Here’s the best job for a highly sensitive person

best-job21Many people come to this site searching for information on the best jobs for highly sensitive people.

And I can tell you that I have found the answer.

But, like a typical blogger, I’m not just going to tell you in the first paragraph!! Come on, now. No one does that nowadays.

First, let me tell you how I came to my conclusion. I worked in an office for around ten years, with most of that time either in a cubicle or in a room with other people. And I hated it. Everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING plays a part in bothering me in an office workplace. Some things are obvious energy sucks (like traffic) but other things contribute only a tiny piece to making me feel awful–usually without me even realizing it. Here’s a fun list!

So, let’s sum that up. What really saps my energy?

  • Feeling controlled
  • Being forced to be around other people/social interactions
  • Environmental annoyances

So what’s the answer? What’s the best job?

Here it is: Being self-employed. Working for yourself. Yup, that’s it.

The best job for a highly sensitive person is one where they control every aspect of the environment. 

Some of you might be disappointed with this answer. You might feel like it isn’t a real answer. You were waiting for me to say writer or masseuse or life coach or something. Or maybe you think being self-employed sounds impossible, or is only for 20-year old whiz kids or stay-at-home-moms or people doing some kind of shady “scam” business. But it’s not true.

I know a lot of people who have created their own businesses and are doing very, very well. These folks control everything, plus they have the excitement of seeing their own creation flourish. They have the freedom to work when they want, where they want (including anywhere in the world).

But don’t kid yourself–they probably work more hours than the typical 9-to-5er, but the difference is that they love what they do. There are lots of blogs about how to create your own business. Some that I like are Smart Passive Income and Making it Anywhere and Screw the Nine to Five. These are NOT get-rich-quick schemes. They are people with real businesses, and they require a ton of work.

What are some examples of ways you can make money on your own?

You could: do freelance writing, graphic design, or web design, create an online store and sell other people’s products, manufacture and sell your own new product, write ebooks, create online courses and paid seminars, or be a voiceover artist, career/life coach, or affiliate marketer. I know people who do every one of these things, so it IS possible!!

I’ve started a list of online training resources to help you get started in figuring out an online business or how to work for yourself.

But if you aren’t interesting in working for yourself, that’s ok. Check out our list of the best jobs for HSPs.

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  1. This is so true! As you said, it takes a lot of work. I am still in the process of making that happen. I would also say that HSPs need a calling, something we can devote ourselves to. That is much more possible to follow when we create our work.

    • hi ritu,
      i am not satisfied anywhere, i dont know what to do, can i work in a call centre. will that be benificial. or should i start something of my own.

      • Hi Husein, thanks for your comment. I used to work in tech support–it was a difficult job where I had to completely learn 5 different pieces of software. I occasionally had to deal with frustrated people who would take their anger out on me. Also, a job like a call center feels “never-ending”…..the calls never stop. It’s the same thing every day. It almost feels like there is no progress. So, personally, this was a bad job for me. I left after a year.

        However, this does not mean you will feel the same. Perhaps you might like that there isn’t a great deal of face-to-face interaction?

        If you are able to start a business of your own, I would definitely recommend giving it a shot!

        • thanks for the reply,
          i have a shop in my hometown in an residential area. what do you recommend to start there. also tell me, isnt that a job where i have to deal with people all the time. or i will have that feeling that it is my own business.
          please suggest, because i very much confused.

  2. Jennifer says:

    This is great! I am an art major (surprise) and the offices I’ve peaked my head into on these types of careers are way different/better than 90% of offices I’ve seen. But the pinnacle is being self-employed. I am in agreement. Kudos to this article!

  3. You are so right. My husband and I are both HSPs; he is a self-employed violin maker and artist, and I write. We’re both at home, set our own schedules…and, well, don’t always make much money. But we wouldn’t trade it for a million dollars. You can learn to live cheaply but you can’t force yourself to function happily in a situation for which you are ill-suited.
    Faith Hough recently posted…MMGM: Ice Dogs, by Terry Lynn JohnsonMy Profile

  4. Thanks so much for including us in your (seriously awesome) post, Kelly!

    Much appreciated, girl :-)

  5. This site is AMAZING, I wouldnt have the time or words to explain how happy I am to have found this blog, apparently I am rare, an extroverted HSP ha. I am female, early 30’s, I am a nurse, & I do love my job & my patients, but I CAN NOT DEAL with staff, doctors, managers, etc…it makes me hate my job & loose focus:-( I have had several jobs this year alone, I bounce around to the next place when a co-worker or manager rubs me the wrong way, & most “normal” people are able to just blow it off or not let it get to them, but I am not capable of doing that.

