People Are Revealing The Glamorized Career Paths That Are Actually Total Nightmares (20 Posts)

When you’re young, you get impressions about certain jobs.

Maybe they’re glorified in the media or everyone talks about how prestigious they are. But in reality, these jobs can often be totally soul-sucking. They take up most of your time, deplete your mental health, isolate you—and the pay can be awfully low for the labor you put in.

They certainly don’t feel anything like how they are portrayed on TV—and instead of being glamorous, they are actually nightmares.

On Reddit, people are sharing some of the jobs they feel are glamorized but are in reality super depressing.

1. Ballet Dancer

“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.” — meatball77

2. Chef

“Chef. Long hours, sh*tty environment, nothing is ever good enough.” — flyover_liberal

3. Lawyer

“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.'” — picksandchooses

4. Radio Announcer

“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 favourite 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. Now we’re a ‘hybrid station,’ which is the preferred business model these days. That’s a fancy way of saying one person does everything while you run a ton of syndicated programs. 12 hour days of minimum wage.” —originalchaosinabox

5. Veterinarian

“Veterinarian. Insanely competitive schooling that crippled you with debt, with a depressing debt:income ratio after graduation. 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.” — Dontbeavet

6. Zookeeper

“I don’t know if nightmare is the word, but my wife has finally reached her lifelong goal of becoming a zookeeper at one of the top zoos in the US. She is very happy to have the opportunity to hand food to otters, have reindeer eat out of her hand, and brush okapi. However, she took on tens of thousands of dollars in student loans and did months of unpaid work at the zoo to get the job, which is seasonal, requiring she be off 2 months a year. She gets up at 4 AM and does farmhand style physical labor for 8 hours a day for about $9 an hour with no benefits. I am thrilled that she reached her goal, and I am happy that she is happy, but I am pretty disenfranchised with the whole thing.” — VVHYY

7. Political Staff

“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.” — TogarSucks

8. Film Crew

“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.” — sonictypewriter

9. Modeling

“Modeling, too competitive and not enough food.” — hio_world_im_bored

10. Television

“I’ve started working in television from a too young an age. It was amazing to witness all the behind the scenes stuff, but the reality is that these days you just can’t make enough money from performing on TV. Let alone the deprivation of creative freedom (which is what got my show cancelled I think).” — Doctor_Philly

11. Flight Attendant

“Flight attendant. The travel would be amazing, but let’s face it. You’re a glorified waitress working in a cramped, aluminum tube.” — kahli-dub

12. Farming

“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.” — badger_slayer

13. Academia

“Not quite what OP is looking for but academia in general is potentially a garbage fire career path. Namely because it’s so competitive that a lot of people burn out and become shells of human beings just from the stress and pressure of grad school and the job market. A lot of people put pressure on themselves to end up in a top tier university when that just isn’t in the cards for everyone. So many people end up broken. I’d just say that for anyone considering academia after a phd, be ready to give a lot and get very little in return.” — HuecoTanks

14. Video Game Industry

“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 WASN’T BAD ENOUGH, you’ll probably never work on a game you want to work on. All those big, fancy games and indie darling on Steam are a very small fraction of what exists. Barbie’s Horse Adventure? Those people got degrees and were 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 videogames because you like videogames. Get into videogames because you’re passionate about math and science.” — Nofreeupvotes.

15. Architect

“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.” — Cockwombles

16. Teacher

“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.” — Kighla

17. Foreign Service Officer

“Foreign Service Officer. You are paid to live in a foreign country and meet interesting people. You get to travel. You are paid tax-free allowances. You also have to defend all government policies and practices to foreigners while keeping a straight face, even the ones you disagree with or are totally inane. You have to politely and respectfully deal with foreigners you know are lying to you, trying to rip you off, corrupt, criminal or just generally horrible. This includes foreign officials, visa applicants, business people and others. The Ambassador acts like he’s the king of the world, and expects you to kiss ass, when in fact he’s nothing special. Administrative regs mean allowances don’t always cover genuine expenses. In most countries, locals think they can rip you off and charge you ten times the price because you’re a dip. Dip plates on your car are an invitation to smash-and-grab. Offices always look like they were fitted with cast-offs from government surplus warehouse rejects. You have a fancy title but not budget for local initiatives, so you always look like a cheapskate. You’re the last to know what is going on in office practices and politics, and coming back to HQ means ‘surprise!! everything changed while you were away!!’ Genuine promotions few and far between which means competition hinges on ass-kissing, unrealistic job appraisals, and cut-throat competition with sociopaths. Postings seem to be assigned in order to make everybody miserable, with the good gigs going to people the Posting Officer wants to kiss up to.” — mechant_papa

18. Military

“Idk if military is glamorized, but I saw a bunch of people who joined cause they wanted to be badasses and they couldn’t wait to get out. Long hours, sometimes dangerous work, mind-numbingly repetitive tasks, being stuck with a*shole bosses at times (not like you can just quit), not the best pay, etc. Add it all up and you get a large portion of people who do one enlistment and never come back.” — bimmerphile_ec

19. Dolphin Trainer

“Dolphin trainer – you’re a wet cheerleader with terrible pay.” — ch1ppos

20. Professional Sports

“Professional sports: people have no idea how much time, effort and resources goes into competing at elite levels of any sport/esport. It is soul-sucking. Think a 50hour work week is hard? Nah fam, try living and breathing what you do. That’s why I hate that people think talent is what gets you there, but in reality those people are just extremely dedicated to their craft.” — chuckmannorris

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Patricia Grisafi

Patricia Grisafi, PhD, is a freelance writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Salon, Vice, Bitch, Bustle, Broadly, The Establishment, and elsewhere. She is passionate about pit bull rescue, cursed objects, and designer sunglasses.