A career shouldn't bring up thoughts and feelings of only doing something for a paycheck. It shouldn't give you concerns about bosses who overwork you to burnout. Work should be meaningful for a highly sensitive person.
Job hunting can be stressful for everyone. There's no need to get down on yourself if you don't currently have one.
Some may suggest in order for a job to be suitable for an HSP, one must avoid things such as strong personalities or rushed deadlines. I'm going to suggest to you that that's not the case.
You should feel empowered to pursue any career that interests you. Through doing something that sparks curiosity and passion, you can hopefully be happy with your work.
Job Satisfaction for HSPs
Recent job satisfaction statistics presented some very interesting findings. Here are a few you might find most interesting:
- 65% of employees are satisfied with their jobs in the US.
- According to 60% of employees, colleagues are the biggest contributor to job satisfaction.
- 20% of Americans consider themselves very passionate about their work.
It's intriguing that a lot of people aren't necessarily passionate about their jobs. But despite that, they are happy with their jobs because of the people they work with.
What if it's the case that you could work at a job that can be challenging to your senses because you enjoy the people you work with? The work could still be draining, but the people could potentially make it less draining.
Because HSPs enjoy meaningful connections with people. If that's there, why can't you work in sales, negotiation or loud environments? Why can't you be okay working in situations with a lot of "face time" with other people?
Best Careers For Highly Sensitive People
Because of your unique traits, you could potentially do a lot of good in the world in many different careers. Let's go over some of the best jobs for a highly sensitive person.
With each occupation, I've linked to a resource that gives you more information on how to get into that field. Hopefully one of these hsp jobs will interest you.
45 Highly Sensitive Person Careers
Careers caring for people
If you really have a heart for people who are hurt and in need of support, you'll potentially find these careers really satisfying. The people you're caring for will appreciate your unique level of empathy.
Jobs in Psychology
Given your intuitive ability as an HSP or empath to recognize others' discomfort and deeply sympathize with their emotions, you’d potentially be a very good psychologist. The psychology field provides a variety careers for highly sensitive people.
It all depends on what particular people you really have a heart for helping. Rehab psychologists, for example, work with people who are overcoming addiction.
Child therapists, as the name indicates, work with children who need psychological help. Below is a list of other jobs in the psychology filed you might find interesting.
- Marriage and Family Therapist
- School counselor
- Recreational therapist
- Sports psychologist
- Forensic psychologist
- Correctional psychologist
- Engineering psychologist
- Research psychologist
- Clinical psychologist
- Experimental psychologist
- Military psychologist
Jobs in Ministry
In these challenging times, people now more than ever need to hear from someone who can provide them spiritual comfort and guidance to get through life. If anyone can do it, it's emotionally sensitive people.
What better way to use your emotional sensitivity than to help give others some hope and perspective. There are a number of different options you can pursue depending on your religious affiliation. But here are a list of a few good jobs.
If you’re good at playing music and holding a tune, this might be another perfect combination of your skills as a highly sensitive person. The position of church music director, sometimes called the worship pastor, would combine your creativity, your sensitivity, and your detail-oriented nature, giving you a great sense of fulfillment in the work you’re doing.
You can apply your creativity to create the right sound and visual imagery, your sensitivity for using the right songs to comfort people, and your detail-oriented nature for making sure every note is in tune. Definitely sounds like a winning combination.
Connecting with kids, teens, and young adults can be a challenging task. This is an age group that typically feels misunderstood and underappreciated.
As a highly sensitive person, your delicate way with words could be just the thing that reaches these younger folks. After all, you don’t like dealing with being misunderstood and looked down more than most people. So you can relate from that aspect, and be able to build a connection that helps them grow more in their spirituality
This position is a particularly sensitive one that highly sensitive people could thrive in. The hospice chaplain is a clergy member who deals with the spiritual needs patients and families going through the end of life experience.
They provide support to people of all different religions, based on the patient’s personal preference. Because of your ability to deeply understand different perspectives as an HSP, you could potentially provide great comfort. This would be one of the best jobs for an empathetic person.
