i need a job...but im afraid to work...how do you cope with it? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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i need a job...but im afraid to work...how do you cope with it?

im almost 21 years old and have only had one job...i was a waitress. it was the worst two years of my life and i'm so scared to get back out there in the work field and find a job. i currently haven't worked for two years straight...i'm in desperate need of money and i really do want to work. but my fear and anxiety is holding me back. i feel so bad because i always depend on my parents for everything, but i can't do that forever. i just always make excuses and say college is eating up all of my time and i dont have time for a job...which isn't quite true. i get really uncomfortable because i blush excessively and its always seemed to interfer with work and school so im trying to look for a job that i can avoid blushing as much as possible but i just dont know anymore. i wanna stop being afraid and just do it, but its always in the back of my mind and i can't conquer this...:/
how does everyone else just deal with their anxiety and just go get a job? what type of jobs do you have?
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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 04:35 PM
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I'm a civil engineer. I work, but with a huge amount of anxiety, worry, and stress. Everybody knows it. I can't hide it from anyone. The reason I keep on doing it is because I don't want to be a burden on my family and I would die before I would ever ask someone for money again. I grew up in a house with my old man yelling at me all the time, making me feel very guilty for costing him money. I would not go through that again. That's why I must work. There's no choice.
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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by barb8812 View Post
how does everyone else just deal with their anxiety and just go get a job? what
Three choices:
  • Just force yourself to go for the job, and probably lose a bit more self-respect in the process of realising SA doesn't tend to go away.

  • See a psychologist, get all that CBTish stuff sorted and probably do a little better than you would've without therapy.

  • Take some nice tasty drugs/medication. Yum.

Obviously you can guess which one I choose.
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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 04:51 PM
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I got lucky and work for a really small private business. I just stuff envelopes and input things into their system. It's the first job that I've had (even though it's part-time). I know the boss personally too so I feel comfortable around her and I doubt I would get fired anytime soon....unless I screwed up really bad.

Honestly I don't know if I have the ability of getting a job on my own. The only reason I have the job I have now is because the owner is my best friend's mom. I didn't need an interview or anything. I just showed up for work and that was it. The only reason she hired me is because she likes my work ethic and that I'm really mature for my age.

But even though I have a job I'm still in desperate need of money as well. Instead of looking for another job though I'm going to cheat and start my own business (which honestly scares me). I'm afraid that no one would hire me because of how awkward I am. But hell, I gotta try. Or else I'll have to drop out of school and end up with 20k loan debt for nothing. : /
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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 04:57 PM
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Well I'm 23 and have never had a job. I just phoned the job centre today, a year after finishing university and the phone call was horrible enough. I don't know how I'm going to cope. The only jobs out there seem to ask for confident people with experience in a customer-facing role. So I've rarely bothered applying for any.

I suppose you could just try to find jobs in smaller companies with a few employees or at least not something so overwhelming as waitressing. Or maybe you could try waitressing again and tackle your SA head on? Going to a therapist and working on your anxiety might help. But I am really in no position to offer advice when it comes to jobs!

Good Luck
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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 05:00 PM
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I totally understand. I am 28 years old and have not worked for two years. When I did work I was miserable because of my fear. I tried to get a job after a year and a half of not working but I had a near nervous breakdown and I quit after just a few days. I realized that it's not going to get any better until I got help. Is there any way that your parents can pay for therapy? I have had severe social anxiety for as long as I can remember but I can finally say that I have gotten a handle on it and finally turned the corner. The way I did it was finding a cognitive behavioral therapist who was an expert in treating SA and anxiety disorders. I think you understand that our anxiety comes from our irrational views about the world. I believe you would be better off working constructively on your thoughts and perceptions in order to think in a more rational way before you get another job. The best way to do this would be to work with a therapist for a few months. A CBT therapist will give you homework assignments and reading material show you how to challenge your fears in a controlled environment until you can show yourself that other people are not as dangerous or threatening as you previously thought. Oh, and it would also be very helpful if the therapist also holds group sessions because you can talk to other people with similar problems and you won't have to try to hide your SA. Anyway, it has really worked for me and I hope you can find a way to do this before you get another job, or at least sometime in the near future. I'm sorry that I didn't give advice on types of jobs that would be less stressful for you. Hopefully, others will give you some good advice if you absolutely need a job right now.
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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the advice everyone. i really do want to get therapy...im working up the courage right now...i know my parents know that i have a problem especially dealing with blushing because they've seen it first hand. but its kind of a topic we dont really discuss at home for some reason. i wanna just come out with it and be like "this is what i have, deal with it." but its a process i guess. im so filled with fear that im nervous to tell my parents and meet with a therapist and ask my parents to pay for sessions but i'm trying...slowly but surely to working up to it and discuss it with them...
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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 05:18 PM
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i have not worked for a year and 8 months and its very tough and often times depressing because i have big problems going into places to go get a job.

atleast when the economy was better i put in my minimal effort and can get something but minimal effort does not work anymore. so i'm basically screwed. all im hoping for is maybe i get lucky on something i apply for online which i dont even apply to much cause i just see jobs and feel like there are so many i don't qualify or have specific skills for or i think about the environment and people that may work at these places and i don't apply.

the only times i got jobs was when i walked into temp places they give me something right away in the past. only once i got a job from applying online but it didnt work out.

