Working with social anxiety can be one of the most challenging aspects of the disorder. Not being able to sleep the night before work, feeling sick in the morning, dreading going into work, calling in sick, not enjoying days off… it can all make for a pretty miserable experience. There are lots of jobs that you might find stupidly difficult if you have social anxiety, especially if you are working with customers or you deal with the public a lot. I have to say that sometimes doing those jobs can actually help you overcome anxiety because it’s practise being around people but diving into the deep end is not always the answer.
I, for one know that jumping into a retail job when I was younger with severe social anxiety wasn’t the right move for me. I ended up quitting a year later after my anxiety around work got worse and worse. I now run my own wedding photography business but it wasn’t easy getting to this point and there have been a lot of up and downs.
Because of this I’ve come up with a list of jobs that may be more suited to working with social anxiety and even may be suited for introverts who would just rather work alone or with little social interaction.
So here it goes…
WORKING WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I only endorse products/services that I believe will be a benefit to you and would never recommend something I don’t like or trust.
This one is super ideal if you don’t mind working in a store or a building outside of your home and you don’t mind seeing and interacting with people but you hate talking to customers. This way you can be behind the scenes and work out back without any of the customer service garbage that makes socially anxious people feel gross.
Office / Admin
Working on the computer in a slower paced environment plus not having to speak to customers all day is kinda great for someone working with social anxiety. You can almost use your computer to hide behind and for the most part get left alone to do your job. It totally depends on the kind of office job you have of course, some can be really demanding, with tight deadlines.
Again, working with computers instead of people is awesome. Although you may have to speak to people and consult with them if they have IT problems it may help that you’re the expert and if they’re calling it means they need your help… sometimes it’s much easier to handle our anxiety when we feel in control of the situation and when we know our shit!
Jobs such as developing and testing software and hardware may be a better fit than IT consulting and sales if you have severe social anxiety.
Shelf replenishment (supermarket at night)
I don’t know about you but the second they made supermarkets 24 hours I exclusively shopped at around 1-3am only. Hardly any customers, super quiet so not to give me sensory overload and all the space I need to look for as long as I wanted. It probably feels similar working these hours too.
You can usually get paid more money for working unsociable hours in supermarkets and other 24 hour services, isn’t that great? Which means you’re worth more money for working at night when there are no customers around. Just when you thought working with social anxiety had no silver lining…
Nice peaceful outdoor work without having to talk to many people or be incredibly social. All the Vitamin D you’d get from being outside a lot would also benefit your anxiety.
If you’re working for a company generally as a cleaner you will work first thing in the morning and/or last thing in the evening while hardly any workers or customers are around yet. This is ideal if you want to avoid much social interaction and just want a therapeutic job to get on with without being pestered.
Working with animals
Kittens over people, am I right? Working with animals has therapeutic benefits but you also don’t have to deal with people as much. Dog grooming, dog walking, vet assistant, working at kennels etc. There’s lots of things you can do to work with animals.
What better way to use your experience with Social Anxiety than to help people who struggle with the same? It may involve a lot of interaction and talking but it’s usually one-to-one interaction and you’d be talking to someone who struggles with anxiety themselves. The best anxiety counsellors are the ones who understand anxiety and have had first hand experience with it, as they tend to be more empathetic.
More information about becoming a counsellor here.
WORKING FROM HOME
Working with social anxiety may be much more comfortable when you work from home. I’ve listed a few sample home jobs below along with ideas on how to get started. The downside to working from home is that it can often be more isolating and can really halt a lot of the progress you have made with your social anxiety. Make sure you don’t get stuck in a rut and always try to be social where possible and get out of the house when you can. Try these 6 Ways to Beat the Work From Home Isolation Blues to make your working from home life easier.
Etsy seller / making crafts
Etsy is the online home for handmade & vintage items. I buy a lot of my Christmas and birthday presents on Etsy but I also sell on there sometimes too. If you’re a creative person who is able to make crafts, digital products or you want to sell on vintage items you have a good chance of making a nice bit of money on there. Some example shops that I like on Etsy are FigoHome and LeoCameraStraps
I definitely haven’t made an income from using Etsy myself but I’ve only ever put a couple of photoshop/lightroom presets for sale at a couple of quid each time so I’ve not really pulled my weight enough to know how much money I could make.
As an example, this is how much my Etsy shop has made over the last two years for selling just the one or two presets for around £2.50 each:
Blogging for money is hard work and it will take a lot of time to make a decent income, but it’s worth it! If you have a niche subject, the potential could be great. You’ll make your income from several different avenues such as affiliate links (I talk more about this further down the post), sponsored ads and posts, ebooks based on your niche subject, selling products etc. But you will use your blog as your platform to sell these and make these things profitable.
You’ll need a good amount of traffic for your blog to make any money so your content needs to be good and it needs to be consistent. You won’t just make money from any old blog, you need to be providing an audience with something they want.
Do you have skills that are going to waste? Maybe you know a lot about health and want to help people get healthy? Maybe you want to help people learn a language or help them market their business?
Use your skills and coach people online and help make their lives awesome!
If you have a flare for web design you could make decent bank creating websites for clients. If you want to go freelance, here’s some tips on getting new clients. There’s also a wealth of information and tutorials online to get you started, even if you have no design or coding experience you can learn all of that at home just by reading about it online.
I taught myself web design at home and have used those skills to make my own website and redesign websites for clients. I tend not to code much anymore – my photography business took over – but I could still put a website together if I was asked to and with all the design tutorials on the web, my skills would be back up to scratch in no time.
If you don’t want to dive right into custom web design, maybe consider creating themes for WordPress and selling them as pre-made designs?
Social media manager
Every business needs a social media presence these days, there’s no way to avoid it. Some businesses just don’t have the first clue on how to promote themselves through social media however and some businesses just don’t have the time. That’s where a social media manager comes in and that person could be you!
