What do these people all have in common: Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Steven Spielberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Abraham Lincoln, and Michael Jordan? Some are tall, some are short. Some are male and some female. Some rich, some poor. What they all share is a label—“introvert”.
No universally accepted definition exists of introversion. Many personality tests claim to be able to clearly distinguish introverts from extroverts. You may have taken one or more of these tests, and you may or may not have been surprised by the results. The general belief today is that introversion and extroversion are not two sides of a coin but rather are endpoints on a continuum. People tend to lean in one direction or the other, but few are totally extroverted or introverted.
Introverts are not necessarily shy or socially awkward. They can develop deep, meaningful relationships and enjoy the company of others. Unlike extroverts, who tend to draw energy from interacting with people, introverts typically find interactions draining and seek seclusion and quiet to recharge their batteries.
If you are an introvert, look again at the list of successful introverts at the top of this article and know you are in good company. Some of the most successful people in the world are introverts. Not surprisingly, many careers are well suited to those on the introverted end of the spectrum. Introverts thrive best in environments that provide freedom to work independently. Such jobs typically have these characteristics:
- Target self-contained work rather than large-group interactive caucuses.
- Provide quiet workspaces rather than open, noisy surroundings.
- Require active listening skills rather than highly developed presentation skills.
- Focus on one task or project at a time rather than a long list of multi-tasking chores.
- Rely more on individual interactions than public speaking.
Below are a list of five high-demand, highly paid jobs that could be ideal for a well-trained, skillful, and enterprising introvert.
1 – I/T Specialist/Manager
The field of Information Technology is ideal for introverts. You don’t need to be a party-loving extrovert to be the next Bill Gates, but you do need a passion for computers and technology. An I/T Specialist performs software and hardware upgrades, and works with the operation and security of the organization’s computer systems. An I/T Manager handles the company’s technology budget, directs the work of the technical staff, and monitors helpdesk tickets to look for vulnerabilities and opportunities to improve operations.
Glassdoor.com reports the average annual salary for the I/T Manager is $85,000, with an entry point of $58,000 and topping out at $115,000. More than 1 Million jobs for I/T Specialists and Managers exist in the US.
2 – Software Engineer
Software Engineers work in tandem with I/T Specialists to create and maintain systems, websites, and applications. These systems may support the internal operations of companies that produce consumer products and services, such as a manufacturer or a retailer, or they may be the very products the company sells, such as Microsoft and Google. Software Engineers use computer languages to build, implement, and upgrade software programs. Software Engineers may specialize in networking, databases, operating systems, or applications.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2019 (the latest figures available) reports nearly 1.5 Million software development jobs exist in the US, and that number is growing at 2% a year. The average salary last year was $107,000.
3 – Computer System Administrator
A Computer Systems Administrator, usually shortened to SysAdmin, works behind-the-scenes to setup and run a company’s computer systems. A SysAdmin manages servers, networks, operating systems, and applications. They must be able to respond quickly to problems and outages, ensuring that the company’s systems remain up and responsive.
The BLS report on this job role showed almost 400,000 jobs in 2019, with a growth rate of 4% over the next ten years. The average pay for a SysAdmin was over $83,000.
4 – Computer Security Specialist
If “Clue” is your favorite game and you like watching real-crime dramas, Computer Security Specialist may be right up your alley. A Computer Security Specialist looks for threats to the company’s systems, networks, and databases and defines improvements to the hardware and software to prevent attacks.
A smaller market niche, the BLS reported over 131,000 Computer Security Specialist jobs in the US, but that number is increasing by more than 3% per year, faster than most other jobs. Average salary was $99,000.
5 – Database Developer
The job of Database Developer is to design, develop, and manage a company’s databases. They work with other Software Developers to create applications to interface with the database. Database Developers create efficient data structures in which to store and retrieve information, and they ensure the integrity of the data.
The average pay scale for a Database Developer, according to Glassdoor.com, ranges from $57,000 to $96,000. The BLS reports over 132,000 Database Developer jobs last year, with a higher than average growth rate.
The technology field offers many careers aimed squarely at introverts who prefer a distraction-free work environment, projects that require concentration, single-threaded tasks, and one-on-one rather than large-group interactions. In addition, tech careers are becoming increasing remote-work opportunities. For those who do not want to commute to an office every day, I/T is an attractive option. If a career in I/T sounds like your perfect fit, you can get the training and the support you need to pivot into your dream job from RemoteMode. Contact a RemoteMode career advisor to learn how quickly you can be ready to launch into your new career.
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