yesterday i was just cussing randomly out loud on my way home and people can hear it cause im so frustrated with my inability to go inside some of these temp places. i dont know why i have this mental block that i cant go in.
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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 05:32 PM
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The job I've had for 8 years now is caregiver for the elderly. It's pretty easy, boring, but I have one and sometimes 2 people to care for. A lot of times the people are tired and don't talk much, so its easier on us with SA. As long as I'm doing household chores and caring for their safety, I can read or write or watch tv. Don't have to stand much. One hard part for me is when I sit down to eat lunch with them, even though I may have known them awhile, I still feel uncomfortable talking, but I still do it. And most of the people I've cared for are very nice and just want someone they can depend on.
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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 06:38 PM
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I'm approaching 21 too and am in the same position, but I've never had a job.
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post #11 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Cerrada View Post
Instead of looking for another job though I'm going to cheat and start my own business (which honestly scares me).
I just started my own business earlier this month because it's really tough for job hunters right now and wanted something for extra cash...plus it's something you can always have and you can be your own boss. I've recently graudated from college and received my teaching credential earlier this year....I'm going into teaching, but it's really hard right now because all they ever do is lay off teachers left and right anymore so since subsutitue teaching is breaking soon when school does next month that's why I recently decided to start my own tutoring business. Other than that, I've applied for so many jobs, but really got nothing back except I've been offered a well paying tutoring position with a local school district, but it won't start until September. So in other words, I'll be really glad in a couple months when school starts back up so I can really make a lot more $ working 3 jobs (subsitute teaching, tutoring for the school district, and my own tutoring business).
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post #12 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohio Fatso View Post
I grew up in a house with my old man yelling at me all the time, making me feel very guilty for costing him money.
Sounds like my dad

I have to get a job, too. I'm really depressed right now, but I think it's my boredom that is causing it.
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post #13 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 07:48 PM
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and this is why i work nights.
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post #14 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 08:06 PM
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I am starting a job next week and I am really scared. It's going to be the most high profile, high interactions one I've ever had. I see all these people in my age group doing something and getting these great internships. Don't hold yourself back in life. The interview is hell but it's easier to play a character and be really polite and look really happy, and bubbly. The only thing is that jobs are so mentally draining not because of the work but because of all the interactions. You'll meet lots of personalities and chances are you won't be the only quiet one there. Just make sure to do the tasks well and know you are there to work not socialize.
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post #15 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 09:18 PM
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I am the same. I am 26 years old, have been in college since high school, so what, like 8 years? I'm scared to not be in school and have to work. I've also used the excuse of not being able to work because I'm too busy with school. Granted it might be a bit true because I'm a perfectionist and must get A's in every class and it takes up alot of time, but I admit part of it is an excuse because I'm afraid to work.

My solution is that I work with children.. I've been working summers and part-time weekends lately. Only REALLY scary part of the day is when I have to communicate with parents, but other than that, they're just children. They don't judge as much as adults. Don't get me wrong, I still get scared working with children. When I have to plan activities for them, or do a group lesson, I'm way to critical of myself and what the children will think. But in general, I find children WAY easier to work with than with adults.
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post #16 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 09:30 PM
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I only apply for night labor, stocking, warehouse schlub work, etc. The more desperate I am for money, the more motivated I get to apply.
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post #17 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:05 AM
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I've not been working for almost 3 years now & I'm 21. Once you've been out for this amount of time it really is nerve racking trying to get back out there as my(our) thinking can be quite negative.

When I was working I had a job at pizza shop in which I was promoted to shift manager. I honestly knew a lot of the people I worked with which helped but I did keep to myself too, I would put others at the front & mind my business in the back when most other managers did the opposite. When I moved on to my next job as a night shift stocker/forklift operator it was again through a connection. The job itself is pretty good for avoidance but again once you do it it's hard to get back to a normal schedule. I left this job to attempt some post-secondary school but ended up dropping out & have not been back to school or working since.

My current plan is to apply part time at the new store that will be opening in the strip mall in front of our apartment building. If I can get hired & work through my anxieties I think it'll be a great starting point. I'm also trying therapy through a psychiatrist & medication as well. It is tough to be franks about it with your parents but eventually I just decided that it was necessary & told them. We still don't really discuss it to much as my family isn't one to do so but I think it's a positive if you can incorporate it
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post #18 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:32 AM
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Was unemployed for most of last year, and have been for this year so far too. With a job history that's already pretty sketchy my prospects for getting hired by anyone at this point are pretty slim - and unless somehow I can get therapy help in a much faster time than I've been led to expect thus far, or at least find a medication which works well enough to keep me calm enough to function reasonably well in a work environment it's going to be a fair while yet before I can consider working again.

I'm currently coping because of the support of my parents, otherwise my situation would be pretty grim.
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post #19 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:59 PM
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sit down and think of a list of positions that would suit your needs. For me it was working with a small company (15 or less employees), working in a cubicle (so i wouldnt have to talk to people), and the work needed to be full time. I ended up landing a job in telemarketing where I sat in a cubicle for 8 hours a day and talked on the phone. Have been with the company for 5 years. During my 3rd year they asked if I wanted to work from home (since i'm a reliable and trustworthy employee).
Hang in there. If you really think hard enough, you'll figure out what the best job is for you. There's a job out there for everyone
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post #20 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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thanks so much everyone.
im just so filled with anxiety today, i'm just having a really rough day...reading some of your comments lifted me up a little!
i went to the mall today with my brother and almost had a nervous breakdown...ughh, i just gotta get through today and i'm hoping for a better day tomorrow.

for you that have telemarketing jobs...how did you find those positions? that sounds pretty ideal to me with working independently and possibly in a cubicle.
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