You don’t have to be an HSP or an introvert to want a job with low stress. There are some people who crave pressure and fast-paced environments, but I’d wager that most people don’t.
So, for those of you trying to decide on a career or make a career change, what are some ideal low stress jobs for introverts, Highly Sensitive People, and even empaths?
What causes stress in a job?
When determining the best low stress jobs for introverts and HSPs, it might help to first examine what makes a job stressful. There are countless factors that can make you feel stressed or anxious at work. Here are a few examples:
- Pressure to achieve sales quotas, benchmarks, or other goals. If your job is completely tied to goals that are difficult to reach, that can constantly make you feel close to failure.
- Fear of losing the job. If you work in an unstable environment, your company is barely hanging on, or you feel like you might be fired due to your performance (whether it’s warranted or not), constantly worrying about job stability can cause high stress, even more so if you absolutely cannot afford to be unemployed. A feeling of a lack of control causes anxiety.
- Unending tasks that don’t end. I once had a job where I had to perform high-level tech support for complicated software. Even if I struggled through a difficult day, I had to do it all again the next day. That feeling of never-endingness was stressful to me. I never got a feeling of completion, or being able to move on to other tasks.
- You’re on the clock. If you have a job where you need to accomplish a certain number of tasks in an exact amount of time, you may never feel relaxed or calm—always in a state of rush.
- Your job is simply difficult for you, every day. Stress can simply come from having a hard job that you struggle to do competently. Perhaps it’s either physically or mentally tiring and saps your energy for your personal life.
- There’s a lot at stake. Say you work in a helping profession, like a medical doctor, veterinarian, or nurse. There can be dire consequences if you make any mistakes, which is obviously stressful.
- Compassion fatigue. Similarly, in helping professions where you have to deal with the life, death, and the suffering of others, you may have a difficult time separating your own emotions with others. Highly Sensitive People and empaths have so much empathy that they often take home the struggles of others, which wears on them. Read more about compassion fatigue.
- Environmental Overwhelm. Constant or loud noise or bright light can physically wear you out.
Noise driving you nuts? This is the best noise cancelling machine to use in the workplace!
- Dealing with people. For introverts, dealing with other people simply expends energy. Jobs where you have to engage with others all day can be stressful, and obviously more so if these people are demanding, controlling, or difficult. If you work in customer service and have to deal one-on-one with people who are often unhappy, it can be difficult not to take things personally as an HSP.
- All manner of interpersonal issues. There are all kinds of stressors that can come from working with or working for people you don’t get along with.
What makes a job less stressful than others?
- You get to determine your schedule, or it’s at least flexible.
- You get to help people, feel satisfaction, or work for a cause you believe in or care about.
- You don’t have rigid deadlines.
- You don’t have to deal with people non-stop (if you’re an introvert).
Any jobs that encompass these points could make it onto my list of low stress jobs for introverts and HSPs.
What about self-employment?
I’ve written a lot about working for yourself and whether it is a good option for introverted and sensitive people. On one hand, being self-employed means you get to set your own schedule and you don’t have to answer to anyone else. You can craft your workspace to be comfortable. You can work from anywhere and maybe even do work you’re passionate about. It seems perfect, right?
I’ve worked for myself for a few years and honestly, I think working in an office had lower stress. Now, I am responsible for my income. Me and only me.
Now, if I am not self-directed, organized, and focused, I don’t get paid. I’m 100% tied in to my production and performance. And as a freelancer, I never know if/when one of my clients will decide to end their work with me for whatever reason. When you’re starting out as a freelancer, you may feel like you’re constantly hunting for work, which can be stressful.
Want to read more about what it’s like to be a self-employed Highly Sensitive Person? Check out this post.
My biggest issue with self-employment is that work does not seem to end. When you leave a typical office and go home, there is a marked “end” to your work day. Yes, you might reply to some emails from home or whatnot, but for the most part, you know your work responsibilities for the day are over. Not so with self-employment. I’m always thinking that I should be working. It is hard to stop worrying about whether I’m getting enough done.
Overall, the point is that self-employment has positives and negatives to be aware of. So, when considering careers and low stress jobs for introverts and sensitive folks, keep this in mind.
And finally: The list of low stress jobs for introverts and sensitive people
Over the years this post has existed, I have gotten dozens of comments saying that certain jobs should not be on this list. There is no way to make a perfect list. One software developer might love her job and another might hate it. It depends on many factors.
I tried to select careers that are somewhat self-governing and independent. Also, there is work where you largely sit behind a computer and don’t have as much face-to-face interaction as most other jobs. Jobs with flexible schedules are good, too.
- Service jobs: Janitor, gardener, tailor, truck driver, garbage truck driver, mail deliverer, house painter, dog walker, nanny
- Number & Data crunching: economist, tax preparer, mathematician, statistician, astronomer, actuary, financial analyst. Data can be fun to work with; it doesn’t have the unpredictability that working with people does.
- Tech related: Computer hardware engineer, computer and information systems managers, application software developer, and others. Of course, difficulty with a boss or tight deadlines could cause stress.
- Industrial machine repair
- Factory jobs
- Archivist (fun fact: I was once an Archiving Assistant!)
- Graphic Designer. (Although dealing with clients can be stressful.)
- Optometrist. They perform eye exams and prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses. They deal with many people face-to-face but have lower stress than an ophthalmologist.)
- Social Media Manager
- Film/Video/Audio editor. You get to spend a lot of time alone, editing.
- Court Reporter
- Scientist (This is a vague term; there are many, many kinds of scientists. Some work in a laboratory, an office, with people, animals, machines, or outdoors.)
- Medical transcriptionist
What do you think are the best low stress jobs for introverts and highly sensitive people? Please leave a comment below!
Read Next: Want to work for yourself? Check out these resources on how to get started.
I am a scientist and it is perfect for me most of the time. The thing that is hard to handle is conferences!
may I ask what kind of scientist?
Neuroscience… I study sports concussions
I am a dietitian (which made the list) and I am reading this article as I find my job stressful. I work in oncology, people are sick, dying and/or are faced with their own mortality. I have patient appointments all day and have to keep up with charting (And phone calls) which feels never ending.
Thank you for hour comment. Because I was just looking at the dietician part. It’s good to see an in-person’s point of view.
Thanks for this article, it’s given me a lot to think about.
I am also an RD and seeing clients all day can be very draining
What is not being mentioned is first you need a bachelors degree for most of these things
I’ve found overnight maintenance and custodial work was ideal for me. INFP. The only downside is the low pay. I have about 3 hours where I only have one other person working with me, but I would imagine for the writer or artist a security job is good as well.
