1. Dolphin trainer – you’re a wet cheerleader with terrible pay.
2. Ballet dancer. Parents spend tens of thousands (or more) on training. They give up their entire teen years and schooling (most elite ballet dancers are homeschooled and a large percentage move away from home for training in high school).
Most dancers you see on stage in a ballet are paying to be there. The bottom rungs of ballet companies are pay to play. Then when you have paid to dance a few years you might be able to get a position that pays you with a dozen pairs of pointe shoes and a stipend for performances. Then maybe you’ll be promoted to the bottom level where you get paid 20K a year and have no health insurance. All while putting your body through major torture.
3. Modeling, too competitive and not enough food.
4. Political staffer. Most jobs in politics pay very little money and require you to work 80+ hours a week for a boss who is guaranteed to have a gigantic ego. You also have to look for a new job after every election day.
5. My SO is an attorney and isn’t loving life right now. She says, “You know how you did term papers in college? Well I do term papers every day, all day, endlessly.”
6. Veterinarian. Insanely competitive schooling that cripples you with debt.
Most of your patients don’t like you, and most of the owners think you’re getting rich upselling them unnecessary services when their dogs’s exploding eyeball cancer can be cured with raw organic exotic meats/cbd/coconut oil, but you’re withholding that information because you’re in bed with Big Kibble.
High stress, stagnant wages, long hours, shit holiday leave. Rampant depression. Lost count of how many colleagues have committed suicide. Sometimes tempted to join them.
7. Film crew. Yes, you sometimes meet famous people. Sometimes they’re cool, often they’re really not. The days are 14+ hours of work with a commute of who knows how long on either end, depending where you’re shooting. You have half an hour for lunch. Coffee breaks are whenever you’re not needed on set, so depending on your job (I was in camera, and we rarely had a down moment), it could be almost never. More often than not, someone on set is yelling. People lose their minds over making really shitty entertainment. You start work by 7am on Monday, and by Friday you’re coming in at 4pm and leaving when the sun comes up on Saturday. There are no paid holidays, no paid sick days, no paid vacation. If you don’t work enough qualifying hours, the union kicks your healthcare.
And this is if you’re IN a union. Non-union, much worse. Sexual harassment is through the roof, but the kids who get it the worst are afraid to say anything or they’ll lose their jobs. I have been told some real horror stories about famous actors, some of whom I still haven’t seen get outed by the Me Too movement. And I’m not talking word-of-mouth, second-hand stories. I’m talking about young women who whisper to each other what shows to avoid and make them swear to never use their name because if they want to work in this industry, they can’t be known as a troublemaker.
I watched so many co-workers fall into addictions, lose family, miss their children’s lives, over the dumbest TV shows in the world. If you go union, the money can be good, but it’s not worth it. It’s just not worth it.
8. Flight attendant. The travel would be amazing, but let’s face it. You’re a glorified waitress working in a cramped, aluminum tube.
9. The video game industry. A lot of kids and teens want in it so bad because “I grew up playing games blah blah blah they take me to another world blah blah blah.” Then you become an adult and learn that it’s all math and physics, and making a video game has NOTHING to do with what you experienced growing up. It’s all black screens of code, polygons, and being criticized for your work.
What’s worse, if you make games you probably never have the time to play them anymore. The gaming industry is notorious for implementing 60-80 hour work weeks.
EVEN WORSE depending on what company you work for, you may never have stable work. You finish a project and then the company tells you “we don’t have another project for your particular skill set.” Then you gotta look for more work.
AND IF ALL THAT WASNT BAD ENOUGH, you’ll probably never work on a game you want to work on. All those big, fancy games and indie darlings on Steam are a very small fraction of what exists. Barbie’s Horse Adventure? Those people got degrees and we’re inspired by the same games as you. Crappy Candy Crush knock-offs? Same degree and inspiration. Stupid table-top games that you only see in the family section at Walmart? Those also utilize game designers/programmers.
Don’t get into video games because you like video games. Get into video games because you’re passionate about math and science.
10. Architect is really bad. Most people don’t complete it and the mental health issues are quite serious. There’s a lot of criticism and stress in the beginning, lots of late nights and hard work. At the end of the work you get insulted in public.
There’s no real reason for this. You aren’t going to be saving lives or anything, there’s no need to make it so expensive either.
So three years later, you get a degree and have to do a year of intern work, then it’s time for another year of study and projects and exams. Then two years of minimum wage work.
Then you come back for more exams, essays and projects.
It’s really too hard for what it is. I get paid very badly and I don’t really use any of my training. It was pointless really but girls like it at parties when I say I’m an architect. That’s a lie I don’t go to parties I have no social life.
11. I’m a professional, full-time voice actor. I’m blessed to be successful and happy, but about 99% of the voice actors I know are depressed most of the time, struggling hard to find work, wrestling with impostor syndrome, questioning if they should give up, and barely able to make rent. Particularly video game/anime/animation actors.
