Going to work can cause many people mild discomfort or even full-blown panic.
Most of the time, it means your job isn’t a good match for your personality. And if you have an anxiety disorder and/or depression, it’s even more important for you to find another job – one you’ll be able to enjoy.
That’s difficult enough, even without throwing anxiety into the mix. But don’t give up hope just yet… we found 29 jobs for people with anxiety disorder and depression.
So if you’re on the market for a career change, look no further than this list!
Can You Work With Anxiety Disorder?
There are 3 main types of anxiety:
- Panic Disorder – often referred to as panic attacks, this type of anxiety is characterized by its brief but intense periods of fear and apprehension.
- Phobic Disorder – characterized by the development of severe, often irrational fear of something specific, whether an actual thing, type of event, or activity. A common example includes social anxiety disorder, which is sometimes equated with agoraphobia.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – this type of anxiety manifests as long term discomfort (ranging to panic), without it being fixed on a particular event or object.
While all 3 can affect your physical and mental capacity for work, it’s still possible to find and maintain gainful employment. They do bring some challenges, but with the right type of work and treatment, you should be able to function with relative ease.
For more info, please visit the Disability Benefits Help article on anxiety.
Anxiety-Friendly Jobs Features
No matter what type of anxiety disorder you have, your job needs to be one that makes the most of your strengths while helping you avoid the things and situations that trigger an anxiety attack.
This might mean jobs with a lower physical requirement, less need for interpersonal interactions with other people, and so on.
At the same time, it might help you turn a negative into a positive. For example, people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder tend over-analyze, so a job that requires research and investigation can accommodate the symptoms of your anxiety without triggering them.
As a general rule, the main features of anxiety-friendly jobs are:
- Low noise levels
- Fewer interruptions and distractions
- Limited interaction with people
Best Jobs for People With Generalized Anxiety Disorder
While by no means an exhaustive list (many of the other jobs we’ll be featuring in this article will be equally suitable), the following 9 career paths are among the best for those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
What better way to set the parameters of your work than by becoming your own boss?
There are many different ways to approach self-employment. Essentially, you’ll be creating a career where you’re hired on a per-project consultancy or freelance basis.
You could take any of the other jobs we’ll be listing and turn them into an opportunity for yourself. But to help get the creative juices flowing in the meantime, here are some extra options worth looking into:
- Electronics Engineering Technician
- Dietitian or Nutritionist
- Forensic Science Technician
- Architectural or Civil Drafter
- Private Investigator
- Virtual Assistant
- Live Sound Engineer
- Motorcycle Mechanic
- Pharmacy Technician
- Massage Therapist
- Fitness Trainer
The great thing about becoming a writer is there are so many possibilities. You could go freelance (more on that later), write for magazines and newspapers, write screenplays, write and sell ebooks online…
For the most part, all you need is a good command of the English language, a working computer, internet connection, and a passion for writing. Depending on the writing career path you choose, you might even be able to choose where you work from.
3. Dog Trainer
Many people with an anxiety disorder and/or depression prefer the company of dogs. Animals are wonderfully intuitive and can quickly bring a sense of comfort to you.
A great way to make money while spending time with them is to become a dog trainer. It does take a while to get certified, though certification isn’t considered a “must-have.” And you can always get started with dog sitting/walking on Rover!
4. Household Jobs
Household jobs are among those with the lowest level of stress. And the great news is, there are nearly endless possibilities to explore:
- Home Inspector
- General handyman (check out TaskRabbit for freelance gig opportunities in your area)
- And so much more!
Also known as a housekeeper, cleaners perform their own type of household job worth singling out.
For the most part, you’d be employed to do multiple light cleaning tasks. You could end up working for a hotel, hospital, school, or private households.
And while joining an agency is one way to go about it, becoming an independent cleaner or housekeeper is the way to go if you want to find the best-paying jobs – and not have to share your pay with an agency.
Starting out on your own can be scary. But if you go about becoming an entrepreneur the right way, it can also be incredibly rewarding.
Similar to the “self-employed” option mentioned above, there are dozens upon dozens of opportunities here. In fact, most of the jobs in this article are ideal for the determined entrepreneur in one way or another.
