17 Best Jobs for Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

17 Best Jobs for Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

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Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that causes self-image, mood, and relationship instabilities. Hence, people suffering from BPD have numerous challenges in the workplace. However, despite these characteristics, a person with BPD can use their unique perspective and abilities to work and excel in different career fields.

This article will explore the best jobs for people with BPD. However, before we dive into the nitty-gritty of these jobs, we’ll look at the workplace challenges and characteristics of ideal workplaces for people with BPD. Read on to learn more.

Workplace Challenges for People With BPD

Borderline personality disorder causes mood and emotional instabilities, affecting the person’s social interactions. People with BPD exhibit identity disturbance, impulsivity, uncontrolled anger or aggression, fear of abandonment, and recurrent suicidal behavior. These traits can affect their performance at work or interactions with colleagues.

Studies reveal that about 50% of people living with BPD find employment. However, only 20% retain their jobs and attain successful careers. The employment barriers for individuals with BPD usually occur due to poor work performance, inability to maintain relationships, and stigma from colleagues (or bosses).

Here are some challenges that people with BPD face in the workplace:

  • Splitting thinking: People with BPD have an all-or-nothing mindset. For instance, they can have intense admiration or appreciation for their job, colleagues, or bosses. However, after a while, this perception changes to the complete opposite. So, they’ll devalue or hate what they previously admired. The “black or white” thinking may also be a defense mechanism to prevent any potential event of rejection.
  • Interpersonal communication problems: People living with BPD find it hard to have proper interpersonal communication due to their rapid shifts from idealization to devaluation. Also, their fear of abandonment makes them quickly cut off relationships or get involved in intense relationships too quickly. Furthermore, they may not relate well with their superiors if they feel that the bosses control or smother them. 
  • Distorted self-image: People with BPD have identity problems, including being self-critical. Therefore, they have challenges settling on one career path. Moreover, they also experience self-harm or suicidal thoughts due to stressful conditions at work.
  • Impulsive behavior: They exhibit impulsive behaviors that may adversely affect their performance at work. For instance, they may engage in binge drinking, reckless driving and spending, sex with multiple partners, and gambling. These behaviors can take a toll on work, whether you consistently show up late, make reckless decisions at work, or develop a bad relationship with a coworker. 
  • Concentration inabilities: Their dissociation or derealization symptoms can interfere with the person’s concentration and focus. Moreover, prolonged mood swings, boredom, or emptiness may affect their work. Hence, they find it hard to commit to assigned tasks in the workplace.
  • Inappropriate responses to work situations: People with BPD may experience stress-related paranoid thoughts in stressful work conditions. Furthermore, they may have intense, uncontrolled, or inappropriate anger outbursts. Also, they may feel excessively guilty or ashamed after such incidents.

Characteristics of an Ideal Workplace for People With BPD

People with BPD face difficulties in careers that don’t work for them or when they lack support at their workplaces. However, they can lead successful careers when they manage their symptoms and work in supportive environments. Some job characteristics or conditions can be beneficial to someone living with BPD.

These include:

  • Flexible schedule: An ideal job for a person with BPD provides the flexibility that suits their symptoms, character traits, or BPD type. So, it allows them to take some time off to visit their doctor, catch some sleep, or go for therapy.
  • Non-stressful working environment: Stress is one factor that aggravates BPD symptoms. Therefore, an excellent job for someone with BPD is less stressful. For instance, some individuals prefer quiet environments, while others can only work in a busy setup that distracts them from their symptoms. 
  • Creativity roles: People with BPD thrive in careers that allow them to utilize their strengths or personal abilities. For instance, many individuals with BPD are creative and artistic. Therefore, they excel in tasks that require creativity, including designing, strategizing, organizing, problem-solving, cleaning, or planning. 
  • Routine: Some people with BPD thrive on consistency. Therefore, they can perform well in jobs that involve routines and enable them to be consistent at what they love doing. Examples include dog walking, fitness training, driving, or cleaning.
  • Structured environment: Since most individuals with BPD experience anxiety and stress, they may prefer jobs with a structured environment. Hence, such a work format allows them to be more focused and control their emotions.

Here are some of the best jobs for someone with BPD:

1. Baker

Salary: $17 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few months.

Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

If you’re creative, organized, and love baking, you can become a baker and use your BPD as a tool rather than see it as a disadvantage. Baking involves making bread, pastries, and other baked products. Moreover, you don’t need a college diploma to be a baker.

Baking is ideal for a person with Impulsive BPD since they’re energetic, charismatic, and engaging. You can also have a flexible schedule by working the early morning or late evening shift, allowing you to take time off when you need it the most.

Job Information

  • Salary: $17 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few months.
  • Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

Requirements

  • A high school diploma and on-the-job training (or apprenticeship)
  • Physical stamina
  • Be attentive to cleanliness and neatness
  • Creativity and appreciation for routines

2. Freelance Graphic Artist Or Designer

Salary: $19 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few days.

