Best Jobs for People With Depression

FT Contributor  | 

Life already has its challenges; living life with depression, though, makes it that much harder. Depression manifests itself as persistent feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest, sadness, guilt, general discontent, and in other ways. As such, individuals with this illness may experience agitation, restlessness, fatigue, lack of concentration, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, or a variety of additional symptoms.

Depression makes everyday tasks difficult. People may struggle with smaller duties, such as making their beds; and much more significant things, including remembering to feed themselves, maintaining relationships, and finding a job — let alone interviewing for a role and keeping it.

Depression affects everyone in nuanced ways, so if you’re coping with this illness, you know how it impacts your life better than anyone. When it comes to finding a job while you’re depressed, look for opportunities that will allow you to grow and heal without making your condition worse.

10 Best Jobs for People With Depression

What will make you thrive in your career? The following is a list of potential jobs for people diagnosed with depression. Consider these careers based on your particular needs and what your therapist recommends.

Accounting

Accounting is not for everyone diagnosed with depression, but it’s an excellent way to stay occupied if you love working with numbers and solving problems. You will need at least a bachelor’s degree to become an accountant (and a high school diploma to be an accounting clerk), but there are additional certifications you may obtain to make yourself more marketable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the yearly median pay for accountants in 2018 was $70,500.

Animal Care

There is much to be said about the benefits of pet therapy. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that spending time with animals is a great stress reliever and can improve depression symptoms. You can consider a role that is essential but does not require much education, like a dog-walker or shelter employee, or a career as a veterinarian, which necessitates a significant amount of schooling. Animal care and service workers earn a median of $23,950 per year, while veterinarians earn $93,830.

Freelancer

You won’t have to interview with a hiring manager much as a freelancer. You’ll be in charge of finding your own clients and contracts, but you can build a significant business and determine your pay. Becoming a freelancer also enables you to set your hours depending on the project you are working on. Clients will expect to see a resume, past projects, and possibly referrals before working with you.

Librarian

Libraries and bookstores are alive and well. They are quiet environments where you may feel less pressured to be someone you’re not, and you get to interact with fellow book-lovers. You will, however, need a master’s degree to land a librarian job; librarians earn a median of $59,050 per year.

Park Ranger

Spending time in nature is often an excellent way to treat depression. While park rangers are not outdoors all the time, you can make a career out of being outside and managing beautiful national or private parks. You’ll most likely need a bachelor’s degree to qualify for this position; conservation scientists and foresters earn an annual median of $61,340.

Horticulture

Horticulturists and landscapers also get to spend a significant amount of time outside tending to nature and making outdoor areas beautiful. Landscape architects (as opposed to agricultural scientists) earn a median of $68,330 per year and the role requires a bachelor’s degree and necessary licenses.

Postal Service

You’ll get to spend time outside as a postal delivery worker, too. Depending on your neighborhood, you might even be able to interact with residents, but you’ll undoubtedly have a fair amount of alone time. A high school diploma or equivalent is necessary to become a postal worker and you’ll need to pass a written exam. Postal service workers earned a median annual wage of $58,760 in 2018.

Security

Security positions can be demanding when something happens, but they also allow a fair amount of downtime for reading or listening to music. If there is a particular environment you enjoy being in, look for security positions at a relevant venue. Security guards make around $28,530 per year and need a high school diploma, but there are other kinds of jobs, such as gaming surveillance officers, that require further training.

Therapist

Many therapists are effective in their jobs because they understand what their clients are going through first-hand. You might find joy out of helping other people with their mental health issues and personal problems. There are multiple kinds of therapists, such as those that see families and couples. If you want to become a psychologist, you’ll need a doctoral degree and a license to practice. Psychologists earned an annual median wage of $79,010 in 2018.

Entrepreneur

If you cannot find an existing job that fits your needs (or you don’t have relevant education and don’t want to go back to college), start your own business. Chase your passions and make your own schedule. You’ll need to be knowledgeable about the field you are working in, but anyone can start a business without a business degree.

Job Search Tips for People With Depression

There are specifics to consider when you’re searching for a new job. Job-hunting resources and job boards are readily available with countless listings, but there are techniques to keep in mind that will help you:

  • Understand what you want: Know your strengths and weaknesses and how to apply them. Having a soul-crushing job won’t help your depression, so it’s imperative that you enjoy what you’re doing.
  • Tailor your resume and cover letter: Recruiters will have a better idea of how you will fit in a role by your documents. Don’t send out the same ones en masse; study the companies you are applying to and properly present your tailored cover letter and well-formatted resume to fit each unique role.
  • Use your network: Don’t limit yourself to applying online. Take advantage of your network of contacts to see who is hiring and willing to vouch for you.
  • Come prepared: Familiarize yourself with common job interview questions so you have excellent answers ready. Read up on tips to calm interview nerves and remember to make eye contact.

Working From Home With Depression

Another option is working remotely, which is becoming increasingly prevalent and doesn’t necessarily mean you are self-employed. Remote jobs range from software engineers and data analysts to content writers and marketers.

Working from home — or from anywhere, if you are able to move between time zones — comes with its own set of upsides and downsides. Many remote jobs are flexible and allow you to work your own hours, and you never have to commute as long as you don’t wish to and have internet access. You also have more control over your work environment.

However, working from home can be isolating, which may exacerbate your depression. If you need social interaction but don’t live near your colleagues, this route may not be right for you (you can also work from a coworking space where there may be more people to talk to).

Working with depression is challenging, but there are jobs and opportunities available that make it possible for people diagnosed with depression to plan their careers and earn a living without exacerbating their conditions.


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