Best and Worst Jobs for People With Social Anxiety
Trying to find the right job becomes ten times more difficult while you’re also managing a social anxiety disorder (SAD). You want to make sure you’re not only in an environment that understands but allows you to put your symptoms first.
And the unfortunate truth is, there aren’t a whole lot of jobs that are so flexible. Luckily, you’re not alone in your battle and many in your position have developed successful careers.
So, where do you begin looking? What are the best jobs for someone in your position? What are the worst jobs? Is there anything to keep in mind when employed?
This article is more than just a list of the best and worst jobs for people with social anxiety. It’s a guide that’s going to inform you of everything you need to know when it comes to employment and mental health.
Job Hunting - What to Look Out For, What to Avoid
There are a number of different factors to consider when applying for work. Before you even begin the job hunting process, it’s beneficial to write down your symptoms. This way, you’ll be able to better understand where your strong and weak points are.
You’ll also want to do a bit of studying before you enter the workforce. There are currently laws developed to help those diagnosed with a mental health condition.
For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides special support for those employed with a disability (this includes social anxiety). Support includes anything from having a flexible schedule with time off for treatment to bringing a service dog with you to work¹.
Some states may have their own laws surrounding mental health. For example, California has its own set of laws that prohibit discrimination against people struggling with a mental illness².
It’s in your best interest to do research on these laws to get an idea of how you can benefit.
Worst Jobs for People with Social Anxiety
Before we look into where you can succeed, it’s important to understand the jobs not suggested for people with SAD. It should be noted, not everyone with SAD has the same response to work environment. Therefore, some of the jobs we’re about to mention may be in your interest.
The following is a general consensus of where people with SAD shouldn’t apply:
There are some jobs people with SAD know to avoid, such as working towards a managing position or taking a stab at performing. However, many people with SAD are still trying to get an entry-level position. And one of the most abundant options is cashiering or serving.
Both jobs require you to keep an uplifting appearance for the public and properly handling money all while working under high pressure.
This one may seem obvious, but a position as a police officer can be appealing to people with SAD. Especially if an officer has helped you out in the past or live in a rural community where “not much is going on”.
Yet, there’s a lot of challenges that people with SAD struggle with, including initiating action and making quick decisions. Furthermore, even if you live in a rural community, an officer is responsible for talking and dealing with a lot of people.
Retail is another entry-level position people with SAD may have their eyes on. But many who’ve never worked in sales often don’t realize the quality a salesperson has.
They need to be confident and able to persuade customers. Sometimes, their income is completely based on this performance.
It may seem reasonable to try and teach a younger generation for their lives and careers. Though it’s not always the case, many people with SAD have trouble handling stressors brought upon by adults.
Still, no matter what grade the teacher influences, s/he is responsible for public speaking and meeting with many people, including parents and other staff members. Communication is key to this career.
Best Jobs for People with Social Anxiety
As mentioned, some of the jobs below might not appeal to you. This is where the importance of your symptoms list comes into play.
As you go over this list, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for opening positions of the following:
Good with numbers and keeping everything around you organized? If so, you might want to look into accounting.
Though this job does require some socializing, it’s, for the most part, a very personal occupation. People with SAD may be more interested in becoming a private accountant as they can work around their own time. The only difficulty is you’ll need to make a name for yourself and, in order to do so, need to reach out and network with a lot of people.
Are you so good with numbers that you enjoy problem-solving? Look no further than a career as a computer programmer.
Thanks to the recent tech boom, these jobs are highly in demand. Most employers value analytical skills over communication and, in turn, you’ll find yourself sitting behind a computer for long periods of time, working completely on your own.
With the advent of the internet, more and more people are starting businesses from the comforts of their own home. People with SAD may truly want to consider this field as it’ll allow them to have complete control over their time.
You may think you need a business idea or have experience under your belt before becoming an entrepreneur. But with the right kind of passion, anyone can open a business of something that highly interests them.
Though you’ll have to interact with customers from time-to-time and - if your business grows - employees, these come at a pace that may help you fight your SAD symptoms.
If you enjoy working with your hands and being outdoors, you should highly consider working as a landscaper. These jobs are not only in demand but allow people with SAD to get a lot of personal time with nature.
Understandably, this isn’t necessarily an occupation you may have had in mind. However, raising kids is a job in itself and is often more fulfilling than a salary.
When we speak of careers, we’re talking about directions to take your life. And there’s no shame in deciding your place in this world is as a stay-at-home parent, no matter your gender.
Though there is a need for some socializing, stay-at-home parents tend to have a very flexible schedule that allows them to pick up other gigs on the side.
Becoming a writer isn’t easy. Many look at it as a dream and nothing more. However, it’s a dream that’s possible with the right kind of motivation. And once you’re established as a writer, it’s very possible to make a healthy salary.
Freelance writing is one of the number one most sought after occupations for people with SAD. The idea of writing from home on your own schedule and getting paid to do so really is luxurious, even to people without SAD.
² Department of Industrial Relations: Laws that Prohibit Retaliation and Discrimination