7. Truck Driver
If spending long hours on the road is something you enjoy, you could become a truck driver. Other than loading, unloading, and filling up on gas, you won’t have to deal with anyone else either – just your own company and the open road.
One caveat: life on the road can become tiring. It’s worth spending some time weighing the pros against the cons before jumping at this particular opportunity.
Marygrace Berberian, a New York University clinical assistant professor, once said: “Research has shown that art making can have a profound impact on a person’s physical and psychological well-being.”
So if you have a creative touch, you can become a professional artist.
9. Stay-at-Home Parent
A lot of people think this is a horrible career path – but it’s become more and more attractive to young couples looking to build a family life together, as well as escape the usual 9-to-5 rat race.
There are many, many Online Jobs for Moms (and dads) who want to become a stay-at-home parent. And a major plus is you’ll have more time to plan parenthood and be with your family.
Other Jobs for People With Anxiety Disorder
If you thought that was all we had to offer, think again – we’re not even halfway through our list yet! Here are another 8 jobs for people with an anxiety disorder to help inspire a career change.
10. Factory Helper
Becoming a factory helper might not sound like an ideal job for someone with anxiety at first. But there’s zero customer interaction – and if repetitive work plays to your strengths, then it’s a career path with a wide array of options.
Just be aware factories tend to be loud working environments.
11. Computer Programmer
Computer programmers perform important work that can range from quite simple to rewardingly complex.
For the most part, you’ll be seated in front of a computer to prepare documentation and/or handle software. Depending on the task at hand, you could even sit with your headphones on and your favorite music turned up.
While there’s a lot of flexibility with this type of work, do be aware there’s a steep learning curve. You might also have to work long hours and deal with deadlines. But the good news is, you might be able to work from home if your employer allows for it.
Many people with anxiety find a sense of calm in crunching numbers. If this is you, consider becoming an accountant or bookkeeper. The sometimes intricate work will play on your problem-solving strengths and give you something to focus on other than your feelings of anxiety.
Take a lot at our resource on Online Bookkeeping Jobs if you prefer to work from home.
If you love nature and have green fingers, but don’t particularly like the idea of becoming a gardener, you could offer landscaping services instead. It’s an age-old career with a wide range of possibilities – you could work for private companies, golf course estates, or even private clients.
Perhaps another odd choice on the face of it, becoming a firefighter is actually considered one of the best career options for those with anxiety (as opposed to joining the police force, which would be on our top 10 list of the worst jobs for you).
Even though there can be high levels of stress as well as some social interaction, most firefighters work shift schedules that allow for several days off in a row.
This is ideal for recuperating from the demands of the job. There are also set expectations, which provide a comforting sense of structure.
15. Security Guard
Considering joining the police is one of the worst jobs for people with anxiety, we’d forgive you for thinking the same of becoming a security guard.
But it can be ideal for minimizing social interaction and stress, especially if you’re able to find gainful employment doing night shift.
16. Overnight Stocker
Speaking of night shift, have you considered finding work as an overnight stocker? This is especially attractive for people with social anxiety disorder, but who don’t want to work from home (we’ve got a whole section of those jobs coming up too).
Because most stores are closed overnight, it’ll just be you, your fellow stockers, a night shift manager, and security. Social interaction is at a minimum, so you can focus on the tasks at hand.
These include inspecting new shipments, making note of and reporting any discrepancies, adding the product code labels, and finally putting them on the shelf.
It’s not a high-paying job, mind you. But if you do have SAD and want to supplement your work-from-home income (and get out of the house), it’s a great opportunity to do so.
Not the artistic type – that’s already been covered above! What we’re talking about here is becoming a painting contractor to paint houses, walls, etc. It’s not a particularly demanding job and once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, there’s very little need for social interaction.
Social Anxiety Jobs from Home
To close off our list of jobs that are ideal for anyone with anxiety and/or depression, we’ve singled out 12 jobs that will allow you to work from home.
Whether you find remote work opportunities through bigger companies or become a freelancer/independent contractor, these career paths will keep social interactions at a bare minimum. Some of them even allow for all interactions to be entirely online!
