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The 40 Best Jobs and Careers For Highly Sensitive People

Do you find it difficult to focus in a noisy room? Do you feel emotionally drained after spending time with people? Are you easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input like bright lights or loud noises in your work environment? If so, then you might be a highly sensitive person.

Highly sensitive people often have an innate tendency to avoid stimulation and thrive more in environments that are less stimulating. In this blog post we will explore the best jobs for highly sensitive people as well as some careers that may not work out so well for those who are extra sensitive. 

The way you feel about your job is an important part of your day. If you’re not happy, no amount of money will make up for it. There are jobs and careers out there that might be a better fit for highly sensitive people like yourself who need to work in an environment where they can thrive. 

It’s tough being an introvert or someone with high sensitivity, but these traits also come with some wonderful benefits such as empathy and creativity which makes them great candidates for many types of jobs including social worker, psychologist, writer or artist among others. It’s time to start thinking outside the box when it comes to what jobs highly sensitive people excel at!

Read on if you want to learn more about the best careers for highly sensitive people.

What are the characteristics of highly sensitive people?

Highly sensitive people have a higher sensitivity to light, sound, and physical pain than those who are not very sensitive. They may also be more emotional and and have more strong intuition than other types of people.

As babies, highly sensitive children respond more strongly when they are touched as compared to less sensitive children.  Highly sensitive adults also have an immediate negative reaction to the news of a death or a negative future event. They are also more worried by fictional situations, even when they know that those situations are not real.

Highly sensitive people often think deeply about things and feel strong emotions intensely because they are so aware of everything going around them. They tend to be introverts who enjoy spending time alone to recharge.  

They are sensitive to the emotions of others and can often take their energy personally. Highly sensitive people are affected strongly on an emotional level by what they experience in their lives. This makes it very important for them to have emotionally supportive people in their lives because people who are not sensitive might not understand why they would react so strongly to something that other people wouldn’t. You likely high emotional intelligence as an HSP so it’s important you work in a role that acknowledges that in some way.

Highly sensitive people have what’s called a “low threshold for stimulation.” This means that they quickly become overwhelmed by situations and experiences which seem normal to those who are less sensitive. For example, a highly sensitive person may feel overwhelmed visiting a shopping mall on a crowded day while an introvert may have no problem at all. They also tend to be overly concerned with social rules and being judged by others which can lead to them feeling like they just don’t fit in anywhere. 

What do highly sensitive people want out of work?

Highly sensitive people often have a very strong desire to be of service to others. They may want careers that allow them to help others without becoming overstimulated in the process.

They want work environments that are quiet and calm, where they can think deeply about their projects and not feel like they have to multi-task or rush through tasks too quickly.

Highly sensitive people are also usually very creative and enjoy thinking about new ideas. They want work environments that will allow them to express their creativity in a way that fits the task at hand.

Highly sensitive people can thrive in jobs and careers that don’t require them to work long hours, take part in quick decision making or handle intense pressure. For this reason, a part-time job might be a good fit.

They want a meaningful job that adds value to their lives. It’s a good idea for them to consider jobs that are more creative in nature such as writing, art, music or psychology rather than careers like sales or customer service that tend to be really fast paced and require you to deal with lots of people. 

Jobs that are good for sensitive people tend to involve tasks that can be done in a calm environment and don’t require strong relationships with other people while they are being performed. The meaning of a good job will vary for different people so it’s important to know what you want from work.

It would also be good to consider a career path that allows you to take regular breaks, have alone time, and work on your own schedule. Traditional roles can often present a unique challenge to HSP given the office environment and overstimulation. You might also want to consider companies that have work from home employees.

You career path can also depend heavily on your strengths as well. The best way to figure is out what your strengths are is to ask your friends and family members what they think you’re best at. You can also learn more about the personality tests job seekers need to take here.

The 40 Best Jobs and Careers For Highly Sensitive People

Highly sensitive people tend to have a good eye for detail. They may make great:

1. Physicians

Doctors are able to give patients the attention they need in order to get them feeling better and back on their feet again.  

2. Psychologists 

Psychologists help others by listening carefully, asking questions, and solving problems. 

3. Therapists 

Professions in the helping and caring professions are excellent for highly sensitive people. Therapists listen carefully to others’ problems, ask questions to help them understand what they are experiencing, and give support and understanding when needed.

4. Writers/Editors

They can use their writing skills to share a story with the world that brings about meaningful change. Writers strive to make a difference in the world through their words and they get to spend their days creating a story that touches the hearts of others. This career path also lets you work at coffee shops! An environment which many HSPs enjoy.

