Worst jobs for people with anxiety(list)

In the next guide, you are going to find detailed information about the worst jobs for people with anxiety (we are going to cover different types of anxiety disorders). Besides, you are going to find some extra recommendations related to the main topic. 

Worst jobs for people with anxiety

Anxiety is the body’s response to stressful events. It’s manifested by a feeling of fear, concerns about what’s to happen. Different events can lead to anxiety, like the first day of college, going to a job interview, or giving a speech. 

List of worst jobs for people anxiety:

  • Teacher
  • waiter
  • sales person
  • police officer
  • military personnel
  • fire fighter
  • taxi driver
  • Broadcaster
  • corporate executive
  • surgeon
  • Pilot

This article will explain what anxiety is, why people have it, and based on that what would be the worst jobs for people with anxiety. Also, we will talk about tips that can help in lowering anxiety. 

What is anxiety? 

Anxiety is, as defined by APA (American Psychology Association) is an emotion characterized by feelings of fear, tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like tachycardia, high blood pressure or excessive sweating. 

However, there are some options you may discard immediately if you suffer from anxiety but try to give it a chance.  Sometimes the obsession for perfectionism can cause anxiety, check the Best Jobs for Perfectionists.

Difference between anxiety and anxiety disorder 

DSM-5 defines anxiety disorders are characterized by overwhelming fear, tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes for 6 months or longer while anxiety is a feeling that happens in stressful situations, but it doesn’t occur every day. 

All anxiety disorder includes fear – an emotional response to real or perceived danger and anxiety – the anticipation of a future stressful event.

Types of anxiety disorders 

Anxiety disorders differentiate by the object or situations that cause fear or avoidant behavior. There are a few major anxiety disorders, but we will cover three in this article: 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder  
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder  (F41.1)

For an individual to be diagnosed with General anxiety disorder (GAD) certain criteria have to be met.

  1. Excessive anxiety and fearful anticipation through the day in the last 6 months and are related to different activities like success at work or school
  2. An individual has trouble controlling this anxiety 
  3. Anxiety and worries are related to three or more symptoms listed below.
  1. Restlessness or feeling that you are on “the edge”
  2. Getting tired easily
  3. Having difficulties concentrate 
  4. Irritability
  5. Muscle tension 
  6. Difficulties with sleeping

Panic Disorder (F41.0)

Criteria for diagnosing a panic disorder:

  1. Repeated unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden attack of intense fear or intense discomfort, which reaches its peak after several minutes, during that time 4 (or more) symptoms mentioned below need to occur:

1.Palpitations, accelerated heart rate



4. The feeling of insufficient air 

5. The feeling of choking

6. Chest pain

7.Nausea or stomach problems

8. Vertigo or fatigue

9. Hot and cold waves



           12. Fear of dying 

  1. After at least one of those attacks, during one month period or longer, one or both things are present from the list below
  1. Constant thinking or worrying about the panic attack and if it’s going to happen again or it’s consequences (eg. fear that you are going crazy, losing control…)  
  2. Significant changes in behavior related to attacks (eg. behavior is focused on avoiding situations that can lead to a panic attack).
  1. This condition is not caused by the physiological effects  of psychoactive substance or other psychological condition
  2. This disorder can’t be explained by any other psychological condition

Social anxiety disorder- Social phobia (F40.10)

Criteria for establishing a diagnosis of Social anxiety disorder

  1. Significant fear or anxiety related to one or more social situations in which a person is exposed to possible assessment or judgment from other people.

Examples include social interactions (making a conversation, meeting strangers), appearance in front of others (giving a speech)

  1. The person is scared that he or she will behave in a way that his or her anxiety symptoms are visible to others and negatively evaluated by them (eg. fear of being rejected, humiliated…)
  2. Social situations almost always lead to fear or anxiety
  3. The person tends to avoid social situations or confronts them with intense fear or anxiety

Worst jobs for people with anxiety:  Social anxiety


One of the most important roles in society – teachers. They shape new generations and prepare them for life and career. Just by this being said, the pressure is put to anyone who chooses this career path. 

But, teaching with a social anxiety disorder is a completely different story.  

Teaching positions (elementary school or university) require public speaking on a daily basis. Besides teaching itself, every once in a while you’ll be called to a parent-teacher meeting, conferences. Basically, every related to this position requires social interactions.

Tips to deal with social anxiety while being a teacher 

Read and learn how to overcome your problems. 

There is plenty of great literature that can help you understand how to become better version of yourself. 

If you like reading, check the best fiction and spiritual books for anxiety.

Exercise and laugh before class 

Before work or teaching, do a 15 min exercise like jumping up and down several times, or watch something funny. After you are done, stretch your muscles to release nervous tension. For the end breathe in and breathe out, slowly, from your belly.

And if you are trying to find an inspiration laughing you can check always grab a funny book. 

Count the desks

You just walked in the classroom and you can feel that adrenaline rush in running through your body? Even tho it sounds silly, by counting the desks or chairs you change your focus from think about how anxious you are to something else. Once you are feeling more relaxed you can get back to teaching!

