The Best Animal Lover Jobs . . . for Introverts, Independent Spirits, & Idea People
I love alone time. Having the personal space and time to devour a good book, think, create, and daydream is part of who I am. According to research, including that performed by the mother-daughter team of Katharine Briggs & Isabel Briggs Myers – creators of the MBTI® personality inventory – my temperament leans towards the introverted side.
Introverts tend to be independent spirits. We’d rather be – and are often more productive when – working solo or in smaller groups . . .this is when we’re in our element.
This isn’t a data-backed statement, but I suspect the animal welfare community, as a whole, gravitates to the indie side.
This is not to say you can’t still excel at being a veterinarian (yes, being a vet requires excellent people skills), animal adoption specialist, or public relations specialist if you’re an introvert – because you certainly can if those are the goals you want to pursue.
But as a fellow introvert, I have a sense you may find yourself gravitating towards one of the following professions. While reading through this list, keep in mind that many of these positions can be mixed and matched. For instance, grantwriting consultant with article writer; blogger with graphic designer; or ecommerce store owner with e-book writer.
Writers, Authors, and Journalists
Writing is primarily a solo activity. It requires imagination and inquisitiveness, the ability to generate ideas (lots of them), and analyze data – activities that as an introvert, you may very well enjoy.
The writing field is pretty broad and involves different levels of interpersonal communication, but here are some niches for you to consider. You may also want to read my article “Writer, Author . . . Animal Lover” for more inspiration and resources.
• Create & maintain your own blog on an animal-related or environmental topic. Can you add a fresh spin to a topic . . .whether it focuses on animal welfare, conservation, or cruelty-free products?
• Write grant proposals for nonprofits.
• Self-publish a book or e-book. Technology has made this option much more feasible and economical.
• Write college textbook supplement. You’ll need at least a Bachelor’s degree to pursue this. John Soares of Productive Writers has experience in this very niche.
• The Myers & Briggs Foundation website contains reliable resources & information, including this questionnaire.
• Excellent books have been written on personality typing in relationship to careers, as well as introversion. A few of my favorites include Quiet, Do What You, The Introvert Advantage, and Introvert Power. There are many good books on these topics, too.
Artists, Creators, and Inventors
An artist’s ideas and visions are created internally – not by group consensus. A few ideas you can pursue with your own talents.
• Maintain & design websites for nonprofits, veterinary offices, and pet supply companies.
• License your art. Some companies will purchase a license giving them rights to use an artist’s work on their own products. You may have seen kitchen towels, totes, and tee shirts sporting animal or nature-themed designs. One example is Whole Foods Market, who has commissioned work from Etsy artists for use on their reusable grocery bags.
• Invent. What can you create to make the world a better place for animals and the planet?
Animal Rescue or Sanctuary Caregivers
Look closely at job descriptions for animal rescue and sanctuary caregivers, because they can vary. Although you’ll be spending a lot of time near animals, you may also have to interact with volunteers and the public – so be mindful of the job description. If you don’t mind working an overnight shift, some of this may be lessened.
Small Ecommerce Store Owners
This can be a tough business to maintain, simply because of the vast competition. If you have ten stores selling the same product online, there’s bound to be price wars – and that can lead to profit losses. But if there’s something unique you can create or sell that fills a special need, it may be something to consider.
The science field attracts a lot of introverted types. And that makes sense, because it’s a discipline requiring a great deal of critical thought, idea formation, and yes, even creativity. These are activities introverts tend to enjoy.
As a wildlife biologist you have an opportunity to make a difference for animals and their habitats. Several animal welfare nonprofits, for instance, need solid data in order to make prudent decisions and create policy.
While nobody fits neatly into any one category, understanding your own personality type and whether it leans towards introversion or extroversion, can be useful in determining what type of career or job you choose. If you’re more of an independent type, would you be content having a job that requires a lot of face time with other people? Knowing yourself can be incredibly helpful not only in life, but also in your choice of an animal welfare career or job.