5. Social Worker

Social workers help other people by listening, giving advice, and making sure that they are supported in whatever situation they are in. 

6. Musician/Artist

For someone who is sensitive to color and sound, it can be very gratifying to see the beauty of your creation. Artists are known for their creativity which is also another one of the characteristics highly sensitive people possess. These people have deep and meaningful personalities that help them create incredible works of art. They can use this kind of power to bring about positive change in the world through their art. 

7. Researcher/Professor

Being a researcher involves analyzing information from multiple sources in order to discover something that no one else has before, which is ideal for someone who is creative and highly curious.

8. Teacher Librarian

Not only do librarians get to spend their days surrounded by books, but they also have the opportunity to help people find information that will impact their lives in meaningful ways. This job may involve more people interactions which can be challenging as an empath.

9. Scientists

Scientists get to spend their days learning about the world through experimentation, which is exactly what highly sensitive people love to do.

10. Teachers

Teachers help students learn and grow in many different ways by guiding them on a path toward their goals.

11. Counselors

Counselors help others by listening to them and supporting them through their struggles. Counselors are good listeners who want to help others work through issues they may be facing.

12. Accountant

Accountants make sure that businesses have all of the financial resources and information they need in order to run smoothly.

13. Social Worker

Social workers can make a huge impact on other people’s lives by helping them find solutions to their problems and guiding them along the way.

14. Architect

Architects have the opportunity to design buildings, houses and other structures with a special focus on the people who are going to use them. They can even create new designs for buildings that fit users needs perfectly.

15. Writer/Editor

Highly sensitive people have a great amount of depth to their personalities. They can use this depth in order to write about issues that impact all kinds of people. They can also write in ways that help highly sensitive people cope with their sensitivity and understand it better.

16. Biologist

Biologists get to spend lots of time studying how nature works by exploring its many different facets.

17. Psychiatrist 

Psychiatrists are able to use their understanding of the human mind and its many complex facets to help people who need it.

18. Business owner or entrepreneur

Self-employment has some great benefits, including being able to make your own hours and choose the work that you want to do. You will likely have more freedom as a business owner than you would at a typical job.

19. Physical therapist

Helping others heal from injuries or recover from illness is a rewarding job that most Sensitive People are good at. 

20. Actuary 

Actuaries use their knowledge of math statistics and finance to help companies figure out what their future expenses will be.

21. Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers get to spend lots of time listening to others in order to figure out how best to manage a company’s image. This can be particularly helpful for people who are highly sensitive, since they need to often spend time in quiet and alone but can also work with like-minded team members who share a common goal.

22. Professor 

Very similar to a researcher, professors get to spend lots of time exploring new ideas, but instead of writing them down for others to see, they teach students about them using lectures and discussions. This can help sensitive people learn more about how the world works without even feeling like they are being lectured at.

23. Business Consultant 

Business consultants get to spend their days talking and advising other people about business strategies, which can be a great way for sensitive people to help others understand things they don’t normally have access to.

24. ER Nurse or Paramedic 

These positions allow highly sensitive people to work behind the scenes at an emergency room instead of being in front of the public (they are still very important jobs). If you want to be a nurse, here are career goals to set as a nurse.

HSPs can thrive in caring roles (like as a nurse, doctor, therapist, psychologist or coach for example).

25. Psychologist

Psychologists are highly skilled at understanding human behavior, which is a very helpful skill when it comes to helping others. They can also help sensitive people understand themselves better and what they need, which makes working with a psychologist even easier.

26. Graphic Designer

Graphic designers spend their time creating images for people to access information through. They are also expected to design in ways that are pleasing, which can be easier for sensitive people who like clean and simple designs.

27. Sociologist. 

Sociologists study human behavior on a very large scale using lots of data about people’s habits and actions. This is could give you the opportunity to engage in meaningful work, have a flexible schedule, be a low-pressure environment, offer opportunities for deep processing, have creative elements and can let you tap into your intuition. 

28. Life Coach

Life coaches work to help other people deal with personal issues that they may be facing. This could include issues at home, in school or in the workplace and can be a very rewarding job for sensitive people who are good listeners.

29. Virtual Assistant 

Virtual assistants help other people manage many different aspects of their business and personal lives. This can include things like booking travel plans, answering emails or managing calendars.

30. Reiki Master 

Reiki Masters are highly intuitive people who use energy to heal others instead of using medicines or surgery. This can be a great job for people who still wish to help others, but don’t want to get as involved in the medical field.

31. Photographer 

Every photographer is different, but they all spend their time taking pictures of people or places. This can be a great job for sensitive people who want to work with others, while still not having many direct interactions on a daily basis.