I wish I had realized more about myself before I switched jobs from a legal editorial job during the pandemic to a public service job where my role is to take complaints about employment issues. Not only is the compassion fatigue overwhelming, but I’m also exhausted from all the face to face and phone to phone interaction. I’ve been trying to get out of this job for a couple of months and I’m not making a lot of progress but I have to continue because I am exhausted from it. It is such a horrible fit but I left the editorial job because it was toxic. This place is toxic and overwhelming whereas that was just toxic. I should have stayed but everything is a learning experience, right? Anyway, I am happy to share my LinkedIn profile if you happen to know somebody who is interested in my skill set. https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurasuess0323
Totally agree with Rachel! IMHO, planning and conducting research projects is *ideal* for innie HSPs (like moi) — e.g., identifying interesting research problems and/or gaps in knowledge, designing rigorous studies, collecting and analyzing data, and explaining/writing up the project for publication. And in the public/non-profit sector, much less of a “publish or perish” mentality. But yeah, as Rachel points out, downsides include networking, conferences, pitching new project ideas, being asked to give talks, etc. Can be quite unnerving…
I think being a scientist might be less stressful perhaps, however BECOMING a scientist and doing 4 years undergrad and 4+ in Masters and Ph.D. is EXCESSIVELY STRESSFUL. So, it really makes no sense to list a job which many who are Empaths could not get to as the exams and studying would destroy them before they got there…
Study online. My best friend growing up is way more introverted and empathetic than me and she is close to her Phd in psychology.I am considering doing the same
Agree 100%. I have made it to the other side with a PhD in biomedical sciences, but the road was VERY rough to get there. I am currently working for pharmaceutical companies that is also crippling at times and trying to find my way to something a little better for me.
Yes, and you have to pay for this as well in time and money – difficult if you have rent or a mortgage to pay and/or caring responsibilities and no-one to provide support financial and/or emotional. Plusyou’ll be competing with lots of other folk who may be younger, older or just really good at writing job applications.
It seems to me you have so many hoops to jump through before you even get to being considered for a ‘less stress’ role now.
Yeah I think getting my PhD seriously damaged me. I would not recommend that to anyone. I’m in a situation now where I basically have a phobia of working in science and my years of study seem to be worth nothing when I try to find work in other fields. I’m starting almost at scratch. Science is impossibly stressful. Don’t do it.
Nick–You might try looking for something science-adjacent, like medical writing.
I’m going into Forensic Science, myself. Just starting college, now. It’s killing my soul to work in fast food in the meantime, though, but I can’t really think of any other way to pay for my rent and food. 🙁
I’m a solo librarian, and I get a lot of quiet time to focus. My coworkers (from other areas) can be challenging, but for the most part it’s awesome.
thanks for the input!!! good to know!
I also work in a library. Since it’s a public library, there is a lot of customer service, which is draining, even if most customers are pleasant.
I was in the events team for a while and it was very stressful because I worked with children and had lots of tasks that never seemed to end, plus a demanding, somewhat unprofessional team leader. I’d have never have thought you could be so stressed working at a library! I’m not in that role anymore, thank goodness.
Hi Danielle, I have been hearing more and more lately about how being a librarian is difficult–and much different from the old stereotype of quietly sitting in a library all day! Thanks for your comment!
I agree. I’m what they now call a library officer (assistant) and I hate it. Coworkers can be passive aggressive, miserable people. People can be demanding and constantly dealing with customers can be a pain especially the neurotic or needy customers. You may have to manage behaviour issues with some including banning them and monitoring poor behaviour! Many people are really surprised to hear how busy and stressful it can get. I would not recommend this job to introverts or sensitive people.
Im a librarian too, but for a big city. Its awful. Coming to work literally makes me ill now 🙁
Yup! I am a librarian digging through as many articles as I can to find an appropriate career change. This has been the most draining profession imaginable. It’s a weird combination of always being on call, constant customer service, social work that I’m not actually qualified to do, first response (Hello, opioid overdose in the bathroom!)… and when you do get a hot minute of downtime, boredom sets in and you begin wondering why you exist. Good stuff! Super glad librarian wasn’t listed here.
I’m an HSP academic librarian leaving the profession. I’ve worked in some calmer, better managed, adequately funded libraries and loved helping students with research. My current job involves overwhelming responsibilities, role ambiguity, and intense interpersonal demands. The systemic injustices are also demoralizing. I’m going to try web design because it’s more focused and creative.
I considered becoming a librarian and I am glad to see that it is not an ideal job for my INFP-t butt.
I’ve been a librarian all my working life and it’s been unpleasant more often than not, increasingly so in recent years.
I was part internet trouble shooter, social worker, government services gatekeeper, counsellor, conflict management officer, child minder, and any number of other things I wasn’t trained, resourced or paid to be. Nor did I wish to be.
I am a Vet Receptionist. I’ve done the job for 4 months. Still unsure if it’s too stressful for me. It’s fast-paced and I’m part-time. There can be traumatic situations. Most of the time, I enjoy the job. I haven’t felt settled socially, like I don’t belong on the team. What do you think, Kelly
Hi Catherine, in my experience, it can take a really long time to feel like you fit in. I would give it a few more months! I remember telling a friend that it usually takes me almost a year to feel comfortable in a new job. good luck!
I work as a vet receptionist too. I’ve only been doing it for 18 months. It was stressful at first, then got better, but the hospital is owned by a corporation, and now the corporation wants the front to be friendlier, faster, and focused on client retention. Now I’m on pins and needles. Wondering if you’re still at your vet job?
I work in a library too and I completely agree with you. Generally in the past it suited me very well. Times are always changing and it is not the job it used to be. Terrifies me to need to look for something else. I wonder will I be comfortable anywhere anymore
Hi Kelly or anyone else,
Do you have any experience working as a remote proofreader/editor? I’ve been looking into this, and there are couple of proofreading programs online and they charge $500, which seems very expensive for me. I already have some relevant skills, and have a BA in psychology and previous administrative and job experience, and have been a stay-at-home mom since 2020. I’m interested in transitioning to doing proofreading and probably editing, too. What would you suggest? Because I can’t really afford to spend money since I’m currently a caregiver to my 1-year old son.
Thanks in advance.
Hello Grace, thanks for the question. I don’t have experience in this specific field but this thread might help a bit: https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/f9oovp/anyone_who_is_making_an_income_as_a_freelance/
Omg Catherine I had to check to be sure I didn’t actually write your comment lol. I, too, am a vet receptionist after failing to land any real jobs after college. I hate it. It’s the exact opposite environment that I want or that I’d thrive in. Literally the longer I work the position the more miserable I become. At this point it looks like my best option is to go be a trucker since no one cares about my college degree and I can’t take anymore freaking customer service. I just want to be ALONE
A, I feel the same way. I’ve been a Chiropractic assistant for 6 miserable years. I feel into it after desperately trying to escape retail hell. While it is better than retail, I do still hate it. It’s very stressful and mentally demanding and exhausting. I am an introvert and detest having to interact with the public. I would enjoy a job where I could do something in the background and not have to interact with the public. I am easily stressed and have severe anxiety. This job has made it worse. I despise every single day I am there. I have been looking for something remote that is legitimate but no such luck so far.
You should look into Dental Labs. Not Dental offices. It’s all on the job training. A small lab would be better also.
I feel you! I have been an optometrist for 27 years and I am looking for a career change. I couldn’t believe that optometrists made the low stress job list. Not true for me. I feel like you do and I am also looking for remote work.
A, it’s like you took the words right out of my mouth! Lol I just recently got a receptionst job at an animal hospital and hate it. It got so bad that I asked if I could be transferred to kennel. I’d rather have a not so nice dog than a customer yelling at me! Lol
I feel the same way about my college education, A. I have both an associates and bachelor’s degree, and have had no luck finding a job that could lead to a career, that relates to my education, that I actually enjoy or feel comfortable with.
