Working with Anxiety

Pinterest pin: woman in pumps. Title: working with anxiety.

What’s up readers? TGIF much?

As I said in my last post, 2020 was a stressful time for me, personally. For actual years, I secluded myself and felt that I too anxious to work. I could create a reason why I couldn’t do any position– I wasn’t qualified, someone else needs work more than me, I don’t have any connections or references, I was scared of robberies. I had previously applied to jobs, and once, someone called me back, but my car was in the shop, so obviously they were like, “Sike!” and I was embarrassed. I didn’t understand how anyone who was introverted or anxious did it.

Change of Scenery

A lot of these feelings are still true. I would Google how to work or what work can you do with anxiety and never really found anything helpful. I would hate to tell you to have a home life that gets so bad that it’s worse than your fear of working, but that’s really what it was for me. It was and it isn’t fair to have been expected to care for someone that didn’t care for me– and I don’t mean to like: treat everyone like crap until they’re nice to you. But if starting work (because, yeah, it’s definitely starting as opposed to working in general) has you panicking, if it’s possible, perhaps you need something that propels you to have to work.

Start in a Pandemic/Workers Market

Again, this “tip” is kind of tongue in cheek. I’ve been working a few months now, and sometimes I think, “How did I trick them into hiring me?” I can only guess that they were desperate for workers during this time especially since some people may actually be making more on unemployment (although others may not be collecting anything at all and a testament to how low minimum wage is in particular for the “essential workers” that have to work in a pandemic). I also started during the holidays so even though my position was only part-time there were days I worked full-time, and one week I even had overtime.

Join a Club First

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt like a black sheep because of my political and cultural alignments– yes, even as a child! So I’ve always longed for people I could not only be friends with but feel safe with. Unfortunately, because of where I live, it was extremely difficult. There weren’t chapters of organizations in which I was interested in my state. If this happens to you, sign up or join the club/org anyway!!! I cannot stress this enough. Some groups may already know other individuals near you and may try to connect you. If not, you can still try to get involved and may still meet others with similar interests.

As you may have guessed, public speaking is definitely something I don’t do in my free time, but my club has put me in positions that I think have allowed me to grow and be proud of (the latter I can’t necessarily say about work). My point is that I had these beloved experiences working regularly with others that wasn’t “work.” My club partners are incredibly supportive and it’s not an environment like school or work where I’m anxious about failure. The organization gives me something to look forward to outside of work as well as experience that helped me get my job.

Photo by Oleg Magni on

Because this is my first “real” job (that is, something with a W2 or whatever, though not something that I can necessarily support myself on), I was incredibly nervous about my interview. I could not tell anyone why they should hire me (yes, I live to serve 🙄) and spent way too long trying to think of and memorize too many questions. My interview ended up being “What’s customer service?” and “What’s teamwork?” Neither were questions I practiced!! Lmao. Customer service I just kinda made up on the spot, but because of my club’s work with other similar groups, I was able to craft something I think was more meaningful.

Know Your Limits

I know that there was no way in heck I was going to apply somewhere I didn’t know where it was. It’s not that I hate driving, but driving in my city is atrocious. Another limitation if you’re anxious is working with people which is unfortunately, pretty impossible for those first jobs. But maybe you can find something like a stocker that’s more limited. Another thing is when you want to work or if you’re in school or have family obligations. I’ve ended up working more early in the morning which I kinda hate not being able to sleep in, but! it’s incredibly nice being done in the middle of the day. And when you work afternoons/evenings, you might spend the whole day dreading that you have to work, and it feels so much longer. 🤷‍♀️

Research the Company

I think that anxious people tend to be hyperfocused, no? Like: we have to prepared for every circumstance just in case. So, we’ve probably seen the articles saying to research the company and bring up how much we love this or that initiative blah blah blah. While that can’t hurt, if this is just a part-time job, I would try to see more of who management is if you can. Maybe you know someone who works/worked there. Not to be weird, I’m intimated by men in authority positions 🤷‍♀️ I think that there’s a great relief factor in that my bosses were women. However, that’s not to say all women will be so!

So I’m sure this didn’t actually help 😅 but even though I feel like I somehow tricked my employer into hiring me even though I’ve never really had any reprimand and always getting praised, I think that anxious people should acknowledge imposter syndrome and just kind of live in the now.

I know that it’s hard to not obsess over especially if it’s not just a part-time job or they’re otherwise busting your ass. But something the Internet said for when you’re depressed about work is to connect with your co-workers. If you have any tips about that, I would love to hear them because I still am intimidated and awkward. But an elderly co-worker had already told me to not worry too much. It’s incredible to me that these actual grannies and grampas are still working just to get out of the house. Don’t they have hobbies? 😅