Another 5 Worst Jobs For Introverts
In the first article about 5 Worst Jobs For Introverts, we’ve discussed typical jobs that aren’t a good match for introverted personalities.
I can hear you think: Did you forget a few 0’s next to that 5? Well, I’m not mad at you for thinking that! Surely there are plenty more jobs that could make the list. So, without further ado, let’s dive deeply into another 5 worst jobs for introverts!
Initially you would think of the potential career as a teacher for an introvert: Hmmm, that sounds pretty good! The patience, empathy and knowledge introverts can possess are great virtues to have working within the field of education. The introvert’s ability to focus and dive deeply into the subject matter of choice can really help to become an expert. All these qualities are very suited for being a teacher. But, here’s the rub..
The environments in which teachers need to operate aren’t. Not even close. The noisy schools, the overcrowded classrooms, the long work days.. Well-known pitfalls for the introvert as overwhelm lurks just around the corner. Due to classes being jam-packed with students (on average 20.9 students per classroom in middle school) (OECD, 2018), the teachers’ attention is perhaps the only thing that gets divided during math class.
Monitoring all those children’s progress, behaviour and attending to all their questions or individual needs becomes almost impossible. Monitoring students’ behaviour in class seems to be an even bigger challenge in our modern day times, where youngsters are easily distracted by their smartphones. Teachers have to maintain order in class and this distracts from quality teaching.
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Jack of All Trades
This could typically be enormously taxing and frightening to introverts. Standing up for ourselves and setting healthy boundaries are challenging due to our tendency to be more reserved, soft-spoken and not wanting to draw attention to ourselves. Conflict avoidance is sadly enough a common theme among introverts. Now picture that classroom with a few bullies or students with boundary testing tendencies, something which a lot of youngsters like to do. Especially to teachers.
All that interpersonal tension and those social stimulation could leave the introverted teacher paralysed by overwhelm. The duties of teachers are also increasingly swaying into other directions than educating. Teachers nowadays find themselves doing more administrative tasks for instance. There is also a lot of pressure to grade tests and school assignments in time.
Often teachers find themselves grading papers at home late at night after already a long hectic day of work at school. Sadly, you won’t find these over hours on their pay-cheques. There is hardly any time left in a day to unwind and think, which is a basic need for introverts to at least finish their day with before going to bed. Let alone getting up early as well to prepare their classes.
2. Rail Conductor
Rail conductor?! Are you kidding? That is not one of the worst jobs for introverts.. That is perhaps one of the best! Piloting the train all day all alone in the driver’s compartment staring into the distance while the colorful landscape rushes by on both sides. That sounds like a dream actually. But that would be the train engineer!
The rail conductor however is responsible for making sure every passenger on the train bought a legitimate train ticket. They make sure the atmosphere in the cabins is comfortable and passengers are behaving themselves properly. Rail conductors also need to answer questions about arrivals, departures, delays and transfers. Therefore they are interacting with a wide variety of passengers that are passing through all day long (a red flag for most introverts).
Cabins can be over-crowded during rush hour. Of all those people traveling by train, there are bound to be a few who didn’t buy a train ticket. They might offer resistance by verbally complaining or getting angry for getting caught. Encountering conflict and handling it properly by being firm and assertive is a big challenge for introverts. Due to being more sensitive, interpersonal conflict can make us absorb that hostile emotion from the other to the point it affects us visibly.
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Catastrophic Train of Thought
Our voice might get shaky, our muscles might start to tremble, we might start to sweat. All this could be happening in the middle of a crowded cabin where there is an audience. One of our nightmares as introverts is to be in such a conflict where we are visibly shaken by and can’t seem to get the situation under control while there is an audience that observes the whole thing unfold.
What’s more is that in the times we live in, anyone could easily record a video on their smartphone and put it online. This could leave us feeling very ashamed, exposed or judged. Now your face is trending on social media as the ‘Trembling Rail Conductor’. Hmmm, okay I admit that my imagination went a bit overboard in that example, but that it did is a glimpse into how our catastrophic thinking actually works.
Too Much Going On
As a train is constantly on the move and makes a lot of noise, this could easily tire us out throughout the day by our overstimulated senses. On every stop you’ll need to make sure that everyone gets in and out of the train safely. Each station could also be crowded. Especially during rush hour. Your shifts might be on different train routes throughout the day, which amplifies that overstimulation by adding to the change of scenery.
Quite frankly, there is an element to traveling that just makes you tired, even though you are not physically active during your travels (like sitting on a train). A cabin that is rocking from side to side requires us to maintain our balance constantly while standing/walking through the cabin aisles.
This can be extra exhausting to introverts due to the constant unpredictability of movement which we don’t like. Needing to announce the upcoming train stations via the intercom might make you self-conscious about your voice, as everyone on the train can hear you speak and puts you in the spotlight (which introverts mostly hate).