I don’t work in a vet clinic, but do work with animals in a grooming salon, which may work better for you? I enjoy it for the most part, but it can get busy if you have a lot of dogs, and even though we don’t interact with the “pet parents” often, they can be rude at times. But I love the animals, and if that was the main reason you went to work in the vet clinic, if you find a slower salon where you could take your time, it would be just you and your co-workers (who you don’t necessarily have to interact with too much), and the dogs.
You could also look into becoming an animal technician, which is another job I have had. I didn’t really enjoy it, but more because for me it was simple, boring, and mundane. But if your main goal is to be alone, and you enjoy routine, it may work better for you. I would only work with a couple of other people – when I didn’t work weekends. On the weekends I was pretty much on my own, which I enjoyed. Of course there are pro’s and con’s to this as well, which I won’t bore you with.
I don’t know if anyone who reads this may have recommendations for me, but I have been struggling with finding a career that would fit me; for not only am I an introvert, but I am also extremely terrible at math. I would love to go back to school to earn a master’s degree, but do not want to rush into anything – that’s a lot of time, as well as money. However, at the same time, I kind of just feel trapped with where I am at now. I feel like something like computer/data science, or coding or something would be a decent career path for us introverts, and they can pay well, but they require a good amount of math, which honestly terrifies me just as much as working with people. I have been struggling with this for years now, and really feel pressured to make a decision soon, but have no idea what to do, or what career I would be interested in, that I would also have a chance of succeeding in. Any recommendations/suggestions/advice is welcomed, and thank you in advanced!
I’m an engineer. I prefer working with data and computers over working with people. Usually the worst parts of my job are the cubicle farms, the meetings, and the micro-managing bosses. I just made a change and now I’m working remotely from home. So far, so awesome. I think I may have found the pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow.
Awesome Chris! thanks for sharing!!
I can relate to disliking micro managing. Seriously where I work they dictate how many attachments you can send in one email.
I’m a software developer, and I also really don’t like being micromanaged, it makes me angry. That’s why I avoid giving in to it. I also don’t like being watched by a supervisor when working : it distracts me so much I cannot focus on the work.
Sounds great. What type golf engineer may I ask?
Hello Chris. Do you mind sharing what type of change you made to allow you to work from home? Are freelance? Did you do a Masters degree? Thanks.
Lucky you! Chris. I am an Engineer too and sadly I have to work or deal with twisted customer. I want to pursued Data Analysts. Is that what you are doing now? Any advice how to start with that career as my background is Electrical. Thanks.
I can also relate to this – I absolutely hate open-plan office. I feel watched over and I cannot be my authentic self. I am in the process/chemical engineer career which requires me to attend site a lot to gain experience as a young engineer. I find going on site absolutely draining – I love the idea but my body protested by feeling so tired after each trip. There are also some very rough people in the construction industry. I am looking to change to software so I can work from home.
I’m an office manager for a Unitarian Universalist church. I’m taking on more communications and social media responsibilities while keeping responsibilities of managing the staff and the office. I’ll be trading off some financial data management. It’s a challenging job because people can be demanding, and that is balanced by the fact that they can be generous and helpful. Also i get quiet time each week and throughout the summer.
I used to be a careers adviser for young people. This was good as one to one appointments but 7 interviews per day so could be draining. I used to relish the down time in the quiet office to recharge. Caring and supportive colleagues which made it a great place to work.
Hey! I just graduated with my MA in clinical psych and am already so stressed and overwhelmed working at mental health agencies dealing get with severe mental illness and crises..so much responsibility, poor management/support/communication. Thinking of looking into going more in the direction of career and/or academic counseling. What did you get your degree in and how did you get into that line of work? Would love to hear more about your experience!
I have been doing a lot of reflecting and research on a career change because I am desperately unhappy and stressed in my current career. A few of the careers that I feel would be a very good fit for my introverted and highly sensitive self are medical transcriptionist, court reporter, proofreader/editor, dietician. All of them are on your list!
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your comment. I’m so glad this list is somewhat on the mark for you!! 🙂
You can work with computers like a database programmer or statistician
So what about some job or business suggestions for the Extroverts?
If you’re an extrovert you don’t need help with lists of jobs for you just hop on to any job bank, they’re full of jobs for you.
Not exactly, Mark. I am an extrovert and an HSP. That’s why I came to this blog for help. Not all HSPs are introverts.
Thank you, Moriya! I am an extrovert and an HSP, too! I enjoy interacting with people. It helps me, but if all my interactions are based on serving/customer service, I get burned out. If I didn’t interact with people I’d miss it, but it’s hard to find a balance.
too funny, as I am a bubbly introvert who gets supertired very easily, and i was a high school English teacher for 20yrs, a successful one at that! i think we can’t chuck everyone into ex and introvert boxes; there is a massive grey inbetween. it’s a struggle looking to reinvent my life and career, maybe i will become a chocolatier from home and chase a dream. start small. follow your intuition folks, and take your brain with you.
I worked as a software engineer for a while. Honestly, I *hated* it. Things may vary from one company to another, but our software was sold before it was complete, which meant constantly looming deadlines. And then there is “technical debt” — old, sloppy code which eventually comes back to haunt you, even if you didn’t write it originally. As an HSP you may be more inclined to try and quietly fix it than to point fingers.
It’s not that programming is a bad idea. I actually do enjoy it in itself. But I think high stress levels are the rule in software development. I’m currently trying to get started as a technical author instead. That way I’m still programming, but I get to think more about the proper way to do things.
I’m a graphic designer. I love it as i have tried office jobs and hospitality but it is annoying when you have to defend your job being a real job and questions like “thats easy you just make pretty pictures” or did that really take that long to do?”
That is awesome! I’ve wanted to switch into graphic design but cannot turn that self-doubt voice off in my brain telling me I can’t handle a stressful full-time job and learning a new language almost. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated as I’m a manager of a retail store with internal and external conflicts happening at all times and it makes my introverted tendencies extremely uncomfortable.
Thank you in advance!
I was a commercial art major in my first year of college and I got a job working for a sign company designing signs. It was a very enjoyable job for three years. I worked alone a lot and got to listen to the radio while I worked. I worked occasionally with the graphic designer there and we had a good relationship. I left that job when I was offered another job doing a different kind of work and the sign company was unstable financially too. Eventually I became a teacher and honestly I don’t know if I can think of a much worse job now for an HSP. I endured this torture for way too long and did not leave it for many reasons. I should’ve left that job the year after I started it. I would never recommend the job of teacher for an HSP. But working as an artist was excellent for me as an HSP. Retail store work was also terrible for me because the music they piped into the store drove me crazy, but once I got to work in the back of the store and do the work receiving the products and checking them in. That was pretty enjoyable work. I worked in a library too and liked that. I will retire soon, and I am thinking of being a financial coach or life coach or a writer/editor/proofreader next. I am definitely going to be smarter about picking my next career.
I’m a graphic designer as well. I feel your pain about having to defend my job. I guess we just make it look easy or something lol. I love graphic design, however, I hate my job. I live in a small city so there aren’t many options for me. I work in a print shop (big mistake). I have to juggle design work at my desk with taking in orders in person, over the phone, and via email (plus printing/production work too). And now we’re under new management by someone that has never worked in a print shop so I basically run the place without the benefit of extra pay.
