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What jobs don t require social skills?

4 Reasons Why Social Skills Are More Important Than Job Skills

A growing collection of HR data supports a theory that some experienced hiring managers and recruiters have suspected for generations: when choosing between two otherwise equal candidates, the one with stronger social skills will be a better bet in the long run than the candidate with stronger technical job skills. This is especially true at the entry level, when most candidates haven’t yet accumulated years of professional experience.

But why is this the case? If both candidates are equally intelligent, equally hard working, and equally committed to the enterprise, why should social skills be the tie-breaker? Here are four reasons why socially savvy candidates seem to have an easier time stealing the spotlight and winning the respect and loyalty of their employers.

1. Job skills can be taught.

At the entry level, skills for most professional roles can be taught on the job. A year, a few months, or even a few weeks of training can bring most newbies up to speed at this stage. But social skills don’t work this way. HR studies suggest that candidates either have them on the day of the interview or they don’t.

If you’re about to step into a new job, your manager can teach you how to run a complex software program or maintain a client account. But she can’t teach you how to be a kinder person, a better conversationalist, or a stronger listener.

2. Social skills require energy.

It takes energy to tune in and remember the details of someone’s long, rambling story, especially if you—the listener—happen to be tired, hungry, annoyed or bored. And energy isn’t something that comes from your boss’s coaching and direction; it comes from your exercise and nutrition regimen, your sleep habits, and your core personality.

If you have barely enough energy to take care of yourself and survive the day, you won’t have time to care about the other people around you, at least not a genuine way. You can fake it…but only for so long. On the other hand, if your energy tanks are overflowing, you always have a little bit of extra head space (and heart space) to extend to your coworkers and clients.

3. Social skills require courage.

Do you have the courage it takes to march directly up to someone you’ve hurt and apologize? And mean it? Can you launch right into an interesting conversation with someone you’ve never met? Can you stand up for your ideas and argue on your own behalf, even when your opponent is trying to silence you? When you need something, can you simply ask for it?

If you’re like most people, the answer is no. But if you can say yes to each of these, then you have what it takes to control the growth and direction of your own career—which means your employer won’t have to do it for you.

4. Social skills cast a spell.

If you have the ability to make a total stranger care about you, wish you well, root for you, turn to you for guidance, and trust you with things they value, than you have a magical power. And employers want you on board, so they can use this magical power to impress their clients and partners and extend their company’s reach.

Anyone can move boxes or write code—but you have a gift that can help your employers cover far more ground and get more done at a comparatively lower cost. Use your gift wisely and your career will start strong and stay in motion, wherever your professional future takes you.

LiveCareer (, home to America’s #1 Resume Builder, connects job seekers of all experience levels and career categories to all the tools, resources and insider tips needed to win the job. Find LiveCareer on Facebook and visit LiveCareer’s Google+ page for even more tips and advice on all things career and resume-related.

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Introverts, Here Are 40 Jobs That Don’t Involve Too Much Social Interaction

January Nelson

Introverts, Here Are 39 Jobs That Don't Involve Too Much Social Interaction

1. I used to work at a cactus nursery and it was an introvert dream. Hell any plant nursery work is awesome and anyone can do it. You just pop in headphones and hang out with plants all day. It’s super easy, and you get in awesome shape because you’re on your feet all day lifting and moving plants.

2. I have a friend (who is a deep deep introvert) that works in classifications – in that she has to watch a bunch of television and tick of lists to figure out what classification they should have (G, PG etc).

She gets to watch most popular shows at least two weeks in advance and does it in the remotest part of the building by herself.

She also has to sit through a lot of European ‘art’ movies and gore flicks (which meshes well with her interest in serial killers).

3. Night stocking for a retail store. 95% of the night is just listening to music while stocking by yourself.

4. Just about any job working with animals. I’m a kennel attendant for the humane society in my area. Listen to music for 9 hours. Clean kennels and cages. Feed/water the dogs and cats. No human interaction.

