Deciding on what type of job you want can be difficult or easy, depending on your interests and skills. Yet, when you have social anxiety, it creates another layer on top of all the other factors to consider when seeking a job that challenges you, but you also feel comfortable in.
Social Anxiety goes beyond being an introvert or extrovert, shy or boisterous. Social anxiety affects your interactions with others, which can lead to problems in the workplace, and in your line of work, no matter how smart or talented you are.
Social Anxiety is not about being anti-social. Those with social anxiety perceive that others are constantly judging them and negatively evaluating everything they do. This perception leads to intense feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, and humiliation. It also leads to depression and the inability to meet their potential in most workplaces.
Worry and stress, and possibly even panic attacks occur when those with social anxiety are put in an uncomfortable social interaction situation. This can be debilitating to a career.
However, even with social anxiety, you have much to offer in the way of skills and talents. You just have to find the best way to put them to use for your particular situation.
For those with social anxiety, a few things to look for in a particular job include:
- Level of daily interaction with other people. You’re not looking for a job where you only work alone and never have to speak with anyone. Instead, you are looking for a job that limits this interaction, allowing you to somewhat control your environment.
- Work environment. Those with social anxiety also need to consider the work environment in addition to the actual job. Will you be sitting out in an open floor of cubicles with many others? This can cause anxiety over answering the phone in front of others, and fear of impromptu conversations.
If you are looking to establish a career in spite of your social anxiety, you must learn how to recognize it and work with it to your advantage. That requires focusing on work that not only uses your skills and talents, and challenges you in a good way, but also is the type of work that takes into consideration your limitations.
So, what types of jobs are best for those with social anxiety?
While no definitive list exists, there does appear to be a consensus among many professionals and organizations that the following are suitable jobs for people with social anxiety.
15 JOBS for People with Social Anxiety
As a graphic designer, you spend your days creating and designing for your clients. There will be some social interaction required, but it can be scheduled so you have time to prepare. These interactions can also occur via Skype, IM, and email. These days you can also work from home as a freelancer.
Web Designer is another job in the media and design field where you can put not only your creative talents to use but your computer savvy. As a Web Designer, you will be designing websites for customers and clients and may work with a Web Developer, which is another job those with social anxiety may excel in.
A Video Editor does exactly as it sounds, edits videos. With the rise of videos on social media, in marketing campaigns, training, and for various other business-related uses, the amount of jobs for video editors continues to increase.
One of the most common job choices for those dealing with social anxiety is writing. With so many choices in the type of writing, this is a potential field to grow in as well.
With writing for clients, however, the one downside for those with social anxiety is accepting the fact that you will have to learn to deal with criticism. This will come from both editors and clients. Every client is unique and will require different things.
To counteract criticism, you will need to hone your craft and build confidence in your writing skills. Eventually, you will understand that you can’t please everyone all the time, and there is no such thing as perfection.
With that being said, the field of writing has some of the best jobs for people with social anxiety.
Jobs to consider in this field include:
- Copywriting (sales and promotional writing)
- Content Writing (blogs, webpages, case studies, white papers, articles)
- Technical Writing
- Grant Writing
- Book and eBook writing (non-fiction or fiction)
With writing, you can balance how much social interaction you can handle with the solitude required to write.
Related jobs, also good for those with social anxiety, include Proofreaders and Editors.
If you have good listening skills, and excellent typing skills, becoming a transcriptionist may be for you. A transcriptionist listens to audio recordings and then converts them into written form. Many of these jobs are found in the healthcare field.
If working with computers is more to your liking, then you’re in luck because jobs in information technology are abundant these days. One word of caution, though, an IT Help Desk job may require more social interaction than other IT jobs. Jobs to consider include:
- Database Administrator
- Network Administrator
If problem-solving is your thing, and you can focus on a project for long periods of time, computer programming may be the right fit for you and your social anxiety.
As a computer programmer, you will build software updates, apps, and social networks, an ideal job choice for those with social anxiety.
If this job sounds of interest to you, you may also want to consider becoming a Software Engineer or Network Engineer.
Naturally, working with animals is rewarding in and of itself. But it can also be a perfect match for many of you with social anxiety. While some human interactions will be required, they will be limited. This will greatly depend on the level of the job. For example, if you become a veterinarian, you will be expected to interact with pet owners frequently.
- Veterinarian Technician/Assistant
- Dog Trainer
- Animal Rescue
- Animal Groomer
If you enjoy working with numbers and spreadsheets, consider being an accountant. Again, you will need to interact socially at times, but mostly you will be working independently managing the financing for either individuals or companies
Actuaries are professionals who are involved with the measuring and managing of risk and uncertainty in business. The job requires working independently, and with focus, and can be financially rewarding for those with social anxiety.
While your social interaction skills may be compromised, your listening skills and empathy can save the day for others. The counselor works in a controlled environment and is focused on helping other people.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH TECHNOLOGIST
If you dream of going into the medical field, there are jobs that are well suited for those with social anxiety.
While doctors and nurses have high social interaction, Medical and Health Technologists usually do not. For many of these jobs, you will have to interact with patients and other medical personnel, but on a much more limited scale.
- Ultrasound Technician
- Medical Lab Technologist
- Medical Scanning Technician
- Biomedical Technician
Being in the outdoors has been found to help relieve anxiety and the symptoms of depression.
If you enjoy nature and feel most comfortable outdoors, seek a job that places you there. These include:
- Gardener (for parks or private estates)
- Golf course attendant
- Tree Planter
- Other professional outdoor/nature related jobs including Geologist, Botanist, Wildlife Biologist, Ecologist, Archeologist, or Park Ranger. (Each of these will have a level of social interaction required but will usually be in small groups.)
The Trades are a great place to make your mark if social anxiety is challenging you. Here are a few options to consider:
While food prep can be stressful at times, it provides a middle-ground for those with social anxiety. Interaction is necessary with staff and sometimes with customers, but you mostly work independently. Top jobs in the food industry include:
Many of these jobs require some type of education or training. If you are just starting out, you may want to consider starter jobs that take into account the level of social interaction required.
Best Starter Jobs for Someone with Social Anxiety
If you are just starting out in the job world, a few jobs to consider include:
- Dog walker/sitter/groomer
- Warehouse worker
- Supermarket stocking
- Inventory worker
- Housecleaning or office cleaning
Whether you’re looking for the best starter job for someone with social anxiety or the best careers for people with social anxiety, this list provides you with a good place to start.
While all of the jobs listed above require some level of social interaction, they are all usually on a much smaller scale.
Recognition and acceptance that this is the way you are, at least for now, can help steer you to a happier, more content work life. And finding a job that takes into account your social anxiety will better prepare you for the future.
If you are already in a job that you like but fear that your social anxiety will force you to leave, first check to see if your company has any type of accommodations policy. If not, it may be an opportunity to bring it up and help them create one. Instead of shying away or being embarrassed to have social anxiety, you may just be helping others who come along behind you.