Work on your body language

Not everyone is the same. Some people feel more confident in their bodies, and some of us are not so eager to be in the center of the attention. Researches show that most of the people prefer to stay away from the eyes of the crowd and are not particularly happy when it comes to public performances.

If you are a teacher or if you feel like you should work on your confidence, read eight tipis mentioned below that will help you improve your body language and confidence: 

Eye contact

Maintaining eye contact when speaking with people can help you feel confident. Keeping  eye contact implies that you are interested in what other pearson has to say, and that you are familiar with the subject. It’s advised that for feeling confidante, you should maintain the eye contact for 60% of the time. Sometimes eye contacts can be to much for an anxious person, but in that cases it’s recommended to start by looking at close to person’s eyes.

If you have social anxiety, you probably don’t like eye contact. We have a solution for that, check out our Best Sunglasses for Social Anxiety.

Lean forward

Just like the eye contact, leaning forward suggest that interlocutor has your attention. For people with social anxiety this can be challenging, but if they start slowly and step by step, it’s easy to adjust.

Watch your posture

Keeping your back straight, besides it helps your health it can affect how other perceive you and how you perceive yourself. People with social anxiety usually have bad posture because they are trying to take less space as possible. Theis posture to them feels like a protected space. Pulling your shoulders away from your face and chin and not keeping your arms crossed, shows that you are comfortable and that you are keeping situation in control. 

Raise your chin up

It’s important to walk with your head up, and look forward. For some people, especially anxious one this can feel strange, but after sometime, most of people become used to this and it definitely helps them feel confident. 

Keep your hands away from pockets

This is not only a specific characteristic of anxious people. Putting your hands in the pockets can resolve that “What to do with my hands?” problem but your hand gesture makes a huge difference to anyone who is watching you.

Large steps, not small ones

Next time when you have an opportunity to watch an important person that feels comfortable or at least tries to appear in that way, watch her steps. You’ll notice that all of them are taking larger steps instead of small ones. That way of walking is characteristic for people with authority and it can help you to feel less anxious.

Keep your hands away from your face

Touching your face can be a sign of anxiety. Keep your hands away from your face to appear more confident and comfortable. 


Strong handshakes are signs of confident pearson. By offering a firm handshake you left a good  impression.

Start your class with a “positive talk”

 Asking your students to share few positive stories, that happened in a last week, can help you to boost a positive atmosphere in your class and get you off to a good start. When there is a positive energy in the room it’s easier to teach and for your students it’s easier to study and keep their focus on!


One of the favourite jobs for many college students and teenagers is waitressing. 

It’s great job for earning extra money and gather work experience. But when thinking deciding if you should try waitressing you should take in to the account many aspects of this job that can be challenging for people with social anxiety. 

Job of the waiter necessitate social interactions on a daily basis. Not only you have to talk with people, but it’s expected to be friendly with all customers. If in any case, you decide, putting a smile is a too much for you, you won’t be able to ensure large tips that come with waitressing. Also, you need to be prepared, that every once in a while an unhappy customer will complain about the dinner, drink or just be unsatisfied in general.

The good thing about waitressing, if you overcome these challenges, that can be hard to anyone, not just someone with social anxiety you might get the confidence to handle social interactions. 


Salespeople not only have to deal with the public, but they have to be persuasive, confident and good at developing rapport.

Many salespeople work on commission, meaning that your income is tied to how well you perform at work. In addition, most positions in sales involve pressure to meet sales targets. This can sometimes create a competitive atmosphere amongst coworkers, rather than a feeling of camaraderie. 

People with social anxiety might not find themself especially happy in a workplaces like this.

Police officer 

There are many aspects of a police officer’s job that could be challenging for those with social anxiety disorder.

As a police officer, you must be able to think on your feet, take action and make quick decisions. Police officers are pressured to make sure decisions they made are correct ones, because people lifes can depend on them

Police officers are also sometimes called upon to give presentations to community groups.

Worst jobs for people with anxiety:  panic disorder

Enlisted Military Personnel

Even people with low anxiety levels have problems in combat. Combat is not a natural state of human mind and it affects everyone. People who suffer from panic disorder wouldn’t be danger for themselves and everyone else in the field. Good thing is, there is definitely a lot more military related positions that are better fit for people with panic disorder.


On a stress scale, fire is one of the most stressful events that can happen to someone. Being firefighter means that you are responsible for people lifes and their homes. 

It is extremely challenging to anyone who chooses this career path, but for people with panic disorder it is nearly impossible. 

If you have panic disorder, pushing yourself to do jobs like this one can be dangerous, and it requires strong psychological help from professionals and family members. That is why we call one of the worst jobs for people with anxiety. 

It’s common that firefighters, police officers and medical professional develop anxiety and sometimes panic disorder if they refuse to deal with stressful cases and happenings. 

Taxi Driver

Taxi driver might not be an obvious choice for this list, but we’ll explain. Taxi drivers work both day and night shifts, and sometimes suspicious people get in your cab. You can choose who is going to be your next customer. Driving at night with strangers in the car definitely isn’t the best job choice for people that are suffering from panic disorder. 