    Im so scared my resume will freak out future employers, luckily I am in a field thats always easy to get a job…I work in the Operating Room, probably not the best environment for a HSP!!! I would LOVE to work from home, I keep telling people that but they say “no, you’ll get bored, you wouldn’t like that” but people just dont get it & DONT UNDERSTAND ME & I am so sick & tired of it!!! I do not like the control feeling I have when working with certain managers or co-workers, I AM extroverted but its gotta be on MY time & when I feel comfortable with it & the people I am surrounding myself with, if someone rubs me the wrong way or hurts my feelings & I get bad vibes then thats it, I dont talk to them anymore & ignore them. & they will NEVER understand it because I have talked about it with said offenders & they JUST DONT GET how I can be sooo sensitive & get my feelings hurt so easily.

    I feel like I can do ANY job as long as I am surrounded by the right people…but at every hospital/unit theres always THAT ONE PERSON, & its what stops me from wanting to work there full-time. I do agency work now, I LOVE it cause I am not committed to one facility & I get to go from place to place & if I come across people who are a threat to me then I have relief in thinking “well, at least I wont have to work here tomorrow!” I am seeking out something nurse-related to do on-line, I get such a relief thinking I wouldnt have to deal with people day in & day out. It causes me EXTREME anxiety & stress which leads to depression:-( I also have childhood issues that still kinda affect me ha, but the main issue really is my Hyper/Highly sensitive trait. I also have my personal trainer certification, & I know you can do stuff with that online, so I am looking into that. I was in a part-time sales job doing demos for a company I love & support their mission/values, but it got too hard dealing with all the personalities (especially aggressive guys) & such, funny that sales is #1 job we should not do! Totally agree. Sorry for such a loooong post but this site & blog is SAVING ME trust me. I dont feel alone & depressed anymore:-) I will be around here often. Thanks again!

    • Michelle, thanks so much for your comment; I’m so glad the site has been helpful! I have also discovered just how much the dislike of feeling controlled looms large in my life. I hope you are able to find a career that works for your temperament!!

  6. I found a job that I love! After struggling for a decade trying to work as a dental assistant I went back to school and now work as a registered dental hygienist. I control my day for the most part and deal with clients one on one. I am very aware of their needs due to my highly sensitive nature. It has become an asset that I’m learning to balance and feel great satisfaction in helping people and making sure they feel safe and keep their teeth.
    I am in my fifties and learned later in life the extent of this gift. The knowledge has been empowering.

  7. I am an HSP. I agree with all of you guys here especially Michelle. I think we should created our own group because other people just couldn’t understand us. It i us that understands us. People is just to fast to give advise to us but their advise is just applicable for themselves. There is no one else to ask for help except you. And i think you guys are better business partners than Non-HSPs.

    I work in an office now for five years and it’s like hell. Everything sucks including an insensitive supervisor who thinks he is the most intelligent of us all. I need help how to deals with this genius wanna be.

    Having my own business is one of my plans i’m afraid to pursue it. Having read this article gives me hope and maybe this can give me courage to go for it.

    Please anyone of you who have the capacity to organize please do so.

  8. I really dread and hate being controlled, and like somebody else wrote up there, it’s the bosses and managers that have stressed me out, not so much the customers. I have worked in admin and hospitality, and definitely hated the office full time environment. EVERYTHING about it, so much so I became very depressed and anxious and almost wished for death. Only survived in hospitality as a temp so far. I feel super guilty for not supporting myself and still getting money from my parents, but I don’t seem to be able to hold down a job because I become too anxious/unhappy and faking it doesn’t go too well.

    Now I keep wondering, am I going to find my higher calling? Or is there something wrong with me that I hate being controlled so much that I get anxious at the mere thought of it?

    I’m 29 now, I’ve studied most of my life to survive and not fall into a depressed heap (unfortunately I haven’t found a use or wanting to for my B.A. in Lit or my TESOL cert. so far). I’ve already volunteered for a yr and went down the path of considering non profits and social enterprises (but most of them here mostly need volunteers or qualified experienced workers), it may not be my thing, plus they require sitting in offices too.

    I’m not motivated by money, mostly motivated by the fact that something is interesting to me and has a point. If I try to force myself to do something I hate, I’ve only ended up an anxious depressed heap struggling to function. I’m intelligent so I need mental stimulation but not a hectic environment like waitressing because my head gets foggy and I find my thoughts drifting off too often. The anxiety impacted my ability to remember things too, and has resulted in some fatigue too over the years.

    My latest idea is to study Naturopathy, so that my brain might gets the mental stimulation it so craves, while working to make a difference after I graduate as opposed to money. (Not to mention helping to resolve my own health issues due to all the worrying over the years).

    I feel I may be getting close to narrowing in on my strengths and what my personality would be suited to.

