10 Ways Working from Home Can Be An Introvert’s Dream Job
When I first started pursuing my college degree in professional and creative writing, I was stoked to finally begin chasing my dreams as a writer—and bond with other like-minded introverts. And when I say bond as an introvert—I mean enjoy the silence of sitting in a room surrounded by other introverts who loathe social situations as much as I do. However, it was quite a shock to me when I realized my fellow classmates were NOT at all introverts. Instead, these were people who enjoyed reading their works of writing aloud for the rest of the class to hear. They seemed confident to be standing in front of the class, not sweaty-palmed and blushing like myself.
While I preferred to listen to other people’s stories and have them quietly critique my own, I wasn’t prepared to get up in the front of the class and read my writing aloud, only to be openly critiqued by the entire class at once. I started to worry that maybe a writing career wasn’t as I had imagined it to be. I’d always assumed that writers were just as introverted and socially anxious as myself—not that they would be thrilled to stand in front of the class and present. Fortunately, I soon realized that writers come in all different personality types, and there were plenty of other INFJ personalities out there too—or other introverts who were just really good at hiding their true introverted/awkward selves.
Important Life Lessons
As you can imagine, uncomfortably presenting to the class while in school taught me important life skills that helped to prepare me for awkward job interviews, meeting new friends in adulthood, and engaging with others professionally. In my early 20s, I was constantly pushing myself to step outside of my comfort zone—meet new friends, try new activities, talk out loud in front of larger groups, and so on. However, once you get a taste of what it’s like to not have to push yourself any longer, it becomes somewhat crippling. Let me explain—
When I made the decision to quit my full-time job to pursue freelance writing, it was a terrifying decision and I was uncertain about the future. As an INFJ personality, uncertainty is not something I’m comfortable with. I worried that I would get bored and lonely being at home by myself all day until my husband got home from work. I worried that I’d become depressed being so disconnected from the outside world. I’d gotten so used to being busy all the time and constantly surrounded by other people that I didn’t even know how to interact without it. I worried that I wasn’t determined enough to succeed in the highly competitive world of freelance writing. However, I soon realized that working from home as a freelance writer is basically the introvert’s dream (if writing is your thing, that is).
The Perfect Career?
Obviously, even dream jobs have their downsides. For one, let’s get to the crippling part. Remember how I said that I used to push myself to step outside of my comfort zone? Well, now that I stopped pushing myself on a regular basis, social situations have gotten even more difficult for me. I no longer have a reason to push myself into extroversion on a regular basis, and sometimes I feel like that painfully shy child I once was who hid behind my mom anytime I was exposed to other human beings. While I used to expose myself to public situations daily (and had gotten comfortable with being uncomfortable), it’s not like that anymore. I sometimes go days without leaving the house and interacting with most of the outside world. It probably sounds lonely to some people, but it’s not for me. As a writer, I’m constantly surrounded by my noisy inner thoughts. I’m always thinking, feeling, and creating ideas in my own head—and that on its own is pretty damn exhausting most days.
And at the same time, I no longer care about forcing myself to talk if I don’t want to, and I don’t push myself to be social if I’m not feeling like it. If I want to speak and interact with others, I will. If I don’t want to, I won’t. And I’m totally content with that. Maybe it’s just that I’m becoming more comfortable in my own skin, or maybe it’s something else—but whatever the reason, I’m OK with it. And that leads me to believe that working from home really is an introvert’s dream-come-true (even if it’s not always perfect). Because like I said, no job is 100 percent perfect—but finding a job that corresponds well with your personality traits is damn close to perfection.
Here are ten reasons why working from home is the introvert’s dream:
There’s no unwanted small talk in the mornings—I can drink my coffee in peace and quiet and gather my thoughts for tackling the day ahead. I no longer have to answer the question “How was your night?” and feel somewhat embarrassed about my reply: “Umm, it was great—I immediately ditched my jeans, threw on my pajama pants, ate dinner, and curled up on the couch with a book until it was time for bed.”
I’m comfortable with the silence and serenity of my own home. Going into a workplace, there are often other people or environments that cause introverts to feel threatened or uncomfortable. As an introvert and a highly-sensitive person, I easily absorbed other people’s negative energies or emotions—which totally wreaked havoc on my days. I would constantly obsess over the notion that I had done something wrong, when it wasn’t actually me at all.
I can avoid confrontation. Confrontation at work is basically an introvert’s biggest nightmare.
I can be as independent as I like. Introverts hate relying on other people. Relying on other people is a constant nagging and worrisome feeling for introverts, and it’s very comforting to only need to rely on yourself to get your work completed. Introverts are very self-sufficient, and we always try to come up with a solution on our own before asking others for help. Which brings me to my next point.
I can email people and ask for help if needed. Emailing people to ask for help is far easier than asking someone for help face-to-face or on the phone.
I can escape when I need to—introverts need time alone, away from the outside world. If I want to engage with the world, I’ll simply hop on social media for a few minutes or I’ll meet up with a friend for coffee or shopping. When you’re stuck in the office, it’s difficult to escape when you need a few moments to clear your head and appreciate the sound of silence.
Many INFJ personalities are creative. They enjoy some structure, but they like to step outside of the box on occasion. As a freelancer, I can enjoy a combination of both creative and professional writing. Writing about one single topic can be mundane, but as a freelance writer, I can write about a variety of topics. While some topics are interesting and others are awful, it’s nice to have the option to be creative at times.
I don’t have to go out of my way to avoid people—that means I can use the restroom whenever I need to and not wait for someone else to get out of there (and risk someone I hardly know talking to me), and I can heat up my lunch and not worry about making awkward small talk in front of the microwave. (No thanks!)
I can stay in my pajamas all day. Sure, I switch it up and sometimes I do leave the house to meet friends when my schedule allows it, but I can work comfortably in my pajamas if I choose to, instead of daydreaming all day about going home and changing into them.
I have the emotional energy to do the things I enjoy. Instead of draining my emotional battery during the work day, I have plenty of battery left to socialize and interact with others when I choose to. Yes, I am an introvert—but I do love interacting with my family and close friends. As introverts, we crave meaningful work and relationships, but we don’t have the emotional or mental energy for unnecessary relationships and conflict. We like to choose who we interact with and when.
Are you and introvert who works from home but you struggle to feel connected with the outside world? Check out these great podcasts for when you’re longing to connect. If you’re an introvert who struggles to maintain sanity while in the office, check out our helpful survival tips!