Holding down a job can be a real challenge for people with depression. This article helps you identify how much you need to earn and jobs that could reduce your stress.
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Perhaps the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning is, “I hate my life”? Maybe the mere prospect of going to work fills you with dread? This article is all about jobs for people with depression.
The first thing to remember is that you’re not alone: lots of people hate their jobs. And while depression is a clinically-recognised mental health condition with a precise definition, if you’re in a job that you despise, it’s likely to trigger periods of depression.
So, if you are stuck in a rut and find your job meaningless – even degrading – then, perhaps, a change of career might help you.
It can certainly feel daunting to change your career, but there’s likely to be a job out there that you haven’t even thought about.
This article is all about options for working people with depression. And if your depression is severe, we’ll consider some of the benefits the workplace can bring – as well as other options (such as therapy) to help you deal with your depression once and for all.
Is money important?
It seems like a silly place to start? Of course, money is important.
Think about your circumstances: consider how much you need to earn.
Some people take on super-stressful jobs because of high financial reward. But if your job is so stressful that it affects your home life, your sleep, your libido, and your sense of general self-esteem, it’s time to start wondering whether it’s the right career path for you.
Do a few sums: work out how much money you need to survive on a monthly basis.
Size-up your finances and your outgoings
Working out how much you need to survive can be quite an enlightening experience.
For this exercise, we’re going to work out the total of your outgoings.
Create a spreadsheet of all of your expenses. If you’re unsure (or your monthly outgoings fluctuate), give it a reasonable estimate.
Here’s a list to help:
Utility bills (water/gas/electricity) =
Council tax =
Car / travel expenses =
Loan/credit card repayments =
Insurance (home/car, etc.) =
Going out =
Once you start to add things up, you get a good idea of what you need to earn so that you feel flush and comfortable.
It can feel scary to see these figures staring back at you. But this exercise provides a practical way of recognising whether there’s any non-essentials of which you could cut back.
How many hours can I work each week?
If you’re suffering from depression, perhaps the prospect of a 40-hour week feels completely inaccessible for you. But now we have a rough figure for your outgoings, we can work out how much per hour you’re likely to need to earn.
Let’s make a few assumptions:
If your outgoings came to £2000 per month, and you can work 16 hours per week, then your hourly rate would need to be £31.25. (We’ve calculated this on an average 4-week month: so, 16 hours x 4 = 64. That’s 64 hours you can work each month. Now divide your outgoings by your available hours: £2000 divided by 64 = £31.25)
Don’t panic – there are jobs where that’s possible. But if you can work a 40-hour week, then your hourly rate needs to £12.50 – and that’s easier to achieve – especially with the jobs we’re suggesting below.
Jobs for people with depression
Now we know how much you need to earn, we can start to think about the types of jobs that could change your prospects and help you overcome your depression.
You won’t be stuck in a rut for long!
We’re going to think about jobs that might decrease your stress levels, so that you look actually forward to going into work.
There’s a novelty!
Not all career changes require a significant process of retraining.
What do I want from a job?
If you’re suffering from depression, perhaps you feel like you hate your life, and you want to prize yourself out of that mega-rut you’ve ground yourself into.
Think about the potential benefits of a job. Maybe your current job doesn’t cater to your personality type.
How a job can help people with depression
Jobs can help people reduce their depression by providing:
Structure to your day
Goals and achievements (however minor)
A sense of development
Physical and mental activity
Getting out there
You might have trained to be a computer programmer or a management consultant, but these jobs demand a reasonably significant level of stress and responsibility.
You could simplify your existence altogether by transitioning from brain strain to brawn.
It might sound simplistic, but spending time outdoors offers an excellent antidote to depression.
You could go freelance as a gardener: a decent gardener with a good reputation demands an average hourly rate of between £20 and £40.
If working for yourself doesn’t appeal or feels a bit risky, then you might consider working at a garden centre. Most garden centres offer a range of roles such as planting and cultivating, replenishing, shelf-stacking, advising, catering, and money handling.