However, I used to have a job that I loved working with a small company as an in-house designer (I was laid off). The only people I had to deal with were the owner and the sales manager. It was great! I think that’s the way to go, but unfortunately, those jobs are hard to come by. Oh! And the amount of competition is crazy! Constantly get people coming in bringing their resumes.
I am an English major with plans to break into technical writing or grant writing. I had a love/hate relationship with the military. Army bootcamp was hell for me and I bottled up my emotions for a long time as an alcoholic. Joined the Coast Guard after which was much less stress on a small boat. Sober since 2006. Married with a wife and two kids. Being a Stay At Home Dad while in school is extremely stressful but you do what you have to right?
Fellow HSP here.
I can only imagine how hard it would have been in a strenuous organization like Military for you.
I have also worked in Customer service and was unable to cope and resorted to marijuana and alcohol for about 2 years.
I am thinking of what to start with now as money is what one have to think about.
If you don’t mind, we can talk separately.
I am a 5/6 para educator. This busyness of my day keeps my anxiety down. Working with children is not as stressful as dealing with adults. It uses my compassion and introversion and sensitivity to understand some if the higher needs of my students. My intuition serves me well, as I serve the needs of the kiddos. I understand them. I do have flow to my day and down time away from kids to recharge. Not intimidating. I can be firm in my lessons yet playful. Wish it paid more!!
I tried letter carrier as I was hoping for a low stress job, but it is definitely stressful unless you are a full-time career carrier with a nice route. I do enjoy that the task is completed every day and that is satisfying, but you are constantly GPS tracked, there are strict deadlines, and every bit of work is measured. The management can be absolutely brutal as per expectations and you are never fast enough. It is very stressful delivering unfamiliar routes yet being expected to perform as well as the regular. I would NOT recommend this as a low stress job. I also work 6 days a week and never know if it will be a 5 hour day or a 10 hour day. It’s very disruptive to having any consistency in life.
I am a preschool teacher’s aide in a very small school. I love it. Same routine and schedule every year. I get to work one on one with the children and use my creativity.
I’ve just started teaching kindergarten… I’m constantly having my classes watched and there’s a lot of pressure – because it’s a government run school in an expat community in Shanghai.
There are two teachers plus a TA. I’ve had to take the day off because I lost my voice and the doctor has given me a certificate for three days but my boss is pressuring me to keep working.
I really want a quiet job where I can be left alone to work but it seems like the only options are manual labor (which isn’t an option for me in the country I live in) or going back to uni and starting over in a new career.
I teach kindergarten too and whilst I love the kids I think teaching is very much the wrong job for me. Just wish I knew where I belong! I’m thinking of going into counselling.
I have been work as pre school english teacher, sales exec, pharmacist assistant, ambassador at center, customer service-call center, latest is customer service for sales & admin support.
I hate all my job except pre school techer as I love the positive environment which is need to cheer up the children, teach them and they so happy. They love happiness, smiling, talk a lot as Im a good listener. Most of time children will come to me to share their story. I love to hear them. Besides, less office gosip, co worker politic & drama. No pressure on achieve KPI’s, envy from co worker.
Just love being a preschool teacher. Its my nature. I have lot time myself once after the children going back. Usually we discuss about how to do better during class and teaching.
However in the other hand, due to economy factor, CS offer better salary n benefit.
I hate my currenr job but I have no choice to survive.
Fellow HSP here.
I have also worked as a cs agent and can feel you.
It is a really demanding job even if there are low targets.
I also moved to the field due to good salary but have to leave it as it was taking a toll on my health.
If you would like to talk more, we can talk exclusively.
First of all, thank you Kelly for helping me better understand HSPs.
I am a professor in an elite university in India, and am certainly HSP. It took a great deal of strength and persistence to come this far. I like the creative aspects of research, which has kept me going all these years. I consider seeing and facilitating the personal and professional growth of graduate students in particular, a special joy. I spend a great deal of time in understanding student and wish to make their research journeys even better than mine.
However a cut throat fund raising space, corporatization of academia, an ever increasing set of ‘academic performance indicators’, and (very sadly) a significant number of apathic undergrad kids from the entitlement generation, all put together make the current job quite exhausting, and certainly emotionally challenging. At the end of the day, more often than not, I am drained.
Changing career paths, and transitioning would be nice, but I am way too academic and wonder where else I could fit!
Are there any academicians here, facing a similar situation? It will be nice to hear your thoughts.
Thanking all of you who are reading this & with many regards to Kelly,
thank you Thomas!! 🙂
I am also currently in academia and looking to make a change. My position, while full-time, is unstable and likely to end this year, so the change is going to be forced upon me whether I want it or not! It sounds like your situation may be harder, because you will have to leave what sounds like a stable situation (or more stable, anyway).
That said, I have been looking into the tech industry, which has a fair amount of flexibility and autonomy to it. I am thinking of doing either UX research or writing.
I share the same concerns with academia as you do. I enjoy teaching, but it takes a lot out of me, and at the end of the day I am tired of being treated like a disposable worker by the academy.
Hey T Thomas,
Fellow HSP from India.
I am 25 yo and came to terms with my sensitivity last year.
It has been a turbulent life as it would be for a sensitive person in bustle and crowd of this incredible country.
I am not from Educational background but very interested in Behavioural Economics and Psychology along with philosophy.
If you would have time and like talking, we can talk. I would love to see the country and life in general with your perspective.
Thomas, what about working for a think tank or government agency that focuses on your field?
I used to work at a pet resort in the kennel area.
I worked alone most of the time.
I loved the job but was let go due to a work injury.
That was 6 years ago and have not been employed outside of the home since.
I have a small biz where I work from home. It is a relaxation type biz.
As of late ( 4 months ) I have not had any clients.
I also remotely answer phone calls and schedule appointments for my son’s computer biz.
I am looking for work so I can make more money.
I don’t know what to do any more since my age might be a factor in getting employment.
Have you considered dog walker, pet feeder at home type of work. You could run it from home servicing your local area like your relaxation work.
Can I suggest you take Factory Worker off the list? I worked as a factory worker for 6 months and in my quest for the perfect HSP job, it is at the bottom of the list. The constant bright lights, loud machinery, typically un-trusting management and rough culture was too much. I can see the repetitive work and low levels of interaction being considered, but unfortunately the ‘uncomfortable’ elements just add up.
I agree – I currently work in a lab at the manufacturing plant. And although I enjoy the lab aspect of my job, I don’t particularly enjoy the loud noises and constant bustling work environment.
I’m surprised factory worker made it onto the list. Some factories I’ve worked for are brutal! Eg you are expected to pack ex amount of product in a minute. Sometimes you might be timed using a stopwatch! As an HSP I hate that kind of environment and I’m no good working under that kind of pressure
I live in New Zealand, and we have a Department of Conservation to protect native flora & fauna. There is some in-house stress from managerial restructuring (reduced budgets), but generally once you start out doing field work, usually in small relaxed teams, there is a lot of scope to have a quiet, uninterrupted day. The money is not great. It can be physical, but there’s satisfaction from being trusted to complete work tasks in your area of responsibility. Add in spectacular scenery and you can have a good lifestyle.
Fellow HSP here.
Nature is where I feel most comfortable hence I can imagine the pleasure to be around flora and fauna and taking part in it’s restoration.