18. Freelance Writer
Writing for a living is a dream for many people. And while you certainly can self-publish your own books, a more surefire way to earn a sustainable living is to offer your services as a freelance writer.
Sound like the career for you? Take a look at our article on Where to Find Freelance Writing Jobs Online for a how-to guide.
19. Freelance Proofreader/Editor
Another great way to monetize your skill with words is to offer your services as a freelance proofreader and/or editor. You still need to deal with deadlines, but due to the lack of research on your part, it can be a lot simpler and quicker than freelance writing.
Check out our guide on Online Proofreading Jobs For Beginners to find opportunities.
Blogging can be similar to working as a freelance writer, except you’re your own client. The way you earn money is by using affiliate links.
These direct your readers to products and/or services you endorse (and which are related to the topic of your blog, of course) and have an affiliate partnership with. If they make a purchase, the manufacturer/service provider pays you a set percentage of the sale for making the referral.
There are other ways to monetize a blog – take a look at our resource on Residual Income for ideas.
This one might strike you as a little odd, because unless you have a studio built into your home, the idea of becoming a photographer and working from home doesn’t quite seem to match up.
And photographers tend to spend hours with clients, models, makeup artists, and other people, right?
Well, what we’re talking about is a different kind of photography. The type where you get to go around taking photos of things you like and sell them online, without having to meet with clients. You can do still lives, flora and fauna, architecture, landscapes…
Check out our guide Get Paid to Take Pictures to see how!
Got a creative flair and feel the need to do something with your hands? You could become a candlemaker and sell your crafts online through platforms like Etsy! Simply have the ingredients delivered to you, take orders online, and ship them off to your customers.
23. Software Developer
Technology-based jobs are very often the perfect fit for people who suffer from anxiety.
What makes becoming a software developer especially ideal is the industry was one of the first to recognize and celebrate the work-from-home culture and its many benefits. You could go freelance or work for a company, all without ever having to sit in an office cubicle surrounded by others.
24. Jewelry Making
There’s always a huge market for handmade, creative jewelry. If you’ve got a talent for jewelry making, you could open your own e-commerce store with a platform like Shopify. Here’s what they have to say on How to Turn Your Jewelry Hobby Into a Thriving Business.
25. Software Tester
Software developers don’t always get it right. After all, there’s a lot of coding that goes into development, and even one wrong character can set the design team back several hours.
If you decide to become a software tester, you’ll be helping them pick up on any bugs they may have missed, as well as performing a few other related tasks.
26. Data Entry Clerk
Data entry is one of the easiest online work-from-home jobs available.
As long as you have a fast typing speed (think 60 words per minute and faster), this should be a no-brainer for you. It’s also very low-stress, and for the most part your only interaction with clients will be via a messaging platform and/or email.
Take a look at our Online Data Entry Jobs resource to discover the best opportunities.
27. Online Jewelry Seller
Related to becoming a jewelry maker is becoming an online jewelry seller. The two can go hand-in-hand (as you’ve seen above), but if you’re not particularly good at making jewelry, you can still make a lucrative career for yourself by selling it.
All you need to do is find jewelry makers who need someone else to do their marketing and sales, and/or you can buy and resell jewelry online for a profit.
28. Online Reviewer
If your idea of heaven is a cozy reading corner with a hot cup of coffee and a cat curled up on your lap, then you’re in luck. By becoming an online reviewer, you can get paid to read books and give honest feedback.
Take a look at our Get Paid to Read Books guide for more information.
29. Graphic Designer
Last, but not least, we have another creative opportunity – graphic design.
Because it’s also in the technology industry (think branding, website design, logos, etc.), it’s another career path that is increasingly open to freelancers and work-from-home employees.
But if the idea of working full-time for a company causes your creative juices to dry up, rest assured there are plenty of opportunities for you to find freelance and pay-per-project jobs.
Check out this great resource by The Work At Home Woman on How to Work From Home as a Graphic Designer.
There you have it – our 29 top jobs for people with an anxiety disorder and/or depression.
As you’ve seen, the world is full of opportunities. There’s no reason anything should get in the way of you leading a full, happy life and earning good money.
Have you found the perfect job that accommodates your needs as someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder or depression? Let us know about it in the comments below!