There are lots of people out there who identify as extroverts: they can start a conversation with anyone, make friends as easily as breathing, and express themselves in front of crowds naturally. I am not one of those people. I do, however, have great respect and admiration for them and am jealous of all the career opportunities perfectly suited for "people persons." If you want to spend your career working with people, these jobs will put you front and center, in the middle of the action and the crowd.
You may have worked a customer service job in high school and have sworn never to do it again, but if you're a people person, this may be for you. Customer service is the epitome of working with the public. You meet different people, hear new stories, and solve new problems every day. In most jobs, it's a fast-paced environment that's never the same twice. And customer service doesn't mean working the register at a retail job. Customer service could be managing a restaurant, hotel, or store. There are higher up, higher paying positions within customer service that you could make a career out of.
If you don't want to work so much with the public, there are jobs in reception or as an administrative assistant where you may work with strangers but more often a set office staff, fulfilling administrative duties. You'll need strong communications skills on the phone, in person, and in writing and a willingness to learn and multitask in a busy environment. It varies from employer to employer whether a college degree is required.
If you don't want to work with the general public but are good at communicating with them, you might be a good fit for a PR position. Practically every business in the world communicates with the public, and they all pay someone to do it. PR and communications departments create messages about a business's products, the promotion of a new CEO, what consumers need to know when the company has a crisis, and more. They help maintain the company's image and, in addition to communicating with the public, also communicate with other PR executives in their field, employees from other departments, members of the media, and representatives from similar businesses. Most people in a PR department will have a degree in Communications, Media, Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations, or a similar discipline.
The hospitality and tourism industries offer great chances to learn about new places and people, possibly travel to new exciting places, and share the things you love with those who have never visited or seen something before. I've spent some time working in this field, and I treasure the opportunity every day to share what I love with new people and hear their stories and experiences along the way. There are many different aspects and fields to explore in hospitality, from event planning to customer service, but you’ll definitely need strong communication skills wherever you work.
By definition, human resources is a position designed to help people and handle how they interact with one another. You might work with managers and leaders in the hiring process; deal with the logistics of insurance, retirement accounts, and paychecks; or help when various problems arise within a company. Some companies have their own HR department, while others outsource it or make it part of the duties of another employee working on something else as well. To work in HR, you'll need excellent communication skills, good problem-solving skills, and an eye for detail. Some schools’ business departments offer specific HR classes if you want to prepare while in college.
If you’re interested in math or science, you might be suited to work with people in the medical field. You'll interact with patients and coworkers every day and help them too. You could work in a doctor's office, at your own practice or someone else's, at a hospital, or in medical research. If you don't want to spend your career in medicine, you might also consider working with volunteer organizations in order to help people, medically or not.
Working a people-facing career can be extremely rewarding for students who consider themselves a people person. Consider these great careers to find a major for college that will guide you to a great job after college and a thriving adult life.
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