Plainly put, finding a job is stressful. You must study job postings, spruce up your resume, and dress to impress. If you are lucky enough to get a response to your spectacularly worded cover letter, you are invited to interview for a position. You then have a set period of time to “wow” your potential employer, beat out the competition, and sing your praises without looking arrogant or overconfident. Then, there is the waiting period following the interview where you await the final verdict. This process can be challenging for anybody, but can be especially difficult for a person struggling with social anxiety.
Social anxiety is characterized by an intense fear of being judged or seen negatively by others. Social anxiety can be devastating and can result in low self-esteem, reduced self-confidence, and feelings of inadequacy and shame. The fact of the matter is that an interview preys on the very fear that people with social anxiety are terrified of. The whole point of an interview is for evaluation and assessment. This fear may prevent an individual from applying for a job or from attending an interview. With all of this taken into account, how does one with social anxiety ever gain employment? What are some good jobs for people with social anxiety?
People with social anxiety should avoid jobs that require a lot of interpersonal contact. Instead, individuals should seek job positions that are more solitary. Following are some good career options for one with social anxiety.
- Writing: Writing is an individual activity that can be done in the privacy of one’s own home. Journalism, authoring a book, or writing for social media are some avenues that can be explored under the writing umbrella. Additionally, a person would only have to deal with a limited number of people, including editors or publishers. Obtaining feedback and potential criticism from these sources could trigger anxiety, but it would be limited and periodic.
- Accountant: An accountant spends their days immersed in numbers, financials, and books. Deciphering and calculating numerical values is something that could be done in one’s own office or cubicle. If an accountant works in an office, there could be some social contact with fellow employees or clients, but this type of contact could be mitigated.
- Trade Worker: Skilled workers are specifically trained in one trade and focus solely on the task at hand. Examples of trade workers can include a carpenter, mason, contractor, electrician, or plumber. Trade workers may have some contact with the individuals that they are working for, but interactions would be minimal.
- Mechanic: Mechanics are usually found in a garage and spend their days focusing their attention on cars, trucks, trains, or planes. Repairing vehicles and working with machinery and parts does not allow much time to interact with others. If one works for a car dealership or larger garage, a person may be able to avoid contact with the customers all together.
- Working with Technology: In this day and age, there are a plethora of opportunities for individuals working with computers and technology. Computer programming and coding, web or app development, or engineering new software are all jobs that take place behind a computer or technological device as opposed to a person’s face.
Working independently can afford a person with social anxiety the opportunity to bypass right over a lengthy interview process. In addition, working with things as opposed to people are recommended areas of employment, as one can spend their days focused on duties and tasks rather than on socializing, interacting, and dealing with the public.
Tracy is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is a clinical supervisor for the Community YMCA, Counseling & Social Services branch. Tracy has over 12 years of experience working in many settings including partial care hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, community agencies, group practice, and school-based programs. Tracy works with clients of all ages, but especially enjoys working with the adolescents. Tracy facilitates groups using art therapy, sand play and psychodrama.