Are you just not a team player? When you were in grade school, did you always have a “needs improvement” on your report card in the box that asked if you “played well with others”? Do you prefer to work independently? If so, you aren't alone and you just might be an introvert.
Of course, not all introverts dislike collaboration, most of them shy away from jobs where they would be required to interact with a large number of people. Although there has been a huge focus lately on being a team player and working well with others, you might think that there was something wrong with preferring to work alone, there isn't.
Introverts typical have several, if not all of these traits:
Are territorial - desire private space and time
Are happy to be alone - they can be lonely in a crowd
Become drained around large groups of people; dislike attending parties
Need time alone to recharge
Prefer to work on own rather than do group work
Act cautiously in meeting people
Are reserved, quiet and deliberate
Do not enjoy being the center of attention
Do not share private thoughts with just anyone
Form a few deep attachments
Think carefully before speaking (practice in my head before I speak)
See reflection as very important
Concentrate well and deeply
Become absorbed in thoughts and ideas
Limit their interests but explore deeply
Communicate best one-on-one
Get agitated and irritated without enough time alone or undisturbed
Select activities carefully and thoughtfully
While sometimes introverts are treated harshly by those who don't understand them, they do have things that really make them special. For one, because they don't need as much social stimulation, they are great at researching and working by themselves. They can have extreme focus and what's more, many gifted people are introverted.
If you're an introvert and prefer to work alone, here are 4 great career choices:
Paralegal – Although paralegals often meet with clients and are required to interact with many different types of people over the course of their jobs, they spend the majority of their time filling out forms, doing legal research and making sure that client records are completely up-to-date. Introverts typically have a keen eye for detail which makes this an excellent career option.
Writer – Writing is a very solo career field. In fact, depending on what type of material you write, you may end up locking yourself away from the world for hours and hours at a time. I'm an introvert and I love writing, however, I still need to come up for air every now and then and force myself to go outside and be social.
Dentists – Dentists deal with patients on a daily basis, but they are more in charge of the interactions. Most of the time, the dental office will have a hygienist who greats the patient, chats with them and does the dental cleaning. By the time the dentist come in, the social pressure is less. As an added plus, often the patient is knocked out or in too much pain to really want to socialize.
Medical Lab Tech – Lab techs spend the majority of their time conducting tests on things, not people. Routine is a very important part of the job and introverts excel at that. Lab techs run tests and then create reports to send back to clients. Typically, they have very little interaction with patients.
Just because you like to be alone doesn't mean you aren't a great employee. However, when you're considering changing jobs, it's important to think about your personality type in order to find a job that's a great fit for you.