Do you have social anxiety? Social anxiety is a common type of anxiety that many people experience. If you experience social anxiety, it’s understandable if you are hesitant to pursue jobs or even just go on interviews.
If that sounds like your situation, then this article is for you! We will be looking at some of the best jobs for people with social anxiety.
But first, let’s start with a story.
Once upon a time, there was a woman. Her name was Helen. Helen worked a series of office jobs. She was a reliable employee. Helen worked as a researcher and statistician. But Helen changed jobs often. She found it hard to concentrate with people around. Sometimes, she wished she could just take work home where it was easier to focus. Then one day, she was browsing online and found a job she could do from home. She was worried about such a big change, but it turned out she loved it. And, she kept that job for over a decade.
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Programming is a good job for someone with social anxiety because a computer programmer can work alone and often at home, which makes it easier to avoid anxiety-triggering interactions with people.
Some programmers may also find solitude more productive–for example, introverts may be more comfortable working alone than they are when others are around (although there’s no excuse for not going out on your lunch break).
Programmers also usually need a lot of concentration and attention to detail work. This gives them time away from their thoughts and a distraction, which is what some people struggling with social anxiety need.
However, programming jobs require talent in logic and problem solving. So, if you don’t have these skills the profession might not be for you.
Landscaping can be a good job for someone with social anxiety if they love outdoor activities and get pleasure from exercising. The act of physically engaging in outdoor activity will do wonders for anyone struggling with mental health issues like depression or social anxiety.
Landscaping is a great way to meet people, because it’s often required of you to talk to people on your job. Landscapers are the people who can relate both with contractors (who have no time for pointless conversation) and homeowners alike. Greener thumbs get greener conversations!
Landscaping jobs are perfect for those who need to come out of their shell but without the stress that comes with other jobs.
The opportunity for creative self-expression must also be mentioned; planting gardens can provide some needed variety in an otherwise mundane existence.
Accounting is a great career option for people with social anxiety. Having many contact points with only very specific periods of human interaction, and the ability to work in the comfort of your own home or at an office where people are not always present make it a good choice for those who may fear social interactions.
Moreover, these jobs allow you to use your skills without constant judgment from others and can be done on-demand when it fits into your schedule.
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The salary range starts lower than most other fields but offers more potential long-term growth as well as job security due to low turnover rates among accountants working in public practice – making this one of the best career options for those looking at employment that will help them boost their earnings.
Generally, either being an accountant or working for a major company in accounting is a good choice. Both jobs are more structured than other types of office jobs with less meetings and less ‘face to face’ interaction.
If you’re on the autism spectrum with social anxiety, being around animals could be helpful in calming some of your social anxiety.
Discussing animal cases with other vet students or doctors will probably help too. And then afterwards, talking to people about your experiences at work just might be an empowering experience and a great way to make new friends!
If you’re not up to the schooling required to be a veterinarian, you could also consider working as a veterinary assistant or technician.
A typical dog walker is simply a person who walks dogs for people in the park or on the street; you will need to know basic commands and how to control a dog on a leash. A person with social anxiety can usually handle these tasks fairly well.
The best part about being a dog walker is that there are so many people with dogs around. You are constantly meeting new folks and animals!
You will also get a chance to make conversation with other dog owners when you take a break by petting dogs at the park as you huff and puff from all that exercise.
Plus, it’s an awesome outlet for your own furry friends if you have them back home.
Counselors are people too! It may be difficult at first to talk to clients and help them work through their problems but with time you’ll get used to it and find it easier.
Most people with social anxiety are highly empathetic and good listeners, which are key skills that make a good counselor.
Counselors also make deep connections with one person at a time, which might be easier for you if you struggle with making small talk with a lot of different people.
To be a successful writer, you’ll need to develop a thick skin in order to handle criticism from readers and peers. Being a writer means having faith in your ideas and personal voice enough that you put them out there into the world.
The good news for someone with social anxiety is that most writing jobs involve a lot of time spent alone and most communication can be done through email.
The options for writers are endless: freelance writer, feature writer, book author, blogger, etc. Think about the type of writing you want to do and your relevant education or work experience when deciding on a career path.
Surprisingly, customer service may be an apt choice for those with social anxiety. That’s because customer service is highly interpersonal in a scripted sort of way.
Customer service jobs generally require answering phones or speaking with customers when they come into a store. This generally requires no verbal or face-to-face interaction on a level above basic pleasantries.
The person with social anxiety can construct a quasi therapist-client relationship where they help guide people through their needs and frustrations with solutions and kindness.
Some customer service jobs can also be done from home, which can be helpful in managing social anxiety.
Typically, you’ll use a laptop (for email and chat messaging) and/or a phone headset to communicate with customers. The best thing about this job is that the customer never has any idea what’s going on behind the scenes! Some people with social anxiety may also find it easier to interact with customers over the phone than in person.
Being an entrepreneur could be a good option for those with social anxiety because an entrepreneur is usually able to manage their own work schedule and social contacts.
Entrepreneurship is about being a generalist: making decisions across a variety of areas, acting as an advisor in all sorts of roles to bring together resources and knowledge from diverse sources, and solving problems on the fly.