5. Fire tower watcher for the National Park Service. Months of just you and your lonesome and a bunch of trees.

6. Amazon shopper at Whole Foods! $15/hr to do someone’s grocery shopping.

7. Tree planter. 8-10 hours alone in the middle of the bush. Incredible pay if you’re a hard worker and it keeps you in amazing shape.

8. I’m sitting here working from home. I’m a virtual assistant. I make shipping arrangements, pay bills, get quotes for different things, make up invoices. All the same bullshit everyone else with an office job does, but I get to stay home and watch youtube and not wear a bra while I do it.

9. Medical transcripts – you listen to the drs notes and type them out.

10. Freelance something. Upwork, Fiverr, and even Linkedin are all great places to use to look for clients who will pay you to do something as long as you have some kind of creative/technical skill.

11. I walk dogs. Other than meeting the parents the first time, I don’t talk to anyone. I have audio books going all the time. Plus I get puppy snuggles for like 6 hours a day

12. I mow lawns. Really the only time I talk to my customers is when I first meet them. After that it’s mostly texts. I average about $25 an hour after expenses and since I live in the south I work 9 and a half or ten months out of the year. I enjoy the down time it lets me reset.

13. FQA testing. Usually only available in big cities, so that might be a factor. My brother never finished high school and works as one. Basically you play video games and write reports. That’s about it. They usually have the “perks” (as in, fun work environment) of software development jobs. I’m actually gonna be starting there this summer.

14. You could get into something like construction. Get certified to operate large machines, and be surrounded by noise all day – no need to have awkward conversations over a diesel engine.

15. Library aid or page. All I had to do was organize books and it wasn’t even my job to help patrons. It’s quiet all the time. For minimum wage in high school it was great. 70% of the time I just got to read books.

16. Post office. Six hours walking by yourself, no boss looking over your shoulder. Occasional customer contact, but not too much.

17. Video editor. All the mental storytelling & empathy really helps craft a scene and pick out the most emotionally telling moments in a shot.

18. Become an animator. Or an artist. Anything that doesn’t require you to meet people really.

19. If you read a lot, and can pick out the mistakes in the text, you can become an editor for online publishers of digital content, like Kindle Unlimited.

If you can do college-level reading and writing, you can edit papers submitted for research journals. You don’t have to know the subjects; I’ve edited articles on social sciences, economics, and literature.

20.Braille transcriber. Also called braillist.

Depending on where you work, school district or independent, you could be transcribing textbooks, novels, magazines, or homework/classwork/tests—the daily stuff in schools. I work for a school district so I do mainly the daily stuff. Lately I’ve been getting more requests for novels my students want to read.

I don’t teach Braille, I’m not a teacher. I don’t even have to work with the students, though I do like checking in with them. Most of my communication for work is to teachers and that’s all through email. One time, I went a whole week without talking to anybody at work, and I work during normal school hours! And I didn’t go to college for this. I took a year long course through the National Federation of the Blind, and you can take that course online. Though I would recommend finding a class in your area if possible. Once you get the hang of typing Braille, it’s like just regular typing. I just stick my headphones in my ears and listen to podcasts all day. It’s amazing!

Caveat: I wouldn’t say the job is super easy. If you work with a school district, you may have to do math, chemistry, foreign languages, maybe even music. Those are all different codes of Braille. And then you also need to be creative enough to come up with ways to make things tactual for students, but discrete enough to be used in class. Graphs and drawings from geometry? Oh my god, kill me now. But once you get in a groove, it’s okay.

21. I don’t know if this was already said, but locomotive engineer. Besides communicating with your crew (your conductor), you don’t need to speak much at all. It also pays very well (in the US it’s about 6 figures once established).

22. If you’re in California, I’d say a legal cannabis gardener. Just be aware: entering into this field can limit your options if you choose to leave.

23. I’m a plumbing apprentice (service focus, we don’t do new construction) and over 70% of my day is spent driving to jobs since our company services 100 miles in each direction from our shop.

While this amount of driving is mostly contributed to the fact that I live in sparsely populated SE Idaho; it’s great being able to drive to jobs and just get some alone time. I’m an introvert and don’t like talking to people but I thrive in this job.

