We’ve all been through that: you wake up in a sweat, your mouth dry, your heart pounding in your chest. The alarm goes off, and a new day has started, which means that if you want to afford to rent your place and be a responsible adult, you have to go to work.
Now, it might seem the easiest thing to do, right? You wake up, have your coffee, brush your teeth, and go to work; well, for some people, it isn’t.
What is social anxiety?
Social anxiety is a mental health condition, a persistent fear of being judged by others.
Many workplaces still do not recognise anxiety as an illness, which means that you still have to go to work if you’re having a poor mental health day.
Being around co-workers causes you a fair amount of stress already; try being around those same co-workers when your heart is in your throat, and your palms are sweating.
From the outside, you’re fine; your hair is well-done, your make-up is on “fleek,” and you even chose to wear your newest pair of pants.
One good thing about going to work while you’re having a bad day is that you can work around your anxiety and find the positive in it. I know, telling you to be positive when your inner world is spinning, and you want to get down, is not helpful.
When I tell you that no one cares about the way you dress or what’s on your face because they also have their inner world and go through those bad days, do you believe me?
You’re having a bad day, so what? Ask your co-worker if they are up for some coffee or some lunch. Tell them about your day or ask them about theirs.
Try opening up, say “man, today I had such a bad day” or “I didn’t want to come to work today, I’m in a bad place mentally,” and see if they’re willing to help you overcome that anxiety that’s eating you from the inside-out.
Having a nine-to-five job, in some cases, can help you with your anxiety. You need to be open-minded and let all the positive energy in; otherwise, you’re just going to struggle.
What other options do you have?
You can do some jobs that do not require socializing, even though it would be ideal to see a professional who can help you overcome your anxiety and live a better life.
Best Jobs for People with Social Anxiety
Job #1 Jobs that require computer skills
Working with computers sounds excellent, especially when you used to deal with those annoying customers who only want to be right and have no intention of letting you speak.
You might think it’s the perfect job for you, especially if you can do it from the comfort of your flat, wearing joggers or even your pajamas. Just because you don’t have direct contact with the customer, you still have to call people on the phone to listen to their problem, and if you have social anxiety, I know how stressful it can be.
There is a downside to that, though; spending most of the time by yourself can be depressing, and also, if you’re already struggling to communicate with people, you might lose the skill.
Yes, communication is a skill you can always improve.
Examples of these jobs are:
– Computer technician
– Customer care/support
Job #2 Cleaner or Gardner
You need the skills to be a Gardner or even a cleaner.
Gardening is a relaxing job, and you’ll only have to spend time with plants and trees.
But is there a downside to it? Yes, obviously. Like any other job, there is always a downside.
Repetitive movements in gardening can be harmful to your joints, bones, and muscles. You can get blisters on your hands and even feet.
Have you ever heard of carpal tunnel syndrome? Because using your hands in repetitive motions when gardening can cause it.
Constantly bending over cannot do any good for your back.
I would delve into more problems, but it would end up being an article about the disadvantages of gardening.
Let’s talk about being a cleaner, the most underrated job ever.
It does take the right amount of skills to be a cleaner; not everyone can do it. Speaking from experience, I’m rubbish at that.
It’s a great job alternative if you suffer from social anxiety because you’re by yourself most of the time.
The real question is: can you make a living out of that?
It is a precarious job unless you’re offered a contract or hired by some cleaning company. It’s similar to being a freelancer, because you have to look for jobs continually.
Job #3 Freelancing
By definition, a freelancer is a person who is self-employed and not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term.
There is a good TED talk by Laura Briggs on YouTube. I would highly recommend it.
It is called “The Future is Freelancing” if you’re interested.
Freelancing is an excellent alternative to a nine-to-five job; you can do it anywhere, it’s mostly anxiety-free – if you’re good at meeting deadlines, otherwise it can be stressful – and you can follow your passions and make a living out of it.
Sounds great, right?
Well, there are many cons to it.
It’s a lonely experience; you’re stuck in your hours for days, sometimes working on a project. If you’re an introvert, I’m sure you won’t have any problem with it; but if you’re an extrovert and need to recharge your social battery, it’s not the right job for you.
Do not panic; there are other options.
Job #4 Counsellor
I got your back, extroverts! Here the job for you. Perfect if you have social anxiety, and you also need someone to communicate for your survival.
It is a well-paid job for sure, you can make a living out of it, and you won’t have to worry about making ends meet.
It can be emotionally demanding, though, helping people who feel as if they’re stuck in patterns of behaviour and feelings that cause them only to feel pain requires a good amount of mental flexibility and the ability to not feel empathy towards them.
We are empathic individuals, some more than others, so it is crucial that you understand that your patient’s problems are not your problems.
So, if you’re interested in this job, I would suggest looking into it.
Job #5 Dog Walking
Dog owners have shared in several studies that being around dogs helps them relax and has a positive psychological impact on their well-being.
Walking a dog is also a way to get motivated to get up, out and about. You are able to reflect on your walks.
Dog walking will suit those with social anxiety who find interaction difficult.
There is also the opportunity to practice mindfulness and enjoy nature and wildlife around you.
Job #6 Freelance Writer.
Being a Writer is another job that might be appealing if you live with social anxiety.
Although writing is a dream job for many, unfortunately, it can be a hard profession to enter and may take a bit longer to earn a living wage. However, once you are established and have regular clients, you can earn a living as a freelance writer.
Job #7 Extra income
Do you want to pay rent and indulge and buy yourself that very expansive hoodie?
Paid surveys, affiliate links, or stock photography can help you.
A disclaimer: you can’t make a living out of these jobs; you can have extra cash, but paying rent only on surveys is impossible. Do not believe anyone who says the opposite.
What is a paid survey? It is a quiz where members are rewarded through an incentive program, generally entry into a sweepstakes program or a small cash reward. Usually, you have to get to a certain amount of money before you get paid.
Prolific is an excellent example of a paid survey website.
By definition, an affiliate link is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
Social media influencers use these links in their videos or Instagram posts sometimes.
Sometimes stock agencies accept high-quality photos of amateur photographers through online submission, and if someone downloads your image, you get a small amount of money.
Before you go
Here are some options for people who suffer from social anxiety.
If you suffer from social anxiety, you can still be successful in life.
I hope you find this article useful in some way.