I can’t keep a job because of anxiety (5 reasons why)

In this post, “ I can’t keep a job because of anxiety” will be explored, a brief introduction to anxiety and the types of anxiety disorders, the symptoms of anxiety, job and anxiety, causes of anxiety at the job, managing job anxiety and some FAQ in regards to the topic.

One can’t keep a job because of anxiety as:

  • Reduced work performance and work quality
  • Effect on the interpersonal relationship at work
  • Take a toll on personal life as well
  • Turn down the opportunities offered
  • Reduced job satisfaction
  • Failing to accomplish the goals and achievement
  • Feeling isolated and left out
  • Develop the severity of anxiety
  • Experience job loss
  • Loss of creativity and innovation
  • Reduce and hampers social skill and group functioning
  • Effect on the organisation itself.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is defined as anticipation or apprehension towards a problem while Fear is our immediate reaction to danger. It is not always that stress and anxiety are hampering or dysfunctional, these can also be positive and growth inducive. It is often called Good Stress or U-Stress.  

Good stress can be constructive and it aids or motivates the person to do or perform better than usual. It usually gives them an extra push than the individual getting disturbed and bothered by it. 

Anxiety disorders and types

Anxiety Disorders are a group of disorders in which anxiety plays an important role. In all of the anxiety disorders, there is an excessive fear or anxiety. The diagnosis for Anxiety Disorder includes interference in daily functioning and causing intense fear and symptoms are not evoked by or the result of medication. Anxiety Disorder comprises Specific phobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Phobia, etc.

Specific phobia is a form of anxiety that is related to internal fears of specific things or objects. For example fear of airplanes. If you’re fear of airplanes, you might use sedatives for Airplane Anxiety. Also, check the Best Airlines for Anxiety and things to take for airplane anxiety,

Here are the top books for people with high functioning anxiety.

Anxiety Disorder 

It is one of the most common and prevalent disorders that affect one in every four

People. The higher the socio-economic status, there will be lesser anxiety cases. Women are also more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders than men. 

Some of the major types of an anxiety disorder include.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder. 

It is known by insidious onset and a chronic course. They may or may not have panic attacks. The anxiety symptoms should last for at least three months for the

diagnosis. GAD usually begins in adolescents and it typically persists for whole lives if left untreated. Almost 80% of individuals with GAD have other overlapping anxiety disorders. 

Phobic Disorder.  

Phobia is typically defined as an irrational or excessive fear of a particular situation. It is caused by a particular activity, object or a situation. Few of the most common phobia are agoraphobia, social phobia and specific phobia. Other types of phobic situations include public transportation, animal, natural environment and blood injection. 

Agoraphobia is an irrational fear of a particular situation and is one of the most common disorders. Women are more susceptible to this phobia than men.  Despite the fear of open spaces, they also fear crowded places and space where there is no exit. 

There will be panic attacks in certain cases of Agoraphobia as well as the absence of such attacks. The severity of agoraphobia is also correlated with dysfunctioning in daily activities.

Specific Phobia 

It is where the stimuli are generalised and it is well circumscribed. It is characterised by excessive fear of a specific situation or object. Some of the simple phobias are zoophobia, claustrophobia and xenophobia. Phobias are generally more common and frequent in women, especially with late-onset. 

Panic Disorders

It characterises acute anxiety and the course is chronic. In panic disorder, there may or may not be an underlying generalised disorder.  Panic Disorder is twice or thrice more common in females than in the male.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety disorder results in a wider range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Some of the symptoms of Anxiety are:

  • Nervousness and being tense
  • Feeling danger, dread and panic
  • Pacing heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing and hyperventilation
  • Muscle twitching and trembling
  • Lethargic feeling and weakness
  • Difficulty in thinking and focus 
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbance
  • Digestive problem and irritable bowel syndromes
  • Avoidance and seeking seclusion and isolation
  • Obsession about certain things and apprehension
  • Numbness
  • Sense of choking and tightness
  • Lack of focus and concentration

These are symptoms of anxiety observed in an individual with anxiety disorders. The symptoms can broadly be grouped or categorized as physical or physiological, cognitive, psychological and motor symptoms. And based on the severity of these symptoms, one can seek proper treatment accordingly.

Anxiety and Job

It is known and proven through researches that having excessive anxiety and stress can have a damaging effect on the job of an individual. And severe anxiety symptoms present in the person can result in a wide range of disturbance as well as a malfunctioning in work. 

  • Some of the effects of anxiety on the job as well as a workplace are:
  • Turning down the promotion 
  • Making excuses to avoid interaction with co-workers and colleagues
  • Avoid social gathering at workplaces such as staff lunch and other events
  • Unable to meet the deadlines and submission
  • Lower job performance 
  • A problem in maintaining the personal relationship at the workplace.
  • Higher employee turnover and excess waste of money on recruitment and job application.
  • Trouble in concentration
  • preoccupation with fear thus losing focus on the assigned task
  • A problem in public speaking and interacting with clients

These are some of the serious effects of anxiety on a job that can be damaging as well as distressing for the employee and the employer too.

Causes of anxiety at a job

Anxiety at the job can be the result of different reasons and there is no particular reason that might have caused anxiety symptoms in an individual rather there is an interplay of different reasons to produce anxiety symptoms in an individual resulting in damaging effects. 