We become uncomfortable where money is included and business prospect of a job type interfere in the work itself so there will be parts of Job we will detest.
I would like to talk more about your way of living and how are you coping with life.
If interested to talk, please contact me.
Please correct your listing for optometrist – you say they have less stress than an optometrist
Thank you. Someone else noticed this, too!
I noticed it as well.
I’m an HSP who worked as a medical transcriptionist for 34 years for different companies in a couple of different states. Usually the atmosphere in a medical transcription department is dark with individual lamps at each station, very quiet, with a strict rule against perfumes as most ladies I worked with were sensitive to smells, bright lights, loud noises, etc. I think the profession attracts HSPs. However, the last place I worked was very loud, with an extremely loud, abrasive supervisor, in a very bright office that was shared with the noisy medical records department. It was awful…too bright, too loud, too many perfumes, and again the extremely abrasive loud boss. This was not the type of atmosphere where a lot of work gets done. I suppose it didn’t matter since six months after starting the job, the department was closed as medical transcription is now being phased out in favor of voice recognition software. VR is just a machine that spits out what it thinks it hears, which can be totally different from what the dictator/doctor said. I learned that the “acceptable standard for errors” had lowered. That means information that makes it to the patient’s chart can be totally inaccurate, and that is now acceptable. Wow. Also means I am out of work with no idea of what else I can do.
I second this. I was also a medical transcriptionist for 17 years and was let go due to cutbacks from voice recognition taking over. I still miss it. I’ve been grooming dogs for 8 years but it’s taking a toll physically. I need to find something else but have worked from home so long I don’t know what to do.
I would take tax preparer off the list. I work in an office with them and the contact with customers – mostly flaky, irritating ones – is very high, especially around filing deadlines. There is a lot of data required and people aren’t usually good at getting it.
I am a retired 63 year old. I worked 36 years in the mental health/educational systems.I was successful and dedicated, but retired due to burn out and just not wanting to do it anymore. The job was rewarding but demanding and I just felt like so much of it sucked energy from me. I would like to go back to work at least PT, but am feeling sort of lost since I basically was in the social work/counseling field in the above systems. I am not sure about going back to school to get training. I have looked into being a trucker but sounds lonely overall. Working from home would be great but there seems to be so many scams and start up fees for many of those jobs. Anyone with some ideas would be welcome.
Hi shy guy,
I am also retired and 63 years old. I worked in telecommunications for 30 years and was able to retire at an early age of 49 due to downsizing. Retirement has it’s own problems that no one seems to address. I have worked in a pre-school and elementary school part-time before I knew I was HSP after retirement. There was too much chaos for me being as a HSP introvert. I have volunteered for many non-profits but have been unable to find one that can meet my needs and theirs They all seem to want more than I can give with time and energy. I have tried starting my own business, but it is too stressful for me. I am hopeful to find a balance with either a part time job or volunteer with a non-profit. I am a dedicated worker but need a lot of down time. I work best when left alone with direction. That is difficult to find in this day and age. I pray that you find your way. Unfortunately, I do not have any ideas for you; just my best wishes for you and your future. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone.
Help everyone…I have been a full time mom for over 20 years and love it. I’m a single mom and will soon have to find a career and I’m not young anymore. I don’t want a career, but have to. I’m an introvert and don’t want to work with people, don’t have a degree and don’t want to go back to school. I have no idea what to do.
Try to get a job in a library if you can.
Mail delivery is on this list?? It’s an extremely stressful job in a notoriously toxic work environment, and you will encounter many people on the route. This is the job everyone thinks they know everything about until they actually try it and see for themselves.
I’m still in school (I’m a 17 year old girl) and I know for almost half a year that I’m hypersensitive, which changed the way I see myself. I’m incredibly happy that I’ve found this websie and that there are so many others just like me and that I know they are struggling with the same things. I have to figure out which study I want to do. I’d always wanted to be a veterinarian but I think I can’t handle to see the animals suffering. In the country I live (the Netherlands) we have a study called Humanism where philosophy, sociology and psychology are the three main things the study is about. I can become some kind of advisor in like a prison to help them give the prisoners an as human-worthy life as possible, I hope I’m saying that right… or I could work as a scientist to look into social issues or I could even be a freelancer. Something in nature would be very nice too. Would that be something that would be a good study and eventually good job for an HSP? Thankyou
I’m a vet who has left the profession. I’ve only just come across the term of highly sensitive person about 10 minutes ago, so I really don’t understand your situation but I’ll give you some vet advice incase it helps.
Basically you are right, I would stay well away from Veterinary. It is a difficult profession for most people.
To be a vet, you have to enjoy making of quick decisions, dealing with lots of people, and it is emotionally difficult. I feel like you need to be an extrovert as you are actually dealing with a lot of people – when consulting you see a different client every 10-15 minutes. In that time you have introduce yourself, make them like you, deal with small talk, ask the problem, check over the patient, discuss the problem, answer questions, advise over complex cases, write up your notes and make a plan for your team. It really is fast paced.
As a very talkative extrovert with a lot of energy, I left the profession as I found it too mentally exhausting and draining. I was working min 10 hour days + weekends. The suicide rate in the profession is 4 x normal levels and I wouldn’t wish the career on the wrong person. To succeed I feel you need that ‘drive’ to work in a fast paced, you need to love running around; reading about cases at night; reading science journals at breakfast etc. that has to be the thing that fuels you and excites you. If not it will drain you.
You may read about vets who are in more ‘relaxed’ clinics where it’s a branch practice, less consults, minimal surgery but these aren’t the norm, but do exist. For a lot of intelligent people, after a 5 year degree, these practices may become mundane and repetitive.
Additionally vet school for a HSP person would be hard, like really hard. Like huge volumes of information + in summer breaks when everyone else is having fun you are trudging round the country on public transport working at pig farms.
The main reason I would steer you away though – is look up compassion fatigue – it sounds like something you would be at risk from. It is an extremely emotional career. You must be empathic and you would excel at that, however be too empathetic and you will be emotional hurt when you have to put the sleep the most loving dogs while they look at you. You need to be empathic, but able to detach yourself. You need to be able walk straight out of a euthanasia that made you cry and walk straight into a puppy consultation and act happy and gleeful to see a puppy.
A lot of people, me included, go into veterinary because it seems like a well respected path but your other jobs definitely sound more suited to you and you will thrive at them so good luck.
A job as a scientist or working in Humanism sounds really good. A job with less doing and more thinking may well work for you 🙂
Hi Previousvet 🙂
Thanks so much for the run-down on what it is like to work as a vet.
I have often wondered whether that is a profession I want to pursue and can no confidently say now, it probably isn’t lol
Thanks for your honesty and detailed response 🙂
Hi Previous Vet,
I am currently a 4th year veterinary student and have been 2 months into the clinical year. The senior clinicians, residents, intern and my classmates are great but working in a team all day long and dealing with clients really drains my energy and I do not enjoy it (I enjoy the thinking process of medicine though). I wake up everyday thinking why I choose this profession and why I should do in the future. Even if I suck it up this year and get a DVM, I cannot avoid working with people if I would stay in this profession. However, if I leave veterinary medicine, I have no idea how I can pay off my over $250,000 student loans. I feel being trapped and helpless. Would you mind to share why you leave vet med at the first place, how was the transition and what kind of job you have currently? Thank you!
