Choosing a career path is one of the biggest challenges in life, especially as society pushes for college students to make this decision early on. One of the most influential characteristics that affects a person’s success in their profession is their sensibility. This concept is emphasized for those with empathic, or highly sensitive, personalities. Empathy differs from sympathy; the reactions people express to respond to other’s difficulties. Empathy allows an individual to share what another person is feeling. Therefore, empaths are guided by their sensitivity corresponding to their surrounding environment.  

Empaths should be aware of what to look for and avoid to maximize their sensitivity to other people. According to Judith Orloff MD of Psychology Today, empaths perform better in lower stress solo jobs, small companies, and/or at home to minimize possibilities of confrontation as the space allows for an empath to go through their own thinking process. Below are some of the five best career paths for empaths. 

1. Creative Fields 

Empaths are better able to comprehend the perspective of other people. Therefore, they are more capable in translating this understanding into something creative through words such as a writer or editor or through other forms of art such as visual or performing. Additionally, actors with high sensitivity are more easily able to get into character with the ability to empathize with the given role. Michael Ventura, founder and CEO of a strategy and design firm, included that those who work in advertising agencies must relate to their client’s perspective while also being able to display something that others will be able to comprehend. However, the environment of an agency may cause stress for an empath. A freelance or work-from-home option may be more ideal.  

2. Healthcare Professions 

With a willingness and ability to understand others and what they need, an optimal line of work would be effective healthcare positions such as nurses, dietitians, alternative/holistic medicine practitioners, or other jobs dealing with general hospital management. However, positions involving high pressure and risk of failure such as a surgeon or EMT may be problematic for an empath.  

3. Helping Professions 

Similarly, a position helping and guiding others such as a career/life coach, a psychiatrist, a yoga instructor, a school counselor, an NGO volunteer and many more would be fitting for an empath. These roles allow for one-on-one conversations where an empath is better able to understand how the other person is feeling and to help them.  

4. Nature Work 

Another characteristic of empaths is that they hold an affection toward nature. Therefore, jobs with constant contact with nature such as a landscaper, gardener, forest ranger, biologist, and many other positions would continuously uplift their energy and spirit. Alternatively, a line of work that constantly exposes an empath to the destruction of nature would dull their liveliness.  

5. Working with Animals 

Correspondingly, empaths work well with animals in positions such as a dog sitter/walker, trainer, groomer, zoologist, and more. However, being a veterinarian may not be as suitable since they must work with pet owners and encompass the various emotions others are feeling.  


There is no single formula for empaths seeking a successful career path. What may work for one person may not work for others. The ideal job for any empath will still highly depend on the various characteristics that define them. Evaluating personal motivations, passions, and goals will help each empath find their own ideal career path. 

Read the full article Building Bridges: 5 Ideal Career Paths for Empaths today.