Self-important, loves attention, hates criticism, demanding, arrogant and sneakily manipulative.
Sound like someone you know? Well, chances are they’re a narcissist.
And even though they might think it’s beneath them, most narcissists also have to work… like the rest of us.
Let’s take a closer look at the behaviour of narcissists and which types of jobs would suit them best.
While we tend to throw the term ‘narcissist’ around quite loosely, it’s important to know that not everyone with a good self-esteem is a narcissist. It is totally possible to think highly of yourself without feeling superior to those around you. In fact, it’s quite healthy to be this kind to yourself.
Unlike people who merely choose to see the good in themselves (which, again, we all should!), narcissists have an inflated sense of their own importance. In other words, they truly think they are special and better than everyone else.
Apart from this, they tend to have a severe lack of compassion and don’t waste their time on anyone who can’t offer them something or won’t bow down in reverence.
It is also important to know that narcissism is actually considered to be a personality disorder.
Dealing with a narcissist can be challenging at the best of times. Not least of all because of the fact that from their point of view, you are the problem; not them.
In the workplace, however, it tends to be even more challenging as the presence of a single narcissist can turn an entire office environment toxic.
Here are just a few of the things narcissists tend to do on the job:
- Playing hot and cold – one moment a certain co-worker will be their best friend, but as soon that person no longer benefits them in one way or another, they’ll lose interest. This can lead to hurt feelings and bad vibes.
- Talking over everyone else in meetings
- Only ever talking about themselves and their own projects
- Taking credit for the great ideas others have come up with
- Insisting on being in charge even if they aren’t qualified for the role
- Unable to take critique of any nature
- Blaming everyone else for the messes they made
As difficult as it is to deal with narcissists in the workplace (and vice versa for them), the poor sods also need to pay the rent and buy groceries.
So, if you’re trying to get rid of your narcissistic colleague, you may want to suggest they follow one of these alternative careers. (It will be pretty easy to convince them – just tell them how magnificent they will be in the role and that there’s simply no one else who ever did or ever will do it as well as they will.)
Social media influencer
Being a social media influencer is the perfect job for a narcissist, as it allows them to ‘go rogue’ without the annoyances of inferior colleagues and bland office life.
Apart from this, it also gives them the opportunity to create larger-than-life personas for themselves online and gain millions of doting admirers.
There’s also nothing that says ‘superior’ like constantly being flown off to participate in events and campaigns all over the globe with important brand partners.
Reality TV Show Star
In many ways, narcissists and reality TV shows were made for each other.
Reality TV shows offer narcissists attention, attention and more attention – which we all know they love. And, of course, the ability to create opportunities to get even more attention while they’re at it.
Narcissists offer reality TV shows over-the-top behaviour, very willing lime-light recipients and a good dose of shock factor. All the things that get ratings skyrocketing.
For narcissists, becoming a YouTube star like the perfect blend between being a social media influencer and a reality show star.
It offers them the freedom to do things their way while enjoying a similar type of attention that they would on stage.
Whether they sing, talk or do make-up tutorials, YouTube puts no limit on video length, which suits them just fine. Also, because they make sharing so easy, it also offers greater potential in going ‘viral’ than any other social media platforms.
The two things narcissists desire most are power and money. If you manage to claw your way up through the ranks (which wouldn’t be too hard for a narcissist), politics offers plenty of both.
While the job of the motivational speaker may seem so pure – helping others reach their full potential and all – it also offers the ideal space for talking about yourself and your achievements. A LOT. And since – beyond money and power – there’s nothing narcissists love more than to gloat, they’d be a weirdly perfect fit for the profession.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We’re not saying all social media influencers, reality TV show stars, YouTube stars, politicians and motivational speakers are narcissists. Quite to the contrary. All we’re saying is these are the types of professions in which you narcissistic friends will thrive.