I’m a total introvert and in my last job I worked as a legal assistant in a small two person law office which was awesome. I spent all day on my own typing, filing, doing legal research. The work was deadline driven but it was done alone and I knew what I had to do. Most of my people contact was over the phone or seeing a client who had to sign paperwork. Before that I worked as a social worker after doing a personality test and attending a career counselling workshop. It was the worst job for me. The client contact was exhausting. I was attending massive meetings, network meetings, doing presentations, and attending conferences. I realize that it’s best to do your own research and using your gut instincts when doing research on jobs and careers.
I’m a sensitive introvert. I worked a number of years at a vet’s office as a kennel person, and I was being trained to do vet assisting too. But boarding slowed down and I wasn’t catching on to their (lack of) training for the vet assisting, so I was laid off. I recently worked at a dog groomers as a bather over the holiday season, and was just laid off a week ago, as the boss said work was slowing down post-Christmas. At both pet care jobs, there was always one bossy jerk I had to work with, and the vet job my superviser was kind of mean too. Can’t say I miss those aspects of the jobs, but overall I did enjoy working with animals.
Since I’ve been laid off back to back it’s left me very depressed and with some uncertainty of what I wanna do job-wise. I’m honestly thinking more self-employment as I like the freedom of choosing your own schedule, and having variety. I’ve considered doing dog-walking, pet-sitting, grocery shopping, and delivery jobs; all of which are app-based gigs. Either way, I’m sick of working for jobs, working my butt off, and getting nothing to show for it (and getting laid off)!
I am a development coordinator (I used to be an Architect) and my role requires me to arrange and organize Architects, Engineers and other consultants to gain planning applications and building regulations for large housing estates. I have to project an aura of calmness, control and confidence but the truth is I am consumed by fear and panic most of the time. I only enjoy the quiet and creative parts of the job. I have always been quiet and shy but my job requires me to be highly social. I will not be able to keep up the facade much longer and I feel constantly overwhelmed and exhausted. I am the sole breadwinner at the moment and we need the money. My husband and I are working to put together a re-selling business (vintage toys and clothes) and that is the light at the end of the tunnel. I see now I should be self employed. I only just discovered this website today via one of your YouTube videos. It is a revelation. I see now what I am (i.e. highly sensitive) and I need to work with it instead of against it.
I too have a job that requires times where I’m on stage and it difficult with aniexity and Nervousness – I use beta blockers for performance aniexity – it made a huge difference- I was able to keep my job.
I don’t have to do any presenting by I understand the overwhelmed part. I have been in customer service for most of my working life and I just don’t want to deal with people anymore. Trying to find a job that I’ll like feels impossible. I like what I do at work but I don’t want to deal with people over the phone. I should probably sell things online but I don’t like risk
Can you please help me to decide if interior design is right choice for me? I am highly sensitive, introvert who gets tired and burn out after too much people interaction (especially if it is negative)
I am having serious trouble thinking of what I want to be career wise. I’ve already graduated high school and have been since May. At first I wanted to be a vet tech then a mechanic but I dont think I could handle either. I just dont know what career path to go down and it’s been my biggest problem since .
What types of things do you enjoy doing Amelia? What things do you do in your spare time? What are your short-term goals? You should go online and take a career interest inventory. There are free ones available and you’ll be able to answer a lot of questions and narrow down your search. Good luck!
What was your job like as an archiving assistant?
Hi Des, thanks for the question. I was very young at the time (only a few yrs out of college) and my boss wasn’t great. It was really boring and I received little direction, so I often didn’t have much work to do. So that particular job was not good, but that doesn’t mean working in an archival job would be bad for everyone. My particular situation was not good. 🙂
Can you please help me to decide if interior design is right choice for me? I am highly sensitive, introvert who gets tired and burn out after too much people interaction (especially if it is negative). Please advice
I recently completed a PhD and will be going back to work in the next few months. I am an introvert and I do not handle stress well (I physically manifest symptoms like eye styes and hives). I am finding it difficult to narrow my search to jobs I might be a good fit for. Is my terminal degree going to be a drawback to a potential employer?
I wonder about working as archivist? What is it that you do, and what are the requirements for getting that job.. most of the sites that I’ve looked at required a masters degree
As someone who’s been in the role of social media manager, I can tell you it is typically a VERY high stress job – especially if you’re dealing with any kind of recall, crisis or other issue. I suppose it could be low key if it’s for a smaller company or firm that doesn’t have much interface with customers, clients or the public (which sort of defeats the point)!
Great post! I just learned about ‘introverts’ recently and many characteristics fit me EXACTLY. I find it interesting that you have COURT REPORTER listed. That was the first job I ever researched in my early teens. I must have sub consciously known that I was an introvert! I’ve been a homemaker for 26 years and recently decided to go back to work and decided to try a cashier/customer service job at a busy retail store. To make matters worse, EVERY CUSTOMER we talk too we have to ask if they want to sign up for the STORE CREDIT CARD. I come home mentally and physically exhausted!! No more cashier/customer service work for me! Thanks for all the great info!
Any idea for a job for someone who has no math, science, or history skills, doesn’t like working outdoors, can’t retain information, doesn’t like working on computers, hates mass amounts of paperwork, and can’t afford college? (Ruling out truck driver and writer)
I’m in a similar situation. Have had anxiety since I was a child. I have a very stressful job, stressful for anyone, especially a sensitive introvert. I desperately want to change careers, but can’t handle going back to school. I never earned a defree, not for lack of trying though. I make good money in my current position and I’m on track to make lots more. I just can’t stand going to work and I feel like the job is destroying / has taken my life. I really don’t fit in with the work culture at all and I really regret ever taking the job. No friends, no social life, no family. If it weren’t for my dog, I’d have no one to talk to at all. I drink way too much (daily), just to relax and get some sleep. Otherwise, I’m just a ball of anxiety and insomnia. It feels like it’s literally Killing me. I’d be much happier doing something simple and stree free. In college, I cleaned offices. Was the best job ever. It was only me, my walkman, and simple tasks, no stress at all. I really don’t care for prestige or anything like that. I’d just like some peace. Obviously, I can’t just quit and go clean offices for minimum wage. If I had a degree and could find another job that paid well enough, I’d quit. Feels like I don’t have options.
Hi Mike, I really relate to your situation. I’ve had anxiety as a child as well. I’m currently unemployed looking for a less stressful area in my profession-nursing. During this time my husband and I have reduced expenses and withdrew some retirement money so that we can get through this time until I find a job. I get what you are saying about feeling stuck because of the money you are making. Have you thought about reducing your expenses and just going for it and get a job cleaning offices or something like that? Maybe it would work. I’m not to that point yet, but if I am unable to find a nursing job that has less stress than I may be looking into less stressful jobs that pay less. I’m feeling kind of lost right now but I just keep trying to see what’s out there knowing that I need a less stressful job than what I was doing. Maybe you could work on finishing your degree (online classes maybe). I just wanted to respond to you to say you are not alone and just suggest to ask yourself questions like “what if I did this?” or “would it work if I did that?” and then you can just work out the scenarios to see if they would work. Also, is there a way you can keep your present job but talk to your manager and let them know how you are feeling? I know that sounds scary or impossible but you could be surprised that they may be able to help you change some things at work or help you by having you do different duties or a different area at the company. I have actually done that which was really hard and I was pleasantly surprised that they were willing to make some accommodations for me. I wish the best for you!
