Career Advice

Job Search Tips for Candidates with Social Anxiety

Hire Bulletin 22 August, 2018

Social anxiety impacts nearly seven percent of the United States adult population. The disorder can be particularly devastating in the workplace, where typical job duties cause sufferers distress — assuming they manage to get a job in the first place. For many, the mere thought of an interview is nothing short of terrifying.

If social anxiety has kept you out of the job market, it's time for a change. While you may never feel entirely comfortable in the workplace, the following small changes can make your job search easier:

Pursue the Right Type of Job

Before you embark on your job search, think carefully about which positions are a good fit. For example, as somebody with social anxiety, you may not be suited to sales or customer service. You may, however, succeed as a programmer or an engineer. You'll be more likely to put yourself in anxiety-inducing situations if you're excited about a potential job. Better yet: look for remote or freelance opportunities that allow you to feel more comfortable in your work environment.

Start Small

Don't dive in with a crowded networking event; begin by making a single call — ideally to a company with a few familiar faces. Push through the anxiety for a few minutes at a time.

Prepare Thoroughly

If you have social anxiety, the interview is easily the most terrifying portion of the job search process. Preparation is key. Draft potential questions the interviewer might ask, along with an outline of your answer. While you don't want to sound overly rehearsed, it'll help to have a few talking points in mind. Practice interviewing with a loved one, who can alert you to nervous habits.

A little prep work can make all the difference as you embark on your job search. Don't let social anxiety hold you back from your dream job.