You’re at work, and your heart starts racing. You have difficulty breathing. You feel irritable and at your limit for the amount of stress you can handle. You reach that point almost every day at work, and then you go home and bring that anxiety with you.
You aren’t alone. Social or generalized anxiety disorders are among the most common types of mental health disorders. About 15 million people in the US have a social anxiety disorder. Millions more experience social anxiety at some point.
If you have anxiety, it probably becomes worse at work. Workplace stress can come from having little control, multi-tasking, never being alone, a noisy or chaotic workplace, and difficult co-workers and supervisors, among other factors. Ideal jobs for people with anxiety have calm environments, relatively low stress and noise levels, limited interaction with people, and the latitude to focus on one task at a time.
Browse through the compilation below of 16 jobs suitable for people with anxiety. Most of them require specific education and experience, but if you see something you like, it might be worth looking at the qualifications in posts on your local job site. All of these might provide ideas on jobs where you could thrive.
Accountants work for private companies or on their own. Some human interaction is required, but most of the time, you’ll be working with numbers and reports. An aptitude for figures helps. Just make sure that you find a job where the workload is difficult to manage as this could exasperate your anxiety.
If you’re a painter or a sculptor, for example, you’ll be working almost entirely on your own. Unless your work is well-recognized, you may have the stress of not making much money. But you can also work as an illustrator, a sketch artist, or a multimedia artist, all of which can be regular jobs with limited human interaction.
3. Childcare worker
Unlike most of the jobs described here, working with children does not provide a quiet environment. If you enjoy being with children, though, and if working with adults is stressful, this could be the career for you.
4. Cleaning person
Working as a cleaning person provides a calm, quiet environment. You might be cleaning offices after everyone has left, cleaning workplaces while others are at work, or cleaning homes when no one else is there. Whatever the situation, you’ll be left alone most of the time to do your job.
5. Computer programmer
If you work as a computer programmer, you’ll be valued for your analytical skills and your ability to focus on your work. You’ll be working independently most of the time.
6. Construction worker
Would you rather work with tools than with people? Consider work in the construction field. You’ll have some human interaction, and you may be working outside in all kinds of weather. But the work is low on the stress level, and the pay is good.
As a cook, you’ll probably be preparing food in a restaurant. As a chef, you’ll have professional training in your field and possibly be leading a team of cooks. For either job, you’ll be communicating with your team but spending most of your time preparing food.
8. Dog trainer
A lot of people would rather work with animals than with other people. You might be one of them. If you want to be a dog trainer, you could spend most of your time interacting with canines instead of humans. You will be working with people as well, though. To train dogs effectively, you also need to teach their owners how to interact with their dogs.
9. Graphic designer
You’ll need creativity, an eye for visual detail, and knowledge of graphic design software. You’ll probably be working as part of a team, and you’ll be expected to come up with new concepts. Most of the time, you’ll be working alone.
You’ll be mowing lawns, taking care of gardens, keeping the grounds tidy, and perhaps shoveling snow and doing minor repairs. Physically, it can be challenging, but mentally and emotionally, the work can be refreshing.
With some human interaction as well, most of your interaction will be with cars or machines. You will inspect, diagnose, maintain, and repair them. You might also write estimates of work to be done.
12. Radiologic technologist
A radiologic technologist performs diagnostic imaging exams, such as X-rays, MRIs, and mammograms. You prepare patients for the exam and communicate with them. Most of your human interaction is one-to-one with patients.
13. Security guard
Your job will be to protect property, people, or both. You’ll be monitoring security systems, patrolling the area, writing reports, and possibly apprehending people. Most of the time, you’ll be working alone.
Tutors are needed to teach almost every skill. Tutoring is usually one-to-one, and students can be children or adults. You can tutor students in person or online. Almost all your interaction is with one person at a time in a quiet environment.
15. Web developer
Your human interaction as a web developer will be with the client and with team members who have complementary skills. You’ll exchange information from time to time, but most of the time, you’ll be designing, coding, and testing websites alone.
If you have good writing skills, you can use them to write articles, web content, B2B (business to business) communications, fiction, and much more. Copywriting and technical writing tend to pay more. You may spend a lot of time looking for work, but you work alone when you’re writing.