These Are the Best Jobs for People With Social Anxiety Disorder

Finding a job that you enjoy and feel comfortable doing can be challenging for anyone. However, for people living with social anxiety disorder this task can feel overwhelming.

Not only does the job have to fit your interests and skill set, but it also shouldn't exacerbate your anxiety symptoms.

While each person will have their own interests and skillsets, there are jobs for people with social anxiety that will better suit their needs. Here are some of the best jobs for people who have social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety

Verywell / Alexandra Gordon



Writing is a dream job for many. Unfortunately, it can be a hard profession to enter, and may take a while before you start earning a living wage. However, once you become established, it is possible to earn a living as a freelance writer.

Whether you want to write novels, advice columns, or technical manuals, get your start with a job that allows you to gain experiences, such as working as a technical writer or copywriter. Then, as you build confidence, you can take on freelance work and possibly even become a published author.

Socially anxious writers may enjoy working alone. However, it would be best to challenge yourself by networking with other writers through professional associations and conferences.

This will give you a chance to polish your social skills and expose yourself to those situations that cause you anxiety. If you find you are doing well, you might even volunteer to lead a presentation or help out on an advisory board.



An artist is another job that might be appealing if you live with social anxiety. However, earning a living as an artist can be a difficult pursuit. As an artist, you may need to take on a day job to support yourself while you make 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 some of the time. Graphic design might be an option that gives you the opportunity to support yourself as an artist.

As a socially anxious artist, you may enjoy time spent alone on your work. However, you should also consider challenging yourself by attending or presenting at art exhibits. Communicating with clients and networking with other artists is a key part of continuously challenging your anxiety in the field of art.


Animal Care or Training

A dog trainer is one example of a job working with animals that might be appealing if you live with social anxiety.

Other possibilities include:

  • Kennel operator or caretaker
  • Pet groomer
  • Animal rescue worker
  • Veterinary technician
  • Zookeeper

If you enjoy working with animals, these can be rewarding positions requiring some social interaction and giving you space to work quietly and independently. You may also enjoy the reciprocal affection that animals often provide.

Keep challenging your social anxiety in these positions by interacting with clients and other animal care professionals.



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 be a good way to challenge some of your social fears gradually. Meetings with clients can work on your social skills, and attendance at networking events will help you challenge your social fears.



Landscapers can work for landscaping companies, golf courses, or as private entrepreneurs. Landscaping can give you the freedom to spend your day alone and outdoors. These jobs are excellent if you are not happy working in an office environment.

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

Challenge your social fears in these positions by interacting with customers, other landscape professionals, and possibly even your own employees. You can also attend trade shows to practice your social skills.



As an entrepreneur or business owner, you will work for yourself, set your own schedule, and be responsible for your own success. The advantage of being an entrepreneur is that you have complete control over what you do. It's also easy to see how many other professions on this list can be combined with entrepreneurship.

Although you will interact with customers or deal with suppliers as a business owner, you will not have a supervisor watching over you. 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. Instead, challenge yourself to face social and performance situations that you find anxiety-provoking by starting small and moving to more difficult tasks.


Computer Programmer

To work as a computer programmer, you must be detail-oriented, enjoy solving problems, and focus for long periods of time. While there will be some degree of social interaction required of you as a programmer, employees in these positions are generally valued for their analytical skills rather than their communication skills.

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. However, be sure to challenge your social anxiety by talking with coworkers and taking on projects that require increasingly more interaction.



Counselor or therapist might not be the first job you think of if you have social anxiety. You may be worried about speaking with clients at length. But your ability to empathize with their situations makes this 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. In addition, this position will give you unique insight into your own struggles at the same time.


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. These jobs allow you to face your fear of social interaction in a way that doesn't overwhelm you. With these jobs, you can face the social interactions you fear the least and gradually moving toward more challenging situations.

In the end, only you know what the right job is for you. But, of course, the best job is one that allows you to pursue your dreams without triggering or worsening your anxiety symptoms.

If you think you have social anxiety, the most important question to ask yourself is whether it's preventing you from achieving your goals. If the answer is yes, then you might consider contacting a mental health professional. Remember that anxiety can be managed and treated, just like any other medical condition.

2 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute of Mental Health. Social anxiety disorder: More than just shyness.

  2. Tibi-Elhanany Y, Shamay-Tsoory SG. Social cognition in social anxiety: First evidence for increased empathic abilities. Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2011;48(2):98-106.

Additional Reading

By Arlin Cuncic, MA
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." She has a Master's degree in psychology.