Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ask Britt: Work for Idealistic, Introverted Writer?

Last week I answered the first question in my Ask Britt series, How do you make a second hand bookstore a force for good?

This week's question sent in by a reader is:

I'm extremely introverted. I want a job that involves working with information about people. My strongest skills are writing and counseling.

Full-time work as a counselor doesn't give me enough quiet time during the day. Freelance writing? I'm not good at creating a structured work day for myself. Any ideas? Copywriting? Creating website content for universities, non-profits, or artists?

First of all, it's great that you know so much about what kinds of work will make you happy:

• working with information about people
• writing
• counseling
• a varied schedule that involves working with others, and working alone
• not working for yourself

And you have a couple of ideas for new work:

• copy writing
• website content creation

To generate a longer list, I would recommend trying an exercise that I learned from Carol Lloyd when I taught her Creating a Life Worth Living workshops. You'll find a version of it in her book Creating a Life Worth Living: A practical course in career design for artists, innovators, and others aspiring to a creative life.
  1. Make a list of all of the skills you like to use professionally and personally (i.e. writing, research, counseling, baking.).
  2. Make a list of all of the fields that interest you (i.e. literary arts, politics, architecture).
  3. Make a list of the qualities of your ideal work environment (i.e. working with others and myself, not stressful, quiet, can walk to work)
Once you've completed your list, ask a friend, or a group of friends, to read your lists and brainstorm job ideas that combine elements from 2 or 3 of your lists. The only rule is that you can't say "no" to any of their ideas. Just let them brainstorm away. When they're done, add some more of your own.

Now read through your entire idea list, circle 2-3 ideas that sound exciting to you. Think of one small step you could take to research what doing that kind of work would be like (i.e. read something about it, talk to a friend of a friend who does that kind of job, volunteer at the place you'd like to work).

By taking small actions toward researching ideas that interest you, you'll end up eliminating some, and following others.

You can email me your question (please keep it to 50 words) about the do-good, or artistic work you are doing, or want to do, to Title your email, "Ask Britt: your question topic." I won't post your name, but I will post your question with my answer, so keep that in mind as you write if you don't want details in your question to identify you.

Photo Credit: Photo of me answering your questions (: taken by my hubs.


  1. Alex, aka SocialButterfly7:35 PM

    love the idea for a blog series! Smart thinking, =)

    Also, like your ideas for generating possible jobs/careers. This would be a good exercise for anyone, not just those looking for the next step.

  2. Anonymous6:27 PM


    Thanks for the tips!

    Readers, do you have any suggestions for work that might suit me?

    I'd love any ideas.

    -the Idealist, Introverted Writer

  3. I love this. Great photo. Great idea. You're like the Dear Abby of goodess.


  4. Thanks, EVB! Yes, I'm a Goodabby (:


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