If you are a taxi driver, and you are suffering from panic disorder, there is number of ways to improve your conditions and lower you symptomes. It’s definitely a good idea to choose morning shifts overnight shifts and to work in familiar areas of the city. 

Easy relaxing music can help you manage your thoughts in positive direction, far away from negative thoughts. 


You are at the center of the attention. Camera is recording your every move and if you do something wrong it’ll be shown everyone – this is one of the most common fears of everyone, and especially people with Panic disorder. You don’t have to think twice why is this one of the worst jobs for people with anxiety. 

You can imagine why live performances aren’t the best pick for someone that has this diagnosis, and why broadcasting jobs should be avoided; this is another one of the worst jobs for people with anxiety. It’s important to keep in mind that this can be overcomed by working on your problems and listening the advices from experts. 

Being on live TV is not an easy task for anyone, regardless of anxiety, so just keep in mind you are not alone and this can be resolved. 

Worst jobs for people with anxiety: General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Corporate Executives

Managing other people is tough job for everyone but especially for people with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by feelings of intensive worrying about everyday things and there is usually no visible threat besides the fear. 

When you are in situation to be responsible for other people stress can be overwhelming and GAD symptoms can hit hard. For that reason, it’s advised to stay away from high responsibility 


Being surgeon means to be detail-oriented, fast thinker and quick learner. Human lifes depends on surgeon choices and, you need to live with a fact that you’ll make mistakes that could be fatal. Having General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) already means that you are overthinking every decision you make and every decision you made. 

Stressful jobs like surgeon, doesn’t help getting over your GAD, on the contrary it can make it more difficult to see progress of the therapy. With that being said it’s strongly advised for people who suffer from General anxiety disorder to avoid jobs like this for their own benefit and it’s clearly one of the worst jobs for people with anxiety.  


It’s easy to see why doctors, firefighters and police officers are worst jobs for people with anxiety. They have huge responsibilities for human lifes, but pilots take care for hundreds of people at the same time. Statistics shows that flying is less dangerous than driving a car, but being a pilot is much more than operating a plane. 

Pilot need to stay in a perfect health, and every minor think that could be bothering them has to be checked and can’t be unnoticed. Mental health also has an important role,  and if you are suffering from General Anxiety Disorder, thinking about everything that could go working definitely won’t help your case. Worrying about work problems, doesn’t stop once plain is landed, pilots need to make sure they are well rested and prepared for next flight.

Event coordinator

Unlike other jobs that are worst for people with anxiety, event coordinator is not responsible for people lifes, but it can definitely be stressful. Event coordinators are hired for every major event like weddings, charity events, birthdays and concerts. Usually, on happenings like these, everything has to be perfect and your client won’t tolerate any mistakes. 

People with a General Anxiety Disorder are recommended to stay away from pressure and stressful situations so Event Coordinator shouldn’t be in top of their career list. If you are already working in a similar field and you are feeling anxious, besides getting a professional help you can try reading one of the self-help books. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about worst jobs for people with anxiety

What’s the worst anxiety disorder?

The worst anxiety disorder can’t be specified. Most of the mental health professionals would agree that one of the worst anxiety disorders is General Anxiety disorder. With this being said, every disorder including anxiety disorder requires professional treatment and progress can be successfully made if you follow suggestions of your therapist. 

Can I work with anxiety disorder?

You can work with anxiety disorder. In this article we mentioned few job that are not strongly suggested for people that are suffering from the anxiety, but there is plenty of career paths that you can choose from and are suitable for people with anxiety disorders. And, if you feel like one of the mentioned jobs is your perfect career path, you shouldn’t give up only because of your anxiety, just make sure you are getting a proper medical care and that you are well informed about every detail of the job. 

Is social anxiety a disability?

Social anxiety can become a disability if left untreated. Some people that are suffering from Severe social anxiety might feel like they are not capable to work. In this cases there are different tests that you can take, that will assess your condition and help you decide what is the next best option for you.

What is the best job for someone with anxiety?

The best job for someone with anxiety varies from individual to individual. Usually, people with anxiety prefer creative jobs like writing. Besides that, jobs like social worker, therapist or working with animals can be relaxing and enjoyable for most ot the people that are suffering from anxiety. In this article we covered worst jobs for people with anxiety but you should feel free to make your own list based on your preferences and capabilities.

Is anxiety a mental illness?

Anxiety is not  a mental illness. Anxiety is a normal emotion that we experience often. People who feel anxiety more often, and if anxiety is making harder for them to work they might have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders, unlike anxiety itself are mental illnesses that require treatment.  


Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone feel once in a while, but if you notice that anxiety is starting interfere with your everyday life you should ask for help before it becomes an Anxiety disorder. In this article we tried to explain difference between three major anxiety disorders and we listed worst jobs jobs for people that are suffering from anxiety. Worst jobs for people with anxiety  we picked are based on latest research and reports from people that are suffering from one of these diagnosis.

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