Feel like your quiet personality makes you the office outsider? Here are six careers where a reserved nature is an asset, not a limitation.
Does the phrase “small talk” make you cringe? If you’re a quiet person, navigating the social niceties of the professional world could be a real drag. You may even feel like your personality is holding you back from getting a leg up in your current career. But don’t count yourself out just yet. A quiet demeanor could conceal great powers of observation or analysis.
“People who are quiet might focus on data and things, rather than people, so there are some occupations [in which] they might be able to do a better job,” says Laurence Shatkin, a career expert and author of several books, including “50 Best Jobs for Your Personality.”
Ready to let your quiet attributes do the talking? Consider pursuing these careers where your natural inclinations could be your greatest assets.
Career 1: Accountant
When data talks, are you usually listening? An ability to sit quietly while poring over numbers could serve you well as an accountant.
If you prefer to keep quiet and focus on the details, this number-driven occupation could play to your strengths, Shatkin says. Reviewing financial statements, computing taxes, and reviewing accounting systems are some of the duties required of accountants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Accountants carry out their duties in either an office or at home, according to the Department of Labor. Sounds like you’ll have plenty of quality time to spend with your number-friends. Just keep in mind that this job may require meeting face-to-face with clients on occasion, in order to provide recommendations or explain your findings, the Department notes.
Career 2: Graphic Designer
Would you rather express yourself through images than words? Your skills as a visual communicator could take center stage in a graphic design career. Quiet people are often considered better listeners, Shatkin says, which means they may have an advantage in this creative field.
Why do graphic designers need active listening skills? In order to “really focus on what the client is trying to convey with the graphic,” Shatkin says.
But taking direction from clients isn’t the only time you’ll find yourself keeping mum. As a graphic designer, you might spend much of your time figuring out the best way to use colors, images, text, and layouts to communicate ideas, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Sounding a little lonely? Don’t worry, graphic designers aren’t completely solitary. Being able to work in teams is also an important quality, as graphic designers often collaborate directly with a client or in conjunction with marketers, programmers, or other graphic designers, the Department of Labor notes.
Career 3: Software Developer
If you come up with your best ideas during quiet contemplation, a career as a software developer could deliver rewarding work. “Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While they may work in teams, most of the day-to-day work is solo, Shatkin says.
Daily tasks might include designing computer applications such as word processors or games, or creating the operating systems used in consumer electronics, the Department of Labor reports. Still, software developers don’t work in a vacuum. They will need to address feedback from customers about programs they develop, says the Department.
Career 4: Database Administrator
Do you like to quietly and thoroughly think over the task at hand before taking action? If so, you may want to think over a career as a database administrator. Talk about the need for quiet concentration: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in this career “a minor error can cause major problems.”
That’s because database administrators are responsible for organizing large amounts of data for important processes, like credit card transactions, the Department of Labor reports. Of course, where there are important databases, there are also users of those databases, which is why this career can also require “a fair amount of collaborative work,” Shatkin notes.
Career #5: Writer
Do you feel most comfortable when you’re up to your eyeballs in research and facts – with not a person in sight? Then you might have a calling as a writer. Quiet people often have a great ability to concentrate on slogging through information, Shatkin says. This kind of endurance can be a prized skill for writers, who, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, need to demonstrate strong research and proper citation methods to establish credibility in their work.
Writers produce work for many different mediums. In addition to writing for books and magazines, writers might create content for an advertisement, website, or TV or film script, according to the Department of Labor.
Yes, writing is often a solitary endeavor, but a supporting cast is needed to see manuscripts through to publication. As a writer, you would likely communicate regularly with an editor or client, the Department notes.
Career 6: Survey Researcher
Surveys are used regularly to help organizations test the waters of public opinion, but did you ever wonder who designs the questions? Survey researchers – that’s who. If you’re one for long hours of quiet contemplation, this could be the career for you.
The listening skills that seem to go hand-in-hand with quiet personalities can be the key to designing surveys that deliver reliable, meaningful results, Shatkin says.
No, surveys won’t tell you how they should be designed, but your employers might. “Part of [survey research] is finding out what someone needs to learn from the survey, and that requires really listening,” Shatkin says.
As a survey researcher, you could enjoy a good amount of silent work – like researching the survey topic, determining the best method for accurately capturing the desired information, or using statistical software to analyze the results, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Just note that you won’t be spending all of your time on Silent Street. Survey researchers can also be responsible for conducting surveys themselves by facilitating focus groups or interviewing people over the phone or in-person, according to the Department of Labor.
These fields let you scrap the 9-to-5 routine and work a flexible schedule.
