Calming, compassionate and cheerful: 10 best jobs for people with anxiety

jobs for people with anxiety
Work anxiety can reduce performance at work and have effects on your personal life as well. Source: AFP

Navigating work with anxiety can be a real challenge. The constant worry, racing thoughts, and physical symptoms can make even simple tasks feel like climbing a mountain.

It’s hard to focus when your mind is a whirlwind of “what ifs” and “should haves.” Social interactions, like meetings and presentations, make your heart race and palms sweat. 

Do you ever wonder if there are jobs for people with anxiety that will still allow them to thrive professionally? You’re not alone.

There are some jobs that are perfect for people with anxiety, providing you with a supportive environment and a sense of comfort while reducing your stress levels

According to a recent survey by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect about 40 million adults in the US, making it one of the most common mental health issues.

The workplace plays a significant role, with surveys indicating that 72% of people with anxiety say it interferes with their daily lives

Such findings confirm what many many of us already know.

Given that we spend a third of our life at work, it’s important that we find a job we like and meets our needs, including what troubles our mind.

jobs for people with anxiety

Working from home offers employees flexibility, better work-life balance, and lower stress levels. Source: AFP

The key causes of anxiety in modern workplaces

Too often, we see our colleagues tired, crying in toilets, disengaged at their desks, sweating, have upset stomachs, overeating or undereating. Too often, this is also you.

If you’re always facing these symptoms, you could have workplace anxiety.

And you could have many reasons for it. There’s no one root cause of anxiety at work. For you, it could be worrying over having to present in front of the whole office when you’re terrified of public speaking.

For your colleague, it could be about her fear of failure since childhood, causing her to freak out whenever her bosses point out any mistakes.

The list goes on. As work demands grow, so do the situations that may make us anxious.

These include:

  • Your relationships at work and at home
  • Unreasonable deadlines
  • Gossip about at staff lunches, and office parties
  • Having to speak up during meetings or risk being seen as incompetent

Seeing how all of this is caused by people, our colleagues and our bosses, the answer to reducing or eliminating anxiety at work seems to point towards a job with no people around you.

health insurance for students

No people, no anxiety? The answer is more complex than that. Source: AFP

Is remote work the answer?

Is remote work the solution for individuals grappling with anxiety? Well, it can be a game-changer for many. Choosing a career where you can work remotely is a great way to avoid unnecessary job stress.

Working from home can offer a sense of comfort and control over one’s surroundings, which can ease anxiety.

It can help you avoid some common sources of anxiety, like unexpected co-worker interactions, a distracting environment or a lack of personal space.

It allows you to set up your workspace just as you like, away from the hustle and bustle of an office setting. 

When you feel safe and relaxed at home, this sense of comfort and peace can easily boost productivity and job satisfaction.

According to a recent study, about 65% of people feel they are more productive when they work remotely. This increased productivity can alleviate the anxiety often tied to the pressures of a bustling workplace.

But here’s the thing – while remote work can be a helpful anxiety ally, it’s not a remedy. It might also create feelings of isolation and loneliness, especially for those who thrive on social interactions. 

According to a survey conducted, 23% of remote workers noted loneliness as their biggest struggle with remote work.

So, for some with anxiety, the traditional workplace might offer a better balance of social interaction and structure.

Some days, you might find it difficult to work anywhere.

Ultimately, it’s all about finding the right fit. The best jobs for people with anxiety recognise this.

To come up with the list below, we looked for jobs that have a track record of positive social interaction, few volatile relationships and situations, and using compassion to deal with problems.

8 best jobs for people with anxiety 

jobs for people with anxiety

Working in a library involves a quiet and peaceful environment with minimal social interaction, making it a great job for people with anxiety. Source: AFP

1. Librarian

As a librarian, you are responsible for organising, cataloguing, and managing library resources. You’ll assist patrons in finding books, conducting research, and maintaining a quiet library environment. 

Sometimes, you’ll also be required to organise small events, like book clubs or children’s readings.

The peaceful and quiet library environment is soothing for individuals with anxiety. 

The best part? The job’s structured and solitary nature allows for minimal social interactions, reducing stress.

You will need to get a college degree in order to become a librarian. However, once you have your degree, you can expect to earn upwards of US$57,884 per year for your peaceful and stress-free career as a professional bookworm. 

2. Graphic designer

Becoming a graphic designer is an excellent choice for creative individuals with anxiety. 

As a graphic designer, you’ll be focused on using software to create logos, graphics, promotions, webpages, and other marketing materials — with minimal human interaction. 

