Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health



Mandy Kloppers

The jobs that narcissists and empaths are drawn to

There aren’t any existing careers that are exclusively narc-filled or for empaths only. Having said that, there are certain types of jobs that narcissists and empaths are drawn to. Jobs that offer validation and a sense of authority and respect are loved by narcissists. They tend to possess over-inflated egos and believe they are intellectually superior to others. Empaths tend to value people over status, power and money and tend to possess a higher level of emotional intelligence. When we consider some of the more extreme stereotypes, we start to see how narcissists and empaths are motivated and how they typically behave.

Please note: The jobs listed below are generalisations and there will always be exceptions to the rule.


Any profession that offers status (others look up to you) and the likelihood of receiving praise and admiration attracts narcissists. Many narcissists portray themselves as highly humanitarian and caring people. I know covert narcissists that are CEO’s, lawyers and IT professionals. Politicians, actors, physicians…all and any profession where they receive a lot of attention, where people may come for advice and so forth. The public persona and the person behind closed doors are frighteningly different. Greed and narcissism go hand in hand.

Extreme narcissists envy and resent people who are wealthier or more powerful than they are, which means that they will do anything to surpass these people and make them feel like losers in comparison. This stems from an intense underlying fear that many narcissists hide – the sense that they aren’t good enough and will be found out. This is highly threatening and they counteract this sense of inadequacy by bolstering their confidence and bravado to fool others. To get out of such tough feelings and make yourself in a normal state teen mental health treatment malibu ca help you to achieve it.

Job positions that narcissists are likely to be drawn to:

I may have left out relevant narcissistic jobs – you are welcome to leave comments on your own thoughts/ideas). Narcissism in the workplace is toxic as it prevents/lowers team cohesion and tends to prioritise competitiveness leading to mistrust in work environments.

  • CEO’s, CFO’s, COO’s
  • Business leaders
  • Politicians
  • Pilots
  • Lawyers
  • Property developers
  • Managers
  • Athletes/Bodybuilders/ Sports
  • Doctors/Dentists
  • Police officers
  • Judges
  • News anchors
  • Motivational speakers
  • Salespeople – they often ooze charisma (a trait of a narcissist) but this doesn’t mean they are definitely narcissists.
  • Cult leaders/religious sects
  • Social media influencers (although some are just highly insecure and obsess over validation from others to feel good about themselves – which isn’t healthy either).
  • IT professionals. Especially those in high-tech startups.  (not all IT professionals are narcissists – I have met empaths who enjoy this job)   Below is ‘inside information’ from someone who has worked in this high pressured environment:
“…the high-tech startups are where the drama happens.  These are companies that have been newly formed.  There is lots of money floating around, venture capitalists, private investors, etc…  There is this naive notion that money will solve any problem.  The leadership are generally young and/or inexperienced, with huge overblown egos.  Basically, these are people who genuinely believe they are better than everyone around them (hint, hint, foreshadowing here).  There is this general philosophy of fake it till you make it, and anything is possible, kind of thing.
So these founders tend to hire people like themselves: intelligent, vain, arrogant, overly-confident.  Good communication skills, consideration for others, professionalism, etc… are just not important.  They then build their companies, largely from inflows of cash, and create a culture that espouses performance over everything.  It is very common for people to have shouting matches, scream at each other, send nasty emails, slam their fist on the table, storm out of meetings, publicly belittle and humiliate people for not agreeing or not doing exactly what they wanted (even though they were not clear).  There is a lot of blaming everyone else, gaslighting, and projection.
All of this is not only allowed but more often than not encouraged.  I had a CEO tell me, “Well that is how we build a better product.  We hash it out”.  WTF!  Of course, this is all preposterous rationalization!  But that is how it goes in that space.  It really is a cultural thing.  So these companies either fail miserably, which most do, or they are acquired by a bigger company.
On a positive note, I am actually grateful for this experience.  I mean, it’s definitely an emotional thing to deal with, but it has also given me so much context about the world around me.  From the experiences with NPDs, I did research into that and all the other personality disorders.  It was like opening a dirty window and seeing the world clearly for the first time.  I had no idea all that was there.  All those odd people out there.  I can now clearly identify them and know how to process them. “

Look at how the following traits of the narcissist come to the fore in different careers:

  1. lack of empathy;
  2. grandiosity and over-inflated self-worth;
  3. lack of remorse or guilt;
  4. manipulation, self-serving and exploitative behaviour; Using fear, guilt, shame, punishment and manipulation to gain compliance and control
  5. greed; the lack of moral compass;
  6. the need for adulation, recognition and adoration (in relationships, they prefer an adoring fan rather than an equal partner);
  7. pathological lying;
  8. lack of consistency, shallowness and superficiality, pre-occupation with cultivating a successful image;
  9. impulsivity, risk-taking;
  10. lack of accountability and responsibility;
  11. inability to apologise; inability to accept responsibility for their actions;
  12. actors able to pull off the charade; know the right things to say; read vulnerability in others easily;
  13. parasitic, embezzlers;
  14. promiscuity;
  15. high turnover of partners/spouses;
  16. need to control.
  17. Unwillingness to be challenged
  18. Not considering other people’s opinions or not engaging them in conversations about problem-solving or changes

Searching for narcissistic personalities in the workplace is no luxury—it’s a necessity if you wish to weed out toxic influences. Narcissism also can push valued employees out the door.

