10 Jobs For People With Social Anxiety

By Steven Finkelstein|Updated October 4, 2022

If you have social anxiety, then you know how crippling it can be. Activities like heading to the grocery store or to a sporting event that some others might take for granted require a Herculean effort. It can take a supreme act of willpower to go to work or school or be in large groups. Scrutiny by other people can seem almost physically painful. It's a difficult way to live, but the worst aspect of it is that all of us have to support ourselves, and that includes people with social anxiety issues. If you have social anxiety disorder, then you need to figure out which career path you might follow that is going to be easiest for you. We'll look at some of the best jobs for people with social anxiety, as well as a brief understanding of the condition.

Wondering What Career Path Is Right For You?

What Is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety is defined as a condition where the individual has a fear of being evaluated or judged by others. The thought of this happening can bring about feelings of depression, humiliation, inferiority, inadequacy, self-consciousness, and embarrassment. In social interactions where someone with social anxiety is feeling particularly self-conscious, there may be physical manifestations like shortness of breath, an elevated heart rate, sweaty palms, or a dry throat or mouth. The individual might stutter or stammer, or they may find themselves unable to speak at all.

There are different degrees of social anxiety. Some people might only feel this way if they suddenly become the center of attention, while for others, the very act of being out of doors and outside of their comfort zone is enough to bring about a pronounced fight-or-flight response.

Social anxiety is not something to be taken lightly. For those individuals who have it and have yet to come up with an effective way of combating it, then, everyday life presents a significant challenge. Severe social anxiety can significantly hinder a person’s life, making it difficult to make friends or have any interpersonal interaction. Furthermore, severe anxiety symptoms (whether experienced in social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or other conditions) can have a significant effect on one’s mental health and emotional wellness.

As you can imagine, this kind of anxiety can affect every step of career development. From the job application process, job interview, hiring, orientation, and working the job, every aspect of almost every career involves social interaction to some extent. It’s very rare that one’s job duties do not include any form of interpersonal interaction, which makes many careers very difficult for the socially anxious.

What Sorts Of Jobs Are Perfect For People With Social Anxiety?

It stands to reason that because people who have social anxiety don't like being scrutinized, then the best jobs for them are often ones where they don't have to have many face-to-face interactions with other people. This means that the best jobs for people with social anxiety don't require much social interaction, allow their employees to work independently, and have fewer deadlines and unhealthy pressures to get their work done. Luckily, there are all sorts of career paths where that is a possibility, and some don’t even require a bachelor's degree. Here are some social anxiety jobs that can present the ideal solution for those with this condition.

Health Or Medical Tech

There are all sorts of jobs in the medical field, and while someone with social anxiety probably doesn't want to become a nurse or a doctor, you may wish to look into becoming a health or medical tech. Advancing medical technology is something that is a boon to society so you can feel like you're doing important work. At the same time, your interactions with patients and coworkers are relatively minimal.

You probably can't get through an entire day without a little face-to-face interaction with others, but it's nowhere near as much as some other jobs. Medical scanning technicians, biomedical engineers, and ultrasound technicians are some of the positions in this field.

Gardening Or Landscaping

If you love the great outdoors, but you're not so keen on people, then a career in landscaping or gardening might be a job that's worth looking into that should be mostly free of social anxiety. In this capacity, you can run your landscaping or gardening business, or you can work for a company or an individual. Again, it's not likely you can go through every day without speaking to anyone, but for the most part, you'll be left alone with your plants. There's zero chance of them being judgmental or triggering a panic attack.

Running a gardening or landscaping business is probably going to be the most financially rewarding, but you'll have to "sell" to your customers, and maybe you'd prefer to avoid such a potentially stressful situation. If that's the case, it's better you work for someone else.

IT

IT, or information technology, is a field where you can have minimal direct communication with humans, and in some ways, it's the quintessential job for someone who has social anxiety. Most of your interactions will be with machines, and there are dozens of different possible positions in this area, from data analyst to help desk personnel to the network administrator. If you're looking for social anxiety jobs from home, then IT presents several of them, as in some cases you can telecommute. In those situations, you're not seeing anyone all day, unless there's some emergency that requires your physical presence in the office.

IT jobs are also potentially extremely lucrative. One caveat is that you need to be good with computers and technology in general. If your strengths don't lie in this area, then this likely isn't the career path for you.

Counselor

At first, this might seem counterintuitive. If you're a counselor or mental health therapist, then aren't you talking to people all day? The reason that counselor is a position that some people with social anxiety enjoy is that they're able to set up a work environment that they completely control. It's true that you'll be talking to people about their mental health issues, but you'll spend your time actively listening and occasionally encouraging others to speak. It's a job that's focused on helping people, and that can be essential in reducing your feelings of anxiety.