Are you tired of the same old, same old 9-to-5 office routine? Want to change to a career with a more flexible working schedule? You’re not alone. More than three out of five working adults agreed that flexibility is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a new job, according to a recent Business News Daily article.
The good news is that with the right education, you could be prepared to pursue a career with flexibility built in…
Career 1 – Registered Nurse
Want a career that offers a flexible work schedule? Look to nursing. These physical and emotional health care providers generally help perform a variety of tasks – from recording medical histories and symptoms to doing diagnostic tests and helping with patient follow-up and rehabilitation.
Flex Factor: Instead of being confined by normal business hours, registered nurses (RNs) usually have the flexibility to work night and weekend shifts. At Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, Dana Dye, chief nursing officer, RN, says the hospital allows nurses to choose between eight-hour or 12-hour shifts. And during the weekends, nurses could have the option to work 24 hours.
Education: Look into either an associate’s degree in nursing or a nursing diploma from an approved nursing program.
Earning Potential: The mean annual salary for RNs was $67,720 in May 2010.
Career 2 – Dental Assistant
Dental assistants usually play an important role in preparing patients for treatment, sterilizing dental equipment, organizing instruments, and updating dental records. During procedures, assistants usually work alongside the dentist to provide patient care. They also could perform laboratory duties.
Flex Factor: Many dental assistants don’t subscribe to a 9-to-5 schedule or a 40-hour workweek. Some put in hours on nights and weekends, while others work for more than one dental office to form a more balanced work-life routine. In 2008, nearly half of all dental assistants had a 35- to 40-hour workweek, says the Department of Labor.
Education: While there’s no formal requirements for dental assisting gigs, the U.S. Department of Labor notes that dental assisting diploma and certificate programs – which could take as little as one year to complete – are growing in popularity.
Earning Potential: The mean annual salary for dental assistants was $34,140 in May 2010.
Career 3 – Accountant
If you excel at organization and attention to detail, you may want to consider an accounting career. Accountants usually help to ensure that firms are run efficiently, public records are kept accurately, and taxes are paid properly and on time.
Flex Factor: Off-site work and travel for audits are two fun flex factors that can be found in accounting. At Ernst & Young, workplace flexibility has been built into the culture, says a recent New York Times article. Ernst & Young’s Chairman James S. Turley said, “We listen to our people and they tell us very consistently that flexibility is incredibly important to them and to their family.” Nearly 10 percent of Ernst & Young’s 23,500 U.S. employees are on flexible arrangements.
Education: If you want to prepare to pursue this career, consider earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related area like finance or business.
Earning Potential: The mean annual salary for accountants was $68,960 in May 2010.
Career 4 – Graphic Designer
Using tools like color, type, illustration, and various layout techniques, graphic designers generally convey visual messages in a variety of mediums. From designing magazines and promotional displays to marketing brochures and packaging, this career is usually about having an eye for design.
Flex Factor: If working normal business hours at a big design or advertising firm doesn’t excite you, there could be work-life balance alternatives for a graphic designer. Many creative types are self-employed and usually work from home on a contract basis, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Just note that since this has the potential to be a self-employed position that revolves around production schedules, night and weekend hours could be necessary.
Education: If you want to start a graphic design career, a bachelor’s degree in graphic design is generally needed to land an entry-level position, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Earning Potential: The mean annual salary for graphic designers was $48,140 in May 2010.
Career 5 – Police Officer
Uniformed police officers usually protect lives and property by carrying out law enforcement duties. From responding to a traffic accident to confronting criminals, these everyday heroes work to keep our communities safe.
Flex Factor: The prospect of flexible or part-time schedules seems to be attractive to police job candidates – it appears on many career hiring sites, including the NYPD Cadet Corps’ web site. Although police officers usually work 40-hour weeks, hours can be flexible, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Since police officers provide around-the-clock protection, shift work could be necessary.
Education: Educational requirements vary for each agency – from a high school diploma to a few years of college coursework.
Earning Potential: The mean annual salary for police officers was $55,620 in May 2010.
Whether you’re just starting out or switching professions, check out these promising fields.
Looking to rebound from the recession in a new, growing career? Whether you’re on the brink of embarking on your first career, switching careers, or looking for work after a slump, the good news is that there are some careers that aren’t going anywhere. Check out these careers with strong growth factors – then see if any are right for you.
Career 1 – Accountant
If you’re comfortable working with numbers, there’s lots of opportunity out there for helping individuals and companies manage their money as an accountant. To qualify for this role, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related area, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Growth Factor: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that between 2008 and 2018, accounting will be one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country with 22 percent growth. The profession is projected to add 279,000 jobs in the ten year time frame.
What Accountants Do: Accountants balance books, prepare tax returns, keep management informed on the company’s financial health, and help the company exercise sound judgment when buying assets of any kind.
Career 2 – Registered Nurse (RN)
Want to pursue opportunities in a growing – and rewarding – industry? Look into earning either an associate’s or bachelor’s in nursing or a nursing diploma.
Growth Factor: The U.S. Department of Labor says nursing will grow 22 percent from 2008 and 2018. Translated to the number of jobs, that’s 581,500 new RN positions.
What RNs Do: RNs provide patient care and education to those with medical conditions. They might administer medication, perform diagnostic tests, and run blood drives.
Career 3 – Computer Systems Analyst
If you’re looking for a growing career that requires big-picture thinking, computer systems analyst might be the right option for you. Consider earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field.
Growth Factor: The U.S. Department of labor projects 20 percent job growth (108,100 computer systems analyst positions) from 2008-2018.
What Computer Systems Analysts Do: Computer systems analysts help implement and improve existing computer systems, reviewing capabilities, analyzing requirements, and making recommendations for software.
Career 4 – Dental Assistant
If you’re looking for careers with a strong rebound factor, dental assisting takes the cake. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this is one of the fastest growing professions from 2008-2018. The best part: You could potentially qualify to pursue opportunities in this field with a one-year dental assisting program.
Growth Factor: The U.S. Department of Labor expects 36 percent growth (105,600 new jobs) in this field between 2008 and 2018.
What Dental Assistants Do: Dental assistants perform a variety of functions in a dentist’s office, including preparing patients for procedures and updating dental records.
Career 5 – Computer Support Specialist
If there’s one industry that shows no signs of slowing down, it’s computer technology. Prepare for opportunities in one section of this growing field with an associate’s degree in information technology or computer science.
Growth Factor: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this profession is projected to experience 14 percent growth from 2008-2018. That’s 78,000 new jobs.
What Computer Support Specialists Do: Technical support specialists provide support and advice to computer users, writing training manuals, responding to questions, and resolving technical issues.
Put your brainpower to use in one of these great-paying and challenging fields.
Smart people come in all shapes and sizes. So do smart career choices. A bright NFL quarterback, for example, can read a defense and understand its strengths and weaknesses, all in the blink of an eye. It’s called spatial intelligence, and it’s the same skill that graphic designers use to imagine smart visual solutions that their clients want but can’t articulate.
The bottom line: intelligent people – you know who you are! – are well-suited to certain careers.
These six careers, for example, can be smart options for smart people.
2. Medical Manager
3. FBI Agent
4. Registered Nurse
5. Computer Systems Administrator
Keep reading to learn about how you can get into one of these jobs. You’ll be smarter for it…
1 – Accountant
Accountants need to have more than just a knack for numbers. They should also have sound reasoning skills, since the simplest answer is often the right one when dealing with even the most complex calculations.
Education: A quick mind isn’t enough to become an accountant. Formal training matters too. Fortunately, there are plenty of accounting and finance programs that can prepare you for a career as an accountant. A bachelor’s degree is the most common entry-point into the profession.
Average Pay: $67,430
2 – Medical Manager
Health care isn’t just big business; it’s also incredibly complex. As a result, medical managers need a sharp mind and keen business sense to keep up in this ever-evolving industry.
Education: Some medical managers have technical backgrounds, while others are experts in areas like finance or team-building. To qualify for most management roles, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree in an area like health care administration, followed by an MBA.
Average Pay: $90,970
These fields are likely to offer good pay and job security in coming years.
Are you ready to learn about some of the hottest careers? Check out these hot job opportunities through 2018 and beyond… then see how you can get started.
Hot Career 1: Accountant / Auditor
Accountants keep finances in order by taking care of things like overseeing cash flow and filing tax paperwork. Auditors analyze finances to ensure everything is being done according to the law.
• There were 1.3 million accountant and auditor jobs in 2008…
• And the Department of Labor projects about 279,400 new positions to be added through 2018.
• Changing financial laws, evolving regulations, and more detailed scrutiny of company finances mean fast job growth for accountants.
Hot Career 2: Medical Assistant
As a medical assistant in the growing health care field, you’ll work to keep a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office running smoothly by keeping records and/or taking patients’ vital signs.
• Medical assistants held a whopping 483,600 jobs in 2008, and that number is projected to grow…
• In fact, medical assisting is one of the fastest growing jobs out there. The Department of Labor projects a 34 percent growth rate from 2008-2018.
• More health care facilities are employing people who can do administrative as well as clinical work, which means more opportunities for medical assistants with the right training.