12. Teaching for sure. I mean, people know it sucks, but still the idea of becoming a teacher and changing the lives of children simply by caring enough exists in a lot of people and sadly it’s just not like that. The very sad truth is it doesn’t matter how much you care, there are so many people who just want to make your job near impossible and people drop out of the position left and right.
13. Musician. Everyone knows the money is shit, but people think you either starve early and give up, or you’re talented and you break out. Not so. There are “normal” music jobs out there. Unfortunately, they’re subject to the following constraints.
Nobody who hasn’t also trained for 20 years knows whether you’re doing a good job. Many of them don’t either.
The products produced by the music industry have value; the services involved in producing those products can’t easily be assigned a value. As a result, you have no leverage in pay negotiations
Everyone ignores wage laws, and nobody is interested in enforcing them. The government never enforces them; there is only effective unionism in the US and UK, whereas, e.g., in Australia, musicians are represented by the same union which represents actors and journalists, which laughs at the idea of giving a shit about musicians.
This includes things like state and federal minimum wage overall, not just the sector minimum. It’s not uncommon to be making approximately $5 an hour to be working your ass off constantly without breaks.
You will eventually be able to find work that pays above minimum wage. It will have nowhere near full-time hours.
You will do as many unpaid hours as you do paid hours, minimum. Sometimes you will do 2x as many.
14. Graphic design. The whole “we’re looking for a passionate, creative blah blah designer blah blah” thing is just an advertisement,especially if you’re looking for a job at an advertising company. The non-graphic designers only care about the image of the company and their exposure (awards and shit) while making graphic designers work for more hours than what was agreed, not paying them enough and generally the whole “passionate and creative” criteria is a bait. You might start as a passionate and a creative human but you’ll end up a wreck eventually.
15. Long haul truck driver. Most people say, “Oh, it must be great to see all the sights! You get to go to so many cool places!”
Only partially true. I have been in almost all 48 states, yet haven’t seen a single national park. It’s long, grueling days behind the wheel, for 11hrs at a time at times. You see the same truck stop over and over; sure you’re in a different state, but a Pilot is a Pilot. You sometimes have to go days without a shower due to unforeseen events. And every highway is the same.
16. Pro Wrestling. Like a small chance of making not only WWE but any other company in general. And injuries and travel. Some people are forced to retire young. Even if you never been in the independent scene WWE has an infamous schedule and travel time.
17. Apparently being a Youtuber. No security net, no benefits, you have to work non-stop to not get crushed by Youtube’s algorithm. And apparently Youtube is know for screwing over even their biggest content creators, let alone their smaller ones.
18. Law Enforcement. I went into it with the naive belief I would be making a difference. I wanted to protect people and make my community safer. Instead, I got to see the worst humanity has to offer day in and day out. Lets see if I can list all the negatives:
Most departments are filled with arrogant assholes with inflated egos that love to condescend to other officers or the public when they themselves can barley read.
Many officers have severe anger issues and love to take it out on the public (never saw it happen physically but verbally or by issuing every ticket possible).
Try to suggest changes to bring about better relations with the public? Prepare to be ostracized and bullied till you tow the line.
The overall level of incompetence is staggering, with some officers barely knowledgeable of the firearms they carry everyday.
Your view of the public and people in general becomes very dark. The amount of EDP’s (emotionally disturbed persons), druggies and alcoholics you deal with each day is ridiculous and you start to wonder how society hasn’t collapsed.
You arrest a violent offender just to see them quickly released over and over, what’s worse is how many times an abuse victim files a complaint because you arrested their “love” despite almost being killed.
Very few people are actually grateful when you cut them a break. They DO take it as a sign of weakness and try to push the envelope. This is an often overlooked reason why some officers become assholes. You try to help people out and they spit in your face (sometimes literally), this gradually tears you down until you can barely recognize what you are becoming.
The uniform is a target. You can be the nicest most patient officer in the world but to many the uniform means you are the enemy. You will get cursed at, attacked and have your private life laid bare.
Low pay not even remotely commensurate with what you have to deal with.
There is sooo much more but I was lucky enough to get out and change careers before it all really got to me.
19. I am the official photographer at a famous beauty pageant and it’s not as glamorized at it looks.
To start off the girls barely sleep, you can always see them worn out and wearing eye bag patches at rehearsals, at the photoshoots I’m always a hot mess, I sweat, I get dirty because I have to drag equipment around the floor, I run here and there, and on finals night it’s a complete chaos… people running around, dressing rooms with clothes all over the place, makeup stains and so on…
20. Chef. Long hours, shitty environment, nothing is ever good enough.
21. Restaurant owner. Tons of bullshit you have to deal with. Margins are razor thin. Tons of competition for peoples’ money.