Some of the causes are:

  • Workplace harassment and bully
  • Failing to meet deadlines
  • Staff and colleagues problem and interaction 
  • Problem with boss and employee
  • Lack of direction and supervision 
  • Lack of fairness and justice
  • Lack of control and power
  • Low pay and perks
  • Discrimination at the workspace.

These are some of the reasons resulting in workspace or job anxiety and pressure in an individual.

Managing anxiety 

Owing to the damaging effect of anxiety on the performance of an individual at the workspace, there are a variety of ways through which one can get over with anxiety symptoms that impairs their performance at the workspace and help them gain new skills that allow them to keep a job even as they suffer from anxiety.

Some of the ways of coping up with the anxiety symptoms are:

  • Sharing your problems and feeling to a trusted coworker

One can always reach out to coworkers to whom they can confide in and share their inner feelings and stress. Venting out can be great healing and it helps the person to get better and manage the symptoms of anxiety.

  • Educating oneself 

When a person feels the anxiety symptoms that are bothering them and hampers their performance, one needs to be cautious of it and have to handle them well so that the severe impairment that it might result in can be managed beforehand.

  • Practising time management

Making a to-do list and strategising a working day can keep one busy and helps to combat the anxiety symptoms in a much better and productive way. 

  • Being realistic

When the projects or the assigned tasks are too stressful and overloading for the person, it’s much better not to commit their word so that it won’t create any anxiety or panic attack if they remain unsubmitted and undone. Thus, to be realistic and setting an achievable and doable goal prevents anxiety and job stress.

  • Avoid toxic coworker

Peers and friends matter a lot when it comes to your mindset and functioning. Surrounding yourself with negative people and a toxic environment aggravates the anxiety symptoms and makes the person feel low and stressed. While surrounding with a positive and encouraging environment and sharing such space gives an extra push to the person to function better and keep one motivated and enthusiastic.

  • Taking advantage of employer resources and benefits

When one feels bothered and constantly troubled by workload, submissions and deadlines, it is at times better to take a break and enjoy the benefits and perks offered by the employer so that it will keep you away from the anxiety and pressure for a while, 

  • Asking for help and communicating

Communication is the key to avoiding all kinds of misunderstanding, negative thoughts and overthinking Thus when one feels low and burdened by work pressure, it is better for one’s mental as well as physical health to open it up and share it. Keeping things within oneself serves no purpose than to constantly disturb your mind. It is thus much better for the person itself to share and communicate so that one doesn’t need to undergo the anxiety symptoms all alone.

  • Taking break

When the work stress and pressure takes over a person and takes toll on their physical and mental health, it is best to take a break from the job and have some time for yourself be it recreation or leisure. This will help the person to get better and recover from the pressure and anxiety at job space. 

  • Avoid triangle 

Having a limited circle at a workspace is much better when it comes to getting help and reaching out for support when in need. Having too many unknowns at a workspace results in more negative energy and tensions owing to gossiping and negativity shared between workers. Although having a  big circle provides temporary relief from stress and serves as a source of entertainment but in the long run, it results in more negative energy and difficulties.

  • Learning neutral language

Learning the calming language at the office or workspace can help in calming down from anxiety symptoms. Rather than emphasizing too much or competing neglecting something, it is advisable to be neutral that can calm one down and provide relief.

  • Encourage in-person conversation and communication

Rather than sharing information and venting out with digital technology that lacks deciphering emotion, it is always better to reach the person physically that helps a lot in combating the anxiety symptoms and providing relief. 

These are some of the ways or strategies that can be used by anxious people who are bothered by their anxiety at work and job resulting in lower performance productivity, pressure and other mental health concerns. 

If you’re a nurse and you have anxiety, check the Best Jobs for Nurses with Anxiety.

FAQs: I can’t keep a job because of anxiety

How do I get a job with severe anxiety?

When looking for a job, one needs to consider certain things such as flexible working hours, type of work, a task assigned, pay scale, job duties and task, etc.

What is a good job for someone with anxiety?

For a person battling with anxiety, a good job can be a maintenance worker, graphic designer, writer, accountant, pet care professionals, etc.

What does anxiety prevent you from doing?

It interferes one’s ability to perform the task and other major functions of life. It makes the individual less productive.

What are the happiest jobs?

Those jobs are real estate agent, HR Manager, IT Consultant, teaching assistant and Construction manager.


In this post, “ I can’t keep a job because of anxiety” was explored with a brief introduction to anxiety and the types of anxiety disorders, the symptoms of anxiety, job and anxiety, causes of anxiety at the job, managing job anxiety and some FAQ in regards to the topic.

Here we list the best objects for anxiety, including smartwatchs as FitBit, singing bowls, and other things to buy for anxiety.

Further details





Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (n.d.). Anxiety and Stress in the Workplace. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. https://adaa.org/managing-stress-anxiety-in-workplace/anxiety-disorders-in-workplace#:~:text=Having%20an%20anxiety%20disorder%20can,be%20unable%20to%20meet%20deadlines.

Jones, C. (2017). How anxiety hurts workplace productivity. The business journal. https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/growth-strategies/2017/10/how-anxiety-hurts-workplace-productivity.html

Smith, K. (2020). Work Anxiety: 10 Tips to Manage Anxiety at Work. Psycom. https://www.psycom.net/10-ways-manage-anxiety-work

Zamora, D. (2020). Anxiety at Work: A Career-Busting Condition. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/features/anxiety-at-work

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