Frustratingly, the world we live in tries to conform to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when we all know such a feat isn’t possible.
It often feels as though certain careers are viewed with more value than others, such as corporate roles and medical or scientific fields – but what about art, social work, and psychology? Many empaths thrive in these types of jobs and have lots they can bring to these fields.
So why do many empaths find themselves struggling in sales or marketing, or feel completely overwhelmed within the medical field? In this article, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the world of empathic careers.
Few people realize that different types of empaths may benefit from a range of careers. We’ll learn more about the different types of empathy and find out why some jobs may be unsuitable.
We’ll also explore the careers that are best suited to each type of empath, as well as highlighting some careers full-blown empaths may wish to steer clear of.
What is an Empath?
Numerous articles explore in-depth the defining characters of an empath. To briefly surmise, however, an empath is someone who has a heightened level of emotional perceptiveness.
An empath can read the emotions and/or physical status of other of others with ease. Beyond this though, empaths also tend to feel the emotions/status of others as though it is their own.
This means that they can fully attune with others which forges deeper connections and means that the empath is often a source of support or care for others.
It is worth noting that an empath’s resources aren’t unlimited, so empaths need to take time to recharge and are better off avoiding careers that will constantly deplete their energy reserves.
The Best Careers For Each Type Of Empath
Here’s where this article differs from so many of the articles out there; few people realize there are 7 distinctly different types of empaths.
Each of these types features inherent traits which don’t just alter the way your empathy presents itself, but also what careers are best suited to you.
This is why some empaths are wholly unsuited to medical professions such as paramedics due to emotional exhaustion, where other empaths can sustain their emotional reserves.
To make this article simple and easy to navigate we’re going to break down each of the types of an empath and highlight the best and worst careers for each.
When reading this you may find that you resonate with one category intensely or may find yourself a combination between two or three types.
This is because everyone is unique and fluid and our life experiences shape us in different ways. You can still use the information from each category and merge and meld the advice given to find the right career path for you.
Have you ever noticed how you and your best friend or partner can ‘share’ pain? There have been times where I’ve had an unexplained stomach ache or tension in my head only to find my best friend has food poisoning or a migraine.
If this is the case for you then you might be a physical empath or have a physically empathic connection with your bestie.
On a much more subtle level, you may find that you absorb the physical traits or mannerisms of others without realizing it.
You may laugh when other people laugh or find yourself yawning when you’re not tired because someone else has. These are perfect examples of low-level physical empathy.
Physical empaths can be restored by the well-being of others and this is something that needs to be considered when exploring career options.
Careers for Physical Empaths
As physical empaths thrive when in situations that showcase the physical wellbeing of others, they are assets to the sports science industry and fitness world.
Full-blown physical empaths work best where they can see and play a hand in the physical improvement of others.
This means that careers such as; physiotherapy, personal training, physical rehabilitation, and even diet coaching can be ideal for the physical empath.
Not all physical empaths are sporty, however. Physical well-being comes in so many different forms after all, which means that physical empaths can thrive in a range of careers.
Some with more minimal empathic abilities may find medical roles a suitable fit as they can ‘fix’ physical ailments, where full-blown physical empaths would be overwhelmed by feeling the pain of others.
Some empaths may also take their skills for improving the physical state of others down a less literal route.
They may thrive in construction or as a handyman, as they can make the connection between good physical surroundings and positive physical well-being.
Emotional empaths are the type of empaths we’re probably all most familiar with.
Emotional empaths pick up on the emotions of others both positively and negatively.
It can be great being friends or working with an emotional empath because they truly celebrate your victories as though they were their own.
They’re also able to feel your hurt and be good company in times of loss and loneliness.
However, while it is great to know an emotional empath, it can be hard to be one. If an emotional empath doesn’t take care of themselves properly they can become emotionally exhausted and suffer from diminished self-esteem.
Emotional empaths must consider this pitfall of their abilities when choosing their career.
Careers for Emotional Empaths
Because the nature of emotions is so complex, so too is the range of careers that emotional empaths may find themselves in.
It really does depend on the level of emotional empathy experienced by the empath in question.
For example, a lot of people immediately assume that all empaths make great doctors, nurses, and caregivers. However, for full-blown emotional empaths (like myself), the exact opposite applies.
Because powerful emotional empaths take on both positive and negative emotions as though they are their own, working in an emotionally charged environment such as a hospital can be too much to bear.
Imagine feeling the sadness and suffering of others day in and day out – put simply, it takes a special kind of empath to be able to thrive in such careers.
