10 Great Side Jobs for Introverts


A second source of income is not only a nice financial safety net; it's also a way to broaden your work experience. In fact, many side jobs are often very different to the full-time careers people have. And, speaking as an introvert with a side job, this topic is near and dear to my heart. So if you're a little on the quiet side, and would like to spend some of your spare time earning money, here are 12 great jobs for you. (See also: 6 Reasons Introverts Make the Best Employees)

1. Thrifting for Cash

Thrift and charity stores are home to so many hidden treasures, and if you know what to look for, you can make some great money selling them on eBay, Craigslist, and various Facebook groups. It helps to start with a subject you have some interest and enthusiasm for. So, if you're a fan of vintage clothing, start browsing the aisles at your local thrift stores. For a few bucks, you can pick up sweaters and coats that can go for 10 times what you paid for them, and often a lot more. It's a job you can do in your spare time, and requires little-to-no contact with any of those social situations that can raise your anxiety levels to Defcon 1.

2. Drive for Lyft or Uber

Taxis are quickly being replaced by the very convenient Lyft and Uber services. If you have a car in excellent condition, and don't mind putting extra miles on it, you can make a good bit of extra cash being a driver. Most of the time, you're driving just one or two people around, and with the aid of smartphone GPS services, you never have to worry about getting lost or asking your fare for directions.

I have had drivers who were very chatty and social, and others who clearly liked to just do the driving with as little conversation as possible. As long as you're okay with strangers getting into your car (and both Lyft and Uber have a lot of safety measurements in place) you will do great. Plus, you'll get to see more of your city than you ever thought you would.

3. Writing

Be it blogging, journalism, copywriting, or even writing jokes for comedians, writing is perfectly suited to introverts. You can do it at home, or if you have a laptop, you can write wherever and whenever you want. For instance, if you have a long commute on public transportation, you can fill that time earning extra money. Writing, in its many forms, can be fit into a regular full-time schedule, using evenings and weekends, holidays, and personal days. And it's something that can be done without having any real contact with anyone, if you desire.

4. Medical Transcription

Make no mistake, you cannot just decide to become a medical transcriptionist one day, apply for a job, and get it. Although you don't need a degree, you will need some training in this arena. Vocational schools, community colleges, and even online schools can give you the skills you need. In particular, a strong knowledge of medical terminology must be acquired, but once you have this, you can make a very good side living transcribing written reports (which can be very tough to read), or more often, recorded memos from doctors and nurses. It can be done in the comfort of your own home, and the pay can be close to $20 per hour.

5. Janitorial Work

I actually made some good money doing this to put myself through college. The hours were very flexible, and I rarely had to interact with people on a regular basis. Jobs ranged from cleaning windows and mopping floors, to small DIY jobs, changing light bulbs, and unpacking boxes and crates. Most of the time, I would wear headphones and listen to music while I did my duties. Reach out to local places that have janitorial services — including schools and community centers — and see if they need help.

6. Pet Sitting/Dog Walking

If you're more at home with animals than you are with people (and let's face it, animals rarely give us the social anxiety problems that people do), then a part-time job with animals may be just your thing. Advertise your services as either a pet sitter, or dog walker on a site like Craigslist. How much you charge is completely up to you, but obviously you don't want to charge so much that you never get any work. Also keep in mind that with pet sitting comes additional expenses, like food and supplies. You may want to have the owner provide those, or include the additional costs in your hourly rate.

7. Answering Service

All you need is a phone, a pleasant phone manner, and the willingness to work some unfavorable hours. As an answering service, you will be taking calls and relaying messages to a variety of professionals, including doctors, insurance agents, and hospitals. Obviously, the major drawback is that you will be required to work outside of normal work hours, and that can mean answering the phone at 3:30 a.m., and doing so with alertness and amiability. However, if that's no problem for you, this can be a great way to earn extra income.

8. Tutoring

One-on-one tutoring with someone eager to learn is a great side job for any introvert. You may have some excellent skills in any number of school and college subjects, include math, chemistry, biology, or music, and you should share that knowledge.

Personally, I have taken guitar lessons from a guy who did it evenings and weekends to pay for his own equipment. When I asked where he was next playing a gig, he looked like I had smacked him with a wet kipper. "Oh, I'm way too shy to gig, I just love playing at home." But, he had absolutely no problem with the tutor/student dynamic. If that sounds like you, give tutoring a try. You can travel to other people's homes, or have them come to you.

9. Deliver Pizzas, or Newspapers

These are not just jobs for college kids looking to make a bit of extra cash. Anyone can become a pizza delivery driver, or deliver newspapers. All you need is your own car, and the available time to get it done. Most pizza deliveries happen after the workday ends, and most newspapers are delivered long before the workday begins. So, if you are willing to sacrifice some of that time, you can earn some good income.

