Best Jobs For People With Anxiety
Choosing a career when you have anxiety can be difficult, especially when your mind is constantly worrying, and preoccupied with negative thoughts. That is why it is important to explore options best suited for the type of anxiety disorder you have and to understand why those jobs are best suited for you.
The types of anxiety disorders we face today are the following :
- Generalized anxiety disorder(GAD)
- Social anxiety disorder(SAD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder and Agoraphobia
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Specific phobia
Jobs For People With Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder is where you feel unbearable amounts of worry about almost everything. For most people having GAD hurts key areas of your life which include your personal health, social interactions, and everyday tasks.
If you have GAD jobs to consider going into would be jobs that utilize your strengths. The strange thing about people with a generalized anxiety disorder is despite their tendency to worry excessively, they are usually excellent investigators and researchers.
Some key things to remember when looking for a new career when you have been diagnosed with GAD:
- Look for jobs that mentally challenge you and keep your mind occupied. If you have too much free time your mind might wander off and start to worry.
- Stay away from jobs that involve tasks that might activate your stress triggers. Sometimes careers that require you to work alone will assist in preventing this from happening.
- Jobs, where you need to gather information, are most likely suitable for you, as it requires you to analyze and investigate topics to make a decision.
- Most importantly it must be a job that you enjoy and have an interest in. If there is no interest in the work you do, you might find yourself becoming miserable which often activates stress triggers.
Some careers that might meet the above requirements are :
- Private investigator: This role will definitely keep you active and involves time to think a lot about your findings before making a decision. Similar jobs include forensic scientists and crime scene investigators.
- Fitness trainer: Studies have shown that being physically fit can help reduce your stress levels. This job allows you to use your perfectionist tendencies to help others create a healthier lifestyle while learning how to develop a healthy lifestyle yourself and this can contribute to reduced stress levels. Similar jobs include Nutritionists and dieticians.
- Counselor/Psychologist: As a person who struggles with mental health issues yourself, you may have an interest in helping others going through mental health issues themselves. The act of helping others with mental health issues may help you to understand yours and work through them.
- Massage therapist: Working as a massage therapist is a profession where you work in a low-stress environment. The combination of physical and mental work will also keep your mind occupied and away from thinking thoughts that may trigger your anxiety.
- Professor /Researcher: Although this job requires you to study for quite some time, becoming a researcher or professor might be the perfect job for you. It allows you to do in-depth research on topics that you have an interest in, while simultaneously giving you a break from social interactions or environments that have stress triggers in them.
Jobs If You Have Social Anxiety Disorder.
Social anxiety disorder also known as social phobia is a condition where you feel overwhelmed, and self-conscious in normal social situations faced every day. You tend to worry about people judging you and you feel embarrassed in public spaces.
Finding a job when you have a social anxiety disorder can be extremely challenging as most jobs in modern times require us to interact with people ( whether it is telephonically, in-person, or via video call.).Just like every disorder, there are practical ways to overcome and train yourself to be better equipped to face social environments and there are many great programs that can assist in doing so.
In saying this, there are specific career types that people with a social anxiety disorder are suited for. The best careers for people with social anxiety disorder make use of the fear hierarchies used in cognitive -behavioral therapy(CBT), which helps them to start off facing small social interactions ( that they fear the least ) and work up towards facing more challenging situations.
Some careers that are recommended for people who have social anxiety disorder include the following :
- Writer: Although writing can be quite a difficult career, it will allow you to gain experience, and develop writing skills to the point of earning a living from it. Writing allows you to be alone while you work, and overtime might help you develop the confidence to start networking with other writers on professional platforms.
- Artist: This job might be hard to make a living off, but the more artwork you do the higher your chances are of creating more credibility and getting a bigger customer network. This career will allow you to express feelings and emotions in ways that are fun, creative, and can be very rewarding. The act of expressing yourself in something very different could help you manage your levels of stress to some extent. Similar or related careers that you can also consider are graphic design, interior design, and architecture.
- Stay-at-home parent: Being a stay-at-home parent requires a specific level of organizational skills, and keeping track of all the activities in a household which can distract your mind from thinking about unnecessary things, and it removes you from being involved in social interactions outside your comfort zone. This job might sound very stressful but being surrounded by loved ones, while keeping your mind busy when having SAD can definitely help manage the number of times you experience feeling anxious.
- Dog trainer /Rescue worker: If you are the type of person who enjoys the company of animals above the company of people this might be the perfect job for you. Working with animals gives you time to work quietly and independently. Ways that can challenge you slowly in overcoming your fears in this career include interacting with the clients of the animals as well as fellow animal care professionals.
- Counselor: As mentioned in careers for people with GAD, people who have SAD might benefit similarly from getting involved in this career. The best way to help a person with SAD and similar mental health issues is to truly understand what they are going through and that is why this might be the perfect job for you. Becoming a counselor might help you to get an interesting perspective on how people with the same condition as you think and will give you insight into your own mental struggles that you are facing.