The position of a missionary presents a unique challenge that highly sensitive people could potentially succeed in. Relating and ministering to people of a different background.
While you may not immediately get the culture like most people wouldn’t, all cultures feel the same human emotions. So your ability to be emotional and connect with emotions can make you the best person to bridge that cultural divide, and help lead them to spiritual growth and understanding.
Maybe you're an HSP that's a really big fan of the arts. If you're happiest when you're creating something, you might be suited for these careers.
Because highly sensitive people notice the subtly of colors and sound well, being an art director could possibly be the perfect job for them. Art directors are responsible for the overall visual appearance of a company.
They have to be able to create an image that delivers the message and mood a company is desiring to get other people to feel when they see it. If you’re an HSP into art in general, this career is a great fit for you.
Similar to the art director, film and video editors are also responsible for creating a visual image that fits the goals a director wants to accomplish. This occupation also involves the detail-oriented and orderliness skill that highly sensitive people have as well.
It takes a lot of focus and time to make sure that every video image is cut and pasted together in the right way. Your quality for subtle visuals combined with your skill for details and order gives you a greater advantage to succeed in this career.
The internet is always going to keep growing, which means there’s going to continue to be a need for people who are good with making websites function smoothly and look good. Being a web designer is another really good job for highly sensitive introverts.
One of the benefits of this career for a highly sensitive person is that it often requires very little interaction with other people. You can have your own space, be it in an office or in your own home, and you can give yourself the desired peace and comfort you need to work at your best. Hard to find many other jobs for HSPs that could be better than this.
As mentioned among the traits, highly sensitive people tend to be very detailed oriented. So jobs that involve remembering a lot would be perfect for the HSP. Here is a list of detail-oriented jobs.
It’s critical that someone in this job know exactly the right amount of anesthesia to give to keep a patient unconscious during surgery. So if any job could use your skills to remember details, it’s definitely this one. Best of all, it's a very high paying job.
At first glance, you might not be aware of why this is important. But if the design of a building or house is one inch off, that can result in an unstable foundation or a crooked house.
And needless to say, that would create a very unsafe living or working space. So if you can draw pretty well, this would be an ideal career for you as a highly sensitive person.
There’s a major difference between “Are you ready to eat, mom?” vs “Are you ready to eat mom?” One minor error such as missing a comma can result in a lot of confusion.
So, with your detail-oriented skills, you can make sure every comma and period are in the right place. That every word is spelled right, and all of the grammar is put together well.
Furthermore, there are a number of people and organizations that need proofreaders. For example news sites, authors, second language English speakers, and many other different groups.
In addition, you have the potential to freelance as well. Quite a dream it would be to be self-employed. Working from the comfortable environment of your home would make this one of the best jobs for introverted HSPs.
Transcriptionists type out the words in a recording or live event for written records or those who are hearing impaired. Because of the accuracy required to make sure every word is heard and recorded right, you can apply your detail-oriented trait to this occupation.
Who says sensitive people can’t get their hands dirty? Maybe you’re the type of highly sensitive person that likes putting things together. If you are, then being a mechanic might work for you.
Mechanics have a lot of things to remember. They have to know the right tools, nuts, bolts, and other things in order to make sure a car, train, or plane runs smoothly.
Additionally, mechanics mostly do work on their own. So you don’t have to worry about dealing with a lot of people.
There's a lot of details that have to be right with being a firefighter. Getting your gear on right, knowing how to use the equipment, attaching a hose to a fire hydrant, and so on. In a job where it's critical to know the right details in seconds, a highly sensitive person could thrive in this work.
Jobs involving orderliness
If you're a highly sensitive person that likes to keep things in order, then you should definitely consider these jobs. You'll appreciate being able to put everything in it's proper place.
One of the most obvious jobs involving orderliness is any job that involves cleaning. Whether you’re owning a cleaning service, or working for one, you’ll be able to put orderliness to work.
The only issue might be if the smells of dirty rooms or cleaning supplies are too much for you. But if you can handle it, you can potentially find the work very enjoyable. You could be one of the best housekeepers a person has ever hired.