3. Customer Service Agent
While there are great customer service positions available where you only communicate with customers via email and chat, the ones where you mostly call on the phone are the worst jobs for introverts.
Phone Calls From Hell
The incessant stream of phone calls is just viscerally disturbing to introverts for a multitude of reasons in my experience. First there is the constant adjusting to an incoming call. By adjusting I mean the few seconds of mental preparation before picking up the phone and adhering to the script of how phone calls typically unfold.
Normally you pick up, greet the customer, announce the company’s name and your own name. Then the customer does the same and gets into the question or problem he or she has. Then there is the middle where you answer the question or solve the problem, which is often a bit more of a free floating conversation.
The conversation is led into an end by asking if there’s anything else you can assist with and if that’s not the case, you say goodbye and wish each other a nice day (if the call went well that is). Then you hang up the phone and report the call in the computer system that is counting down the minute before your phone is open to receiving the next one.
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Forcing Extravert Mode
As introverts we reside in our inner worlds. Therefore, it costs significant energy to forcefully go into extraverted mode on short notice demand. This is asked of us each time we pick up the phone. As we shift back into our natural introverted mode after the conversation ended, we might need some time to process the stimulation.
Such as the mood of the customer which translated into the tone of voice and willingness to cooperate, the length of the conversation and so on.
However, the next phone call is often already pending. When it comes it forces you to go into extravert mode again. This pattern continues throughout the 8 hour work day, which is for an introvert equivalent to accelerating while driving a car and when it’s up to speed, putting the brakes on real hard. Then go back again to speeding up the car and slowing down fast soon after.
This is without a doubt exhausting. Secondly, we need to talk to a lot of strangers all day which often aren’t in a very good mood since they have a problem, hence the phone call to customer service. Introverts and the highly sensitive introverts in particular can be polite to a fault.
This may translate into extending oneself too far in the attempt of helping the customer, even though the problem can’t be fixed by you or even when the customer is treating you badly.
The poor boundaries that highly sensitive introverts are far more likely to have may keep them in long, toxic or unproductive phone calls, accelerating the process of overwhelm. Personally, this is one of the worst jobs to have. You know you’re done when you despise the ringtone!
4. Police Officer
As a police officer you’ll need to be able to command respect, be able to defend yourself and others verbally and physically and have the ability to make quick decisions sometimes that make the difference between life and death.
Now that weight of pressure is obviously not something suited for introverts, as we tend to be more gentle, have a harder time to tell others what to do and prefer taking our time to make decisions, especially when the consequences can be catastrophic.
I mean come on, we stand in the aisle of the grocery store for 15 minutes trying to decide what brand of potato chips we want to eat that evening. Could you imagine the extent of overwhelm when that 911 emergency call comes in and you need to rush to go catch some bank robbers.
The contemplation of that each severe emergency could possibly mean it’s your last day on the job forever, makes me want to drive off the cliff with the sirens on already.
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Horrendous Crime Scenes
What if you arrive at the crime scene too late and some hostages died, because of that? What about riding out at midnight due to a domestic violence call and finding physically abused children? The more empathic and sensitive introverts among us would not be able to live with themselves for the rest of their lives if an error on their part caused a death that could’ve been prevented.
Our sense of responsibility is just too strong to not take that personally, whatever the cause of the error was. If a crime scene is particularly gory, the impression that would leave on our finely attuned senses could last a horrifying lifetime. Being a police officer is a noble career, but unfortunately one of the worst jobs for introverts.
5. Construction Worker
Despite that introverts are often in touch with their creative side, it is hard to picture them on a construction site building with their bare hands. Construction sites are loud places, with a ceaseless stream of deafening drilling, rumbling and heavy machinery noise. What’s more is that the chance of injury or even death is relatively high when employed as a construction worker.
All that would keep us on edge all day, while also putting in hard physical labor. We don’t even want to know what the end of such a work day would look like when we finally come home. In addition, you’ll have to rise early and work outside all day whether it’s hellishly hot, freezing cold, windy or rainy. As this affects especially the senses of the more sensitive introverts, working in construction is just asking for trouble in the long run.
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Perhaps, one of the few moments of bliss is when you finally see the end product of what you and your crew have worked on for all those months. Then, a few days later you are starting from scratch again in a new muddy, noisy mess. Here’s some constructive criticism. Please plan ahead before you start building your introverted life!
I might be biased about what are the worst jobs for introverts. With these examples I’m not saying that they apply to all of us. Definitely not. 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!
You Might Also Like:
- 5 Worst Jobs For Introverts
- 5 Great Entry Level Jobs for Introverts
- 5 Common INFJ Male Problems
- Another 5 Common INFJ Male Problems
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/
OECD, (2018). Student-teacher ratio and average class size: average class size. Retrieved from https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=EDU_CLASS
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