That’s like teaching, right? What introvert is going to want to spend their day trapped with other people, trying to explain things to them.
That very misconception is the reason tutoring is a much overlooked job that is ideal for introverts. All introverts will agree that their preferred method of social interaction is one on one and it is much less draining than interacting with large groups.
What differentiates tutoring from teaching is that teachers work with large groups of students, many of whom are unmotivated and don’t want to be there. A tutor, on the other hand, usually works with a student one on one, a student who is sufficiently motivated and interested in a subject that they sought out extra private lessons.
Helping a student learn a subject you’re passionate about is a real joy. You don’t need any special qualifications or experience, just a passion and knowledge of a particular subject. Most tutors’ businesses grow from recommendations and word of mouth. Can you make maths look simple or do you know the trick to learning Spanish vocabulary? Then tutoring could be for you.
There is a massive demand for tutoring and it’s growing each year. As class sizes get bigger, teachers have less time to spend with each student. Qualifications are becoming more and more important in many industries and people are willing to pay very well to pass those exams.
Online Language Tutor
A logical extension of tutoring is online tutoring, and one particular type of online tutoring has become very popular. As the world becomes smaller as we become more connected and with people becoming more mobile than ever before, there has never been more demand for language learning.
You don’t speak a second language? No problem. English is the most in demand language in the world, for business, students and travelers. It is the lingua franca of the modern world. Every major city in the world has signs in the local language and English for a reason. Everywhere you travel, you will find someone who speaks English.
The hardest part of learning any language is learning to have a spoken conversation and English is no exception. It can only be developed by hours of practice, preferably with a native speaker. There are literally millions of people who will pay you to practice their English.
Sites like italki.com put you in contact with those who need your help. All you need is Skype and patience, a trait found in abundance in introverts.
If you do speak a second language, you’re in an even better position to take advantage of the huge number of people who need to be bilingual for work or travel.
Social Media Manager
As people become brands, how they are represented on social media becomes vital to their public image. With such a variety of platforms and thousands of followers, comments and messages to manage, many people are turning to social media managers to run their accounts.
We still haven’t seen a degree in social media and for good reason. It’s an intuitive, rapidly changing area. What was popular today won’t be tomorrow and new apps appear every day. While a necessarily social job, it is the new kind of social that introverts excel in.
A social media manager isn’t simply reactive either, it’s not just a case of replying, liking and commenting. A great social media manager reflects on wider social landscape and identifies potential opportunities to raise their clients profile. It requires research and a feel for how events play out on social media. What goes viral, what catches people’s attention?
Spending time with animals can be incredibly relaxing and working with them is even more so. Introverts are naturally attracted to working with animals. The simple, rewarding relationships with animals are exactly the kind of thing introverts revel in.
As people leave it later and later to start a family, pets are becoming surrogate children, getting the kind of love and attention usually reserved for offspring. We all know a dog with an Instagram account. At the same time people’s lives are becoming busier, longer commutes and working hours mean they need someone to care for their pets when they can’t.
There has been a surge in demand for day care for pets, as well as walking and exercising services. Do you love animals and have time and/or space? This kind of work can start as simple as walking dogs each day, all the way up to taking care of animals during the day.
The business world has changed dramatically in the last few years; it’s now an introvert’s world. The ability to work from anywhere in the world, the breaking down of barriers to most careers, free and open source software have all combined to create an environment that allows introverts to capitalize on their strengths. The world is now at an introvert’s fingertips. Their only question is not will I make it, but what will I make it in?