Updated: Mar 13
People with BPD often have trouble finding a job that suits them. The BPD symptoms affect the amount of stress someone can endure, job performance, and the ability to fit in with co-workers. A good job for someone with BPD would be creative, like art and design, or something with a caring role, such as a teacher or nurse.
Around 45 percent of the individuals with BPD remain unemployed. The intensity of the BPD symptoms can vary in different workplaces and per individual. It is possible to have a successful career when the symptoms are under control while having work that fits you.
How BPD can affect your work
BPD symptoms might have a wide range of consequences for your work. In this article, we are going to discuss the most notable ones.
Your self-image, ambitions, and even likes and dislikes may shift often if you have BPD, making it difficult to commit to a single job path. It may be tough to accomplish long-term goals if you lose out on promotions or opportunities as a result of your unstable self-image or sense of self. You may be entirely demoralized to start any job at all since your goals are always shifting.
Black and white thinking
Someone with BPD tends to see people and situations as either good or bad, with no in-between, also known as Splitting. Frequently changing feelings towards your job or colleagues due to black and white thinking can lead to unstable relationships and volatile workplaces.
You may begin working in what you think to be your ideal profession but later feel required to leave because of a single bad day or experience, such as receiving a negative performance evaluation or when you make one mistake.
BPD symptoms can also make it difficult to focus, resulting in poor work performance. Dissociation, for example, might make it difficult to meet deadlines or complete tasks in an efficient manner.
Impulsive behavior and mood swings
People with BPD often make impulsive or risky decisions without considering the consequences. This can lead to making wrong decisions that have bad results for you as an employee with a borderline personality disorder. If you suffer from mood swings at work, it can be difficult when you have a long day to work.
It is also difficult for colleagues and employers when someone has regular mood swings because they don't know how to deal with it. This can lead to confusing and challenging confrontations, making it even more difficult to keep your emotions under control or to avoid impulsive behavior.
The search for meaning
This is not a symptom of BPD, but it is a common character trait. Someone with BPD often looks for meaning in everything they do. When they feel that the work they are doing is not contributing to the bigger picture, it can become very difficult to find the motivation to work and they want to look for something else.
Factors to consider when searching for a job for someone with BPD
A flexible schedule
A flexible schedule that allows you to take time off for appointments or take breaks during the day when needed may be the best option for you. Keeping daytime hours is ideal for maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.
Stressful jobs can intensify BPD symptoms, and therefore it's important to search for a supportive work environment. Which type of work environment do you prefer? Some people thrive in a calm, peaceful environment where they can easily concentrate, while others thrive when many activities are going on at once. The key is to find a setting that will encourage you to succeed. Workplaces that are stressful and unsupportive might worsen psychological problems.
Training and qualifications
With the abilities and expertise you already have, you may be able to apply for different positions. Some careers may need more education and training. Consider the various routes you can take to achieve your career goals, as well as the goals you have for life itself. Self-awareness is key for finding the right job. Your passions, limits, abilities, talents, and morals are all things you'll want to know about yourself.
What job suits someone with BPD?
A good job for one person with BPD may not be a good one for another person with BPD. Finding a job for someone with BPD depends on the qualities and interests of the individual, as well as how severe the symptoms are.
Consider how your BPD symptoms can affect your ability to function daily in your field of work. Pursuing a career in a fast-paced or high-stress industry, for example, may not be the greatest decision if you have serious stress issues. It's possible that a quieter, calmer, or more relaxing setting may be better for you. At the same time, don't allow your BPD diagnosis to limit your work options entirely. There are individuals with BPD who have succeeded in every field imaginable. Examine your strengths and weaknesses, keep your symptoms in mind, and remember that you are a person independent from your condition.
If you're not sure what kind of work would be a good fit for you, you could speak with an employment consultant who will potentially assist you in finding the right position for you.
People with BPD are good at creative work
Creative career paths include:
Advertising and marketing
Art and design
Crafting and tailoring
TV and radio, including broadcast production
Photography and video creation
People with BPD are good at caring roles
Many individuals with BPD experience deep connections with others and find working in a caring job to be rewarding, such as:
Nurse or assistant
Babysitter or daycare operator