Being an introvert is a beautiful thing. (In fact, research shows that many people have introverted traits or habits even if they're self-proclaimed extroverts, and that some inversion habits are good for everyone.) According to the American Psychological Association, introversion is a "broad personality trait" in which a person tends to be, for the most part, "more withdrawn, retiring, reserved, quiet, and deliberate," and people with this trait prefer to "work independently". So when it comes to the worst jobs for introverts, candidates must consider what might be a good fit based on this personality trait.
There are apparently four types of introverts (anxious, restrained, social, and thinking), so while the following jobs are totally broad and general suggestions, there are always exceptions to the rules.
Nevertheless, check out 10 worst jobs that introverts might find utterly unbearable and a waste of their specialized talents. (And don't worry. We offer a few related options that might be a better fit for introverts as well):
Sales Executive, Associate, or Manager
Since this typically requires quite a bit of social interaction (even if done virtually or via phone), this is often touted as not ideal for the introverted among us. Sales professionals also are often tasked with corresponding with customers or clients, and depending on the company or industry, the frequency can go from moderate to high. They also must find new clients or leads, make cold calls, cultivate relationships through meetings or lunches, or launch campaigns that require working with multiple teams.
Patient-Focused Healthcare Professional
Working as a doctor or nurse in a hospital, for example, often includes multiple instances where you'd have to talk with, relate to, and help in the healing process of a diverse community of not only patients, but other doctors and nurses, especially in environments like ER or maternity. For introverts, this field is not totally off-limits though, as experts say jobs like independent therapist, psychologist, medical researcher, home-care nurse, or medical tech are great because you can work one-on-one with a limited amount of patients, set your own hours, and be independent of teams or large groups. You can also enjoy a work environment that be a lot quieter and less hectic than that of a large office, clinic or hospice facility.
Politician or Community Activist
Even in today's pandemic environment, politicians, activists and community organizers have to engage with their supporters and build support from others to get their jobs done. There may be a bit of hand-shaking, marching, and private in-person meetings required, along with the virtual town halls, Zoom conferences, and roundtables. As an introvert, you can still find other great jobs in this arena, like social media manager, campaign consultant, pollster, graphic designer, or media strategist.
Again, being a teacher is another job that depends on the nature of the work. Lecturers or teachers who must creatively interact with elementary-, middle- or high school-aged children lean more toward extroverted traits, and there has been a trend of introverted teachers burning out. There can also be requirements to participate in group work and collaborative teaching, which many introverts, by definition, will find draining. However, some teaching positions are well-suited for introverts such as working for a school that only offers online courses, one-on-one or small group lecturing, or being your own boss and creating online courses for download.
Constantly having to manage the success of an event—especially weddings, baby showers, and festivals—can take a lot out of someone who prefers solo work where there aren't a lot of opinions and energies to deal with. Even virtual events include the responsibility of catering to multiple personalities and meeting several goals all at once, and there can be a lot of moving parts to deal with in launching an event. Again, tech or entrepreneurial services that complement this position are best for introverts, and there are even companies that offer event-in-a-box options or party kits.
Retail Associate or Manager
This often involves elements of sales and customer service that might not be a great fit for someone who really doesn't prefer to constantly exert themselves to ensure customer happiness. Also, addressing problems with orders, working with other associates to meet customer demands, and handling inventory or vendor issues is oftentimes a norm in these sorts of jobs. A good option if you're still into retail but don't want to deal with too many of the extrovert-focused aspects of it: Find a good work-from-home customer service gig, sell your own wares via Etsy or Shopify to a niche audience or, again, try offering complementary services where you can make your own hours and work remotely.
Food Service Associate or Manager
You'll often be face-to-face with customers—some not so nice, and some a bit too picky for your tolerance—and you'll more than likely be working in teams, whether via a service line, kitchen, or cashier lane, which puts you even more in the line of exposure to customers and other workers. This job is typically considered essential and is best suited for workers who love serving and interacting with the public. They are often tasked with being on their feet around groups of people—even if those groups are bit smaller due to the pandemic. A better option for an introvert is to consider the type of food service or company you're looking to work for, such as a bakery— which might cater to a smaller population, have a smaller team, or even allow you to work alone to create your own goodies for sale—or a coffee shop, which might be quieter and have a more easy-going culture. Also consider going out on your own and being a personal chef for one family or choosing the clients you prepare foods for.
