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Jobs For People with Social Anxiety

    Jobs for People with Social Anxiety

    Anyone who has struggled with the challenges of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) knows the difficulties.  They know how it can affect not just your work performance, but also make it tough to find a job in the first place.  This is due to the anxiety produced through the interviewing process. While it may seem daunting to begin the journey, rest assured that there are plenty of jobs for people with social anxiety.  These jobs are not just rewarding but may even be therapeutic.

    Of course, different people struggle with Social Anxiety Disorder at various levels. Depending on the severity of symptoms and conditions, finding jobs for people with social anxiety may be simpler for one person than another. One person challenged with Social Anxiety Disorder might feel anxious communicating with even one other person. Another might be more tolerant to interacting with a small group of three to five people before feeling the effects of nervous symptoms. For those people who fall into this second category, finding a job may be a bit easier for them. 

    Where to Start Looking for a Job

    Oftentimes, the best jobs for people with social anxiety are ones that allow them to be in more control of their job’s responsibilities. Anyone who struggles with anxiety knows that “it’s all about control.” This is a great place to start when looking for jobs for people with social anxiety. Encouraging people to search for a job that allows them to incorporate their own particular coping skills is great.  These can be used for dealing with their own particular degree of Social Anxiety Disorder.

    For example, having the freedom to listen to one’s own music while accomplishing tasks might be comforting for someone. Janitorial jobs, remote data entry jobs, and landscaping jobs are all options that can allow someone to be able to do this.  This coping mechanism can help while also accomplishing tasks for a job.  Then they can look back at the end of the day, see their work, and be proud of their accomplishments. 

    Other Job Ideas

    Some jobs for people with Social Anxiety Disorder are ones that are inherently quiet-natured, like being a tutor or a librarian. A tutor will usually only interact with one other person at a time. Working as a librarian where social interaction is limited might be a good fit as well. Surrounding themselves with other, more introverted individuals at a library is a calming job.

    Other jobs for people with Social Anxiety Disorder don’t include working with people at all, but rather with animals. Interacting with animals is proven to reduce stress in ways that are conducive to effective mental health recovery. Some of these jobs might include dog walking, pet grooming, zookeeping, and veterinarian services. 

    Finally, jobs which offer structure, guidelines, and discipline may be comforting to those who struggle with SAD. Such jobs include mathematical-based jobs like accounting and statistician work, or even work that requires linear and thoughtful research.

    Other Ways of Looking at Jobs for People with Social Anxiety

    There are other schools of thought among many in the psychiatric field who wouldn’t suggest that somebody struggling with SAD limit his social interactions in a career. It is important to always pursue a path towards recovery, even if someone isn’t struggling with a disorder like Social Anxiety Disorder. Recovery should never look like enabling someone to be sheltered from his or her disorder.

    A Psychologist would not persuade an agoraphobic  to purchase groceries and medications on an app that would have them delivered.  Likewise, mental health specialists would be derelict to persuade a client who struggles with SAD to avoid societal interaction altogether. Sometimes, suggesting to someone that they try to find a job where they don’t interact with people might actually be harmful to their development.  This is the case with adolescents who must learn how to get along with their schoolmates or sports teammates. 

    The best thing to do to help someone looking for a job for people with social anxiety is just to encourage them to pursue something that interests them. They should not look at just how social it is, they need to be happy with their choice. They should not let social anxiety stop them from reaching their potential. The interest in the activity will also help them to face and hopefully overcome some of their social anxiety.

    How a Therapist Can Help in Your Seach for a Job for People with Social Anxiety

    But sometimes it’s just too tough, and that’s understandable. In those situations, someone who struggles with SAD might consider pursuing a recovery plan with their mental health counselor.  This might include Exposure Therapy in combination with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Relaxation Therapy. Perhaps a tutor starting with only one student at a time might decide to take on a pair of brothers or sisters at the same school. This eventually could lead to a small group of three to five students in a more formal classroom setting. By using CBT, and employing healthy coping mechanisms, people struggling with SAD might no longer need to look for jobs for people with social anxiety.  Ideally, they will have been slowly overcoming their personal fears and anxieties.

    Ultimately, a person’s social anxiety cannot improve if that person pursues jobs which isolate him or herself from others. It is dire for those struggling with SAD to attempt to engage with others in their daily lives in order to build confidence in social settings.

    Alex Brengle is a Certified Peer Support Specialist, Drug and Alcohol Recovery Coach, and Victim Advocate. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the DuFresne Center for Justice Advocacy and Support, the only forensics-focused peer support program of its kind, designed to advocate for and support victims of perjury and wrongful imprisonment who struggle with related mental health challenges. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College with concentrations in Economics and Classical Studies. Alex authored Uncorroborated: The Problem with Presuming Guilt, an exposé of overlooked prosecutorial practices that result in the criminal convictions of innocent men and women.

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