Maintaining a job is already stressful in and of itself. However, when you’re combatting depression, it’s only natural your stress levels will escalate.
Whether it’s meeting deadlines, sending emails, or going to a workplace you’re not fond of, a job can take a toll on your mental health. Not to mention, some people develop depression based on their career choice or current position.
For those struggling with depression, it’s in your interest to discover a work environment that will help you overcome symptoms. For this reason, we’ve developed a list of the 10 best jobs for someone with depression. At the end, we invite you to ask further questions.
How to Search for Jobs with Depression
Before you undergo your job search, it’s important to understand your depression symptoms and how the affect you. Ultimately, your ideal career will be in an environment that allows you to work through these symptoms and continue on the path of treatment.
Of course, this will look different for everyone. People with depression tend to do better in job environments that offer:
- Duties that allow you to be active
- Flexible schedule
- Option not to interact with large groups of people
- Potential to work from home
More often than not, maintaining a job allows people to overcome an depression. Beyond the fact that it will keep you busy, it’ll also provide you with a stable income along with other assets, such as health insurance.
Not to mention, having the ability to socialize with others may help you feel less isolated. Humans are very social creatures and, more often than not, depression begins to linger when we spend large amounts of time at home.
This is why it’s important to find work you care about. The right job can actually improve depressive symptoms and give you a sense of value.
The Importance of Flexible Work
However, it’s just as important to avoid work that may further your depression. Research has found that certain work environments – such as those where there’s poor social support – can have a negative effect on one’s psychology. ¹
When looking for a job, you want to find work that’s flexible with your symptoms. Work that doesn’t provide you with too much stress and allows you to develop a proper life balance.
While this may seem difficult at first, there are plenty of opportunities out there which allow this and pay well. Not to mention, numerous companies within the United States are becoming aware of the impact depression can have on their employees. With that, employers are making sure to provide employees with a work environment that won’t further their struggle. ²
With this, many economists have also noticed a trend where young adults are moving towards occupations that allow them to be their own boss. Jobs which give you the ability to make your own hours and develop your own work environment tend to be growing in popularity. ³
While depression is not a direct cause of this trend, it’s certainly an attractive option to those struggling with the illness.
Best Jobs for People with Depression
In order to determine the best job for you, it’s really important you take your symptoms and abilities into consideration. Our list for the best jobs for someone with depression isn’t made for everyone. Rather, it offers a general idea of occupations people with depression have found beneficial.
With that said, you may not find a job on here that appeals to you. In order to truly find your direction, it’s key you take into consideration what you want out of life. Not to mention, figure out the habits of your depression and seek out a career opportunity that will work around these.
It’s hard to deny the companionship of a dog when we’re at our lowest point. The concept is so universal, more and more people are opening up to the idea of emotional support animals – even those without depression. ⁴
So, why not indulge in an occupation that allows you to be around these furry friends and provides low-stress responsibility?
Dog-walking has become an extremely popular job title for those struggling with depression. Not only does it allow you to work around your own schedule but it also forces you to spend time outdoors which has been proven to help with depressive symptoms. ⁵
For those who also struggle with anxiety, dog-walking may be ideal as it doesn’t involve too much interaction with other people.
2.) Park Ranger
Speaking of the great outdoors, you may find the more time you spend in nature, the less depression you feel. If this is true, why not find a career that allows you to be surrounded by the natural world all the time?
Becoming a park ranger isn’t as simple as dog-walking. You will need to learn about survival skills, camping, backpacking, the environment around you, and more. However, besides these requirements, a park ranger is a fairly relaxed job with little human interaction.
If you’re interested in this career path, we highly suggest checking to see whether or not the national parks in your area offer an internship program. The majority within the United States do and also offer room, board, and other benefits.
3.) Truck Driving
While truck driving certainly isn’t ideal for everyone, it may just be the job you hadn’t considered but always dreamed of. There’s something very liberating about traveling along the open roads and getting to see the natural diversity of this country.
Truck drivers are currently in high-demand and provide you with a great opportunity when it comes to income. Not to mention, it allows you to travel to new places, listening to your favorite songs, and keeping to yourself.
Keep in mind that truck drivers are required to go to school in order to learn how to operate such large vehicles. In order to go down this career path, you will need a CDL license.