    Honestly I worry I’m spoiled, but I don’t know how to function in ‘normal’ society with ‘normal’ unsensitive people in jobs, who like to get drunk frequently and not talk about anything deep or intelligent. I feel like the odd one out in every job I’ve had. I need more than money! I need a career I’m passionate about. I’ve kept searching for 11yrs, it’s what keeps me going.
    I value freedom over lots of money. I also have a low BS tolerance and feel exhausted and frustrated being surrounded by people who are fake or narcissistic. I know I’m really idealistic, but it seems that if more people move towards their passions and doing things not for just the money, we will end up with a better planet. I’m not willing to sell my soul for a job because it sickens me to the core! I am not capable of bending my values for a company. But that’s the norm!

    • hello,
      make a list of things that you would love to do then try to find out the work as per that.

      • That is a great idea Husein; Sometimes brainstorming by writing out ideas can help – It can be overwhelming “where to begin”, so jotting things down is a great idea, I am going to do this today :)

        (p.s. Please see my ‘advice’ re: my experience working at call centres [yes, plural – I have worked in more than one so can tell you they are ALL the same, without a doubt] below…

  9. Hello everyone :) I too am SO GLAD to have found this website – I cannot thank you enough for creating it!

    I’m sure like a lot of you here, I too felt for my whole like that people do not understand me, and that there was ‘something wrong with me’ – now I understand what it is! Even just that is so freeing!

    I just left a call-centre job and wouldn’t recommend anyone working in one, not even my worst enemy LET ALONE an HSP !!!!!!!!

    The list above, everything from bright lights to ‘never ending’ – that is what I found; it is literally NON-STOP from the moment you start your shift. Call centres are all about the stats – meaning they want you to have a low call-time, so you feel rushed, and also never good enough, as they will sure remind you (daily) how you need to improve.

    I have been out for 2 months now and feel a million times better mentally.

    There is also no progress, or chance to ‘work your way up’ in the job (sorry, but who wants to be Supervisor of a call centre? No one’s life goal I’m sure!) Plus, you’re still in that toxic, negative environment.

    Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you for this post, I am hoping to someday have my own business – Life is short, if you have the desire then GO FOR IT!

    I do not want regrets on my death-bed someday – “Find out what you love to do, and find a way to make money at it”

    Your work/job/career takes up so much of your life, NO one should have to do something they hate every single day. What kind of a life is that? My time at the call centre showed me that – I’d rather be BROKE than have to feel that way daily.

    Best wishes to you all!

    • Hi Heather, I totally agree with so many things you said! I also don’t want to regret being in a terrible job for years. Call centers are the WORST. Good on you for deciding to make a change and go for the life you want!!

  10. Hi Kelly!
    I’m so glad I found this website! thanks for creating it! :)
    I’m a HSP myself and struggled with working for the corporate world for 20 years. I was getting sick, getting panick attacks and a strong feeling of emptiness until I decided to create my own business helping people find their life purpose. My work is being focused more towrds the HSP now. I created a Meet Up group for HSPs in South Florida and I’m very excited about how everything!
    Glad I found you! just signed up for your Newsletter and I’m looking forward to knowing more about your work.
    Have a great day and keep up the good work!

  11. Do you think being an interpreter could be a good Idea ? Or maybe a translator ?

    • I’m an attorney and often work with interpreters and translators. Document translation can be ok if you’re ok with solo work. Sometimes deadlines can be tight, but that is in part a matter of reasonable expectations. In terms of interpreting – I did some of this in law school. I was ok with interpreting at clinics and hospitals because it was mostly individualized work. The stressful part for me was traveling to different places. I did not like that – I didn’t know my city well enough at the time to always know the best routes and reasonable travel times. This was before GPS was on most cell phones. Had I been at one location for interpreting or just a couple locations I think it would have been less stressful. My schedule was flexible though. Maybe talk people who do that work in your area to know if you could get info on how their work life is arranged and what you can expect.

  12. I am a HSP and I have been (retired now) a pediatric dentist for 25 years. I enjoyed the connexion I had with my little patients and I know I was particularly appreciated because of my empathy. Understanding their fear of dental procedures was key: I would reassure and support them. I also enjoyed that we were only three working people: one hygienist – assistant and my secretary. And then all the love from my little patients ! I would of hated to be a regular adult dentist. Recognizing I had a special bond with children has been very important in my profesional life and then I was a mom and totally in my element!

  13. I worry about all the things on the list too especially the social side of things and bright lights, heating and bad smells. I have been working for an agency doing domestic cleaning. coping with a small number of people , in a house, so natural light. My clients keep changing though due to life changes ( illness, so had carers, 6 month holiday, not being able to fit me in with their work schedule, moving house). I feel unsettled .


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