Finding the right career can be difficult sometimes. And landing the right job can be additionally trying. If you are struggling with social anxiety disorder (SAD), some jobs out there might seem outright impossible. But in this article, we will let you in on some of the best jobs for people with social anxiety.
Enjoying what you do can be a huge relief to mental stress. This is why here we list a variety of different jobs: from office-based to occupations in the outdoors. Some are in the arts, others in computer science or in the trades. By providing a long, varied list of good jobs for people with anxiety, we hope everyone can find something to their taste.
Don’t let anxiety stop you from working. We have listed jobs that don’t involve much talking but leave communication available so that you can have the opportunity to challenge your anxiety. The flexibility that most of these jobs offer will hopefully allow you to feel most in control and to choose when you’d like your social interactions.
We have also complied a list of the worst jobs for people with social anxiety!
Even if you don’t find your dream career on this list, we think this article will show you that getting a job with anxiety disorder is not as impossible as you might think.
Writing is one of the best jobs for people with social anxiety disorder. It gives anxious introverts the ability to work alone for extended periods of time. There will be some interaction with editors and readers but it would likely be nothing like working in an office. Even if you are a journalist, who works at a media office, your interactions with others would likely be fairly infrequent and low-stakes.
Thus, if you think your shyness might interfere with your professional life, writing can provide a fairly safe haven.
Freelance writing may be a particularly good job for people with SAD. In most cases, it will allow you to work from home (or abroad!) and in some cases, you would be your own editor. Good places to begin a freelancing career may be UpWork and Fiverr. You would be surprised by the number of online jobs for socially anxious people.
These platforms, however, also embody the challenges of being a freelancer. There are millions of writers on both of them so starting out with your profession may be difficult and earnings may be low before you make a name for yourself.
Check out our list of recommended books to challenge social anxiety disorder!
Another downside to a writing career if you have social anxiety disorder is that the lifestyle it brings may not always stimulate you to challenge yourself and interact with others. Naturally, if you simply love writing this can be worked around. There are lots of professional associations, workshops, and conferences which would allow you to pursue your dream while getting used to the challenge of working with social anxiety.
If you are interested, you can choose between journalism, fiction or nonfiction writing, sales and technical writing, amongst others.
Landscaping or Gardening
It’s one of those jobs you don’t think about. But if you suffer from social anxiety and can’t entertain the idea of working in an office, landscaping or gardening may be a very good fit for you. Finding a job in landscaping will allow you to earn a living while spending all of those sunny summer days among nature, which can further increase your mental health and alleviate social fears. Contact with nature makes this a great job for severe anxiety.
You will follow plants at every stage of their life- from spring seedlings to winter twigs. Sometimes you may start with a barren garden or a concrete foundation and transform it into a sprawling, lush garden.
If you decide to go into gardening or landscaping, you will face the choice between working for yourself and creating your own business, and starting out in a company. Resident gardening may also be a good choice but learning the trade in a company might be invaluable, especially if you are just starting out.
A career in landscaping is one of those jobs where you work alone most of the time. However, you may have to interact with, or even market your skills, to customers, coworkers, employees or employers. There will be times when your SAD will be challenged.
Nonetheless, if you are struggling with social anxiety, the job will allow you to have a lot of time to yourself, in the company of flowers.
Easily one of the careers with sparing social interactions, computer programming may be a good choice of a job for social anxiety people. If you enjoy problem-solving and love focusing for longer periods of time, this may be the right career for you.
Contrary to our suggestions on landscaping, if you enjoy being warm inside and having regular access to coffee, coding might be a good choice for you. There will be unavoidable social situations, however– with colleagues or clients if you are working independently. These might be good opportunities to challenge and overcome your social anxiety disorder.
But if you feel that you are not ready for communicating with customers on a fairly regular basis, you could consider freelancing. Platforms like UpWork and Fiverr are good places to begin.
While there can be a big learning curve to starting out as a developer, the work tends to be very well paid.
And the array of opportunities to keep to yourself makes this a very good option for a job if you are an introvert with anxiety.
One of the coolest jobs on this list, or any list, graphic design can help people with social anxiety find tons of enjoyment and make a living. It is one of the jobs in the arts that are most sought after and can offer fairly flexible working hours.