22. Nursing. I’m in the ED and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t an adrenaline junkie, but it’s a first-class shit show that wears you out.
23. Fashion designer. You won’t even get a job if you are willing to work for free.
24. Behavioral health. I spent a long time working towards a career in therapy, and I’ve noticed that a lot of new people/people looking to get into the field go in with the starry-eyed “I want to help people” mentality. I did, too.
You do help people, but it is fucking hard to help people. A lot of jobs are high stress/low pay type of deals, because a lot of the jobs available are through nonprofits that only have so much funding to go around. You are vicariously exposed to other people’s trauma, and it does affect you, no matter how good you are at creating boundaries and practicing self-care. It’s an admirable profession, but a grossly under appreciated one, and it most certainly isn’t for everyone who wants to “help people” for a living.
25. Investment Banking. People talk about the fancy plane rides, expensive dinners, wild parties with your colleagues or a client. The reality of it is you’re never truly off work, always on-call like a surgeon.
Works weeks are usually 60-100 hours and can be brutal if one follows another.
It’s really more like working from 9AM-10PM in office and then get home to work another bit and have any given presentation ready stat. I’ve gone all-nighters followed by client meetings where all I have time for is a quick shower and a 7/11 coffee.
26. Radio announcer. Like a lot of other jobs in the entertainment industry, it’s full time work for part time pay. Second jobs are common. Your pizza delivery guy just may be your favorite morning show host! At least, that’s how the morning guy at my station made ends meet, until he was laid off in the last round of cutbacks.
27. Medicine, a close friend is a doctor, he doesn’t have a life.
28. Being an artist. People think it’s just fun drawing time in art class, but it is so stressful. Especially if it’s a job you do. When I get commissions I spend hours just THINKING of the idea. I start sketching it, person (usually a non artist, artists are usually more gentle about it or don’t mind) says it’s not how they wanted it. Redo the sketch. HOPEFULLY it’s okay now. Do the 2 hour line art. They say, “Oh, this is wrong, this is too big, wtf is that, etc.” After spending another 1-2 hours fixing it, you color it in. There’s usually no problem with that unless it’s an artist with a color pallet you’re not used to. When you’re done you send them to picture and hopefully they paid you while you were drawing because there’s a lot of people who just make excuses. Also, if you’re a small artist, you probably under charged that commission. That drawing you slaved over for 5 days… the person was only willing to 15 dollars and you’ll take anything because everyone loves to ask for free stuff.
29. Pharmacist. Yeah, the pay (used to be) amazing and jobs (used to be) plentiful, but the reality is this:
1: Good luck finding a job in any area that is remotely livable/interesting. Oversaturation has destroyed job opportunities and advancement opportunities.
2: Job security is nonexistent. Hordes of new grads with mountains of debt are willing to take your job for a fraction of what seasoned professionals make.
3: Congratulations, you’re now apparently the drug police. You will spend the majority of your time dealing with calculating days supply for controlled substances to ensure no early fills and sifting through scripts to weed out fakes, you know, so you don’t lose your license and, therefore, your ability to provide for your family.
3a: You will be physically threatened by drug addicts and Karens literally every day when you refuse to fill their controls early or when you refuse to fill clearly fraudulent scripts. Sorry, your drug addiction is your problem and there is no way I will jeopardize my license by breaking the law so you can fill your Xani-bars and oxys early.
3b: The people who threaten you for not filling their bullshit scripts will call corporate to complain. They will then be issued a gift card for their “troubles” and you will get a stern lecture from your district manager who may or may not have a college degree, let alone have spent 8 years getting the required education to be a practicing pharmacist.
4: Hope you don’t like lunch breaks or using the bathroom when you need to go, because you will literally be too busy to eat, drink, or even piss during your shift.
5: Fuck your personal life and safety, because the pharmacy needs to be open no matter what. Blizzard? Fuck you, you’re going in. Hurricane? Fuck you, you’re going in. Wife going into labor? Fuck you, you’re going in and you’ll be fired if you don’t show up.
I am grateful every day that I got out of that shitty fucking rats’ nest of a bullshit profession and that I can actually eat lunch daily and take a fucking piss when I need to.
30. Farming on a large scale. I was living in debt up to my ass ($500k-$1 mil depending on the time of year), haggling for every input (land, fertilizer, seed, equipment), at the mercy of the weather, and got to watch the commodity markets kick me in the nuts every business day. The real cherry on top was everyone thinking you are trying to kill them with GMOs and copious amounts of chemicals that we don’t use. Not to mention farms are passed down through generations so you’ve got a bunch of dead and living ancestors watching your every move. Oh and a lot of farmers work a second full time job for the health insurance. There’s a reason farm suicides are high and farm “accidents” and accidents are higher.
There’s a million young rural FFA kids that would give there left leg for a chance to farm.