Emotional empaths are better placed in careers that help others in a more removed way, For example, emotional empaths are excellent in fields such as charity work and non-profits.
Depending on the empath in question they may choose to be part of the corporate or administrative team for a large charity or start/work in a charity which tackles the needs of their community.
Either way, being able to make a positive difference to all aspects of people’s lives and forging emotional connections with the people they help is where an emotional empath shines best.
Some emotional empaths can also become easily overwhelmed as feeling the emotions of too many people at once can lead to an overload.
Emotional empaths who feel this way should look for careers that allow for one-on-one interactions such as mentoring, as opposed to roles involving larger groups of people such as teaching.
Freelancing or working remotely can also give emotional empaths the emotional distance that they need to function at their best.
Intuition is something that comes naturally to many empaths but being intuitive is also a subsection of empathy in its own right. Intuitive empaths can clearly see that which is unspoken or the undercurrent of an interaction.
Intuitive empaths are highly perceptive and little will pass them by unnoticed.
Intuitive empaths also have a strong gut instinct even if they can’t explain why they feel so strongly towards a certain decision when in the moment.
Careers for Intuitive Empaths
Because intuitive empaths thrive when interpreting the abstract and are attuned to what goes unspoken they make excellent therapists. They can gain insight into an individual’s internal struggles without forcing them to share.
They can also interpret the smallest glimpses of a person’s needs, meaning they are an asset for working with people who are emotionally or mentally shut down.
This intuition can also serve this type of empath well in careers with complex or challenging individuals such as youth counseling and social work.
As mentioned, intuitive empaths are great at interpreting the needs of others by instinct and intuition alone. Combining this with the empaths natural ability to care makes intuitive empaths great carers and nurses, particularly for individuals with communication problems such as autism or dementia.
Because intuitive empaths have strong gut instincts and can read the undercurrent of a room, unlike many other empaths, intuitive empaths can thrive in higher-pressure environments.
Careers in the law or political fields can suit this type of empathy as they can use their understanding of others to impact change.
This one might sound a bit odd at first but I guarantee you know someone who has a degree of dream empathy. Dream empaths can use their dreams to gain intuitive insights.
Dream empaths can clearly remember their dreams and can reflect upon their dreams, allowing them to decode their subconscious to benefit themselves and others.
Dream empaths are great at reading between the lines and accurately translating and gaining meaning from abstract forms or symbology.
This unique ability can be channeled to forge a successful career.
Careers for Dream Empaths
Because their empathic abilities encompass the metaphysical, dream empaths are usually free spirits who can shun the regimes associated with day-to-day life.
Being able to decode the abstract allows dream empaths to see the world in a completely different way. This can mean that the alternative is appealing to dream empaths, so careers involving homeopathy may appeal.
As oftentimes dream empaths find themselves existing on a different plane, they may find working a job with a strict schedule or set hours is a struggle.
Because of this, you’ll often find dream empaths working for themselves or in a setting that allows some flexibility.
Dream empaths can gain insight from dreams and can use this information to make informed decisions regarding the past, present, and future.
This means that dream empaths can often have a marked interest in prophecy or prediction and they may incorporate this into their career.
This may be more literal such as running a metaphysical shop, or becoming a tarot reader, but also may mean that dream empaths can thrive in careers that monitor trends and make predictions like jobs as statisticians or data analysts.
Lastly, being able to explore the abstract also means that dream empaths make visionary artists, sculptors, and designers.
When an empath can translate the non-tangible things that they so easily see into tangible forms such as art for others to understand they can create profound and life-changing experiences for others.
Plant empaths are the green-fingered among us. Like how most empaths can feel and connect with the needs of others, plant empaths can connect with the needs of the natural world around them.
Plant empaths tend to be patient and naturally nurturing, which are skills learned from raising plants from saplings to blooms.
These compassionate skills often translate into interactions with people, meaning plant empaths can make great and loyal friends.
Careers for Plant Empaths
Your first instinct may be to instantly assume that any outdoors job will work for a plant empath, but similar to the assumption that emotional empaths will make good medical professionals, this isn’t the case.
Just like how an emotional empath may become overwhelmed when surrounded by sick or needy persons, the plant empath can become overwhelmed if they expand their remit too far.
There’s no denying that plant empaths are naturally green-fingered – which means careers working with plants are ideal. This can be as simple as working at a garden center, to more ambitious careers such as becoming a landscaper or tree surgeon.
The latter may be difficult for highly intuitive plant empaths, however, unless the rationalization can be made that by chopping the limbs off a tree you are helping its growth.
Being surrounded by plants isn’t the only way that a plant empath can find a career they love.