While a degree is preferred, freelance or contract work opportunities may be available without one as long as you possess a compelling portfolio.

Going freelance will let you further control your work environment and hours.

The creative aspect of the job can be therapeutic and there’s often less pressure for constant face-to-face interactions (unless you work for an agency).

Graphic designers typically earn an annual income of approximately US$57,716.

Plus, this is one of the jobs of the future with continued growth and opportunity, in contrast to other high-stress jobs being phased out by technology.

jobs for people with anxiety

Freelance writing is one of the best jobs for people with anxiety as it usually involves working remotely and in solitude. Source: AFP

3. Freelance writer

Imagine a job that lets you roam the world as you work, granting you the freedom to choose your office view, your work hours, and the projects you’re passionate about.

That’s the allure of being a freelance writer.

As a freelance writer, you’ll create written content for various clients and industries, such as articles, blogs, and marketing materials. 

The icing on the cake? Freelance writers have control over their work location and schedule. Say goodbye to office politics, high-stress environments, and constant interruptions – it’s just you and your words.

What’s more, your earnings can reach an average of US$52,694 per year.

jobs for people with anxiety

Personal trainers may work at a gym or independently using their own exercise studio or visiting a client’s home, making it a perfect fit for those with anxiety. Source: AFP

4. Fitness trainer

As a fitness trainer, you’ll be a guiding light for clients on their journey to weight loss, muscle gain, and overall well-being. 

You’ll create personalised exercise plans, teach proper techniques, and provide the motivation and support they need to succeed.

If you’re someone who finds solace in physical activity and uses exercise to manage stress and anxiety, this role is even more fitting. 

It’s a chance to turn your passion into a profession and inspire others to adopt healthier lifestyles. On top of that, you can earn an average of US$43,595 per year while doing what you love.

5. Data entry clerk

If you’re looking for a low-stress job that’s all about organisation, becoming a data entry specialist could be the perfect fit.

As a data entry clerk, your main task is to take information from one place and neatly input it into a computer database. You’re the guardian of data, ensuring it’s all in order.

Your duties include:

  • Gathering client data
  • Keeping the company’s database up-to-date
  • Converting physical records into digital formats
  • Generating regular reports 

The beauty of this role is that you often work independently, although you’re part of a team ready to lend a hand when needed.

With straightforward tasks and minimal stress, plus an average of US$39,361 in salary per year, this job can be an great choice for those looking for a calming work environment, making it particularly suitable for individuals dealing with anxiety. 

jobs for people with anxiety

Working with animals can be therapeutic for those with anxiety. Source: AFP

6. Veterinary care assistant

As a veterinary care assistant, you’ll work alongside veterinary professionals, taking on various responsibilities under their guidance. 

You’ll feed, give medication, and provide tender nursing care to animals, both before and after medical procedures.

The most fulfilling part about this job is being a lifeline for these animals, helping them recover and return to good health. You’ll be making a vital difference in their lives.

If you find solace in the company of animals, you’ll also discover a therapeutic element to this role.

The average salary for this role is US$39,739 per year, but the real reward is the daily joy of working with animals and being their guardian angel.

jobs for people with anxiety

Gardening has been shown to have a calming effect on the mind and can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Source: AFP

7. Gardener

In this role, you’ll be the steward of gardens, parks, and outdoor landscapes, working for various employers like local councils, garden attractions, or private clients. 

Your mission? To create and maintain the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Your daily tasks include:

  • Planting and pruning trees and shrubs
  • Keeping lawns in tip-top shape
  • Ensuring the soil remains fertile

It’s a role that brings you up close and personal with nature’s wonders — which have been shown to play a key role in health and healing.

Those who spent about 120 minutes each week outdoors reported being in better health and having a greater sense of well-being than people who didn’t get out at all, according to one study.

While gardening can be physically demanding and requires you to brave all weather conditions, its serenity is a unique benefit. For some individuals with anxiety, the calm and connection to nature can be a soothing balm.

You can earn up to US$57,441 per year in this role.  

Computer programmer is one of the best jobs for people with anxiety. Source: AFP

8. Computer programmer

For those who thrive on being alone and enjoy complex problem-solving, the role of a computer programmer is a perfect match.

A computer programmer’s day revolves around writing and maintaining code, ensuring the smooth operation of systems and programmes. Most interaction is done with computers rather than people.

The best part? Your journey to becoming a programmer is flexible. Whether you opt for a university degree or pursue online courses leading to valuable certifications, your path is yours.

Once you secure a job as a computer programmer, financial worries can take a backseat as you can expect an average annual income of around US$89,045, providing financial security that can alleviate anxiety.