Workload: as much as you want.

Graphic design is a lucrative career that suits someone with BPD. It involves working remotely or as a freelancer, and you can determine your preferred work schedule. Moreover, you’ll choose the most appropriate environment depending on your BPD subtype or symptoms.

A freelance graphic designer creates graphics, digital art, or prints for clients. So, it requires a creative individual who can work within stipulated deadlines to meet the clients’ needs. It involves minimal contact with people, making it ideal for someone with BPD.

Job Information

  • Salary: $19 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few days.
  • Workload: as much as you want.

Requirements

  • Possess an artistic sensibility.
  • Knowledge of graphic design principles, including digital typography, color theory, image editing, design software, and user experience (UX).
  • Have soft skills, including communication, negotiation, sales, marketing, and management.
  • Familiarity with graphic design tools such as Adobe Creative Suite programs, Photoshop, ProCreate, InDesign, and Sketching Tablet.
  • A unique personality and portfolio.
  • A certificate, degree, training, or diploma in graphic design.

3. Pet Groomer

Salary: $19 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few weeks.

Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

If you love taking care of animals, pet grooming could be your ideal job. Since it requires minimal contact with people, it is one of the best careers for individuals with BPD. Furthermore, it entails routine and consistent tasks that may interest a pet lover.

A pet groomer ensures that pets are clean, neat, and looking their best. Hence, they carry out grooming tasks such as:

  • Detangling and trimming pet hair.
  • Nail clipping
  • Washing pets
  • Cleaning the work area.
  • Keeping pets safe from any cleaning products or equipment.
  • Watching out for any pet health problems.

Job Information

  • Salary: $19 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few weeks.
  • Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

Requirements

  • A high school diploma or GED.
  • A certificate from the National Dog Groomer Association of America (added advantage).
  • Professional experience in pet grooming.
  • Communication and customer service skills.
  • Sound knowledge of animal behavior.
  • Compassion for animals.
  • Ability to stand for an extended time.

4. Freelance Photographer

Salary: $17 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few weeks.

Workload: as much as you want.

Photography is an exciting career for people with a keen eye for detail. It involves capturing and processing images (and videos) from various subjects. Photographers can specialize in one type of subject or generalize in multiple niches, including nature (landscape), fashion, photojournalism, science, architecture, food, medical, or events (like weddings).

It’s a perfect career for individuals with BPD, especially the impulsive and petulant subtypes due to the following reasons:

  • You enjoy a flexible working schedule and environment.
  • You can choose a niche that resonates with your hobbies or interests.
  • Some photography niches have minimal human interaction.
  • You can be your boss.
  • It’s an ideal career for creative individuals.
  • You don’t need formal learning credentials.

Job Information

  • Salary: $17 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few weeks.
  • Workload: as much as you want.

Requirements

  • Technical photography skills.
  • Artistic flair
  • Detail-oriented
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to use photo editing software.
  • Self-motivation and ability to take the initiative.
  • Interest in contemporary styles and trends in various niches.

5. Makeup Artist

Salary: $19 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few months.

Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

If you’re perfect at applying makeup, BPD shouldn’t hinder you from achieving your career goals. Being a makeup artist enables you to put your creative ‘foot’ forward and transform people’s appearances. Although it involves working with people, you’ll mainly focus on your clients’ needs.

Makeup artists work with different types of clients and in varying industries, including entertainment, cosmetics, and fashion. So, you can have flexible schedules depending on their job type. You can also manage your working hours and environment based on your personality, BPD symptoms, and unique traits.

Job Information

  • Salary: $19 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few months.
  • Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

Requirements

  • Artistic personality and creative mindset
  • Ample knowledge of makeup products, techniques, and technologies.
  • Understanding of makeup and hairdressing styles and trends.
  • Knowledge of health and safety rules.
  • The technical know-how of lighting, styles, photography, or dramatization.
  • Good communication skills – to understand clients’ needs.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Cosmetology or makeup artist license (required in some states or industries).
  • Sufficient experience

6. Affiliate Marketer

Salary: you get a commission for each sale.

Training time: a few weeks.

Workload: at least 10 hours per week.

If you love marketing but hate working in a traditional office, affiliate marketing is the way to go. As a person living with BPD, you’ll benefit from working remotely at your preferred pace and environment. Moreover, it’s a passive form of income, and you can have more time for your therapy.

Affiliate marketers generate revenue on online platforms, including blogs, websites, and YouTube channels. They get commission by marketing people’s (companies) products.

Job Information

  • Salary: you get a commission for each sale.
  • Training time: a few weeks.
  • Workload: at least 10 hours per week.