I think we need to get in touch on this introvert jobs search.
I have worked in office and retail settings and the sad part is that I was happy working on the sales floor (until a customer needed help). The issue that I that I have now is one of the ones you described in your article: Unending tasks and dealing with people. I have to constantly be on the phone or interacting with people. Constantly. It’s not that they aren’t nice, its just that I want to just work and get all of the stuff that I have to get done before I leave and if there is sooo much to do, I seem to get more and more interruptions. I was finding myself staying after work because there was so much to complete. The list of jobs that are out there for introverts is great to have, but what about the people who can’t go back to school for jobs listed that are looking for Maser degrees in the subject or even 5 years experience in those jobs. Or, the jobs listed do not interest the introvert, like Social media manager or accountant (need a degree for that too). There are people out that that either can’t stand social media or it’s just not their thing. Any advice for someone like that? I know its a long shot, but…anything would be helpful.
I absolutely love my job. I get to make my own schedule. I only have to interact with a common SMALL group of people. I have my own office, no deadlines,and my boss is also a free spirit. As long as I do my job, my way, she’s happy. It doesn’t pay as much as I would like but It’s not awful either. Finding the right fit is absolutely necessary!
If you dont mind me asking, what do you do?
Nicole, Where do you work. I work in a high stress, very toxic, micromanaged department. I am a patient access representative. I excel at data entry, proofreading, and basically anything working on a computer.
I work in a factory it can be extremely stressful depending on the area of work you are in. Most of the machines in manufacturing are becoming highly automated. It can be fast paced in the medical and automotive fields. Lots of paperwork and cleaning (called 5s and PM-preventive maintenance) for factory workers. The days where you make a few different parts or put a few simple things together are over. Mistakes can maim and/or kill people. Unreasonable high quotas and massive amounts of overtime causes a lot of these mistakes. I’ve known people that have worked in automotive that have worked two to three months straight and seven days a week. Also, machine repair in a manufacturing environment can be very stressful also. For the same reasons I listed above.
Thanks for the article. I’m looking into other fields of work that don’t make me want to pull my hair out. This has been helpful. I’ve worked in manufacturing for almost a decade. I thought I’d give you some insider info.
Hi being an empath and introverted HSP, I’m a Construction Manager.
Every day is challenge, starting from getting early what is normal in industry, but not enough for me to recover from previous day. Being empath helps to understand people and their intentions, however it’s hard to accept lies and lie as well to push to get job done. All day communication with people and their negative emotions exhausts completely. One thing at the end of the day is to get home and get rest in closed room.
At his stage it’s hard to change career as can’t afford the lower income for family. so have to move farther and leave some space in bigger office.
I’ve most enjoyed running my own show in several service capacites: lawn/garden and tutoring. I also enjoyed working in a small manufacturing shop with a few other guys. I did not like working in accounting. Nor retail. I enjoyed cooking for a time. I enjoyed working for a soup kitchen. I’ve never really held one job for more than a couple/few years. It’s been tough to bounce around so much, and I barely scrape enough money to get by, but things are working out pretty well. And I smile when I look at all the random places I’ve been and people I’ve met. Not sure what job I’ll have a year from now and it’s scary. But I must admit, I’ll take that uncertainty over the cubicle any day.
I’m an introvert and ran my own business from home for a few years selling on Amazon. Being a single parent I felt lonely at times, not having any co-workers. Now I have a part-time job doing housekeeping in a hotel and I also run an ironing business from home.
I really enjoy both jobs and have got a good balance of working alone from home and then working in a small team within a hotel.
The job is very physical though and low pay so I am looking for a career change. I’m seriously looking into Interior Design as I’m a very creative person and I would have the option of freelance work with that.
It’s a big decision for me though as I’m in my 30’s and I would need to go to university. I love to study but worry about the fee’s and what if I changed my mind halfway through the course and decided it wasn’t for me?!
Big decision to make…. any advice?
You sound capable of making things happen. I’d love to be comfortable being self-employed but dislike the emotion I’ve felt after dealing with upset customers. They don’t bother me in-person at regular jobs for some reason.
I also think interior design would be fun. However, I worry about unrealistic clients and my ability to make them happy as well as the uncertainty of income.
I wanted to share a conversation I had with a work colleague several years ago who graduated interior design school from one of the for-profit art schools in the Bay Area. She couldn’t find a job after her internship. I was trying to encourage her not to give up her dream, but she was done and explained why.
She said no one was interested in hiring her and it was very competitive to get in with a firm like where she interned. She had tried them all. She didn’t want to attract and build clients on her own even though I was offering web help. She ended up working in administrative support in a small office at a non-profit and seemed happy… but with lots of debt. She was introverted.
I’d caution against taking on huge debt for a career if it is challenging to get started in it and if loan repayment may be difficult even if you are successful in securing the work you trained for. People who are passionate about the field and good at networking might not mind the risk and can go out on their own or eat ramen noodles for years with low income. Keep in mind that student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy like other debt so it is riskier and for-profit schools can be focused on earnings and keeping seats filled.
If you thoroughly research a program and the occupation, that will give you more confidence in your choice. Maybe you could contact a local designer or two first and ask for an informational interview and advice on getting started? I’d also check a program’s graduate placement support. What kind of jobs are the students getting at the end of the program?
Professional organizer may be an interesting alternative and easier to get into with a professional certification or a small portfolio and references. I don’t know but thought it was fun one time when I was paid to help a teenager keep, toss, donate her belongings to get organized (I’ve watched the HGTV shows and read books). I also worked at the container store. It’s pretty decent for a corporate culture and soothing to see all the order around you and customers are usually in a good mood. You could try them for seasonal holiday employment or part-time whenever and get large employee discounts (I did this).
Lots to consider. Good luck with your decisions.
I’ve worked in social media management for a year and it’s one of the most stressful jobs I’ve had. I wouldn’t recommend social media as I received stress from both unending tasks that don’t end and pressure to achieve. Great social media pages will give their employees a lot of time to create good content and analyze those results. Unfortunately most companies I’ve seen will throw in social media as part of another job title. The pressure to come up with witty, perfect captions and unique, engaging media almost every day can take up a lot of mental energy. In my case, it also feels great to know that my job depends on a bunch of 6 to 15 year olds liking our posts.
I was a paraprofessional at an elementary school for fifteen years and switched to an evening custodial job. I was feeling stressed out and not sleeping well. I’m now an evening custodian and I enjoy the solitude and physical work. I sleep better at night now!
How was the paraprofessional job stressful?
I will try to be helpful here. Im 40 and Ive had 30+ jobs. Hated all but maybe 2or3. I have a college degree. Im introverted, highly sensitive. The only jobs ive liked were where I worked at a record shop part time and it took vocational rehabilitation program a year to find me that gig. The other was a temp job working in a dark quiet room filing papers, no people, no customers, no phones. Working in produce at a small grocery was ok. All my other jobs were awful, including factories, janitor, gas stations. Sadly I have yet to find one single thing Im actually capable of doing that pays enough to support a human being.