Plant empaths may prefer to take a more removed role such as botany or biochemical research. They may even feel the calling for activism and may work in environmental science or spearhead an anti-deforestation group.
Plant empaths may even find the natural skills they possess as a patient caregiver lead them to careers centered around the growth of others and not plants.
They may thrive in a school or daycare setting for example as they can help young children (or saplings!) blossom into strong individuals.
Similar to plant empaths, earth empaths are deeply connected to nature and the well-being of planet earth.
Some powerful earth empaths have even been reported to be able to sense when something dramatic is going to happen to the earth such as earthquakes.
Earth empaths are empowered by any activity that connects them to mother earth, but on the same vein can be heavily influenced by factors such as weather and the cycles of the moon not to mention factors that impact the earth like deforestation and climate change.
Careers for Earth Empaths
While everything in life is a spectrum, earth empaths often fall into one of two types; either they strive to connect with and nurture the earth, or they feel the call to join the fight to protect it.
Earth empaths may share the plant empaths natural green fingers and may thrive in similar careers.
Unlike the plant empath, however, earth empaths are unlikely to be overwhelmed when working in larger green spaces and may enjoy ecology careers such as those that work to maintain the delicate balance of ecosystems. Plant culling is an excellent example of this.
Where plant empaths would struggle to destroy plants even if they are diseased or invasive, earth empaths can see the bigger picture and can rationalize the fact that removing said plant benefits countless other animals and vegetation.
As mentioned, activism can be an activity in which earth empaths are drawn to. They may be loud voices in the fight against deforestation and climate change.
Earth empaths tend to model their lives around leaving a minimal impact and this can translate into careers as eco-educators, charity work, and work in the environmental sector.
Animal empaths connect deeply with the animal kingdom. They’re happiest when interacting with pets and wildlife, and are highly attuned to the needs of all creatures great and small.
They have a strong and special bond with the animals they come into contact with over an extended time. The animals that animal empaths surround themselves with may also be attuned to the individuals’ empathic abilities.
This means that an animal empath may be able to ‘speak’ to an animal in a way that no one else can.
Because of this, it is not uncommon for animal empaths to be vegetarian or vegan as they cannot fathom consuming the animals they love so much.
Careers for Animal Empaths
Similar to the misconceptions surrounding empaths and hospital roles, for many animal empaths being a veterinarian is a bad career decision.
Seeing the hurt of their furry friends or even having to euthanize an animal is often too much for an animal empath to bare.
Instead, animal empaths thrive in careers that allow them to be in contact with, or surrounded by animals.
More emotionally stable animal empaths will likely find the positives of working in a pound or shelter outweigh the negative and will gain fulfillment from seeing animals rehabilitated and rehomed.
More emotionally charged animal empaths will likely struggle with any example of animal suffering and may even be unable to watch scenes involving distressed animals on TV.
Instead, this type of empath will feel drawn to caring for animals and may enjoy a career as a pet groomer, pet sitter, or dog walker.
Like earth empaths, some animal empaths may feel the call to turn their energy to activism and conservation. They may feel the need to enact change through charity work, or train in the fields of conservation and zoology.
Find your Path!
If you’ve spent part of your working life feeling out of place, unsatisfied, or even down in the dumps, then you may be an empath in need of a change!
Empathy is an underappreciated gift that needs to be channeled into the right career to ensure happiness and life fulfillment.
For many years I felt down in the dumps when it came to my jobs. Nothing seemed to fit right.
I tried working in a gallery as I love art, but hated pushing people for sales and was emotionally exhausted from interacting with so many people throughout the day.
I tried teaching but was overwhelmed with the urgent emotional need of my pupils, not to mention the hustle and bustle of a school setting.
Lastly, I tried stripping things back and working in a shop, but again I found interacting constantly with others was exhausting, and I found the repetitive routines restrictive and suffocating.
Finally, I had enough and started to think about what I enjoy in life. I love to be creative and with a bit of luck, naturally fell into my current career in freelance writing.
I get to work at my own pace and at home, and now have the energy to use my free time for charitable works, which leaves me feeling happy and fulfilled at the end of each day.
So, if you feel trapped by your 9-to-5, or never feel like you fit in, see if any of the different types of empaths on this list resonate with you.
If they do, consider the career pathways that would truly bring you joy. After all, being empathic is a rare gift, and it would be a shame if your wonderful talents were never brought to life.
For any sensitive person who’s been told to "grow a thick skin," here is a guide for staying open while building resilience, exploring your singular gifts, and feeling welcomed by a world that desperately needs what you have to offer.
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