You'd think shoveling out pills would be something an introvert might like, but let's not forget that more than 65% of the U.S. adult population uses prescription drugs, so you will definitely be dealing with a high volume of in-person interactions, even if behind a plexiglass barrier. Pharmacists do more than just administering medicine, and they are often required to work on their feet, offer advice related to medicine, deal with insurance companies, and coordinate with teams. If interested in this field as an introvert, there are options such as mail-order or remote order entry pharmacist.
Real Estate Agent
Buying or renting a home is a major decision for many, and as a real estate agent you'll be charged with navigating not only the financial side of it all but the personal and emotional side as well. You'll also have to personally connect with prospective buyers, sellers, lessee, and leasers in order to see sustainable success in this role, and there's quite a bit of teamwork involved as well. If you're into real estate as an introvert, you might find better success offering complementary services like interior design (for staging or buyers and leasers who want to decorate their new spot) or pursuing tech jobs like app-building, social media management, Website design, or IT for a real estate company. You could also look into managing an Airbnb where you would work remote and have more control over what clients you interact with along with when and how much you interact with them.
Law Enforcement Officer
Lately we've all seen the ugly and horrible side of law enforcement in the form of police brutality and unlawful atrocities, and we all know that this is a job that often involves a great deal of person-to-person contact. Even the culture of working in law enforcement involves partnering up, working on cases with others, and following key protocols that involve multiple departments related to criminal justice, public management, and legal systems. These jobs might also entail working in spaces with large populations such such as jails, prisons, youth centers, schools, courts, and other state and local offices. If you're an introvert who would like to work within law enforcement, jobs like cyber security specialist, fraud investigator, lab technician, security specialist, criminal analyst, hand-writing examiner, or animal control professional might be a better fit.
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Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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Tracee Ellis Ross On Why She Declined The Idea Of Someone Else Running Her Hair Company
Actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross recently revealed the driving force behind her desire to become the owner of her haircare brand, Pattern.
According to its site, Pattern is a haircare company that provides a wide range of products, from shampoos, conditioners, oils, creams, and many more to individuals with curls, coils, and tight hair textures. Although Pattern would launch in 2019, the idea for the company first came to Ross a decade before --in 2008, when her hit show Girlfriends wrapped-- following a brief encounter at a beauty supply store and many wanting to recreate her past looks.
At the time, those individuals couldn't achieve the exact results because limited natural hair products were offered to the public. That instance became a pivotal moment in the star's life because she spent eleven years experimenting with professionals to create products that best suit those within the natural hair community.
In a May conference with Fortune's MPW Next Gen, Ross opened up about the struggles she faced early on as an entrepreneur trying to get Pattern off the ground and why she declined the offer to have the company be run by someone else.
Tracee On Past Struggles And Why She Chose To Run Her Company
During the discussion, the 50-year-old revealed that she is Pattern's "majority owner" because the company's overall mission to cater to those in the natural hair community was built from her "experiential knowledge."
"I'm a majority owner of my company. [Other celebrities with brands] aren't the founders of the company. Often, they join a company that exists," she said. "The mission [at Pattern] is born out of my experience. It's born out of my own experiential knowledge."
Further in the interview, Ross would add that she avoided partnering with an expert for Pattern because she felt she had gained enough knowledge experimenting with products in her bathroom.
"I didn't want to partner with an expert or a 'professional' because I felt—like so many—I had become my own best expert in my bathroom because the beauty industry was not catering to us," she stated.
Despite refusing to have a partner within her company, Ross found creative ways to build it. It includes paying a chemist with her own money to bring her visions of various products to life, and sending those samples to retail stores, ultimately leading to partnerships.
The final piece that helped Ross during her journey was receiving advice from business partners on ways to improve the brand, one of which came from Ulta Beauty CEO and Footlocker CEO Mary Dillon.
The black-ish star claimed that Dillon helped her realize how she could use her celebrity status and journey to promote Pattern, which she did. Because of that, Patten has now become a favorable haircare brand among many.
Tracee On How She Plans To Use Her Company To Create Opportunities For Others
Toward the end of the discussion, Ross disclosed how she plans to use the power of being Pattern's CEO to help others.
The High Note star explained that being an owner of a company has given her access to be around other CEOs interested in what appears to be becoming more profitable, and with that, she wants to expand that access to other people.
"I know that I have access to sit at a table with a CEO in a way that perhaps another founder doesn't. And when I do that, I make sure that those conversations are not only centered around Pattern," she said. "They're centered around creating and expanding the access for all of us."
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