If you experience anxiety it can be challenging to find a job that suits your needs. But career options, such as photo editing, may be a good fit for you.
Many people experience anxiety from time to time throughout their life. But when it becomes a problem with your daily life, you may have an anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or social anxiety.
Living with anxiety can be challenging since it can affect many parts of your life, including your job. Some jobs are stressful, require a lot of social interaction, or are generally not a good fit for people with anxiety disorders.
But there are several occupations and jobs that may be a better fit if you’re living with anxiety.
Many companies have a need for guards to keep an eye on their facilities overnight when not many people are around. If you have social anxiety or want a position that is relatively low stress, being an overnight guard may be a good fit.
Like other sleep disorders, it can lead to not getting enough sleep and reduced quality of life. It can also affect your ability to perform your job, behavior, and mood.
One of many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was the rise in remote work throughout the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of people working from home tripled between 2019 and 2021. About 27.6 million Americans now work primarily from home.
While not everyone enjoys the shift to working from home, if you have anxiety, it may be the perfect fit. You often only need to interact with others through email, virtual meetings, and phone calls or texts. You may never need to set foot in an actual office.
This can be great for anyone with social anxiety due to the limited interactions you will need to have with others.
A possible downside is the perceived lack of separation between work and home. This can lead to additional anxiety about feeling “always on” or a need to be constantly available to “prove” you’re working.
Setting a clear work schedule and establishing firm expectations with coworkers and your company may help with separating home and work life.
Video editing, photography, or photo editing are all relatively low stress positions and may not require much social interaction. Like other professions on this list, you will often work independently, which makes them good for people with social anxiety.
But a person should avoid wedding photography if they have anxiety. Wedding photography is stressful and often involves dealing with a lot of people directly.
There are many skilled professions that can be low stress and require only limited interactions with others. These include positions such as:
- heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) repair technician
- appliance repair
People who work these professions often work independently. They may be their own boss or work for a larger company.
Freelance writing is often done at home. A writer rarely, if ever, needs to step foot in an actual office, which makes it another great option if you have social anxiety.
Though writing jobs can vary and have different expectations, often a writer gets assigned or chooses from different assignments from the company they work for. They’re then given due dates to get the work done by and often only interact with others via email.
Of course, expectations can vary between positions. Some writing jobs require you to interview experts or speak with people on the phone. This may trigger anxiety for some. You may want to double check with the company you plan to write for to see if you’ll be required to do interviews.
It may help to know that if you are working with an anxiety disorder, you are not alone. An estimated 18% of workers disclosed they have an anxiety disorder, including:
Here are some tips to get you started with the conversation about accommodations:
Ask yourself some reflective questions first
Consider asking yourself the following questions:
- Can I perform the essential duties of the job?
- Am I able to keep up with treatments?
- Can I perform the job to the best of my abilities as a person with a psychiatric disability?
If the answer to these types of questions is “yes” you may not need to speak to your employer about accommodations. If you have any doubts though, it may be time for the conversation.
Go prepared for the discussion
It can help you during your conversation to figure out exactly what you are asking for first, such as:
- What tasks do you need help with?
- What reasonable support can your employer provide?
The more clearly you understand and can discuss what you need, the better the conversation can go. It may also help alleviate some of your anxiety about the meeting.
When you ask
Keep in mind that your employer can use the discussion about accommodations as a time to ask you some questions about your anxiety. They can also ask you for medical documentation about your disability.
During the discussion, focus on clearly defining your needs and try to gear the conversation to what you are asking for. Again, figuring out what you need and are asking for ahead of time may help.
Know your rights
You don’t need to disclose that you have anxiety or any other mental health disorder. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 and states that your employer can’t discriminate against you because of a mental health disorder.
You also don’t need to disclose your mental health to a prospective employer (i.e. during a job interview) or to an existing employer. You only need to tell them you have generalized anxiety or other mental health concerns if you’re requesting an accommodation.
This can be an intimidating and challenging conversation due to fears of misconception or dismissal (which is illegal) due to being open about your condition. But, it’s important to have the conversation before anxiety impacts your job performance.
Anxiety can make work more challenging. Some jobs may be better suited for people with anxiety than others, depending on the type of anxiety they have and their needs.
You may not need to disclose your anxiety to your employer if you don’t believe it will ever affect your ability to do your job. But if you feel like your job performance may suffer, requesting reasonable accommodations from your employer may help.
If you’re having difficulties starting the conversation, keep in mind that your employer can’t fire you for having anxiety or discriminate against you in any way, like not giving you a promotion or raise.
You may find talking to a psychiatrist or counselor may help. They may be able to give you some ideas on how to get the conversation started and how to proceed.
With the right preparation and support, you may find that conversation about accommodations for anxiety will go much smoother.