Requirements

  • Having a specific niche and publishing platform.
  • Knowledge of the market demand for your niche.
  • Proficiency in affiliate marketing strategies.
  • Ability to create top-notch content.

7. Landscaper

Salary: $25 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few months.

Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

A person living with BPD can enjoy working alone in a serene environment while interacting with nature. Hence, if you love making outdoor spaces glamorous and want to get in some of that therapist-recommended exercise while you’re on the job, a landscaping job would be perfect.

Moreover, since it may be seasonal, you’ll have some time off to do other things or rejuvenate.

Landscaping is ideal for someone with Impulsive BPD since it requires charisma, physical energy, and stamina.

Landscaping involves several activities to improve the aesthetic look of outdoor space. These include:

  • Trimming hedges
  • Improving garden and park layouts
  • Designing fountains and water gardens
  • Installing irrigation systems
  • General maintenance, including removing weeds and pests, repairing outdoor furniture, and cleaning walkways

Job Information

  • Salary: $25 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few months.
  • Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

Requirements

  • A high school diploma.
  • Experience in landscaping.
  • Hard skills, including the ability to handle plants and operate landscaping equipment
  • Soft skills such as being detail-oriented and organized.
  • Traits like being adventurous, confident, enthusiastic, ambitious, and optimistic.

8. Real Estate Agent

Salary: $40 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few months.

Workload: at least 30 hours per week.

Being a real estate agent isn’t as challenging as many people presume. Although it’s a lucrative industry, you don’t need college credentials to be part of it. Furthermore, obtaining online pre-licensing classes can accelerate the process.

Real estate is your ideal career field if you find satisfaction in helping people buy or sell land or property. Moreover, for someone living with BPD, the job’s freedom and flexibility are added advantages.

Also, if you get bored and disassociate often, you’ll enjoy working as a real estate agent since you’ll be interacting with various clients and environments. No day is the same as a real estate agent.

Job Information

  • Salary: $40 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few months.
  • Workload: at least 30 hours per week.

Requirements

  • High school diploma or GED.
  • A real estate agent’s license or certificate.
  • Sufficient knowledge of the housing market.
  • Understanding of real estate laws.
  • Sales or marketing skills

9. Daycare Worker

Salary: $16 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few months.

Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

One of the most common causes of BPD is a history of childhood trauma. If you’re living with Self-destructive BPD, you might be feeling bitter or have self-hatred due to those past traumatic experiences. Hence, working in an environment full of kids can help you relive your childhood more excitingly and help other children at risk of developing similar mental struggles.

Being a daycare worker allows you to work in a safe and creative environment. Moreover, playing with the children or meeting their needs will help you manage your emotions. Furthermore, you will find meaning in the job involving taking care of other people, which is a significant mood booster.

Job Information

  • Salary: $16 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few months.
  • Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

Requirements

  • A high school diploma (a higher education certificate is an added advantage).
  • A driver’s license.
  • Meet your state’s age and immunization requirements
  • Soft skills, including decisiveness, patience, compassion, interpersonal, and communication skills.
  • Understanding of childhood developmental stages.
    Attentiveness to children’s needs.

10. Massage Therapist

Salary: $32 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few weeks.

Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

A serene environment without interacting with many people at a go would be ideal for most people with BPD. If you have Discouraged BPD, working as a massage therapist can help you manage your moods and emotions. Moreover, this job will enable you to use your strengths, including being high-functioning and a perfectionist.

Since working as a massage therapist will involve having sessions with clients, you’ll not feel abandoned or isolated. However, the best part is that you don’t need to talk!

Moreover, meeting the clients’ needs will help you set aside your emotions. You can also have a flexible schedule, especially when working part-time.

Job Information

  • Salary: $32 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few weeks.
  • Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

Requirements

  • Vocational education and training credentials
  • A practicing license according to your state’s requirements.
    Manual coordination, sensitivity, and agility.
  • Physical stamina
  • Soft skills, including patience, maturity, a sense of responsibility, and concern for people’s needs.

11. Personal Trainer

Salary: $32 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few months.

Workload: at least 10 hours per week.

Many individuals with BPD quit their jobs because they feel that their jobs are meaningless. However, working as a personal trainer can be a fulfilling career as you’ll be helping other people improve their health (and lives).

Moreover, you’ll also be maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle by ‘burning’ negative energy. So, you’ll be healthier and better able to manage your symptoms just by showing up to work!

Being a personal trainer is suitable for people with almost all BPD subtypes because:

  • Physical activity is good for mental health.
  • You can have a flexible working schedule.
  • It’s ideal for those who love routine and a structured environment.
  • Helping people can enable you to manage your emotions.
  • It can involve working with one client at a time.

Job Information

  • Salary: $32 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few months.
  • Workload: at least 10 hours per week.