People with social anxiety also tend to be great listeners. They empathize with other people because they know what it's like to struggle with their sense of self-worth and the mental illness that comes with anxiety and low self-esteem. As a counselor, you can set up a practice, or you can work with an established institution.

Chef

Some people with social anxiety feel safe working in the confines of a kitchen. You do not have to be out on the floor talking to the customers, though there is a certain amount of interaction with your coworkers. This might be a job for a person with a relatively minor case of social anxiety. You will certainly feel more in charge of things and less anxious if you run your restaurant, so that might be a goal toward which you can aspire if you pursue this career path.

Tradesperson

If you're a tradesperson then you're working "behind the scenes," so your interactions with people are reduced. These can be ideal jobs for social anxiety because a lot of your time will be spent fixing things, setting them up, or tearing them down. It can be somewhat labor-intensive, so you'll need to be a hearty sort of person to tackle these jobs. Some possibilities include plumbers, carpenters, painters, and electricians. Physical labor can be satisfying, but these jobs are not for everyone.

Wondering What Career Path Is Right For You?

Computer Programmer

Like IT, a job in computer programming can be ideal for the person with social anxiety because interactions with other human beings are reduced to an absolute minimum. If you can teach yourself this skill, then you're also going to be eminently hirable, because companies these days always need computer programmers. If you're capable of long periods of independent focus, then this might be the job for you. There are many resources online that will teach you how to code, so you can give it a try in your spare time and see if you have an aptitude for it.

Some of the jobs in this field include UX designer, mobile developer, and full stack web developer. It can be a little challenging finding a job at first, but once you've paid your dues and built up your resume, you can get a highly lucrative position with virtually any company out there.

Accountant

If you love math and you have social anxiety, then becoming an accountant might be the perfect job for you. It's an office job, so there will be some interactions with other people, but not nearly as much as some other choices. A lot of your day-to-day activity will be independent, and some accountants make very good money as they continue to refine their skill sets. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an accountant is $77,250.

Writer

Being a writer in various capacities is another one of those jobs that seem almost tailor-made for people with social anxiety. If you're writing fiction or something that's going to be discussed and scrutinized by large numbers of people, then you'll need to deal with criticism, but it's highly unlikely you'll ever meet with your critics face-to-face unless you agree to a book signing or something along those lines.

The thing about writing, though, is that there are so many writing positions that are associated with it that criticism is something you can avoid facing if you focus on a different style of output. For instance, you can become a freelancer writer,  technical writer, or sales writer instead of a poet or a novelist. You can do journalism, nonfiction, or you can write something more exotic under a pseudonym.

If you're a freelancer, then you don't have to ever go into a physical office, so in some ways, this could be considered the ultimate job for someone with social anxiety. You never see your clients face-to-face. You don't have to commute, so you save yourself the trouble of driving or having to deal with public transportation.

Keep in mind that it's an entirely solitary profession. You may have social anxiety, but if you're a writer, then you might not see anyone for days on end, which is isolation in its extreme state. If you're okay with that, then you can forge ahead with this career path.

Working With Animals

The last job worth mentioning for those with social anxiety is working in animal care in various capacities. If you work with animals, then a little interaction with pet owners is probably unavoidable, but you can keep it to a minimum. Most of the time, you'll be dealing only with your furry friends, and they're not going to be judgmental of you at all. You might work in veterinary clinics or be a dog walker, pet groomer, dog trainer, or zookeeper.

Regrettably, the only drawback when it comes to this profession is that most of these positions don't pay particularly well. You may need some supplemental income if you go this route. If you genuinely care about animals, though, then you may be drawn to this sort of work regardless of the salary.

You Should Attempt To Treat Your Social Anxiety

While there is no shortage of social anxiety jobs from home or others where you leave the house but your interactions with humans are minimal, you should still make an effort to treat your anxiety issues. You can go through your entire life avoiding humans as much as possible, but it makes things challenging for you, as unexpected situations are always going to come up where you need to have personal interactions with other human beings.

You can seek out some help with your social anxiety by going to www.betterhelp.com/online-therapy/. One of our healthcare professionals can talk to you about ways you can cope with your social anxiety issues or find treatment for them. Therapy might be the answer, prescription drugs, or you might wish to join a forum to speak to some others who have the same condition as you.

Avoiding social situations with other humans is certainly something you can do indefinitely, but you're making it hard on yourself. It's better to try and confront the problem if you can and live a better life because of it.

Other Commonly Asked Questions

What jobs can I do with social anxiety?

Will I ever get a job with social anxiety?

Is social anxiety a disability?

How do I get a job if I have anxiety?

What career is least stressful?

What job can a shy person get?

Should you tell your boss you have social anxiety?

What is a low stress high paying job?

Can social anxiety be cured?

Is social anxiety autism?

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