What Jobs Can Be Good for Teens With Anxiety?
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What Jobs Can Be Good for Teens With Anxiety?

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What Jobs Can Be Good for Teens With Anxiety?

Taking on new responsibilities like starting one’s first job can be very nerve-wracking. With an anxiety disorder, worries can start to affect a teen’s job performance. It’s easy to self-sabotage before they get a chance to see what they can do!

Balancing school, self-care and a new job is a lot of responsibility. Finding a workplace where your teen isn’t as likely to run into anxiety triggers can help them keep their level of stress down. In this article, we’ll share nine potential jobs for teens with anxiety to consider.

What types of jobs are good for teens with anxiety?

There aren’t any definitive answers for this. It often depends on the cause of their anxiety. Teens with social anxiety disorder will thrive in some jobs where other teens with a panic disorder would have a much harder time, for example. 

Starting with your child’s interests or the activities they like doing can help them find jobs they’ll like. If they care about what they’re doing, they’ll be more motivated to deal with their anxiety in healthy ways and keep showing up. You can search for entry-level jobs together in fields your teen is considering for their future career. But you don’t have to take that approach if that seems like too much pressure. 

What’s most important is that they gradually expose themselves to challenges with strategies in place for dealing with anxiety. Anxiety might be an issue for their whole life, so it’s important to feel confident about their ability to cope when anxiety symptoms are present.

How can teens manage their anxiety during the job search?

Most adults will get nervous about job interviews, so remind your teen that they won’t be the only one with the jitters. One of the best ways to manage anxiety in any situation is to come prepared. Encourage them to learn everything they can about the companies where they’re applying and try to find out who will be interviewing them. They can even ask to see a list of questions ahead of time. 

It can be helpful if they prepare themselves for the most commonly asked interview questions by searching for recent articles on interview preparation.

What are some examples of jobs for teens with anxiety?

Your teen may be working on coping skills and going to treatment for anxiety for a long time, and that’s totally fine. They can still have some good work experiences that will set them up for success later on. It’s important for teens to look for opportunities to use their strengths, not just to look at jobs through the lens of their fear.

Here are some job ideas for teens with anxiety to consider:

  • Movie theater usher — This is a great first job for teens that can come with sweet perks like free movie tickets, posters and first looks at new films. Ushers usually clean the theaters between showings, scan tickets, and direct people to their screens. If they want to try a customer-facing role, working the concession stand could be a good start.
  • Tutor — If a teen prides themselves on being an expert at a subject, becoming a tutor is an option. If your child likes one-on-one work, being a tutor is about providing moral support and asking good questions. Your teen can ask their teachers where students in your area go for tutoring.
  • Back-of-house restaurant staff — This one is best for teens with social anxiety. Back-of-house roles can include food prep, washing dishes, and busing tables. However, if your child doesn’t like loud noises or a bit of urgency, restaurant work probably isn’t the right fit. 
  • Transcriptionist or data entry — If your teen needs a quiet work environment or they want to work from home, these could be great choices. You’d be surprised how many companies need people to type out notes from recorded dictations, though they may require a high school diploma or equivalent. Data entry work is often full-time, but companies with work-from-home options might be more flexible.
  • Veterinary or kennel assistant — This one’s for animal lovers. Veterinary offices usually require employees to be 18 years of age or have a high school diploma. There are opportunities at doggie day cares and groomers that may be more lenient.
  • Dog sitter or dog walker — Teens can register on apps like Rover (if they’re 18) to get dog walking jobs or watch the local area for help wanted posts on Nextdoor.
  • Library page — A library page returns books to their shelves and reads through the stacks to make sure everything’s in the right place. Great for bookworms, though some libraries may require a high school diploma.
  • Stocker — Being a stocker at the local grocery store is a tried-and-true job for people who want something straightforward and easy. It can take some heavy lifting, though.
  • Warehouse associate — If loud noises make your teen jump, this might not be a good choice. But for those with social anxiety, filling orders at a warehouse can be easy peasy.

What jobs may not be suited best for teens with anxiety?

Again, it all depends on what their triggers are. Waiting tables and customer service are pretty stressful for anyone, especially if they want to either avoid people or work with a small team of familiar faces. If your teen’s anxiety is more general, jobs in chaotic environments like busy kitchens or factories with loud machinery can be a lot to handle. Something in an office setting or any place that’s familiar might be better.

Oftentimes, the people you work with have just as much if not more of an impact on your work well-being than the job itself. While it may not be possible to avoid every potential workplace anxiety trigger, it can be valuable to consider if there are certain triggers that your teen feels better equipped to manage than others. Look for jobs that tend to be more accommodating of their needs where they’ll be less likely to encounter certain kinds of triggers on a regular basis.

How can teens manage their anxiety at work?

This may be something your teen works on for a long time. It’s important to find an outpatient therapist that they like and maintain that relationship. A therapist can guide them to work on anxieties as they arise and help them develop healthy coping skills. When they’re feeling better, they may be able to slow down to monthly appointments. 

One tip we recommend is for your teen to find a “safe person” at work and let that person know they might need to step away for a quick break from time to time. The person who handles human resources should be able to help. Your teen can choose to tell them about their anxiety or just tell them it’s how they handle stress. If it’s important for their work performance, employers should understand. 

LBH helps teens create a strong foundation and build resilience for a life full of challenging, rewarding experiences. Our programs are for teens who are experiencing moderate to severe levels of their anxiety condition. We offer structured outpatient programs your child can attend during the day and Residential Treatment Centers (RTC) for teens who need 24-hour support. If you ever find that your teen needs more than weekly therapy sessions, we’ll be here for you.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Best of luck to your teen with the job search!

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