There are people with exceptions to this who happen to be extroverts and still look for the company of people despite their fear. The career you choose must be the one you feel is best suited for you and your interests. Most importantly social anxiety should never be a barrier preventing you from striving towards your dream career, where there is a will there’s a way and it can be done!
Jobs For People With Obsessive-compulsive disorder
OCD can be difficult to manage as unwanted and intrusive thoughts occupy your mind and keep you constantly distracted. These thoughts lead to you often tending to adopt specific routine-like behavior to ease the anxiety. Excessive worrying over your obsession can create mental barriers from doing specific tasks which can add to the challenge of finding work.
Careers that are recommended for people with OCD include the following :
- Writer/proofreader/Editor: If you love to write and express yourself with words this might be the perfect job for you. The main benefit for people with OCD in this profession is convenience. Most writers set out their own work hours and work for the number of hours that suit them. The freedom of being able to work according to a schedule set by you allows you to work around your obsessions and doing what you love. ( A win-win situation).
- Web Designer/developer: Being a web designer/developer involves making use of your creative skills to design websites for businesses. The great thing about this job is once again you have the freedom to work around your own schedule, and this freedom allows you to work in a space that won’t allow clashes with your obsessions or will allow you to have control over them. This job allows a lot of creative freedom and is generally a lower-stress environment.
- Artist: Many people with OCD, find it useful to express themselves through works of art. If it is something that you thoroughly enjoy, it is suggestable to make use of this in your career choice. Art mediums used can vary from painting, sculptures, photography, or combined media and it gives you the opportunity to take your therapy and turn it into an income source. There are many mental health benefits to creating artwork and this is definitely a good choice if art is an interest and passion of yours.
- Online instructor: If you have a passion for teaching but giving a class in front of a class gives you anxiety, becoming an online instructor might be the perfect job for you. With the rapid rate of technological advancement, there are more online teaching tools available now than ever. The great thing about this job is you also get to have freedom when setting your schedule and get to work at your own pace.
- Transcriber: Transcribers are people who take audio or video file and transcribe the dialogue within the files into a document. People with OCD are particularly great at this job because it is a role that is highly stimulating which helps to keep you focused, distracting your mind from unnecessary anxious thoughts.
Jobs For People With Panic disorder and Agoraphobia
To find a job when having panic disorder and agoraphobia can be challenging because attacks may at times seem completely spontaneous. Agoraphobia is very similar to panic disorder except for the panic attacks specifically occur in spaces where the individual feels as if escaping from that space may be difficult, and they tend to avoid very busy areas such as office areas and shopping malls which impact their opportunities to work in careers where this is required. The best jobs for people with these disorders are jobs that can be done in the comfort of their own homes.
The best jobs that are recommended for people with Panic disorder and Agoraphobia are as follows :
- Babysitting: Babysitting can be done within the comfort of your own home, and if you are okay with interacting with others and have a nurturing and patient nature this might be the perfect job for you. The times and rates can be set according to you, but make sure to set the times in a way that is as stress-free as possible.
- Pet Sitting: If you prefer interacting with animals, then this might be more suggestible for you. To make things easier, you can arrange for the customers to drop off and pick up pets at your house only. To make things more convenient for both your customers and yourself you can consider setting up some outdoor kennels for animals to sleep over if need be.
- Online seller: Selling items online in the comfort of your home is one great way to make an income. Start by selling goods in your home that are in good condition and that you no longer use and work up to buying goods and selling them for a profit. To make things easier ensure that you have a printer and postal scale to be able to handle orders from your home.
- Freelance writer: To start off as a freelance writer you can write articles for sites, and work up to writing your own pieces for your own site. The only downfall of this career is you don’t start earning fast, and it takes time to build your platform up. With a little bit of determination, this career can be both enjoyable and rewarding.
- Call centers: Quite a new profession, is “home call centers”, these call centers work the same as normal call centers except they allow you to work from the comfort of your home. This job involves taking calls and placing orders for companies from home and it might be perfect for you.
Careers For People With Post-traumatic stress disorder:
When you have faced a traumatic event, you might have recurring images playing in your mind of the event that occurred. These visions tend to distract your mind and keeping focused at work can become incredibly difficult. The best careers for people with PTSD are jobs that will allow them to ease back into social situations slowly.
The jobs that are highly recommended for individuals with PTSD are as follows :
- Dog walkers: If you have a love for animals, dog walking might be perfect for you. Dogs are great animals to work with and you can build a bond with them quite easily. Not only is this job quite often described to be highly enjoyable, but it also gives you some great exercise and outdoor exposure which can be therapeutic.
- Horse care-taker: Horses, like dogs, are fantastic animals to work with and a good horse care-taker is always high in demand. This job involves brushing, feeding, and at times riding horses. Many people being involved in this type of career have reported being much happier, less stressed, and more confident to deal with social interactions
- Tutor: If there is a subject you are passionate about, yet you are not ready to interact in front of a large crowd this is the job for you. Tutoring allows you to teach the subjects you are passionate about on a one-to-one basis. This also allows you to slowly learn how to interact with others and can build up your social skills again.