We don’t think twice about being able to find the items we need. That's because someone took the time to make sure all of them were placed in the right location.
A highly sensitive person being so orderly can definitely succeed at stocking items in the right places. And you can also be happy you made someone’s day less complicated.
If any occupation needs to have everything in order, perhaps it’s an event planner. Particularly for weddings, people have high expectations for having every detail planned and executed correctly.
So with your knack for order and detail, you can make sure all the right meals are served, the right flowers are picked, and all of the moments follow the timeline that was scheduled. Being an event planner would particularly be a suitable career for a highly sensitive extrovert. Though if you’re a highly sensitive introvert who’s passionate about event planning, you’ll enjoy this career too.
Some job listings for this career specifically ask for people who are detail-oriented with a skill for organizing. There’s a number of tasks involved with this job that you can apply your natural orderliness too.
For instance, keeping the books in the right places, or maintaining neatness in the child reading room. This definitely could be a career that's best suited for empaths.
Academic jobs don't usually take up as much of your time as other jobs. There's also a little bit of flexibility to set up your work space how you desire.
The gig economy has given people more opportunity to work on their own terms. More people are also finding success pursuing a career as an entrepreneur.
Non-profit jobs can provide a wealth of meaning for HSPs. They can do work for a cause that's something they really care about.
Tech jobs tend to allow for a little more time working on your own. These days, you can even do the work at home.
Why you can do any job
Often in many articles giving job search advice for HSP, the jobs presented as the best jobs, while helpful in addressing the specific needs of a sensitive person, can also seem a bit limiting. Yes, you do have a specific set of traits that may make certain circumstances and situations more difficult for you to handle.
However, that does not mean you can’t do all you can to make whatever job you may have an interest in more manageable. Or you can find an alternative that better allows you to do what you enjoy.
If you're given the flexibility to craft your environment to suit your needs, maybe there are no worst jobs for empaths.Maybe almost any job can be a great career for HSPs.
For example, let’s say you really enjoy teaching, but being around a lot of noisy kids can be too much of a drain for you. There are two options that can still make this occupation possible for you.
Firstly, you can choose to be a tutor, and only have to deal with one kid at a time. The second option is you can choose to teach at a private school where the kids are generally more well-behaved. The classes are much smaller than public school classes.
The point here is that you don’t have to let being sensitive to loud noises or having difficulty performing under supervision affect your career choices. It's possible to find a way to get your dream job even if it's not entirely HSP or Empath friendly. If you find yourself experiencing burnout as an HSP, Dr. Elaine Aron recommends pacing yourself, unyoking from non-HSPs, seeking medical support, and finding out why it's a pattern.
A different way to view finding the right job
Some time ago I had a thought in my head about a different way people could find a career/job. Instead of just focusing on finding our passion, perhaps what could be helpful is to think about where our unique personality and character traits would be most helpful.
That’s what I attempted to show in the jobs I listed that could be great for someone who's sensitive. Through your amazing traits of being conscious of people’s emotions and being detailed, I suggested jobs that really need people like that.
Not all of these jobs for HSPs necessarily had the most comfortable working environments. But they do provide fulfillment and meaning, which most of us as sensitive people desire in life.
Using the best of who you are to help people that really need those traits you have could potentially give you all the meaning and fulfillment you’d ever want in a career.
So be open in your pursuit of occupations. Think about how your personality and character could be best used to help others in society.
Know that there can be ways around things you may feel could be potentially harder for you. Be hopeful that you can find the best job that not only suits you but suits the world around you that will benefit from your work.
HSP Interview Tips
The idea of interviewing for a job might be just as stressful to you as figuring out a good job to apply for. Here are some tips that make your job interview go smoothly.
1. Rehearse your interview
If you feel like you’ve prepared, you’ll be less nervous about the interview. Look up some common interview questions and rehearse your answers.
Think of ways to describe how your job experience aligns with what the employer is looking for in the job description. When you’ve rehearsed a few times, have a friend or family member give you practice interview.