10. Data Entry

If you have a computer, and have good typing skills (accuracy and speed are essential) then data entry could be ideal for you. As the world goes digital, there are literally millions of pages of documents that need to be typed up and stored. The money varies, from as little as minimum wage, to around $20 per hour.

However, it can be done from home, with some music in the background and your feet in slippers. And you will never have to talk to anyone, as it can all be done via snail mail and email.

Are you an introvert? What's your ideal side gig? Let us know in the comments!

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Guest's picture

Great ideas but how about some links to these fields? Would be a great help to know where to look,

Guest's picture
Maria Esperanza

I agree with the comment above. These are fantastic ideas, but it's hard to know where to start with some of these jobs. Obviously it's easy to find, say a delivery driver job, but I've been interested in at-home data entry for years and haven't managed to land anything. With online jobs, first you have to separate the legitimate opportunities from the scams. Competition is really fierce for good online jobs, and, as far as I know, it's hard to get your foot in the door.

Guest's picture

It can be, depending on the industry. As well, home-based workers don't easily give up contacts to people trying to get their foot in the door. They guard their client list as if it were the codes for launching a nuke, forgetting we all were new to the game once upon a time. In the past I have always recommended freelancers I have worked with. That doesn't mean just giving away your client list. You work hard to build your contact list, clients, so someone new should not expect someone is going to simply hand all that work THEY did to someone new. But a few contacts/companies? Maybe I am a little naive, but sometimes the universe DOES reward generosity.

Of course, it's more difficult generally today than it was 10-12 years ago, when first jobs and then entire departments were sent overseas. (And yet you will still find that one company amazed by the lack of loyalty that existed once. You cannot help but laugh. First they start taking away your benefits, then it's fewer vacation time, then it's set-in-stone 3% yearly merit increases (unless you're an executive, in which case YOUR increase is often as much as the starting salary of two new employees), then they took your job and eventually department and shipped it to India, the Phillippines, China, etc., and wonder why there's no loyalty anymore, lol)

Guest's picture
Mohsin Ali

i will try my best...

Guest's picture

The sad thing is thanks to the government, thousands of disabled people could remain productive, feel like they still have something to offer. We don't have to lie in bed staring at the same 4 walls every day until our bodies finally give up the ghost. But try telling Social Security that. Their attitude is, if you are "well" enough to take online classes or be a home-based worker, just how disabled are you? And they'll take away your monthly disability check--the only income source for thousands--faster than Donald Trump loses his temper. It's ludicrous.

You don't need to be a MENSA member to know you can have a disability that is very time-consuming when you need to leave your home. Between IVs, pumps, tubes, flushing lines and unclogging tubes, taking whatever round of meds you are on, it takes me nearly TWO hours every day to 'start' my day. At night, the same in reverse. Naturally that means we cannot promise reliability; that Skype meeting at 2 pm that you were ready for, even early, you miss or tune in halfway through because the tube in your stomach inexplicably started leaking, so you needed to deal with THAT issue first.

So yes, we won't win any Punctuality awards perhaps, but what you ARE likely to get is someone dedicated, detail-oriented, has a strong work ethic. Even better for the employer is that disabled people are limited as to how much they CAN earn. And I have no problem with that.

What is a bit ludicrous is that many disabled people need Medicaid assistance too because their disability check simply isn't enough. Depending on someone's particular disability, why can't legislation be amended, allowing disabled people to earn, say, $20,000 a year (am just tossing out the 20K, not saying that's the maximum they should be allowed to make) along with their disability check.

And I will say it before someone else, inevitably, always does ("Uh-uh. Not on MY tax dollars!") because they react from emotion, not pragmatism. You ARE going to pay one way or another. Through higher sales or state taxes, piggyback taxes, higher insurance premiums, all of which means states collect even less revenue for the states. BUT.

How many states have actually done a study on the percentage of disabled people in their state, the percentage also collecting Medicaid because they can't get by on just their disability check? What is their 'burden' on the rest of a state's population?

(An aside here--but, strangely, since a disability check is really just your Social Security check that you are receiving now, it's for much less than if you had worked a full, 'normal' number of years.)

I would like to see states do a study on disabled residents able to perform some kind of employment, and still receive their monthly disability check. How many of these residents would still *need* a Medicaid supplement? What effect would it have on the percentage of taxes a state collected at the end of the year?

I can't be the only one curious, lol.

Guest's picture

I am interested in data entry. I want to have a try!

Guest's picture

Good article. Thanks....
Problem is you simply don's know where to look for such jobs... In my case, I have been looking for an online job in the areas of writing or data entry or search engine optimisation for nearly two years. The offers I received were for deplorably poorly-paid jobs... That too through agencies who are out to fleece their clients. I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in mainstream English newspapers. I think I can handle any type of writing, proofreading or data entry jobs with ease. Payment can be strictly linked to my performance.... Thank you

Guest's picture
muneeshkumar pareek

Data Entry would suit me best.