When networking, assertiveness, and building a bold “cult of personality” are so often upheld as pillars of professional success, it could be hard out there for introverts who are naturally inclined to work independently and find strength in their alone time. However, there are plenty of lucrative job options for those of us who don’t thrive on the social aspect of rising through the ranks. If you’re seeking the perfect side hustle that involves the least amount of social interaction for the highest reward, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re artsy, entrepreneurial, or just have some extra time to convert into money, read on to find a job that fits you (and your introverted personality).
1. Graphic Designer
Creatives with a knack for digital design can easily spend their free time producing visuals to communicate concepts for clients in industries across the board. The job requires you to tap into artistry and imagination, skills many introverts tend to excel at. While some graphic designers might prefer to work in an agency setting, freelancers can offer their services for hire and work remotely on their own time. Pro tip: Create a website or portfolio showing off your skills and advertise your availability online.
2. Video Editor
For those interested in the production industry with no desire to be on a crowded set, video editing could be your behind-the-scenes calling. With the necessary software and programs, you can work from the comfort of your own computer compiling, splicing, and formatting raw footage and turning it into a quality video ready to be shared (and go viral, of course).
As bestselling author John Green once said, “Writing is a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.” you delve into freelance journalism, blogging, or more creative writing pursuits (like working on a novel), passionate communicators who tap into their ideas better on paper can find plenty of independent writing opportunities.
All that time you’ve spent reading alone in your room can finally pay off with some proofreading gigs. If you’ve got a strong grasp on language and grammar and can easily pick out writing errors, you can get paid to look over and edit just about anything, from legal documents to other people’s resumes and cover letters. You’d be surprised by how many potential clients are willing to hire a second pair of eyes.
5. Social Media Manager
Introverts may not enjoy in-person interactions, but that really has no bearing on how friendly, personable, and social they can be, which is why many introverts are so great at social media. Sound like you? Managing social media accounts for a small business or publication is an awesome way to be outgoing without the usual pressure. If you tend to stand back and take in the whole picture, you’re also probably full of clever observations and savvy statements that are sure to get a brand all the retweets. Use your strengths!
In the same vein, introverts can be just as funny, talented, and entertaining as their more outgoing counterparts, but without the need to perform in front of a real-life audience. Starting a YouTube channel is an ideal option for crowd-shy people with talent or knowledge to share, from singing to vlogging to tutorials. You can make videos that incorporate any of your hobbies and start getting paid once you rake in enough subscribers and views.
7. Travel Photographer
Close your eyes and picture your dream vacation. Are you the only person around? It’s then perhaps time to embark on both the literal and metaphorical journey of becoming a travel photographer. Those with an artsy eye and a love for solo adventure should grab a camera, hit the road, and start snapping. Create an Instagram account to gain exposure, compile a portfolio. Then you can start making money selling your pictures, working with magazines or media companies, and/or acquiring sponsorships on IG. If you’re really good, you can even get paid to fly out to exotic locales—just to take photos!
8. Fashion Reseller
You don’t need a flashy personality to be passionate about flashy fashion. Stylish Hypebeasts who always keep up with the latest streetwear trends can tap into the lucrative resale market and start turning items like rare designer collabs or coveted sneakers for a profit on websites like StockX, Grailed, or Depop. Buying, selling, packing, and shipping can all be done by yourself, and you barely have to speak to anyone at the post office.
9. Online Shop Owner
Similarly, you can set up shop selling your own wares on platforms like Etsy. If you’re a creative craftsperson who enjoys making things with your hands, whether it’s clothes, furniture, or even art, you can turn your hobby into an online business. According to career coach Kimberly Lucht, “Introverts, in my experience, are also most likely to thrive running a business and being their own boss because they don’t shy away from executing on projects alone.”
Get paid to just chill at a stranger’s home for a few days and maybe even hang out with their pets? Yep, you can live the dream by signing up to be a housesitter. Homeowners in need frequently seek trusted individuals to watch over their abodes while traveling, ensuring that their cat gets fed and the plants get watered. Find gigs that fit your schedule or just take your laptop and work your day job from a new couch. At least you’ll never get bored of the scenery.
11. Dog Walker
You don’t even need to be an introvert to know that hanging out with dogs is better than hanging out with people (that’s just science). So why not spend your extra time making extra cash with new furry friends? You can sign up to be a dog walker on apps like Rover and Wag! And, as a built-in bonus, you’ll also get some free exercise in. Gotta aim for 10,000 steps a day, people!
If you’re fluent in two or more languages, take advantage of your unique edge by working as a freelance translator. Companies like Appen, an AI-assisted data annotation platform, are always looking for independent contractors to work on translation projects remotely. Let’s just say it’s way better than using your dual-language skills to argue with your parents in their native tongue.
13. Delivery Person
While the idea of having to knock on multiple doors a day may at first seem daunting to an introvert, snagging a gig as a delivery person, whether by car or by bike, can actually be ideal. Most of your time is spent commuting alone, and with contact-free delivery more popular than ever these days, you, well, don’t even need to make contact with customers. Consider applying for a part-time delivery job at a local restaurant or signing up with apps such as Postmates.
14. Virtual Assistant
With more and more people leaving their offices behind to work from home, virtual assistants are in high demand. If you’re uber-organized and skilled at administrative duties, this type of remote position is a great alternative to a bustling office situation. And since you’re usually working one-on-one with someone, even your potential Zoom calls won’t be nearly as stressful as having to attend an in-person meeting with a large team.
Hey, it worked for introvert icon Edward Scissorhands, right? But seriously, outdoorsy types with green thumbs and visions for gorgeous grounds can put their gardening expertise to good use by selling their services as a landscaper. Even if you start from the bottom by mowing lawns, you can turn it into your own thriving side business eventually. Who knows, your next stop might be the White House Rose Garden.
If you’re the kind of introvert who prefers to spend their evenings falling down Wikipedia holes about obscure subjects rather than hanging out at a bar, good news! There’s a job for that. Various industries hire freelance researchers to scour the internet for data, facts, public records, and more. Some data entry or writing to relay your findings is also usually involved, but for the most part, you’re just sitting at your computer and snooping around the web.
17. IT Technician
Calling all gamers and hardware nerds who can’t help but poke around a motherboard! If you’ve built and rebuilt your own custom computers, have you ever considered monetizing your technical knowledge? Career expert Maggie Mistal says, “I recommend jobs [for introverts] where social interactions aren’t a key requirement of job success, such as work with tools or machinery, like IT Hardware.” Whether you take on a part-time job at a computer repair shop or offer services independently, you’re likely to have work rolling in as tech and computers don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
18. User Tester
Just about every app, website, and service customers can interact with requires user testing to ensure a smooth, easy, and positive experience before becoming available to the masses. Those with an eye for detail and the ability to give constructive, honest feedback can sign up to be a tester on platforms such as UserTesting.com, and make money while trying out prototypes, clicking around new websites, or engaging with online services. If you’ve ever gotten frustrated trying to find information on a confusing webpage, this is your chance to make your suggestions for better usability heard.
You may hate talking, but, as an introvert, it’s more than likely that you are an excellent listener (even if your girlfriend doesn’t think so). If you combine that with some quick typing skills, you’re basically the perfect candidate to do online transcription services. From the corporate world to journalism to academia, transcriptionists are needed to take audio or video recordings and simply write them out. In addition to general transcription, you may even want to take the time to become specialized in medical or legal transcription, which requires some extra knowledge of industry-specific jargon but comes with extra earning potential.