Garden centres offer a genuine sense of calm, and working with your hands can be super-rewarding.
Working with animals
Sometimes people are awful, aren’t they? But animals – well, that’s a different matter altogether.
Animals offer a unique calming influence: stroking an animal releases “oxytocin” (aka the “love hormone”).
Working with animals can be super-satisfying. And while it’s going to take several years to retrain as a vet, there are many animal-related careers that offer job security and a worklife full of fun.
It’s estimated that 44% (12 million) of all UK households own at least one pet; almost half of whom own a dog. The rest have cats, rabbits, birds, and snakes; among others.
The majority of dog owners have full-time jobs, and any dog-lover knows: a dog needs attention.
So if you love getting outdoors and love the company of dogs, you could set yourself up as a professional dog-walker.
Some people put their pets in kennels or catteries, but lots of people choose to keep their fluffy friends at home while they’re away.
Pet sitting involves regular visits to a pet owner’s home to feed their animals and provide the love that they can’t provide in their absence.
Working with animals can be super-rewarding; providing a genuine sense of purpose that helps to diminish the symptoms of your depression.
Working with your hands can be therapeutic, while offering a real sense of achievement. And if you feel stuck in a rut, you could find genuine satisfaction from helping other people.
Have you thought about going freelance or working for an agency?
Typical household jobs include:
Odd-jobs and repairs
There’s high demand for skilled household jobs, and they demand significant fees.
If you set up your own company, you answer to nobody but your client; and you can choose your own hours. These types of jobs offer lots of freedom, helping you go from stuck in a rut to fancy-free.
It might not sound particularly glamorous, but factory work can be the ideal job for somebody with depression.
Factory work rarely includes interaction with customers, which often suits those of us with mental health concerns. And many factory jobs are repetitive, making them easy to learn and master.
Most factory roles are manual – you work with your hands to produce something tangible. And you get to contribute to the production of a product that people genuinely need.
Factory jobs offer stability with regular working hours, and they get you out of the house. And the repetitive nature of the job means that if you’re experiencing a depressive episode, it could still be possible to work.
Online jobs are becoming the new normal for many people.
Perhaps you’re good with words: you might consider becoming a copywriter.
There’s plenty of work to be found on online platforms such as Upwork and People Per Hour, and you might find that you could turn your hobby into a profitable and sustainable career.
If you’re a whizz with the keyboard, you can earn excellent fees as a transcriber or a scriptwriter.
Or you might have a super-defined eye and an excellent grasp of language, making you an ideal candidate as a professional proofreader.
If you’re a foreign language speaker, perhaps you could consider translation.
Additionally, online platforms offer a range of admin and PA based roles. You can earn good money by turning your organisational skills into a career.
I hate my life
Maybe the prospect of getting out of the house and back on the jobs market is too much to consider right now?
If that’s the case, then perhaps you could benefit from speaking to a counsellor or a therapist. If the words “I hate my life” continuously run through your head or if you feel that you’re endlessly stuck in a rut, a friendly chat with a qualified therapist could be the first step to getting help.
What type of treatment might help my depression?
Every person is different, and everyone responds to different types of therapies. SupportRoom can help you find the right therapist for you; providing support when you need it the most.
Our therapists will help you delve into the root causes of your depression in a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment. And they will help you find a treatment approach that helps you when the going gets tough.
How SupportRoom can help
SupportRoom is a digital, behavioural healthcare company, connecting clients with a network of licenced therapists, coaches or mentors.
Our web-based platform is simple and straightforward and super-convenient – accessible on the web or our mobile-first platform. Our therapies and web-based services are fully HIPAA-compliant and offer 24/7 support from qualified therapists.
Access our friendly, confidential services via text, video or voice message at any time of the day or night; from anywhere with an internet connection.
SupportRoom offers therapy where you need it; when you need it: real-time treatment from skilled, experienced, qualified therapists.
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