Not only do plumbers have a great paying job and excellent career path- but they are at zero risk of being replaced by automation. I can’t express how under- appreciated the trades are.

24. I.T. I do not have a degree and have been in the field for 22 years. I started out with almost no experience in Desktop Support & am now a Network Security Architect.

25. WATCHMAKER! Only took me 1 year in a free trade school and was given a job at graduation for 50k a year plus benefits and all.

26. Welding is a pretty quick course that a lot of companies will pay you to do the course. I know a guy who got paid to take his welding course, then graduated into a 80k/year job.

27. A factory with equipment loud enough to make earplugs mandatory. It’s hard as hell to hear anyone talking over the machines, and that forces extroverts to keep conversations to the bare minimum. This is the only job I’ve had where being an introvert felt like an advantage.

29. Medical / scientific illustrator. It’s a super small, niche field. You’ll draw stuff for nerds and won’t talk to many people besides those nerds.

30. In the US, medical coder. Lots of opportunities. Decent if not incredible pay. You can get certified within a year of training. After a couple of years experience, a decent coder can often work from home. Some interaction is required, but twice the pay of many jobs listed here.

32. Trucking, 100%. Good pay floor between 40 and 50k a year at the start and a great pay ceiling upwards of 100k depending on what you do. Automation is decades away from being a major factor. If you’re cool being on your own it’s one of the best careers that doesn’t need any secondary education. Good way to see the country as well.

You need to be over 21 to work in trucking interstate, if you’re under look into local companies that don’t cross state lines to get experience.

33. Garbage collection. Good pay, little education needed, and the smell keeps people away.

34. A local funeral home director hires just such people to serve as pall bearers and to assist at the parlor in a variety of ways.

He pays them well. Most of their work time is in silence, except for running the vacuum in the coffin viewing areas.

35. Insurance claims processing. I know a lot of introverted people who do this for a living, through having worked it myself for 5 years.

Depending on the company and your location. There is a chance that you will eventually be allowed to just work from home, as long as you meet performance expectations, and the quality of internet that can be connected to your place of residence.

37. Warehouse. When I worked in one, I used to regularly go hours without talking to anyone else.

38. For me I’d go be a musician, percussionist specifically. You don’t need to talk to anyone, you just jam along to the music together. It’s an indescribable feeling.

39. I love detailing cars, and make decent money at it.

40. If you’re also a night owl, I’d say look at nearly any 3rd shift job. Most people don’t choose it and most people are asleep then, so talking/interaction is quite limited.

The Best Jobs Now Require You To Be A People Person

Fivethirtyeight 20150821-thumbnail

Are you good at math? A computer whiz? Well, great! Presumably your “hard skills” are a surefire ticket to a high-paying job.

Well, maybe that used to be the case. But it’s not necessarily so anymore. To land a lucrative job today, hard skills in math and engineering, for instance, may not be enough. As technology allows us to automate more technical jobs, new research shows that people skills — communicating clearly, being a team player — matter more than ever. And women appear to be the ones capitalizing on this shift in the workplace.

“The days of only plugging away at a spreadsheet are over,” David Deming, an associate professor of economics at Harvard, told me. Deming is the author of a new working paper, “The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market,” which shows how today’s high-skill, high-paying jobs — like consultants and managers — increasingly require interpersonal skills.

It’s not that hard skills are suddenly less desirable. Training in mathematics, computer science and other STEM fields (what Deming would count as “high cognitive skills”) is still a great investment; that “plugging away at a spreadsheet” is still valuable. “High-cognitive-skills workers still earn more,” Deming said, “but social skills increasingly are a complement to cognitive skills.” He argues that having strong cognitive skills is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a high-paying job.

Social skills have become more important for workers because they provide a crucial advantage over a frequent competitor: technology. A 2013 paper by two Oxford researchers projected that nearly half of U.S. jobs would be vulnerable to automation within 20 years. But “computers aren’t good at simulating human interaction,” Deming said. That means a job as a manager or consultant is harder to automate, and the skills those jobs require become more valuable.

