If you’re a naturally sociable person, you may be considering careers that require a high level of personal or social interaction. There are plenty of jobs where you are required to interact with the public, colleagues, clients, service users, and other audiences on a daily basis. While many introverts will find these jobs draining, natural extroverts will often thrive, enjoy the job and do very well at it, using their naturally outgoing nature to get the most out of each situation and successfully represent their company or organization.
While not everyone can be an extrovert, there is evidence that it can help your career if you are. It has been reported that extroverts are 25% more likely to land a high-paying job, and tend to earn more, overall, than introverts. If you’re a natural extrovert, there are plenty of jobs that allow you to show off your people skills. So many, in fact, that it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that matches your other skills and life goals. Here are just a few jobs you might want to consider if you think of yourself as a ‘people person’.
It won’t come as a surprise that many extroverts do well in sales. Making sales isn’t just about being persuasive. It’s about being likable. People are more likely to buy from you if they feel that they know, like and trust you, so those who are warm and friendly and able to form connections quickly will likely be most successful in the field.
There are sales jobs in every sector and plenty of variety in the types of jobs available. Some sales reps work exclusively on the phone, while others deal with the general public, or perhaps business-to-business clients face-to-face. Depending on your industry, there could be a lot of one-on-one interactions. If you’re selling cars, for example, you might be regularly out doing test drives with your customers. If you’re selling beauty products, you might be giving your clients mini makeovers to demonstrate the product. However, you’ll also probably need to be confident giving presentations to groups and interacting with high volumes of people at sales conferences and other events.
Working in sales is not an easy option, of course. It tends to be a high-pressure environment, and you need to have a thick skin as you’ll generally get a lot of ‘No Thanks’, and often much ruder replies, especially if you’re cold selling. However, it can be a fairly lucrative job if you’re good at it, and doesn’t require a degree or a lot of credentials. Getting an entry-level position at a good firm can often mean you’ll receive on-the-job training and internal promotions. If you love people and enjoy friendly, social interactions, either face-to-face or over the phone, sales might be the job for you.
Hospitality general manager
Working as a general manager in a restaurant, hotel or other hospitality setting means you’ll be dealing with people and helping shape the perfect guest experience all day long. There are pros and cons to the job. While most people are in a good mood when they’re out socializing or enjoying a vacation, they also have high expectations, so you will be dealing with complaints as well as compliments. You may also be dealing with customers who have had a little too much to drink, or families with tired kids who just got off a long flight.
If, however, you enjoy a bit of troubleshooting and get real satisfaction from making sure customers enjoy their experience with you, this could be a job for you. Bear in mind that you’ll be organizing a team of staff and will often be involved in coordinating all aspects of the venue, such as ordering inventory and ensuring repairs and maintenance jobs are attended to quickly. Much of your day-to-day work, however, will involve interpersonal interactions with guests, staff, and even suppliers.
Public relations executive
Public relations executives are known by a few different job titles. They may be referred to as communications or media executives or specialists, or publicists, depending on the industry they work in. Their main goal is to communicate their client’s messages to their various audiences, with the main audience generally being the buying public. PR executives may be involved in the planning, execution, and coordination of press launches and publicity events, from fashion shows to media interviews. They also write press releases, put together media packs and spend a fair bit of time on the phone contacting people in the media who might help their clients get their message out to the public.
PR executives do a broad range of work that typically involves a fair amount of socializing, including entertaining key players such as media executives, top clients, or other influencers. Their work can involve travel, parties, conferences, premieres, product launches, and other promotional activities and publicity events. While many PR executives have a degree with a major in PR, marketing, communications, or something similar, it is also possible to work your way up within a company, often starting with an internship or training program.
Family nurse practitioner
If you’re sociable and caring, then going into a typical caring profession seems to make sense, but some caring jobs are more sociable than others. Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) work closely with patients, managing their healthcare needs, and diagnosing and developing long-term treatment plans, which are then generally managed with regular visits. As primary care providers, FNPs tend to have more face-to-face time with their patients than registered nurses. In fact, RNs often take on the extra education needed to become an FNP at least partially because they want to spend more time with patients.
The path to becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner does require quite a lot of training, so is becoming an FNP worth it? Many in the profession would agree that it is, as they find the patient interaction, and the consistency of working with the same patients over the long-term, highly satisfying. FNPs are also fairly well-paid and very much in demand. Nurse Practitioners were actually more in demand than physicians in 2021 for the first time in 27 years. Significant growth in the sector is predicted over the coming years.
A cosmetologist works one-on-one with clients in a close-up environment, so being friendly and chatty is a natural part of the job, and one that many working in the beauty industry cite as an important and enjoyable part of their work. Whether you work in cosmetics, skin care, nails, hairstyling, or offering almost any type of beauty treatment, you’ll need to have great interpersonal skills, and a friendly, relaxed attitude.
It’s not surprising that many clients rank their long-term cosmetologist, hairstylist, or nail technician as a friend and confidant, as well as a service provider. This is also a growth industry, and while training and qualifying will include both study and a lot of hours spent gaining practical experience, you can become a cosmetologist without a degree or an advanced level of education, so it can suit those whose interpersonal skills and interest in the industry are stronger than their academic qualifications.