If you are dealing with SAD, this job will allow you to spend time alone and focus on your work. This career may be a particularly good choice for you if you enjoy focusing on detail. In addition, working in graphic design will boost your problem-solving skills, you will learn to see the world through inspiration and you can be certain that design will always be in demand.
Nonetheless, people with social anxiety should know that this job may ask them to present in front of people or to sell their work at shows and art exhibits. In addition, graphic design tends to be a fairly competitive field so if you feel that you may experience performance anxiety, try to talk it over with your therapist.
Hopefully, even if the job proves to be stressful, your passion for it would not allow you to think twice about it.
Seemingly a strange choice for a career for social anxiety sufferers, a career as a therapist may allow you to help people overcome what you have experienced. You will know exactly what your clients mean when they say they have felt their mind has gone blank and will understand how to relate emotionally with them.
Yes, you would have a lot of talking to do, but it will be inside a controlled (by you) environment and about something that you are probably very passionate about.
Accountant – Great for People with SAD
If you are worried that your job might be affected by your SAD, but you are fascinated by numbers, becoming an accountant might be just right for you. This list of jobs for socially anxious people includes many careers where freelancing is a viable option and accounting is a good example. While it can be challenging to begin as a freelancer from the start, working for someone else initially to learn the particularities of the trade may be very helpful.
Some level of social interaction will be required but as you become better and better at your job, your confidence will likely start to outshine your anxieties. Good accountants are immensely valuable to any company and the etiquette for business meetings might provide a safe, comfortable environment for you, Face-to-face meetings would usually take place in small groups or even one-on-one.
This job combines endless excitement, calm and limited social interactions, which make it a great job for shy people. If you enjoy the kind friendship of dogs, and you are good at handling them, you may find this to be a perfect fit for you.
Every day will be different, your schedule will be flexible, it’s great if you are looking for a part-time job and you will be your own boss. In addition, there are many specializations, so you may be entering a somewhat less competitive field than others on this list of jobs for people with SAD. Options include:
- Dog show training
- Agility training
- Obedience training
- Sheepdog trial training
- Hunting dog training
Working with animals will allow you to step back from the human world as your interactions would be limited to occasional chats with pet owners. And even this can be avoided almost altogether if you decide to head into dog sitting.
Other possible career choices in this area include:
- Veterinary technician/assistant
- Rescue worker
But even if you are to be surrounded by dogs as part of your job, don’t forget to challenge your social anxiety.
Going into the wild, observing and analyzing animal behavior might be a lot of children’s dream job but it is a real job, if very competitive. It requires a lot of formal training but when you land it, you would likely either work alone or in a small team of researchers. This might prove a good environment for you to face your social anxiety.
As a wildlife biologist, you are faced with a lot of potential for specialization, all of which will become increasingly more important with the exacerbation of climate change:
- Marine Biology
In addition, as a wildlife biologist, you do not have to be in the field all the time. You might distribute time between the lab, office, the classroom and the field.
Consider geology or archaeology as jobs that require less animal contact but are similar in terms of producing scientific work in the open field.
Industry Jobs for People with Social Anxiety
Electricians, carpenters, plumbers. A job in the trades may allow you to work alone or in small groups and have only occasional, short-lived contact with customers. If you enjoy fixing or constructing things, these types of jobs may be perfect for you. These occupations will allow you to work behind the scenes and limit the number of anxiety-provoking social situations.
In addition, once you make a name, it would be difficult to lose clients and there would always be a demand for fixing water pipes! Moreover, the trades are seldom impacted by economic downturns.
Beauty and Cosmetology
If you have social anxiety disorder, you are probably looking for a job that moves the center of attention from you to the client. Working in the beauty industry will allow you to do just that.
Your responsibility would be to pamper and delight your clients and to bring out the best in them. The positive feelings associated with that, and the real confidence they build, might help you approach social situations with more confidence in the future.
In addition, cosmetology can be a wonderful outlet for creativity and you can play with textures and colors all day, every day.
There are different fields within beauty and cosmetology that you can approach:
- Makeup artist
If you don’t find anything on this list that you would like to do, don’t worry! We think these are some of the best jobs for people with social anxiety but your choice of career should not be defined by your SAD. Trust your gut and reach out towards the rewarding career you dream of. Challenging your social phobia in your job will likely help you overcome it.
Some jobs are better for people with social anxiety. But the right career for you is the one you want.