32. Chef

Chefs get to focus on using their creativity to create delicious meals for other people. This is perfect for sensitive people who love to be creative and enjoy food a lot. You don’t need to be a chef in a traditional high-stakes restaurant, either. Maybe starting your own cookie business is what you could thrive in!

33. Pharmacist

Pharmacists spend their time helping other people with their health using prescriptions and advice. This can be a great job for sensitive people who want a career in medicine.

34. Real Estate Agent

Realtors help others buy and sell houses, which is perfect for many sensitive people who like to help others make big life decisions.

35. Web Developer or Software Engineer

Web developers spend their time creating websites that can be used by other people who need to find information. They also build apps and programs, which is perfect for sensitive people who are good at understanding how things work together.

36. Speech Pathologist

Speech pathologists study how to improve the quality of someone’s speech after an injury or illness. They also may help people with disabilities learn how to communicate better, which is perfect for many sensitive people who like working on ways to make other people feel comfortable in their own skin.

37. Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists study how people move and adjust their activities to suit their needs. This is another great job for sensitive people who like helping other understand what they need to feel comfortable in the world.

38. Interior Designer

Interior designers study how to make spaces more comfortable and beautiful for other people. They spend a lot of their time thinking about the different ways people work and live, which makes them great sensitive role models.

39. Yoga Instructor

Yoga instructors get to focus on helping other people deal with their physical health, which is great for sensitive people who like working closely with others.

40. Landscaper

Landscapers spend their time making sure that the spaces outside of buildings are as beautiful and comfortable as possible. This can be a perfect job for sensitive people who love being outside.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, as there are many jobs out there that highly sensitive people can do and thrive in.

What Careers Are NOT Good for HSPs?

These are just some examples the worst jobs that are not a good fit for highly sensitive people:

1. Managers

Being the boss means that you have a lot of responsibility in terms of making decisions, supervising employees, motivating them and dealing with their concerns. 

2. Office Workers

Spending long hours sitting at a desk isolates HSPs from the people they care about and the activities they enjoy. A loud office environment might be overwhelming for HSP so keep that in mind too!

3. Salespeople

Working as a salesperson requires being in situations where you are competing for customers’ attention and can cause sensitive people to feel too much stimulation. 

4. Bus Drivers

Bus drivers have to deal with a lot of traffic in an unfamiliar setting, which can be stressful to highly sensitive people.

5. Firefighters

Highly sensitive people prefer to avoid physical danger as much as possible because they can become easily overwhelmed and extremely distressed by it. 

6. Delivery People

These workers have to deal with so many different kinds of situations in a short amount of time that it is hard for them to know how they will feel until they are already there and experiencing it. This can leave sensitive people feeling very overwhelmed.

7. Massage Therapist 

Massage therapists get to touch and help people on a daily basis. This can be very overwhelming for highly sensitive people, especially since they often avoid physical contact with others.

8. Child Care Worker 

While child care might overall be very rewarding for a highly sensitive person, the sounds and sensory overwhelm are too much to deal with on a daily basis and will impact highly sensitive people negatively.

Highly sensitive people can also have a harder time in jobs that do not allow them to work independently or creatively.

Should I tell my employer about my sensory processing issues?

Whether or not you decide to share your sensory processing sensitivities with your employer is going to depend on a few different things. If working at the job you have now makes you feel overwhelmed, depressed or anxious it is a good idea to tell your employer so that they can help you find ways to manage your sensitivities at work. 

If your job makes you feel comfortable and happy, then there’s no need for you to tell your employer. Since you already feel comfortable working there, you don’t need any changes made to accommodate your sensitivities.

Should I get a new job?

You can change jobs if you really want to – but make sure that the switch is actually going to help. For example, If you know how to deal with sensory overload at work it’s easy to stay there. You might not have a big problem at all! If you’ve been struggling just because of the noise level but can handle it with earplugs then that’s a different story. It would be silly to switch jobs when your only issue is the loud noise.

If you’re thinking of getting a new job because your workplace is too chaotic for you, then just remember that not all jobs are going to have the same level of chaos. Just be sure you’ve done some research about the job before you take it so you know if it’s what you want to do or not. Job interviews can be an overwhelming for an HSP so make sure it’s a field you’re truly passionate about.

We hope this list of 40 careers has helped you explore some new possibilities as a highly sensitive person.

As we’ve mentioned, it’s important to find the work that is right for you and your personality type so that you can be successful in what matters most to you. It may take more time than other people need to research these options more deeply before making a decision on which career path is best suited for your needs, but once you do decide on one of these paths, we’re sure it will feel like home! Which option appeals most to you?

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.

Website: genthirty.com


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