Last year’s lockdowns and sudden shift to remote work was a boon for introverts. Defined by their need to “recharge” after interacting with others, working from home allowed many to enjoy the productivity and serenity unavailable in a modern open-office landscape. Extroverts, on the other hand, feel energized from social situations. No one knows how many people are introverts. As few as one out of four people may be in the category, although Myers-Briggs, the company best known for offering personality tests, reported that almost 57% of the population prefer introversion. When you hear about folks threatening to quit rather than return to traditional office routines, I bet plenty of them are introverts.
Social anxiety is different. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, introversion is something you’re born with. Social anxiety is something that develops over time. There are extroverts with social anxiety. Having social anxiety means facing a crippling feeling of being judged. You may have been the object of cruel classroom taunts or forced by your parents to play an instrument before a crowd of adults. The condition, sometimes calls SAD, can affect your job performance and productivity. That’s because those often crippling thoughts can steal your focus and cause you to miss deadlines. People with the condition often miss more days of work or school as well. Pandemic-induced isolation can actually worsen the condition. Just as puppies need to be socialized, people require human interaction. So if you’re a recent graduate with social anxiety, rest assured there are plenty of entry-level jobs available. Here are some of the best starter jobs for someone with social anxiety.
Work with Animals
Although some people are afraid of dogs, many people with social anxiety love them. That’s why dog walking is one of the best starter jobs for someone with social anxiety. Clients often need dog sitters during the day, which may allow you to attend classes at night or in the afternoon if you’re still in school. Although you’ll likely be outside, you’ll have limited interactions with people. Plus, dogs are great instruments for facilitating conversation –– you’ll find that people are often nicer to you when you have a dog.
You can also house sit, taking care of dogs or other pets while the owners are away. If you’re interested in a profession focused on animals, consider training to be a veterinary technician. Essentially a veterinary nurse, you’ll be the point of contact between the client, their animal, and the veterinarian. Because of the blend of duties, you’ll have some social interaction but you’ll also have time with animals as well. It requires specific training at an accredited school. It can take between 18 and 36 months to earn an Associate of Science degree in Registered Veterinary Technology along with an externship of at least 200 hours.
Whether you write blogs or design book covers, creating content is also one of the best starter jobs for someone with social anxiety. In fact, all of the creative professions combine private work with either public performance or opportunities for human interaction. For example, you might paint professionally in your own studio but see people when you display your works. If you are working online, it will take a bit of effort to connect with people. It might help to work for a company that expects you to visit the office occasionally.
Flexibility is key. If you can control when interactions take place, it can be easier to manage them. You might want to consider a hybrid job, where you work remotely part time and travel to the office part time. There are few barriers to entries for creative professions, which is one reason they are so competitive. Top training and a solid network can improve the odds.
Numbers Instead of Humans
Entry-level bookkeeping jobs are widely available. You can find work doing the books for a small business or handle accounts for a large company. To be an accountant with a top firm, you’ll need a degree in the field. You’ll also have to pass the test to become a Certified Public Accountant.
There are numerous office jobs that are ideal for people with social anxiety including data entry and computer programming. Don’t love offices? Landscaping is great for introverts but because you must deal with clients (or bosses) it prevents you from being completely isolated. Long-haul truckers with social anxiety are able to spend hours on their own while also having time interacting with others. Do your research and I believe you’ll soon find the right job for you.
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