Rewarding job ideas for people living with depression

a woman with depression working at her desk at home, coding

When you’re living with depression it can be difficult to find and hold down a job

There are employers and workplaces out there which can support your mental wellbeing and be fulfilling.

If you’re not in a supportive or accommodating environment at the moment, it can make you feel uncertain about your future.

But the good news is if you want to work, there are jobs out there for you. In fact, there are many rewarding jobs for people with depression.

The right job can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It can also help you connect with others in a meaningful way.

What should you look for in a job?

There are a range of job options for people living with depression. This is because everyone has different strengths and skills, along with different symptoms to manage.

In your job search, focus on finding a job which enhances your strengths and enables you manage your mental health.

Think about the following job features:

  • Social Interaction - Everyone's capacity for social interaction at work is different. If your depression symptoms mean you work best with limited social interaction, you might prefer working on your own. On the other hand, it might be important for you to feel connected to others in your job.
  • Workplace Environment - Where do you work best? Many people with depression need a quiet, calm or structured environment to work in. Some work best from home, others thrive in outdoor environments.
  • Flexibility - Does routine help you feel grounded? Or do you need a more flexible schedule to feel in control?
  • Purpose - The most rewarding jobs often give you a sense of purpose. Think about your passions and values. When your work feels meaningful, it can be easier to overcome the challenges.
  • Who You Work With - You may choose to work for yourself as a freelancer or business owner. But if you work for someone else, make sure the company sees you as an individual and will support you in your journey with depression.

a man with depression working in a stock warehouse

8 job options for people with depression

1. Horticulture - Lots of research shows that fresh air and sunshine have a positive impact on mental health. A job in horticulture will give you plenty of both in a low-stress environment. You could work in a nursery, design outdoor spaces as a landscaper or look after school grounds.

2. Technology - If you are interested in computers or software, you might enjoy roles such as computer programming, web-design and software engineering. These jobs often have a balance of independent and group work. Sometimes you will be able to work remotely to your own schedule.

3. Freelancer - If you want a flexible job that you can do from home, freelancing might be a good fit for you. Freelancers can do all sorts of work such as illustration, writing and designing. They have less support when they need to take time off, but they have lots of control over their schedule.

4. Therapist / counsellor - Want to help others who are going through a similar experience as you? Therapists and counsellors provide important support for people of all walks of life. Your own experience can give you empathy and understanding to help others.

5. Fitness - Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce depression symptoms and improve mood. If you enjoy staying fit, you could turn it into a career. As a fitness trainer and gym instructor, you’ll be helping others work towards their physical and personal goals.

6. Librarian - Librarians work in low-stress environments providing important services to the community. If you have a passion for literacy and helping others, this could be a very rewarding role for you.

7. Delivery - Couriers and delivery truck drivers make sure things get where they need to go. Delivery jobs often have flexible hours, are usually low-stress and have limited interaction with other people.

8. Tutoring - If you are good at teaching others, but don’t want the high-stress environment of a school, you might enjoy tutoring. Tutors usually work one on one with students to help improve their skills in a subject. Tutors can work for themselves or another company and usually have flexible hours.

How to get a job with depression

Finding a fulfilling job can take time. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed or have moments of feeling disheartened at points in your search.

From searching online to writing a resume and managing interviews, the job hunt is tough for everyone. When you have depression, there can be a number of extra factors to account for and balance. If you are wondering how to get a job with depression, sometimes all you need is a little help, just like Jeff:

Read a full transcript of this video.

At APM, we are here for you. We help thousands of job seekers find a job that’s right for them, and we want to help you too. Register for our Disability Employment Services program for to see if you’re eligible: