Career Strengths and Tips for the Highly Sensitive Person

For a long time I didn’t realize it, or perhaps denied it, but now it comes to me as no surprise that I think I’m one of them: A Highly Sensitive Person (an HSP). The highly sensitive personality trait affects about 15 to 20 percent of the general population, according to psychologist and researcher Elaine N. Aron, who broke new ground with research on the subject in her book The Highly Sensitive Person.

A former girlfriend, an HSP herself, once eloquently pointed out to me that the reason I seem to get overwhelmed with everything from romance to work and want nothing more than to simply go into hiding to recharge my batteries, is because I was an HSP. I disagreed. Nonsense, I thought. It sounded taboo.

I may be sensitive, sure, I’ve been told that all my life, even if I can take a joke or two at my own expense. But I’m not going to be classified under some silly pseudo-psychological label with just as silly an acronym to match.

I knew she was one, but I thought I was much different. Then she explained the personality type a little better and handed me a book titled Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person. I briefly flipped through its contents later and saw many comparisons to myself. The regular overstimulation, both physically and emotionally, to my social surroundings, as if I was too highly-tuned to external stimuli, over-sensitivity to noise, other people’s moods, time pressures, etc.

It started to click, but I still didn’t want to think of myself having to face all those challenges; at least not until I realized the strengths behind HSPs. HSP’s have amazing creative and emotional skills that they can use to their advantage in a career choice that naturally allows these strengths to bloom. They just have to find the ones and the companies that are going to view them for the talented, unique strengths they have to offer.

Let’s take a quick peek at four key areas of strength that can be translated into a happy, healthy life and career for all you fellow HSPs out there.


HSP’s are known for high levels of creativity. Highly sensitive people are vividly aware of their surroundings. They process information more slowly but more thoroughly than the average person. Combined, these two characteristics often make them deeply creative. Writers, artists, interior designers, actors and musicians all draw on their senses to create their work, and then make their work as complete and expressive as possible by fixing their attention on the subtle details.


An intuitive awareness of the feelings of others closely around them gives HSPs an innate talent for careers in counseling, spiritual leadership, therapy, interpreting and infant care. They tend to communicate carefully and gently, making them good at diplomacy, mental healthcare and educating special needs children.


HSPs are often well-suited to jobs that require data analysis, memorization or slow, careful work due to the nature of how they process information. In contrast to the skills that make them good artists, these skills involving precision and care can easily match HSPs to work in programming, market analysis, accounting or personal assistance.


Micro management and busy environments can get more quickly overwhelming for highly sensitive people. They tend to be very meticulous and methodical, and they have a difficult time receiving criticism without getting upset. Because of these traits, highly sensitive people are often happy working at home, working individually or being self-employed. These career paths allow them to choose their own schedule, take their time processing information, be their own critics and structure their own environments.

With strengths like these, it’s not hard to see how much good highly sensitive people are capable of doing in the world and the workplace.

Article penned by Bret Hoveskeland
Writer/Editor with Education Career Services
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
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13 thoughts on “Career Strengths and Tips for the Highly Sensitive Person”

  1. I love this article. It drew me in right away. It’s actually a positive feel and it certainly pinpoints how HSP can be an asset to a company. This is me and it is something I needed to read. Thank you…

  2. After 47 years of thinking I was a mis-fit & just weird. I now realise why I was not suited for many past roles & why I was sacked & inadvertently burst into tears when I was told. It is because I am HSP. Now I know what jobs to look for & what jobs will suit me in the future. Also the jobs to avoid like the plague. Most importantly I know I am not alone.

    1. Definitely not alone. Through the next few weeks we will be highlighting a few more HSP concepts which may prove beneficial… or will at least make us feel more comfortable about who we are.

  3. Well, this really confirmed something I had suspected for a long time and now I know why I am so completely drained by the end of the day and have zero energy for the things I really want to do. I want to work for myself but I have no idea how to market my business, or even what business to go in. I don’t want to be stuck where I am for the next 25 years, but that seems to be the route I’m headed right now if I don’t figure something out.

    1. What you experience is common yet few understand or have the patience to learn about. We will continue to educate others on this topic throughout the year. If you have a specific element you would like expanded upon, please feel free to let us know and our team of writers will address.
      Wishing you a groovy New Year,

  4. Hi! thank you so much for this article, i been working for 12 years now and i don’t understanding why i feel that i don’t belong where i am right now. i been questioning myself where should i go, what should i do for me to find happiness in what i do, what i know for sure that i am HSP, everything in this article perfectly describe who i am. Few months way back i been dreaming to have my own business. Now i know where should i go and what should i do. Thank you so much.

  5. Its wonderful to feel not so alone. We need not feel inadequate when we have so many special abilities that the average person does not. Carol

    1. Hey Husein,

      Thanks for the read and reply. Rikki will be responding directly to your question with a dedicated submission next week.
      One question though, what type of work atmosphere do you feel most comfortable with?

  6. Thanks a lot for this article. I am 32 yrs old and I have always have problem saying to me why do I react to things differently. Even though I feel I have so much good potentials and always knew I am better than the way I am. But somehow things just don’t work out the way I really want and it makes me upset with myself. Reading this article gave me a lot of relieve. I know I have a creative mind but I am confused deciding what really to do. My interests are interior & fashion design, sound and ideas.

  7. Im 19 years old. And it took me 3 months only to notice im a HSP.
    Im currently studying hotel management.
    Which pathway do u suggest me to take?
    Will human resource or sales suit me?

    1. Much should be considered as your career path requires more than a quick response. I encourage you to email me directly and we can take a closer/in-depth look at what is going on.
      For example, what part of human resource and sales are you interested in? Both fields are large and should be narrowed down to a manageable level.
      Tell me about the hotel management program you are currently studying… what do you like, dislike, etc.
      I may be reached directly at

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