Working as a fitness instructor, or in a related area, maybe as a personal trainer or teacher of fitness classes, can often involve a social element as most people consider going to the gym as a leisure activity, as well as a health and fitness necessity. Working in fitness training can mean you get to help others, support them on their fitness journey, and see rewarding results as their health and fitness improves. When you’re successful, clients tend to be happy and grateful, and you’ll find that you’re often a part of their celebrations when they hit specific milestones.
Those working in the health and fitness arena may also get the opportunity to work at fitness events, workshops, and retreats, where there is the chance to deepen connections and make real friendships with the people you work with, while you all bond over your shared interests.
There are many opportunities in the coaching sector, with some people now employing coaches to help them in various areas of their life, including work, health, finances, and even relationships. Whether you work as a general life coach, business coach, sports coach, or some kind of niche specialist coach, you’ll be interacting with your clients constantly, and generally working on setting goals and achieving things together. This can be a very rewarding and often very sociable experience. A great coach needs excellent interpersonal and communication skills and must be able to motivate, lead, inspire, offer support and encouragement, and help clients to come out of their shell, identify their ambitions and devise goals to help them get there.
Much like fitness instructors, coaches often get to work in groups and create a community around what they do. Sometimes, they may be offered the chance to work at retreats and other residential events that provide more opportunities for forging connections and using those people skills. Group coaching programs in particular often provide a specific set of clients with a support network and mini-community, with the coach as the guide, rather than the instructor. For people who love people, coaching can be an excellent career choice.
While teaching in a university might not seem like the most social of jobs, good professors tend to find that a lot of their time is taken up with interactions with students, both in class discussions and during their office hours when students are invited to visit and chat about their work, assignments, aspirations, and anything else they feel their professor can help them with.
Interpersonal skills can be vital for professors working with young people who are often away from home for the first time and still in need of adult guidance and reassurance. Working in academia can also mean you have a lot in common with colleagues, making the job more sociable than most, where work friends often remain, work friends, because your backgrounds, level of education, and other aspects of your lives are simply very similar. Perhaps surprisingly, professors also get opportunities to travel, for international exchanges, conferences, or research visits, which invariably have a strong social side to them as well.
Event planners, also known as event organizers, managers, or coordinators, can be involved in every aspect of an event, from coming up with the initial concept, to finding venues, entertainment, and suppliers, and even taking on the duties of the host or hostess, so there is usually plenty of social interaction every step of the way. As an event planner, you could be involved in anything from a small, intimate dinner event or a launch party through to a huge wedding, fundraiser, or corporate event. In many cases, you get to try new food, audition different bands or other forms of entertainment, and throw fun parties, all in the name of work.
There is of course a downside. This is a high-pressure job, as most people only hire an event planner if the event is incredibly important, and often a one-off such as a wedding, or if you work in corporate event planning, a high-profile product launch. You’ll need excellent organizational skills and nerves of steel. However, if you work for an event management company, you’ll generally be working as part of a team, with others to rely on to help you pull it all together, which also adds to the social and personal interaction the job involves.
If you love people and travel, being a tour leader, also referred to as a tour guide or travel guide, could be the perfect job for you. You’ll spend your days chatting with people who are generally happy to be exploring a new place and eager to hear what you can tell them about it. While you can be a tour guide in your home city if it attracts a lot of tourists, this is also a career that can offer opportunities to travel, explore, see the world and share it with others. You’ll have to be a great public speaker, and a bit of a performer, as you’re expected to entertain as well as inform. You’ll also have to love learning about new places, have lots of energy, and be organized but flexible.
This is a particularly social job as you’ll often be traveling, eating, and socializing with your tour group as part of your job. Even when you’re not on duty, you’re often in the same hotel or another venue as the tour group you’ve been guiding during the day, so you have opportunities to hang out with your new-found friends even more. While you’ll need to have a broad skill set and deal with any problems that arise while you’re on duty, you also won’t have to handle every little complaint or issue that people have while on vacation. You’ll often be able to pass them on to the hotel manager, travel rep, or other members of the company.
Working as a flight attendant means you’ll be dealing with the public non-stop, sometimes for hours at a time, usually at around 30,000 feet in the air. For this job, you’ll need to be friendly, positive, flexible, and very customer service-oriented. The job carries some of the same pros and cons as hotel management. Generally, people are happy to be on vacation, but they also have high expectations and plenty of complaints when things don’t go their way.
Flight attendants need patience, a naturally social and friendly attitude, great communication skills, and the ability to work as a team. In return, you get to travel the world, meet interesting people and work with mostly sociable and like-minded colleagues. Flight attendants who work long-haul often report that their job is very social, as the crew tends to all hang out together whenever they’re abroad, enjoying whichever new city they’ve been sent to this time. Flight attendants generally get on-the-job training and don’t need a lot of qualifications, though they do need to have the right attitude and personality and come across well during the interview.
We all thrive most at work when we’re able to use our signature strengths and build on our natural skill set. For extroverts, this can often mean finding a job where they are able to be friendly and outgoing, show their true personality, and forge meaningful connections with clients, colleagues, and other audiences. Finding the right job for you is complex, and there are lots of different issues to consider. If, however, you have great interpersonal skills, love social interaction, and thrive when you are surrounded by people, you may enjoy one of the above jobs. It’s simply a case of finding the one that matches your other interests, talents, skills, and character traits, and committing to the career path required.