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Looking for a Job When You Have an Anxiety Disorder

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is a general term that encompasses five specific anxiety disorders; social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias. It can be treated with medication, various types of therapy, or a combination of these; CBT is the most common form of therapy treatment for someone with an anxiety disorder.

Everyone’s anxiety disorder is different, and each person will experience anxiety in a different way; people can experience very debilitating to very mild anxiety in their daily life. Sometimes, individuals experiencing anxiety may have difficulty finding employment, often because of barriers in the workforce. Having an anxiety disorder does not mean that you are incapable or unable to obtain and retain meaningful employment, and someone with an anxiety disorder is no different than any other employee.

Benefits of Hiring You

Most importantly, employers will benefit from your multiple skills, qualifications, and experience that make you a suitable candidate for the job. When employers focus on your ability rather than your disability, they will have access to a larger pool of qualified workers.

People with disabilities often do their jobs as well or better than other employees doing the same job, and there are various government hiring incentives for organizations. In various studies it was found that people with disabilities have a better working attitude when compared to people without disabilities. People with disabilities have a better attendance record and lower turnover rate compared to people without disabilities, which reduces costs associated with high turnover rates.

Jobs That You May be Successful In

The following jobs are examples of some jobs that people with anxiety disorders may find success in:

– Information technology
– Computer technology
– Managerial work
– Factory work
– Medical technology
– Various labour force work
– Household; nanny, caregiver, etc

There are many other jobs that people with anxiety disorders can do, and it is important to remember to match your interests with your abilities in your job search. This small list of jobs is a way to get you thinking about what areas of work you may be interested in. Always conduct your own research to find what jobs would be a good fit for you.

Accommodations for Success

There are various accommodations that can be provided to you if necessary by your employer, to give you the opportunity to be successful in your job, which could include:

– Flexible scheduling; part-time, flexible hours
– Changes in supervision; modifying instructions and feedback process, weekly meetings. etc
– Modifying job duties
– Using technology
– Modifying work space or changing location; allow better focus and decrease in distractions if needed

The fore-mentioned are only examples of what some people with an anxiety disorder may require. Someone with mild anxiety might not need any accommodations in the workplace at all. There are a variety of different accommodations that may work best for you, and you can discuss these options with your employer.

Tips for Success

– Make sure that you will be able to successfully do the job, with some accommodations if required. Do not let this discourage you; there will always be a job that you will be able to succeed in.

– Do not disclose your anxiety disorder on your cover letter or resume, as these are designed to advertise your abilities.

– You may want to disclose your anxiety disorder only if you are applying for a job that deals with issues or persons with disabilities or if the company is known to be an equal opportunity employer.

– If you have been called for an interview, it is not necessary to disclose your anxiety disorder if you do not think it will interfere with the job; if you have mild anxiety for example.

– It may be a good idea to disclose your anxiety disorder in an interview if you believe the employer will take notice and have questions, if it may impact your ability to do the job in any way and/or if accommodations would need to be made.

– If you will need to be accommodated in the interview, it is important to ask for them ahead of time.

*Disclaimer: please note that all people experience their disability differently, and this resource will apply to each person based their own personal experience.

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