- Counselor: This job can be extremely rewarding for individuals with PTSD who may be highly sympathetic as a result of the situations they have faced. This will also allow you to interact with others on a small scale and develop communication skills to slowly build up your self-confidence.
- Chef: Working in a busy restaurant where there is a lot of pressure may not be the best option, but there are quieter environments such as hotels or cafes where chefs are needed.If you have a passion and enjoy cooking this might be a great option for you. It also requires you to work well with others which can help you move slowly back into social situations.
Jobs For Specific Phobia
When you develop a specific fear for something, it can disrupt your daily routines, limit your work efficiency, and decrease your self -confidence. The careers that can be helpful for these individuals are ones that limit contact with the specific fears you have, or careers that are incredibly low-stress environments.
Some suggested careers for individuals with specific phobias are :
- Art director: If you are naturally creative or want to develop your creative skills and turn them into a career this job is perfect for you. These are usually good pay jobs and it allows you to be very expressive which usually helps to reduce stress levels.
- Dog trainer: If you have a fear of dogs this is recommended but it can help you overcome your fear if that is something you want to work towards. Spending time with animals can be a great stress reliever and can increase oxytocin secretion ( a stress-reducing hormone in the body ), and decrease the production of your stress hormone cortisol.
- Musician or music teacher: If you love playing musical instruments, you can use them in a great way to make a career. Teaching others how to play a musical instrument requires a lot of hard work and patience but can be highly rewarding. The sense of reward you feel when you are successful tends to increase your self-esteem and this can help you develop the confidence towards overcoming your fears.
- Writers: Being a writer often allows you to work in solitude. If you are struggling with a phobia that you can face in a normal workspace this option will allow you to avoid facing that phobia and will allow you to work in a comfortable, low-stress environment according to your own schedule.
- Counselor: As strange as it might sound being a counselor when having a phobia, can allow you to help others who are also struggling with phobias as you truly understand how they are feeling. It is also oddly enough one of the most low-stress jobs out there for people with anxiety or phobia.
Jobs That fit in best with perfectionism
Perfectionism can be beneficial when it comes to being organized and following a very structured lifestyle but it can also interfere with your daily life. Struggling to not follow rules strictly and striving to be perfect, can limit you from being adventurous and seeing opportunities in your work environment. Sometimes the constant striving to be perfect can become huge procrastination when approaching deadlines. In saying this there are many jobs where perfectionists absolutely excel due to their natural organizational skills and diligence.
Jobs that are highly recommended for perfectionists include :
- Pilot: Being a pilot requires being highly accurate all the time, and flying on very fixed schedules. Giving that this is how most perfectionists operate in almost every task this is a great career to consider if you have perfectionism.
- Director: Directors must ensure that everything in any type of production(movie, television, or stage) runs absolutely smoothly. They are in charge of selecting the correct scripts, hiring the perfect cast, and make sure that the entire cast and all crews involved in the production do their work perfectly.
- Accountant: An accountant prepares financial statements, and if there is any inaccuracy in these statements many problems may occur. The number of laws and procedures that accountants need to keep in mind when preparing these statements can be overwhelming for most people but if your brain is wired to be super organized, as a perfectionist, this is a great career to consider.
- Editor: An editor is an individual who ensures the content within articles, magazines, journals or books is accurate and suits the genre it falls under. They ensure that the content appeals to the target audiences and that the likelihood of readers enjoying the content is very high.
- Pharmacist: If you have an interest in medications this can be a good career for you if you have perfectionism. Being a pharmacist includes ensuring that individuals get the correct medications, with the correct doses and if this is not done it can be detrimental to the patient and can ruin the reputation of the company that hires you. If you are wired to strive for perfection the chances of you being inaccurate is very low and this is a good job to consider.
It doesn’t matter what mental health disorder you have or if you are suffering from severe work-related stress, any type of condition related to experiencing high levels of stress will make areas in your life such as family and friend relationships, and general daily tasks a challenge. Choosing a career that is least likely to activate a stress trigger and that is suited for your anxiety disorder does not mean you won’t encounter normal levels of stress as well.
To help manage general levels of stress/anxiety there are a few things that you can do :
- Slow breathing
- Muscle relaxation exercises
- Try and keep your mind focused and concentrated on something that makes you happy
- Having a healthy lifestyle ( Fitness and Dietary )
- Have time set out to relax every week?
- Try and seek help from a professional ( and be willing to learn )
The last words of wisdom that I have to offer would be :
- Find a job that you know you will love
- Find a job that interests you
- Find a job that mentally challenges you.
Remember that once you find the job you love, you will never work one day in your life.
Hopefully, I helped you in finding the best jobs for people with Anxiety. If so, please share it on social media.
Your coach and friend,