What Are the 10 Best Jobs for People With Social Anxiety Disorder?

Jobs That Are Ideal for People With SAD

Finding a job that you enjoy and that you feel comfortable doing can be challenging if you suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD). Often your choice of job will be dictated by how far along you are in terms of diagnosis and treatment. People who have successfully managed to overcome and learn to cope with symptoms of social anxiety are better equipped for positions that are socially demanding.

At the same time, people with SAD are often suited to particular types of jobs regardless of how well they have learned to cope with social anxiety. Jobs that involve working with numbers, animals and objects are often good choices because they don't require constant interaction with other people.

While these jobs may have aspects that are socially challenging, such as interacting with coworkers, supervisors, and clients, they offer more flexibility and control over the level of social interaction. Below is a list of jobs that might be rewarding for people with social anxiety disorder.


South Africa, Cape Town, Man doing notes
Tetra Images - Yuri Arcurs/Brand X Pictures

Writing is a dream job for many. Unfortunately, it can be a hard profession to enter and earn an income doing right away. Whether you want to write fiction, non-fiction, advice columns, or technical manuals, it is probably best to get your start working at a job that allows you to put pen to paper such as a technical writer or copywriter.

As you build your confidence you can eventually move to taking on freelance work and possibly even become a published author.

Socially anxious writers may enjoy working alone as well as challenging themselves by networking with other writers through writers' associations and conferences.


A socially anxious artist can become immersed in work when anxiety is high.
Artists have time to themselves and can express their emotions through their work. Getty / Blend Images / Aliyev Alexei Sergeevich

An artist is another job that might appeal to those who suffer from social anxiety. However, earning a living as an artist can be a difficult pursuit. Most artists take on day jobs to support themselves while they do their art on the side.

If you have a passion for this type of work, think about related jobs that might give you the same creative outlet and ability to work alone. Graphic design might be an option that gives you the opportunity to support yourself as an artist.

Socially anxious artists may enjoy time spent alone creating but should also challenge themselves by attending or presenting at art exhibits.

Stay-at-home Parent

Staying home with the kids can be both challenging and rewarding.
Being a stay-at-home parent can be both challenging and rewarding for those with social anxiety. Getty / Simon Ritzmann

Stay-at-home parent also made the Top 10 list of worst jobs for people with SAD. This is not an accident. Although there can be many social demands on a parent, there is also a lot of flexibility and time spent at home, which can be helpful for those with severe social anxiety.

As a parent, you can control your own schedule and balance time spent in social activities with quieter time spent alone with the kids. Just be sure that you don't allow yourself to become isolated or deny your children opportunities because of your social fears. Accept invitations for play dates with other parents and volunteer for a committee at your child's school to keep connected.

Dog Trainer

Dog trainer is an excellent career choice for those with social anxiety.
Spending time with animals can be soothing for those with anxiety. Getty / Hero Images

A dog trainer is one example of a job working with animals that might be appealing to those with social anxiety disorder. Other possibilities include veterinary technician, kennel operator, or zookeeper. If you enjoy working with animals these can be rewarding positions that require some social interaction but also give you space to work quietly and independently.


Individuals with social anxiety who are accountants will have time to themselves.
An accountant should be good with both numbers and communicating with clients. Getty / Steve Weinrebe

Accountants manage bookkeeping and financial details for businesses and individuals. If you excel at math and enjoy working with numbers, being an accountant can give you the opportunity to work independently.

Whether you work for a company or as a private accountant, there will be some level of interaction required with others. Focus on your abilities and be confident in your work, and your comfort level with this aspect of the job will increase. Becoming an accountant can actually be a good way to challenge some of your social fears in a gradual way.


Landscaping can be a promising career for those with social anxiety.
Landscapers spend time alone but must also work with others or with clients. Getty / Hinterhaus Productions

Landscapers can work for landscaping companies, golf courses or as private entrepreneurs. If you are looking for a job with little social interaction, landscaping can give you the freedom to spend your day alone and outdoors. These jobs are particularly good if you are not happy working in an office environment.

If you decide to run your own landscaping company, however, you will need to become adept at communicating with customers. In this way, landscaping can afford you with the opportunity to challenge your fears while having the security of "downtime" on the job.


Entrepreneurs with social anxiety benefit from flexible work environments.
Entrepreneurs are in control of their work environment, which may be helpful for social anxiety. Getty / Gary Burchell

Entrepreneurs or business owners work for themselves, set their own schedules, and are responsible for their own success. The advantage of being an entrepreneur as a person with SAD is that you have complete control over what you do.

Although you will probably have to talk to customers or deal with suppliers, you do not have a supervisor to answer to or coworkers to work alongside. As an entrepreneur, you can also hire other people to do jobs that you don't enjoy.

Just be sure that you don't hire out all of your social obligations! Challenge yourself to face social and performance situations that you find anxiety-provoking by starting small and moving to more difficult tasks.


Firefighting can be a challenging career for those with social anxiety.
Firefighters with social anxiety must learn to work with others on the job. Getty / Monty Rakusen

While being a police officer is on the list of the 10 worst jobs for people with social anxiety disorder, being a firefighter makes the 10 best. Although firefighters have interaction with the public and work alongside coworkers, they also work with objects and have set expectations for their jobs. Many firefighters also work schedules that give them several days off in a row, which can be a chance to recuperate from the demands of work for those with social anxiety.

Computer Programmer

Socially anxious computer programmers may have the ideal job for regulating anxiety.
Computer programmers with social anxiety will work both with technoloogy and other people. Getty / PeopleImages.com

Computer programmers must be detail-oriented, enjoy solving problems, and being able to focus for long periods of time. While there is some degree of social interaction required of programmers, employees in these positions are generally valued for their programming skills rather than their gift of gab. If you like computers and don't mind sitting for long periods of time, this can be a good job that allows you to work independently.

Be sure to challenge your social anxiety by talking with coworkers to develop friendships at your job.


Socially anxious counselors often have empathy for their clients.
Counselors with social anxiety may have high empathy for others with mental health issues. Getty / Hill Street Studios

Counselor or therapist might not be the first job you think of for those with social anxiety. However, when in a position to help others overcome SAD, this can be an ideal job.

You understand what your clients are experiencing, you are a good listener, and you likely have a communication style that others with social anxiety will not find threatening.

If you have received treatment and overcome your social anxiety, you are in a perfect position to help others do the same.

What do all of these jobs have in common? In some ways, they resemble the fear hierarchies used in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for social anxiety. Individuals with these jobs can start small by facing social interactions that they fear the least and gradually move toward more challenging situations.

In the end, only you know what the right job is for you. Some people with social anxiety still crave the company of others even though they are fearful. If this is you, a job with more social interaction might be more appropriate. The most important advice to keep in mind is to never let your social anxiety prevent you from pursuing a career that you enjoy.

You might also like: The 10 Worst Jobs for People with Social Anxiety

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