Requirements

  • Meet your state’s age and educational requirements.
  • AED or CPR certification
  • Have a fitness specialty.
  • Accreditation for personal training by the National Commission for
  • Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
  • Physical stamina
  • Knowledge of physical fitness techniques and nutrition.

12. Medical Scientist

Salary: $50 per hour (on average).

Training time: many years.

Workload: at least 40 hours per week.

You can become a medical scientist if you’re academically minded and don’t mind spending many years in school. It is a rewarding career for people living with BPD, as they’ll spend most of their time researching and solving problems. In addition, if you prefer working alone or with a small team, this could be your dream career.

A medical scientist conducts research to improve human health. So, they can conduct clinical trials or other experiments to investigate human diseases. It’s hard to find a job as meaningful and impactful as this one, so if you’re the type of person who feels bored by “meaningless” tasks and jobs and often feel unimportant, this might be the career path for you.

They work in laboratories or offices to develop programs to enhance health outcomes.

Job Information

  • Salary: $50 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: many years.
  • Workload: at least 40 hours per week.

Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in life or physical sciences.
  • Postgraduate degree in medical studies.
  • Decision-making and communication skills
  • Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Observation and data-analysis

13. Freelance Web Developer

Salary: $20 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few weeks.

Workload: at least 15 hours per week.

Web development is ideal for a creative person living with BPD who loves autonomy. It involves designing and creating websites or site content with technical features. You will also work with other developers to update websites or solve web-related issues as a web developer.

Most web development work is remote, allowing you to make your own schedule as long as you can meet deadlines on time. So, you’ll have time for therapy appointments, self-care, and all of the other tools you use to manage your BPD symptoms.

Job Information

  • Salary: $20 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few weeks.
  • Workload: at least 15 hours per week.

Requirements

  • Knowledge of web development fundamentals (a degree in web development or relevant experience).
  • Understanding of programming languages.
  • Proficiency in programming applications, including Javascript and HTML.
  • Ability to develop and process ideas.
  • Team player
  • Problem-solving skills

14. Librarian

Salary: $34 per hour (on average).

Training time: many years.

Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

Most people with BPD have unique character traits, including problem-solving and organizing. Hence, they can work as librarians. And, working in a library is perfect for someone with Discouraged BPD since they’ll be around people and not feel isolated.

A librarian organizes and curates library collections, including books, videos, e-books, magazines, maps, and newspapers. They also help users find these resources swiftly. Also, librarians can work in public libraries, learning, and research institutions.

Job Information

  • Salary: $34 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: many years.
  • Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

Requirements

  • A degree in information science, information media, or information studies.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Interpersonal and problem-solving skills
  • Customer service skills
  • A license or certification (in some states)

15. Veterinary Assistant

Salary: $18 per hour (on average).

Training time: many years.

Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

Working as a vet assistant is one of the best jobs for someone with BPD. If you love interacting and taking care of animals, you’ll love this job. Moreover, you’ll find your career meaningful by caring for injured or abused animals.

Veterinary aides work under the supervision of veterinarians in clinics or vet facilities. They carry out various tasks, including sterilizing equipment, cleaning cages, monitoring animals after surgery, and feeding them.

Job Information

  • Salary: $18 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: many years.
  • Workload: at least 20 hours per week.

Requirements

  • High school diploma
  • Familiarity with handling animals
  • Knowledge of animal restraint and behavior
  • Ability to sterilize and handle veterinary equipment
  • Ability to maintain a clean or hygienic environment

16. Freelance Writer

Salary: between $20 and $100 per 1000 words.

Training time: a few hours.

Workload: as much as you want.

Freelance writing is one of the best matches for people with BPD due to its flexibility. If you have a way with words and enjoy working at home, this could be your dream job. Moreover, you’ll have the chance to earn passive income through e-books or affiliate marketing.

A freelance writer writes content for various platforms, including blogs and websites. You can also work for numerous clients in multiple niches and industries, allowing you to pick your field.

Job Information

  • Salary: between $20 and $100 per 1000 words.
  • Training time: a few hours.
  • Workload: as much as you want.

Requirements

  • Proficiency in content writing
  • Organizational and time-management skills
  • Knowledge of content marketing
  • Confidence and patience

17. Online Survey Taker

Salary: $9 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few hours.

Workload: as much as you want.

Working remotely is ideal for individuals with BPD who feel anxious around people. Taking online surveys is perfect for someone with Discouraged or Petulant BPD since it’s not stressful. Furthermore, you can set your preferred schedule or do it as a side hustle.

Participating in online surveys involves giving your opinion on various topics, including some products or services. Since it takes place on online platforms, you don’t interact directly with people. However, you should be careful not to fall victim to hackers or scammers.

Job Information

  • Salary: $9 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few hours.
  • Workload: as much as you want.

Requirements

  • Ability to use a computer or smartphone
  • Being of legal age
  • Basic knowledge of topics asked in the surveys