2. Visualize yourself giving a confident interview
Visualization is a great strategy that professional athletes have used to prepare for a sporting event. Research has shown it can be helpful in improving performance.
Visualize yourself doing well in your interview. Imagine yourself speaking with confidence and feeling comfortable.
3. Have your interview day planned
You want to set yourself up to be in a calm mood when you arrive to your interview. If you’re rushing to get ready, it won’t be so easy for you to be calm. Here’s how to have your interview day planned.
- Have your clothes picked out
- Decide on what breakfast you’ll eat
- Know what route you’ll take
- Have any papers you plan to bring in a folder
With your interview day planned out, you can be a little more relaxed the night before to get some good sleep and wake up well-rested. That'll help you have a good chance of doing well.
Highly Sensitive Person Traits
If you aren’t sure if you're highly sensitive, I've listed some common traits below. Some describe these characteristics as symptoms. I think the word "symptoms" has a negative connotation, and you don't have to feel negative about being HSP.
- Easily stimulated by loud noises or violent images.
- Overwhelmed when doing more than one or two tasks.
- Becoming angry when hungry.
- Not able to perform well under supervision.
- Emotional when it comes to the arts.
- Easily recognizing when others are uncomfortable.
- Needing time alone when overwhelmed
- Very detail-oriented
- High preference for orderliness
If you'd like, you can take this highly sensitive test that was created by Dr. Elaine Aron, whose the researcher that first coined the term highly sensitive person. Now that you know some of the traits, here's some more insight that might be useful.
HSP Coping Mechanisms
No matter how much we like our job, we’re always going to have days that really strain our mental and emotional energy. There are ways you can nurture and comfort yourself on the days that are hardest on you. In a Psychology Today article titled, Top 10 Survival Tips for the Highly Sensitive Person, Dr Susan Biali Haas gives the following ten recommendations for managing as an HSP.
- Get adequate sleep
- Regularly eat foods that are good for you
- Plan relaxation time
- Wear headphones that reduce noise
- Have a quiet space in your home
- Create enough time and space to complete your work
- Avoid caffeine
- Have dim lights in the evening
- Take care of tasks during off hours
- Spend frequent time in nature
Following one or most of these tips can help you manage your sensitivity and stress on the days when your job stresses you the most. Try them out to see if they make your work days a little easier.
How to enjoy a job you don’t like
While you’re looking for the career that’ll fulfill you, you might be stuck working at job you don’t like currently. A Gallup poll found that 85% of people around the world aren’t engaged in their jobs.
In the United States, 70% aren’t engaged in their jobs. Needless to say, not liking your job isn’t uncommon. Here are a few tips that’ll help you enjoy your current job more.
1. Change the things you don’t like
Where you can, find ways to change the things you don’t like your job. As an example, if you don’t like working with a specific colleague, see if you can work with a different one. Find ways to adjust the things you don’t like to be less frustrated with your job.
2. Work better with your colleagues
Unfortunately, you can’t always choose the people that you have to work with. But you can choose to find ways to create more cooperation.
Learn about the desires and needs of the people you’re working with. See if you can do things to help them get those desires and needs.
You could also try to find ways to make the time at work a little more fun by being humorous. Try to see if you can talk to your colleagues about things outside of work to connect with them. The more rapport you can create with your colleagues, the more they’ll potentially cooperate with you in what you need and desire.
3. Think of work tasks you’d be interested in doing
If your boss will allow it, maybe there’s a task you can do that would be meaningful to you and help the company. As an example, let’s say you’re a teacher.
Maybe you can start an after school program related to one of your interests. Be creative and think of a task that would be fulfilling to you and useful for the organization you work with.
Frequently asked questions
What are good jobs for HSP?
Good jobs for HSP are ones that allow them to exercise their strengths and passions, and feel fulfilled in their work. It's also good if the job can be adjusted in a way that allows an HSP to thrive.
How do you succeed as an HSP?
You succeed as an HSP by embracing who you are and living your life in a way that makes you happy. I hope these words make you feel encouraged to accomplish whatever you desire.
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