There's no doubt, anxiety can mess up your career. So where can you find jobs for people with anxiety?
If you have social anxiety, it can be stressful to interview for jobs, have one-on-one conversations, participate in meetings, have your performance evaluated, talk to authority figures (your boss, executives, etc.), sell your ideas to others, manage other people, and build relationships. You may be wondering if there are jobs for people with social anxiety?
If you have a public speaking phobia (a type of social anxiety), you're possibly going to turn down promotions that may put in you in uncomfortable speaking positions. You end up working way below your potential, having less influence in the organization, and making less money than you could otherwise.
If you have agoraphobia or specific phobias such as a fear of driving, tunnels, bridges, or elevators, you're probably going to try to avoid these situations, and avoid commuting into an office. You may be wondering if there jobs for people with agoraphobia and other phobias.
Panic, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, selective mutism and all anxieties can affect your ability (1) get a job, and (2) maintain a job.
It's no wonder that many people with anxiety want to work from home. If that's the case for you, you'll want to consider whether freelancing is an option.
Disadvantages of freelancing
The disadvantages of freelancing is that there are no benefits (health insurance, etc.) and you don't get a steady paycheck. You may have a good month and then several bad months, so you have to be ready to have an unsteady income. You have to charge a high enough rate to cover buying your own insurance, paying the UpWork fees, paying self-employment tax, etc. (Contact me and I'll send you a template spreadsheet you can use to calculate your costs and fee). You have to put in effort to promote or market yourself (this means getting the word out that you're available for hire and communicating what you can bring to the table and why they should hire you). You have to put in some effort to be found by employers (as we show you in this article), and you have to work hard to maintain your high ratings. If you can put up with these downsides, you may be cut out for freelancing.
Advantages of freelancing
The advantages of freelancing are that you can work from anywhere and your schedule is very flexible. You are your own boss (except that your clients become your bosses so you never have 100% freedom to do whaever you want).
Skills that work especially well for freelancing
There are certain skills that lend themselves well to freelancing and can be performed from anywhere such as:
- Technology skills: Programming, project management, user interface design, etc.
- Creative skills: Graphic/visual design, video production/editing, etc.
- Writing: Blogging, writing marketing copy, etc.
- Marketing: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media management, etc.
- Virtual administrative assistant: Data entry, supporting an executive, etc.
- See many more UpWork categories and subcategories below. The number in parentheses is the number of freelancers who have profiles in that category. Yes, there a lot, but if you are a native English speaker and follow some of the tips in this article, you can rise up in the list quickly.
Jobs for people with anxiety: Freelance marketplaces
There are several freelancer marketplaces that you'll want to check out: UpWork.com, LinkedIn Pro Finder, Guru.com, and Fiverr.com. There are others, but these are the main freelancer marketplaces that have the most traction (most freelancers and employers). UpWork is one of the biggest and I recommend you start there.
I personally have hired dozens of freelancers and have worked as a freelancer, so I can give you tips from both sides. If you have questions or tips of your own, feel free to post comments below.
Thousands of employers look for freelancers on UpWork.com. New jobs are added every minute! Yes, there's plenty of competition from freelancers in India, China and all over the world, but if you follow the tips in this article, you can move your profile to the top in UpWork search results.
There are many employers that have tried to save money by using freelancers in countries with extremely low hourly rates. Many have found that they get what they pay for, and are willing to pay higher rates to get quality work, native English speakers, and strong communication/organization skills. So don't be disheartened by the low hourly rates from other freelancers in your field! Let employers know that you have advantages over other freelancers and can offer the results they're looking for. Make sure you ask questions and understand the employer's exact goals so you can explain how you will achieve their goals. Don't apply for a job where you can't meet their goals.
Create your UpWork profile so employers can find you
Go to UpWork.com now and create a freelancer profile. Then follow the tips below to get found.
How employers search for freelancers - sample search results page
Tip #1: Think about what sets you apart
Don't rush writing your profile. Take time to clearly let employers know what you offer and what sets you apart from other candidates.
Set up an employer account (in addition to your freelancer account). Search for freelancers in your field. See how you stack up against them. This will help you price your services and will help you understand what you need to highlight in your profile that will set you apart.
Add a portfolio of your work if possible. Create a portfolio at www.behance.net and include the link on your UpWork profile. Creating a portfolio isn't just for designers - it's a way to visually showcase your accomplishments. If you don't have a portfolio yet, just skip this step. You will need to try to convince employers to hire you based on your work ethic, language skills, low rate, etc.
Tip #2: Get three jobs quickly
Most employers look for freelancers that already have a job success rate of 90% and above. So you need to figure out ways to get your success rate up.
UpWork only shows your success rate if you have 3 or more completed jobs. It's a catch-22: It's hard to get found until you have jobs on UpWork, but you can't get jobs until you get found. That's why we recommend lowering your rate to nab a few jobs quickly. For example, you can offer a 1-hour consultation for a super low price just to get some jobs coming in. Make an offer they can't refuse and deliver value. Your goal is to do an outstanding job and get stellar reviews from employers.
You can also ask people in your network (friends, family) to hire you for a quick job, and ask them for a stellar review. For example, someone in your network might need 1-hour of internet research (or other things you can do). Try to get three of those. Then you'll start showing up in the group of freelancers with a 90% and above success rate.
How employers search for freelancers - sample search filter
Tip #3: List your skills in the first sentence of your profile
I have hired dozens of people on UpWork. When I search for freelancers, I get a page like the one below. The first thing I do is scan the first sentence (see red boxes). That first sentence has to grab me. The best way to grab me is to list your skills. For example, if I'm looking for a social media manager, use a sentence that has the words "social media" in it and tell me how experienced you are. For example, "Social media expert on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter..." That would entice me to click on your listing to see your complete profile.
If you think employers will search for someone like you with the words "social media", then use those exact words in your first sentence and as close to the beginning of the sentence as possible so it shows up in the summary (red box below).
Don't write something like this in your first sentence: "Hi, I'm Jane and I am from Illinois." That's too vague. I'll skip right over it. I'm looking for a social media person so you have to tell me you can do that in the summary sentence. Get me to click to see your full profile.
Use the first few words of your profile to capture my attention with what you can offer in your specialty area.