These are by nature introverted activities at first glance. Generally, entrepreneurs have more control (or they think they do) over what happens with their business than someone who works 9-to-5 in an office.
But, entrepreneurship also means risking lots of time and money without any guarantee that it will pay off economically.
Being an entrepreneur can be enticing if you have social anxiety, but be careful to assess what your strengths are.
If you’re someone who likes to think up creative ideas and get high-level work done on your own, then it would be a good idea to find an entrepreneurial endeavor that fits these abilities.
But, if developing your interpersonal skills or being able to manage employees is something you’ll have trouble with, entrepreneurship might not be the best way to ease your social anxiety.
Photography is a good career option for social anxiety if you’re willing to work as a freelance photographer, make your own hours, and photograph what’s most interesting to you.
You won’t have the same financial stability and benefits as someone working in a more traditional setting, but it should be easier on your mental health.
Photographers can also work from home, which minimizes the pressure to interact with people.
A factory job is better than no job at all, but it also carries with it some inherent hazards.
However, people with social anxiety may be comfortable in a work environment where they can remain anonymous and avoid the stress of public contact altogether.
Factory work usually follows this paradigm and provides plenty of opportunity for individuals to feel incognito about their workday routine.
And while factory jobs are typically less prestigious or lucrative than jobs that require more interaction with people (i.e., salesperson), they’re still an option for those recovering from social anxiety and may provide a stable income without requiring stressful interactions with customers or coworkers.
Additionally, there’s something inherently soothing about being the person in charge of just one thing.
Being a nanny can be one of the most stable and predictable jobs you will find. For people who feel safest in a structured environment but who also want some variety, nannying is a win-win.
Being a nanny can be a good job for people with social anxiety, because you will have contact with children and other people, but on a more limited basis.
House cleaning is a good job for people with social anxiety, as it’s low stress and makes you feel productive and accomplished when done well.
The job can be mentally absorbing and solitary without requiring much conversation, which might be beneficial to someone with social anxiety.
However, this can also be a lonely or isolating job, and could make your social anxiety worse through avoidance.
If you find yourself withdrawing more and more from people, it might be better to choose a job with some social interaction.
Dog groomers are typically pet lovers who take care of pets and assist in their grooming, bathing, and treatments. If you love dogs, this could be the job for you!
People with social anxiety might find a part-time dog grooming job to be rewarding on several levels and provide them with a much needed sense of stability.
As a dog groomer, you can choose to work independently from your home or for a company.
Working on your own might initially feel less socially involved. However, remember that you’ll be solely responsible for all customer interactions. In addition, you’ll be managing the behind-the-scenes aspects of your business such as advertising and bookkeeping.
Flowers are a great way to interact with people; it’s the product that does all the work. Cut, arrange, chat, offer specials, and everybody leaves happy.
At the same time, flower shop work can be stressful if you have anxiety because of interactions with customers and working outside in the heat.
Flower shop jobs that operate primarily indoors and with less customer contact (such as designing arrangements) may be a better fit for those who live with social anxiety.
Flower arranging is one example of indoor floral design where you only need to talk to someone through Skype or over the phone when they choose their flowers.
For some people with social anxiety, one way to feel better is by focusing on smaller interactions rather than large-scale ones. So, this is an interesting option since it allows for more focused communication.
Expanding Your Comfort Zone
The best jobs for you might not require a lot of face-to-face interaction. The top jobs for social anxiety are often ones where you can work from home, like customer service or freelance writing. However, it’s important to keep in mind that avoidance only makes social anxiety worse.
If you do choose a job that is solitary, it’s important to push yourself to stay social in other areas of your life. Or, you can choose a job that allows flexibility in social interaction.
This allows you to be more social on days when you are feeling good, and stay more isolated on days when social interaction is adding to your stress.
Tips for Finding Jobs for Social Anxiety
Social anxiety should never be a reason not to go after your dream job. At the same time, some jobs will be less socially demanding than others.
Below are some tips to keep in mind if you’d like your work time to be a safe haven from situations that might trigger your social anxiety.
1. Consider a job that is primarily online so you don’t have to interact with people in person.
2. Look for jobs in industries where there are fewer customers or clients.
3. Find work-at-home jobs that require minimal customer interaction, such as data entry or transcription.
4. Consider working from home; it will allow you more time to prepare and get ready before starting your workday.
5. Ask your boss for flexible hours so you can take breaks when needed and leave early on days when anxiety is severe.
6. If your job is socially taxing, take up hobbies that do not involve socializing, such as painting, sculpting, or playing video games.
7. If you have a job where you need to talk to people but don’t feel comfortable, try being open about your own anxiety. This can be especially helpful if you work for a company with a proactive HR department and you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. You might even end up with accommodations to help you do your job while taking your social anxiety into consideration.
Most of all, remember that social anxiety is a manageable problem that doesn’t need to interfere with your daily life.
And the story of Helen at the beginning of this post? That’s actually the story of me. I never quite felt at home in “jail” in an office environment.
It’s okay to choose what feels aligned to you. You don’t have to follow the same path as everyone else, just because that’s “how it’s done.”
Just make sure you’re doing something you love and not choosing avoidance.
Are you looking for a job that you can manage with social anxiety? Or, do you have a job that has worked well for you? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.
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