Looking for a new career that fits your shy personality? Here are six jobs that you don't need to be shy about pursuing.
Are you shy and want a career that will suit you? Perhaps you're looking for a career that will help you overcome your shyness - slowly.
No matter what type of career you are looking for, Dr. Susan Anthony - a clinical psychologist who advises many clients on their work life - says you'll want to consider your options carefully.
To help, we've listed a variety of career options. Some might have you working on your own for most of your day, while others could involve a mix of situations, from the solo project to meeting with clients, co-workers, and management.
So read on to find the career that best suits your shy personality, as well as your goals.
Career #1: Paralegal
Are you a budding legal eagle, but not too keen to spread your wings in front of a courtroom full of observers? Well, that might be a good closing argument for the job of paralegal.
Why it's for the shy: "I see paralegal as right down the middle," says Anthony. "On one hand, the job has a lot of shy-friendly duties, and on the other, you'll need some people skills. So I think it's a good career for those who might want to work on their shyness."
A large part of a paralegal's job deals more with research than speaking in front of a courtroom. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, common duties might include investigating the facts of cases, conducting research on laws, regulations, and legal articles, and drafting documents.
In addition to those mostly solo duties, paralegals may also be involved with face-to-face work. For instance, the Department of Labor notes that paralegals generally work with lawyers to help them prepare for hearings and trials.
Education options: According to the Department, there is more than one path to prep for a career as a paralegal. For example, some paralegals have an associate's degree in paralegal studies. Others have a bachelor's degree in another area and a certificate in paralegal studies.
Career #2: Computer Programmer
Unless you're trapped in a movie about the future, it's probably a good bet that you won't have to schmooze with computers (other than Siri, that is). So, life as a computer programmer might be perfect for the shy.
Why it's for the shy: "As a computer programmer, you would be the person working behind the scenes to create the program, as opposed to the person out front selling it, or showing people how to use it," says Anthony.
Intrigued? Here are some examples of a programmer's behind-the-scenes duties: writing programs in a variety of computer languages, debugging programs by fixing errors, and using code libraries (collections of independent instruction for computers), notes the U.S. Department of Labor.
Education options: Most computer programmers earn a degree in computer science or a related field, according to the Department of Labor. And while a majority of programmers have a bachelor's degree, some employers will hire candidates with an associate's degree.
Career #3: Accountant
Have you noticed how numbers don't judge you? They don't expect you to entertain them and rarely want to make small talk. Maybe that's why a career as an accountant could be a great fit if you're shy.
Why it's for the shy: "Since a lot of what accountants do is study financial statements, laws, regulations, and other things that don't require them to be the center of attention, I think this is a good fit for a shy person," says Anthony.
For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, accountants generally work on inspecting account books, computing taxes, and preparing tax returns.
But if you're a shy type that wants some human interaction, good news: The Department of Labor also notes that accountants might meet with management from time to time to explain their findings.
Education options: According to the Department, most accountants need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. But some employers look for a master's degree in accounting or in business administration (MBA) with an emphasis in accounting.
Career #4: Graphic Designer
Maybe design is where you really come alive, but you prefer to work your magic in privacy. If that sounds like you, a career as a graphic designer could be a good fit for you.
Why it's for the shy: "If you want to express yourself but still want to work alone most of the time, graphic designer is probably a good position," says Anthony.
As for what they do, the U.S. Department of Labor says graphic designers typically combine art and technology to design everything from websites to printed pages to company logos.
Of course, you will still have to work with people some of the time. For example, graphic designers might meet with and advise clients about their strategies to reach their audience, notes the Department.
Education options: A bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field is usually needed to prep for this career, according to the Department. "However, those with a bachelor's degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications," adds the Department.
If you've always had a desire to work in the medical field, but not sure where you and your shy personality could fit in, consider a career as a medical records and health information technician.
Why it's for the shy: "For people who want to work in the medical arena, but don't feel comfortable having to constantly interact with patients, this might be a good career," says Anthony.
As for what they do, the U.S. Department of Labor says that these workers generally work to maintain accurate medical records for patients and medical facilities, reviewing and organizing data and tracking patient outcomes for quality assessment. Sounds like a pretty data-driven career to us.
And if you're looking to get more comfortable coming out of your shell, you'll be happy to note that this role isn't a wholly solitary one. While it's true that these workers don't usually interact directly with patients, they do work with physicians and other health care professionals, notes the Department.
Education options: According to the Department, medical records and health information technicians typically need a postsecondary certificate or an associate's degree in health information technology. In addition, most employers like to hire technicians with professional certification, such as Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT).
Career #6: Database Administrator
Looking for a job where you can use your problem-solving, organizing, and logic skills more than your socializing skills? Consider pursuing a career as a database administrator (DBA).
Why it's for the shy: "This worker is going to work with computers much more than people on a daily basis, so I would think there would be little anxiety in the area of having to be in front of groups of people or having lots of personal interaction."
In fact, these professionals typically spend most of their time ensuring that databases - which could contain information such as customer shipping records or financial information - operate efficiently and stay secure from unauthorized users, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Other common computer-oriented duties include merging old databases into new ones, backing up and restoring databases, and basically making sure they are error free, adds the Department of Labor.
Just keep in mind that some communications skills could be needed as database administrators often work on teams. For instance, the Department notes that "DBAs sometimes work with an organization's management to understand the company's data needs and to plan the goals of the database."
Education options: Most database administrators typically earn a bachelor's degree in an information- or computer-related subject, such as management information systems (MIS). But note that firms with large databases could favor candidates with a master's of business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems.
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