I’m 40 and have Aspergers and ADHD and find it hard to hold onto any of my jobs as I find it difficult to meet deadlines/goals as I don’t know how to handle working well under pressure and I find working with people challenging. I’m now out of work having being released from my last four jobs. I’ve tried 3 different careers but can’t hold onto the jobs longer than 6 months because by then managers think i’m too slow or its difficult for me to work with some people in teams. It seems like I don’t know what to do anymore and nobody can help me. I’m just lost and not sure. Maybe others have been in this situation. Not many workplaces are asperger friendly.
Sending good wishes your way, Josh. I hope you have found or will find something perfect for you.
Hello Josh! I relate so much to your comment. I’m 34 Have Aspergers and ADHD and have the same issues. I’m still searching for jobs where I would be a good fit. I don’t have any advice unfortunately, But I just wanted to wish you luck and I hope things work out for you 🙂
I’ve been fired from alot of places because I dont do well with people but I like to work and when someone doesn’t do there job I pick up the slack usually with little to no problems but most places and people dont like that so it causes alot of issues and after my last job I cant seem to get anyone to hire me it is really hard to find a secluded job that i dont need a degree for it doesn’t help I’m not a book smart person but i can do alot of skills. Any suggestions
I am a hair stylist. I think that it works well for me because I am comfortable with my skill level now. I like the girls I work with, and I have a boss that works with me, not against me. I get to move around a lot, see familiar faces in my regular clients, and use my creativity. Busier days make me want to run the other direction, but I make it through.
A word of caution. I retrained to my strengths in mid life, as a translator. I am freelance, but work is very hard to get. Ironically you find yourself dealing with people nearly as much and going to conferences in order to find potential clients, and build up the networks that allow you to stay freelance. After a horrible time the past 7 years doing stressful office work unrelated to translation, I went part time at an office that has been steadily turning toxic and is now aiming to eject me. Unfortunately, that is what kept me going financially. Freelancers are going head to head with millions of freelancers globally. It doesn’t mean you’re not good, just that it may take a long time to take off and you will still be using people skills. I’m introverted but pass as ‘pleasant’. I suspect I’m somewhere on the spectrum.
Thank you for sharing this experience as a freelance translator. I’m a translator too, but working for a company. This job is really stressing me out – the irrealistic targets to achieve, as the company is obsessed by productivity and the number of words translated per hour. They also want extremely high quality scores, and the work itself is very difficult and quite unrewarding. I am thinking of leaving this productivity-focused industry but not sure what to do next; I have also thought of being a freelance translator but the income insecurity is daunting and finding clients too… It’s a difficult one. Thank you for this blog, which I discovered today. It sounds like a source of inspiration and I look forward to reading more of it!
Very good content!
Just, I work in a Factory , I’s awful with all the noise and you have strict time limit, not a good job for hsp and a difficult job for ather people too.
I am an extroverted hsp and love people, especially kids, but I really can’t handle being around them all the time. However, I need to be around people for my mental healths sake. Since I was in kindergarten I have wanted to be an elementary school teacher and now i am wondering if that dream is not going to work. Some of the other careers I have considered are a school counselor, genetic counselor, or some time of therapist for children. Are there other careers that may suit me? Do any of the ones i mentioned sound like they might work?
Right now when I come home from school (high school) I have a headache and need to rest. I wouldn’t want to go through that every day with my job, but it might be the only way to have a job that makes me feel fulfilled and like I’m helping people face to face. Other notes: I love writing and design. I was wondering about maybe some type of stylist or interior decorator..
I work in a government agency, and have for 30 years. I’ve jumped around a lot just to leave the pain behind from one place to the next in the early years. I don’t like feeling bad all day, so I am really enjoying the option to work at home because of the pandemic. Everything can be done electronically for the most part. I am doing HR work, which I had serious headaches over in the beginning, and the stress of people who kept trying to “bond” with me. No fun being an older female, who is also a captive audience. The expectations are pretty obvious. I don’t want to share my life, I just want to do the work and get away from the noise and the people. While we were in the office I had to commute, expensive after the van pool we had fell apart. So if we are supposed to get a vaccine that no one has responsibility over to go back, I’m not going back. Looking for something close to home, that is not a giant mess, like the government.
Surveyor should not be on the list. It is a very stressful job.
Quiet environments are key for me. More about my journey with work below, but may I add working with plants and elders to your list of service jobs?
I read this post and comments in an effort to help my 27 y.o. son who is Aspergers, HSP and cannot tolerate stressful situations. I am learning that we are very much alike. My first job was shelving books at the local library- being alone with books was heaven! I worked part-time at two other libraries over the next decade and was eventually trained in serving customers and answering reference questions. This got me to the edge of my comfort zone, but I had supportive supervisors. I took a position with mobile services delivering books to shut-ins and care facilities, even the county jail. Too much stress for me despite the down time driving between locations. Also, the nature of workplaces seems to have changed everywhere. There is more to do and less time to do it. I remember not having a moment to say hello to a coworker, never mind share how we were feeling or challenges from our outside lives.
Working in a small community with very few work opportunities meant I always had a few part-time jobs. Working in gardens and cleaning houses were the most enjoyable gigs for me. The flexibility is great, you are your own boss and the work is task oriented, not strictly timed. I did some work helping folks in their homes: a developmentally delayed teen and then an elderly woman. That work was necessarily slow paced, and low pressure.
When working with plants I found the most joy and creativity and decided to leave behind my other jobs to become a landscape designer. At 50+ years old I joined a farm internship focused on sustainable practices, got a permaculture certificate, worked at a nursery and then managed the grounds of a farm-to-table inn. I am now developing a farm and education program at my own property.
I have found that doing what I love and having supportive people in my life has allowed me to grow into my “right” livelihood.
I very much would like a job working with plants. I have no money, no time for school, but I have a degree and job experience. I have Asperger’s and the pressure of having lost everything, aggressive bullying family, and only having a month to live in a hotel is tearing me apart. I can’t sleep because I’m scared, but I can’t do sales job with people who want to fight over the phone. My parents died. All I have is clothes and a phone that won’t stop updating itself and is too small for me to use. Sometimes my hands go numb and shake from the stress. I really need a peaceful job around plants or books.
I worked as a scientist in COVID testing. My education was zoology. Pre-Veterinary, but I have a severe case of dyscalculia and never could pass calculus so college was a waste unless you’re normal. I actually enjoyed my job but never liked fast paced hyper crowds of people like the front desk administration had to deal with. I lost my place because the owner had a thing against people working COVID. Despite me being vaccinated and regular testing.
I don’t like trying to sell to people,I’m tired of abusive family constantly making sure I know I’m less than them and always will be because of their college degrees. Every day is hell. I dream of dying so I can have some relief. I lost my car, everything. At this point, I just want a quiet job.
I operate a parking lot litter cleanup business. The work is performed on-foot with simple hand tools and completed before businesses open for the day. I love the solitude and peacefulness of performing my service in the early morning hours.
I work for a major software company as I’ve seen this can be a great career for people with anxiety. As I have no degree or working experience I started in a helpdesk role and it is one of the worst jobs I can imagine for an anxious introvert. The phone is constantly ringing, the office is busy and you need to monitor SLAs, emails, Teams, amongst just a few things!
Therefore if you want to go into the tech industry I’d advise you either try and get a Computer Science degree or self tech code.