In his paper, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research last week but not yet peer-reviewed, Deming tries to precisely define and quantify social skills. For example, he said, “Can you work with others? It’s not necessarily whether you’re a nice person — though that probably matters — but it’s more about can you work in a team.” To categorize job skills, Deming used the Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network surveys of worker occupations. He grouped job tasks into four types: routine, nonroutine analytical, social-skill-intensive and service-intensive. Routine tasks are repetitive and likely to be automated, like assembly-line work or checking ledger entries; nonroutine analytical tasks involve more mathematical or abstract reasoning, such as computer programming; social-skill-intensive tasks require persuasion, social perceptiveness and coordinating with others; service tasks involve assisting and caring for others. An accountant, for example, might perform all four types of tasks, but some more than others, and the job probably requires a varying level of skills in each task.

It’s not news that jobs mainly requiring skills in the first category — routine work in manufacturing, for example — have declined sharply in the U.S. over the last few decades. At the same time, low-skill service-sector jobs (like janitorial and fast-food positions) have grown in number, if not in pay, and nonroutine analytical jobs (like computer programming) have grown a lot, at least through the 1990s.

But an interesting thing happened at the turn of the century: “If anything, growth in high-wage, technical occupations slowed in the 2000s,” MIT economics professor David Autor said. Autor’s own research has documented how middle-skill, routine jobs (like those of machinists) decreased over the last few decades, whether through automation, globalization or some other factor. But Deming’s work “offers a couple of very nice insights” explaining the slowdown in the high-wage, technical jobs, Autor said. He thinks Deming’s paper raises an interesting question: Has there been a slowdown in growth of high-wage, technical jobs, or is there simply a shift in growth toward jobs that also require high social skills? It seems to be the latter.

Deming found that most of the employment growth in jobs requiring cognitive skills occurred in those that also required interpersonal skills. Think of doctors, lawyers and management consultants. Purely technical occupations — those requiring knowledge of math but fewer social skills, such as actuaries, machinists, electricians, billing clerks — have fared badly since 2000 in both pay and job growth. Even jobs with low math but high social skills have grown — lawyers and physical therapists, for example. “Jobs with that description have grown across the board, not just at the top; they’ve also seen more wage growth,” Autor said. Dentists, in particular, have done really well.

Deming’s paper goes on to say that women have ridden this wave of change in the workplace better than men, supporting the argument presented in books such as Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men,” which documents how women have excelled in work and school and are primed to overtake men by many measures. Autor said Deming provides more data to back up Rosin’s thesis and “a little more grounding, more information on how the workforce is changing.”

Deming finds that the composition of women’s job tasks has radically changed in the last 30 or so years, while men’s tasks have hardly budged. He ranked both the hard and soft skills requirements of more than 300 jobs and standardized them on a percentile scale (the higher the ranking for a particular skill type, the more important it is to the job). In 1980, the typical woman’s job was below average in its requirement for social skills — it ranked in the 47th percentile (think of a cook). But by 2012, the typical woman’s job was in the 66th percentile of all jobs in requiring social skills (think of a teacher). Over the same period, the typical woman’s job saw a decline in routine tasks, to the 34th percentile from the 58th. Men saw little change in their job tasks, however — the breakdown between routine and social tasks for the typical man’s job was pretty similar in 2012 to what it was in 1980.

Deming also looked at the jobs where the female employment share grew the most, and sure enough, they tended to rank higher in social-skills requirements. That’s shown in his chart below. The y-axis shows the change since 1980 in the female employment share for a given job, while the x-axis shows where that job ranks in required social skills. The dot size represents how many people hold that job. The takeaway is clear: Women are getting jobs that require more social skills.


Although cognitive skills don’t vary by gender, Deming cites research from psychology showing that women consistently score higher on tests of emotional intelligence and social perceptiveness. The link between women’s documented advantage in social skills and their increasing presence in social-skill-intensive jobs might explain the narrowing of the gender gap in employment and earnings, he says. But he doesn’t know how much influence it might have, exactly. “I deliberately chose not to” estimate this effect, he said. “I didn’t want to give the illusion of certainty.”

Andrew Flowers wrote about economics and sports for FiveThirtyEight. @andrewflowers

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