“[Narcissism is] a massive problem,” said Jeff Harry, an Oakland, Calif.-based human resources consultant who works with Google, the NFL, Amazon and Facebook to improve workplace cultures.

“Leadership guru Simon Sinek notes [that the U.S.] Navy SEALs will never [accept] the toxic person regardless of how athletic they are, how brave, how productive, because the overall health of the team is destroyed as long as they exist.”


Here are just a few of the things narcissists tend to do on the job:

  1. 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.
  2. Talking over everyone else in meetings, workplace bullying increases
  3. Only ever talking about themselves and their own projects
  4. Taking credit for the great ideas others have come up with
  5. Insisting on being in charge even if they aren’t qualified for the role
  6. Unable to take critique of any nature
  7. Blaming everyone else for the messes they made
  8. Being hypocritical – they will behave in certain ways but if others do the same they will judge harshly. Narcissists possess a sense of entitlement and superiority. The normal rules of engagement do not apply to them because they are ‘special’.
  9. Demand respect even when they haven’t earned it
  10. Moody and unpredictable – you will often walk on eggshells around them
  11. Inability to emotionally self-regulate. They use others and external cues to gain their sense of self-worth and confidence.

Developing true empathy for other people is part of the “cure” for extreme narcissism. Just as greed and narcissism go hand in hand, so do empathy and a sense of social responsibility.


  • Musicians   (Interestingly, all the narcissists I have known weren’t that into music). Musicians and songwriters ‘feel’ their music and often enjoy song lyrics. It’s their empathy that enables them to write good songs that others can relate to. Music seems to be a social glue. Think of how love songs enhance our romantic feelings, how marching bands intensify our affinity for the home team, or how huge rock concerts make us feel one with a crowd of thousands. Music has some special power to increase our sense of connection and help us affiliate with others. Narcissists don’t see people as important apart from what other people can do for them. They don’t value people and see them as objects. They lack sentimentality (although they can fake it).
  • Actors (tend to be needy and insecure unless they become very successful eg. George Clooney, Brad Pitt – nice as pie apparently!). A-listers don’t feel the need to impress others as they are comfortable in their own skins. If they walk around in old clothes, they feel as confident as usual. They don’t need designer outfits to feel worthy or acceptable.
  • Artists – possess empathy and a substantial inner world. They often draw their inspiration from others but they carry an inner strength that narcissists don’t have.
  • Writers. journalists – a need for empathy is vital to be able to create believable and likeable characters.
  • Comedians (they understand others and can empathise with common experiences in a way that narcissists can’t)
  • Nurses
  • Counsellors/Therapists
  • Teachers
  • Charity workers
  • Social workers
  • Tradesmen – Builders, carpenters, plumbers etc (this one surprised me – they are often quite a sentimental bunch). Not to be confused with property developers who tend to have more narcissistic traits.
  • Jobs with animals
  • Jobs with children
  • Nature conservationists/ Environmentalists
  • Researchers/Scientific-related positions
  • Landscape gardeners
  • Florists
  • Life coaches
  • Artificial intelligence jobs

It’s a sad fact that jobs for empaths tend to provide lower remuneration, a side effect of capitalism.

Many empaths become physicians, nurses, dentists, physical therapists, psychotherapists, social workers, teachers, yoga instructors, Chinese medical practitioners, massage therapists, clergy, hospice workers, life coaches, or volunteers or employees of non-profit organizations among other heart-felt jobs. Working with animals, animal rescue, dog grooming, as well as veterinary medicine are gratifying choices too.

An empath’s attributes may not be as appreciated in places such as corporations, academia, professional sports, the military, or government.

Empaths tend to value people over status, power and money and tend to possess a higher level of emotional intelligence so they will often choose careers related to arts, charity, children, and nature, which in turn makes degrees in teaching, therapy, arts, and nursing some of the most popular degrees for empaths.

Actors, writers, and musicians can be narcissists, but I suspect most are not. They are doing what they love and do well and this is a healthy narcissism unless it becomes a much more competitive obsession over fame for its own sake.

Inbetween: can be either an empath or a narcissist

  • Accountants – They aren’t generally narcissistic but can possess traits that are on the spectrum indicating that they may have low emotional intelligence (this is not the same as narcissism). They may struggle to tune in to the emotions of others and tend to be more practical and logical. The danger with narcissists is that they know how to FAKE being an empath (they don’t truly care) and use this as a manipulation tactic whereas someone with low emotional intelligence cares but isn’t always able to understand emotions in others or in themselves.
  • teachers
  • lawyers
  • doctors
  • religious leaders (depends on their motivation – is it adoration and control or the wish to truly help others?)
  • engineers
  • civil servants
  • Farmers (may lack EQ = emotional intelligence).
  • IT professionals


Narcissistic traits (exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, a lack of empathy, seeking abusive power over others) run counter to desirable personality in work traits (e.g. inclusivity, openness, sharing) but narcissists frequently enjoy promotion. Call out abuse when you see it. If enough staff report the toxic behaviour, the more likely it will be that action is taken. Don’t allow a narcissist to push you out or intimidate you as that will reinforce their behaviour and they will continue. You owe it to yourself (and society) to identify the anti-social behaviour.

Narcissists and empaths both possess good and bad qualities but overall, empaths champion collaboration and a kinder, more inclusive world.

And one more thing… the next time you are on a date, it might be worth finding out what job your date does for a living…


Photo by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash