5 Worst Jobs For Introverts

by Nov 1, 2020Introvert Jobs

Introverts have some amazing natural gifts, don’t get me wrong. But there are just a lot of jobs that could be considered as the worst jobs for introverts. As we thrive in solitude, in this day and age any job outside of our house is a questionable one at best.

I’m a firm believer in tackling our weaknesses to foster character growth. Venturing outside our comfort zones is essential if we want a truly enriched life.

So by all means face those fears! However, our careers are often equated with our morals and ideals. Something a lot of us introverts don’t take lightly. The work we do takes up most of our best waking hours during the week.

That means it is absolutely important how we spend all that precious time, as it could make the difference between prosperity or despair. Let’s take a look at the 5 worst jobs for introverts.

1. Call Center Agent

Introverted personalities aren’t fond of talking on the phone. We don’t even call up friends that easily. Now could you imagine as an introvert calling up complete strangers for a living?!

Call Center Agents are on the phone all day long trying to reach people they can persuade into buying some obsolete junk or signing up for some kind of scam program. They are notorious for these shady practices.

Calling Up Strangers

Consequently, nobody on this planet is waiting for their call. Now picture yourself needing to call up all these random telephone numbers from people all over the country back to back, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Each time someone picks up the phone (if they do pick up for once) you have to start to introduce yourself with this exaggerated enthusiastic voice. If the other person didn’t hang up the phone already after hearing that classic fake call center voice, you now have to engage in enforced small talk by invading someone else’s space (two introvert’s pet peeves).

If that wasn’t enough, due to your sensitivity, the cranky tone of voice with which the other picked up the phone made you anticipate nothing but a bad ending of the whole conversation in those first 1.2 seconds.

You now catch yourself engaging in artificial small talk, looking for an opening to “smoothly” transition to the trash you are trying to sell (which you also think is trash). Expecting the imminent failure while super self consciously observing the whole disaster as it unfolds before your introvert’s bird’s eye view.

Man screaming at phone horn

Photo by Icons8team on Unsplash

An Introvert’s Nightmare

Your voice is getting shaky, because every cell in your body detests what you’ve become. You’re sweating now as the other hangs up in anger after catching up to your disingenuous motives. The long awaited and inevitable ending of that phone call which only lasted 12.8 seconds.

Long awaited? Yes, because those dreadful seconds felt like an hour to you. Your introverted mind tries to take a break to process that stress, but you can’t because the manager’s contemptuous gaze is burning the hairs in the back of your neck.

As you stare at the computer screen, the countdown says you now have only 20 seconds left to wrap up registering this call in the system before the next one is forced upon you by the ever dialling computer. Then you realise it was only your first call of the day.

Only 7 hours and 59 minutes of utter torture left. An existential crisis ensues.. (also one of the INFJ jobs to avoid).

2. Sales Person

If selling on the phone isn’t horrible enough, try doing that in person. Another one of the worst jobs for introverts is working as a Sales Person.

Space Invaders

It is just utter blasphemy for a lot of us introverts to be bothering other people and having the hidden agenda of getting something from them. Perhaps, we feel this strongly, because we hate it when someone tries this with us. You know far too well, right? Do you see it?

Walking down a busy street in the city’s center because you need to run an errand (and getting the hell out of there asap) and here comes someone walking straight towards you blocking off your path. Excuse me! Great weather isn’t it? How is everything? Can I ask you something? Do you read the.. {insert lame sales pitch right here..}

Woman showing a fake smile

Photo by Sidney Sims on Unsplash

Blatantly Inauthentic

Now imagine you need to approach complete strangers all day every day in this manner. But wait.. There’s more.. On top of that you have the burden of a sales target you must achieve each day or else you might get fired.

So you better get to doing what we find uncomfortable: approaching those random strangers. What makes this cold approach suck-up sales strategy and demeanour so awkward to us introverts is that it is so obviously inauthentic.

As a lot of introverts are more sensitive to other peoples’ energy and emotions, it is hard to understand that those sales people don’t think we can see right through them. So much so that it is insulting to us, because now we ponder on whether they really don’t have a clue about how obvious this is or that they are mocking us.

And again there’s the small talk.. So think again before you sell yourself on the idea of taking on a job as a Sales Person while being introverted. Or perhaps not.. We are so bad at selling that we even couldn’t sell that idea to ourselves.

3. Manager

Most introverts value autonomy and working independently. This means you aren’t tied up in interactions with colleagues more than is necessary. As a manager of a team however, your work is 90% exactly that: human interactions.

Divided Attention

Now, this is not to say that introverts don’t like interaction with others. We actually do, but the quality of the interaction we prefer is often different. We enjoy a great in depth talk about a complex or abstract subject matter in a one on one setting for instance.

More frequent and superficial communication possibly in groups is often annoying, taxing or uninteresting to us. For an example think about the countless of meetings at work that actually lead to nowhere. As a manager you are in and out of meetings a lot of the time.

You’ll need to manage your team and monitor its productivity. As such it requires a lot of attention that needs to be divided among every team member, the company/department goals and also the higher ups within the company who are constantly redirecting the course your team needs to take.

As introverts we prefer to tend to one or two gardens tops, but as a manager you tend to many many more while being in the center of it all, carrying the responsibility.

Stressed woman biting pencil

Photo by Jeshoots Com on Unsplash

Monitoring Team Members

Managers risk to be head of the team, but not of it. Individual members of your team, might perceive you as the one who is checking on them.

Even if they do like you as a person, they might consciously or subconsciously distance themselves from you to not get in “trouble” so to speak. Yet, you don’t belong to the higher ups you report to either.

Directness and assertiveness are needed to properly function within this role as well and unfortunately these aren’t among introverts’ natural strengths.

You’ll be doing a lot of job interviews, asking direct questions about someone’s abilities, critically evaluating the candidates and hiring/rejecting them accordingly. When things go wrong in your team, you’ll need to think of solutions to the problems quickly.

You’ll need to keep everyone happy, but also make unpopular firm resolute decisions when the situation demands it. Managers also need to resolve interpersonal conflicts between team members and in the worst cases fire people.

All these different layers, social ties and responsibilities can obviously be very stressful to us introverts. In addition, introverts are possibly resistant to being a manager for another reason. That is that we deep down value autonomy and independence so much that we truly believe no-one should be dictating about what we should be doing. At least to a certain extent.

It is only natural that we feel icky and awkward when we must tell others what to do and how they should be doing it. We can quickly feel the same way when being managed at work. Our being seems to reject this management premise by default. Especially if you’re an INFP or INFJ. Definitely, one of the worst jobs for introverts in most cases.

4. Personal Assistant

Now this job has a lot of similarities with the role of manager, but the biggest difference is the subservient connotations it has. It goes without saying that this is not the case for everyone and in every situation.

Multi-tasking

However, being a personal assistant means you need to manage and arrange a lot of different things on demand for your “boss”, but without any authority on your part. The multi-tasking or “keeping several balls up in the air” is again not something that comes natural to us introverts.

The purpose of this role is solely to make the life of the one who is assisted easier. The workload will therefore only increase as the tedious tasks will be delegated to the personal assistant as much as possible.

There are two major problems with this as introverts. Firstly, we’ll get overwhelmed easily by the sheer amount of different tasks that need to be done in a multi-task fashion. Secondly, we’ll get easily bored by the mundane, repetitive or shallow chores we’ll need to do.

For instance, answering phone calls, managing the agenda and replying to incoming e-mails all day.

Man sitting in corner with eyes closed covered in post it notes

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

The Pain of Mundane

Unfortunately, I have experienced this during my time in an assistant role. In the beginning everything was fresh and new. Gradually over the first six months, I slipped into a bore-out.

There is just something absolutely soul crushing about staring at a computer screen that is a tad too bright, responding to almost trivial e-mails all day in an even brighter lit office.

Another factor that comes into play is that as an assistant you are at the absolute bottom of the hierarchy. It is inherent to the role that you do as you’re told, almost unquestionably. Pride is not exclusive to introverts, but this became a problem for me over time.

Even-though, I knew what I was getting into taking on this role as an assistant. Long term, it became increasingly annoying to be taking all these “orders”.

It got to a point where I just felt that these tasks were “dumped” on me and that I was wasting my time. Someone else deciding how you should spend the most precious hours of your day just didn’t sit right with me. In addition, the requests of your “boss”, could change abruptly, rendering your first efforts in accomplishing the chores completely in vain.

Resentment became an all too familiar co-worker. Do introverts value meaning so much that even though in their minds they know the rules to the game, their hearts just can’t accept anything less meaningful for too long?

5. Waiter

Waiting tables can be seen as one of the worst jobs for introverts, because of many reasons. First there is the crowded restaurant where many different guests are sitting, talking, shouting which creates that noisy brew of crowd chatter.

The constant flow of customers entering and leaving the restaurant, and adjusting to those new people accordingly.

A Subservient Role

Again the multi-tasking aspect of waiting tables, which includes getting the different orders of each table, writing them down correctly and making sure the food is served on time.

Simultaneously, monitoring this process for multiple tables. Communicating back and forth with the cooks/chefs in the kitchen and the need to be light on your feet.

Having to be a bit too enthusiastic towards customers even though they complain about silly little things in person that aren’t your fault. Then there is the subservient connotations the role of waiting tables has.

The distance you’ll cover by walking back and forth on one night, reminiscent of a quarter marathon. The late shifts you’ll be working which always last longer than expected.

Waiter Taking a Order

Photo by Jessie McCall on Unsplash

Physically and Mentally Exhausting

You can easily imagine that all of this is extremely draining to our introvert senses and bodies. You can imagine that the next day you’ll be exhausted and that there is little energy left for anything creative or productive in the likes of writing or even cleaning your house for that matter.

Personal projects are put on the back burner as you sleep all day to be able to work again that evening.

The salary is also a minimal amount, which isn’t conducive to any future opportunities or financial prosperity anytime soon. Everything about this job screams that it is only suited as a temporary solution in case of a financial emergency and shouldn’t be held long term.

Conclusion

What is striking of the worst jobs for introverts examples we’ve discussed in this article is that they almost all have something to do with the typical mundane, superficial 9 to 5 job stereotypes. What’s more is that multi-tasking is a key component in them all. What do you think? Are these jobs good examples of some of the worst jobs for introverts?

What about the characteristics of the jobs that were deemed to be the problem for introverts? Were they accurate? Or do you see different aspects of these jobs that are troublesome for introverts? Perhaps there are completely different jobs you would list. If so, please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Food For Thought

1. Which other jobs do you consider the worst jobs for introverts?

2. What are the aspects that make a job not suitable for introverts?

What is your personality type? Take the MBTI test!

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Recommended Reading

Johnson, M. (2018, May 7). Why call centers are a modern-day hell for the working introvert [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://introvertdear.com/news/why-call-centers-modern-day-hell-working-introvert/

Mueller, K. (2018, June 19). The 5 worst things for introverts about working in food service [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://introvertdear.com/news/worst-things-for-introverts-working-food-service/

For the total list of recommended reading, please go to the Wisdom page.

* INFJ Male Psychology is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, and as such earns from qualifying purchases for some of the links.

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