For many HSPs, the world of work has been such a gloomy place that the idea that there might be jobs that a highly sensitive person might actually like may seem laughable. Do “best jobs for highly sensitive people” even exist?
Well, I want you to know that I’m definitely not joking! There are jobs where HSPs can really shine and apply their gifts without burning themselves out in the process. 🙂
I plan to give you examples of career fields and specific job titles, but my list will not be all-encompassing and I don’t want you to rule anything out just because it didn’t make my list. So I want to start by giving you some general characteristics to keep an eye out for as you consider your options.
What To Look For In A Job If You Are A Highly Sensitive Person
Here are some signs that a career or work setting has excellent potential to provide a good fit for a highly sensitive person:
- Calm And Peaceful Work Environment: An overstimulating work environment will suck the energy out of HSPs. A calm and peaceful setting, on the other hand, will ensure that HSPs have plenty of physical stamina to deal with actual work.
- Flexible Schedule: Most HSPs will benefit from the ability to take breaks as needed and from having autonomy to arrange their work schedules to align with their natural energy fluctuations.
- Complete Tasks At A Reasonable Pace: To accommodate their need for deep processing, HSPs do best when they are allowed to think things through and complete tasks carefully without someone breathing down their necks.
- Working Alone Or With Compassionate Co-Workers: Most introvert HSPs will enjoy spending a majority of their work time engaging in solitary tasks. When working with others, it’s best to search for a team that prioritizes caring and consideration for others.
- Working For A Cause: To stay motivated, most HSPs need to know that they are working for something. They want to help and feel like they are making a difference.
Best Jobs For The Highly Sensitive Person
Given the above requirements, what careers are there that might fit the bill? Well, let me emphasize that there isn’t any one career that is suitable for ALL highly sensitive people. We are not clones of each other and we all have additional personality traits and preferences that have nothing to do with our sensitivity. But I want to give you a few examples of careers that might work for some highly sensitive people depending on their individual mix of talents, interests, and preferences.
- One-On-One Counselors: For HSPs with good boundaries and the ability to keep other people’s emotions separate from their own, serving as a one-on-one counselor, such as a therapist or life coach, ticks many boxes. Especially in private practice, you can have lots of control over the work environment, schedule, and the kinds of people you choose to work with.
- One-On-One Health Care Professionals: Similarly, self-employed one-on-one health care professionals, such as nutritionists, massage therapists, and physical therapists can set their own schedule and align their work environment and clientele to suit their preferences.
- Academics: Academia is another viable option for HSPs who have a deep enough interest in a particular subject matter to devote many years to studying it and who are able to find a university or organization where they can apply their expertise in a low-drama setting.
- Writers: Writers, editors, and proofreaders can often work remotely with lots of control over their schedules. So fields such as blogging, copywriting, freelance writing, and online content production hold lots of potential for HSPs.
- Creative Professionals: In addition to writers, a multitude of other creative professionals – graphic designers, web designers, interior decorators, landscape architects, artists, and artisans – can work as freelancers, maintaining control over their work environment and hours.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I hope it’s enough to get your mind churning! I think one key to keep in mind is that often the work environment – an organization’s culture and the ways it’s managed – matters just as much (if not more) as the work itself.
If you’d like help figuring out the right HSP-friendly career options for you or with the career transition process in general, here are links to more info on some of my coaching services:
- If you are unhappy with your current career path, dreaming of change, but unsure what you could or should be doing instead, you might be interested in my HSP Career Discovery Online Course. This course is for you if you are starting with a completely blank slate with no ideas for career options at all, or if you already have some ideas, but you want to fully consider all your options and reflect deeply on what you want before moving forward. The course is self-paced, you can enroll anytime, and you receive immediate access to a series of short videos and workbook assignments.
- If you match the description above, but you haven’t had much success with self-paced resources, need outside accountability, and prefer writing to talking, you might want to check out my HSP Career Discovery Coaching Program Via Email. With this option, you will go through the same process as the students enrolled in the online course, but you will send the completed assignments to me according to an agreed upon schedule. You will also receive feedback from me and personalized support if you get stuck.
- If you are interested in formal career assessments like the MBTI® or the Strong Interest Inventory®, see the info page for my 1:1 Career Coaching services.
- I also recommend 1:1 Career Coaching if you are stuck in analysis paralysis and need help overcoming doubts and fears that are holding you back from taking action or if you keep procrastinating because the whole process just feels too overwhelming. My services are location-independent with all sessions conducted online via Zoom.