MAKING EXTRA INCOME
These aren’t guaranteed to make you loads of money, if any at all but combined together and with a little effort they can make you suitable amount of passive income. If you’re only able to get a part time job for example because that’s all you can handle with your anxiety right now, it can’t hurt to have some extra money coming in from different sources that don’t require as much work. Just don’t forget to keep records of your earnings and pay the correct taxes as you should with all income you’re making from home.
You won’t make a ton of money from these and they probably require a bit more of your time than other passive income sources as you have to do a lot of them to make any substantial amount of income. They are easy ways of making some quick change here and there however and if you have the time to sign up to a few survey sites and do them frequently it’s a bonus to any extra income you have in the bank.
Fivesquid.com / Fiverr.com
This is a great one if you have a few services you can do for people online in a short space of time. Maybe you can design a quick flyer or a logo, retouch some photos or even write an SEO friendly article. The idea is simple, people see your services, pay you £5, £1 goes to the site for hosting your service and you get to keep £4.
So far I’ve made £112.00 from doing this by retouching photos, writing snazzy website bios and reviewing products, I’ve also done a couple of portfolio critiques. (see revenue below)
It’s up to you to decide what kind of services you want to provide and within what time frame you want to provide them. Take a look at the homepage and see what kind of services other people are offering.
Lots of different companies offer affiliate services, where you can sign up and use your special link to promote their services or goods and when someone purchases through your link you get money or credit! This is a pretty easy thing to do if you’re already passionate about the products or services and if you already have a good following on a blog or social media.
For example shareasale.com is the one I use – you can sign up to be an affiliate of lots of different companies and use their links and banners once you’re approved to promote them. When they get a sale through your referral, you make a commission.
Pop your affiliate links in your articles, post the banners on your blog sidebar, post them on pinterest with a snazzy graphic or use them on social media.
Using your social media account
Ever see really popular facebook pages posting those clickbait type articles that require a million clicks to see all the content? Everytime someone clicks on one of those articles the owner of the facebook page is making money. Websites such as VigLink provide viral content for you to post on your social media accounts, it will create a mini-website just for you and you can earn cash for every click! So far I’ve posted one link and made $0.54! I don’t exactly know how much I’d make if I used it regularly or if I had a bigger audience on my social media but it’s worth a try.
How about those popular instagram users that pose with the fancy slimming teas? Yep, you can use your instagram account to make money too. You need to have over 1000+ quality followers to be generally considered by a company, but here’s some tips on how to become an instagram influencer.
The same kind of opportunity applies to twitter and snapchat too, as long as you are social media famous or have a good quality following you can pick up some extra cash for promoting companies.
If you love taking photos and you have a ton of good quality photographs lying around on your hard drive, why not sell them for stock? You may only make a couple of pence here and there on major stock sites but if your content is popular enough by selling the same photos over and over again you can earn yourself a sizeable bit of passive income for photos that were just sitting around to begin with.
It’s also nice to see your work that may otherwise be lost and forgotten, getting used for cool projects.
Websites like Shutterstock & Getty Images are the bigger stock photography sellers so you’ll open your work up to more opportunity but might have to sell your images to a lot more people to make any decent money.
Do you write a blog where you often find yourself recommending products to people or perhaps a tech or tutorial website? Amazon associates lets you set up an account specifically for that website/blog and whenever you recommend a product someone can buy through amazon, you can use your special associates link. Whenever they buy through your link, even if it’s not the same product you recommended, you get a small percentage of the sale.
It works a lot like affiliate marketing, except you can’t just post the link anywhere, it has to be the website or blog you signed up with and you can’t create multiple accounts.
Creative market selling
Kind of like etsy but for digital products, Creative Market lets you sell your digital goods to people looking for good quality designs. You could be selling stock photos, logos, blog themes, backgrounds or fonts. There’s lots of categories on there for selling different types of digital content.
If you’re great with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop this may be the one for you. You can also set your own prices and make 70% of the sale.
Do you own your own headset or microphone? You can make money from browsing peoples websites and uploading a review. You capture your experience of visiting the customers website while narrating your thoughts both positive and negative to give the customer and idea of how to improve their website.
You can make $10 per video at User Testing
This one is never easy but super rewarding in the long run. If you’re good at art either traditional or digital why not sell your work? Sell artwork you have already created by setting up your own gallery, perhaps on SmugMug or ArtPal and also sell bespoke original pieces.
Flipping websites / domain
This one requires money to invest and a lot of effort and know-how but if you are interested in web design and doing different projects this could lead to something good.
Basically you buy an already created website/blog with an income stream already in place, you invest time and energy into building it bigger and better until it’s worth a lot more then sell it for a much higher price. Kind of like online real-estate.
Take a look at Flippa.com for more information.
Being paid to be someones friend
Now this one’s a little bizarre and I don’t exactly recommend meeting strangers from the internet but this could be a fun way of making new friends while making a little pocket money. I mean, who doesn’t want to get paid for hanging out and having fun? Of course if you have social anxiety this may be a difficult one, but it may just give you both incentive to be social and also a great way to make new friends… as we all know how hard it is to make friends with social anxiety.
Saving money you already have
So you might not have a lot of money to save but it’s surprising how much money racks up over time, when you’re putting little bits of money away here and there. I’m a bit shit at saving, so I use a free service called Plum, that works through Facebook messenger. It links to your bank account and uses a fancy schmancy algorithm that analyses your spending and puts away small amounts of money for you now and again, without sending you into an overdraft.
~ Thanks for keeping awake through all of that! If you have any ideas of your own please post them in the comments, I’d also love to hear about any jobs you have undertaken that have helped your social anxiety so please get in touch!