4.) Computer Programming
We admit, computer programming may be a bit too stressful for some of our readers. However, there are also those who may find the work to be extremely fulfilling.
Computer programming is in extremely high demand with the rate of technology and, in comparison to other jobs on our list, it’s much more consistent with high wages.
While you’ll probably need a degree in order to land an opportunity, you can get started beforehand. The internet provides plenty of resources for you to learn coding and test your abilities.
Some people with depression find that diving into a good book is a great way to help improve depression. In fact, some research has found that reading enhances cognitive functioning which can fight against symptoms of depression. ⁶
If you have a love for literature, you’ll probably find working at a public library to be a great career path. Libraries are known for being a relaxing and quiet place and the responsibilities that come with suck a job – shelving, organizing books, scanning and uploading documents – are very low-stress.
Not to mention, if you have a catalogue of great books already in your head, you’ll without a doubt have the ability to help others find reads they may have otherwise overlooked.
For the individuals that went through school getting straight-A’s, you may want to indulge in a career path that allows you to help others. Tutoring is a great way to help the next generation perform better and to use your talents in a menner that impacts the community.
Tutoring jobs tend to pay well and offer very flexible hours – usually, within the afternoons, evenings, and on weekends. Furthermore, if you take a freelance approach, you can always develop your own schedule.
Working as a security guard may seem like a great deal of responsibility and there are certainly moments when it can be. However, most of the time, security guards are simply keeping watch and making sure everything’s in order.
We put this job on our list particularly for those of you who are night owls. Most companies are desperate to find security workers that will cover the night shifts. And they’re willing to pay a good income to those who take up the opportunity.
Security work may also be ideal for people with depression as it offers a lot of downtime. In this space, you can do other things that interest you, such as reading a book or listening to music.
When it comes to working with plants, research has found that hobbies like gardening can be beneficial to one’s health, including in areas of depression. ⁷ With that said, a job in the horticulture industry may just be what you’ve been looking for.
Not only do these opportunities give you the ability to show your passion for the environment but they are also very low-stress jobs. Whether it’s landscaping, working in a botanic garden or greenhouse, there are a lot of opportunities here.
9.) Postal Service
If you find that being along helps your depression, you may be interested in a postal service job. This career path gives you a lot of time outside with minimal human interaction. Not to mention, as you go about your daily route, you’re bound to get to know the community you deliver to – offering the opportunity for lasting connections.
As with most government jobs, working in the postal services offers a solid salary along with benefits. The only major downside is this career isn’t as flexible with scheduling nor the location you’ll have to work in.
When it comes to depression, freelance work is probably one of the most ideal situations for most people. Working from home, making your own schedule, diving into an industry you have interest in – this kind of flexibility allows people to properly cope with their symptoms.
There are tons of freelance career opportunities out there. Some of the most common include:
- Administrative work
- Computer programming
The only difficulty with freelance work is it’s one of the most difficult to get into. You need to establish yourself in an industry and, from there, build a client base that allows you to bring in steady income.
While this isn’t easy, once you get there, it can be incredibly liberating for your mental health.
Work is never really meant to be easy. No matter what career path you choose, you’re bound to come across stressful moments. However, by choosing the right career path, you can minimize these moments and give yourself the time and space to health from depression.
As mentioned, the jobs mentioned on our list may not be ideal for everyone struggling with depression. Truly, finding the right career path is a very personal journey and only you will know the right job opportunity for you. With that said, we highly suggest considering your talents, abilities, and passions before sending out those applications.
Still have questions concerning the best jobs for someone with depression?
We invite you to ask them in the comments section below. If you have any further knowledge to share – whether personal or professional – we’d also love to hear from you.
¹ International journal on disability and human development : IJDHD (HHS Public Access): The impact of work environment on mood disorders and suicide
² Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Mental Health Disorders and Stress Affect Working-Age Americans
³ US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Time use of millennials and nonmillennials
⁴ International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health (MDPI): Public Perceptions of Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs, and Therapy Dogs
⁵ frontiers in Psychology: The great outdoors? Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments
⁶ The Official Journal of the American Aging Association (Springer): Reading and solving arithmetic problems improves cognitive functions of normal aged people
⁷ Royal College of Physicians (Clinical Medicine): Gardening for health: a regular dose of gardening