What Job Is Romanticized but Actually Sucks? Here’s What People Said.

I have a good friend who works on TV shows and movies as a set decorator.

Sounds pretty awesome, right?

Guess what?

He absolutely DESPISES his job.

Kind of surprising…

But you have to actually do a job to find out if it’s for you…

AskReddit users talked about what jobs are romanticized but actually suck.

1. Snoozefest.

“Used to work as a lifeguard, most boring job in my life.

Worked at an indoor pool year round, just watching people. Even if you only worked 4 hours it felt like an eternity. Really bad if you were the only worker there as you were screwed if you need to use the bathroom. Happened once and had to shut the pool down because no other lifeguard was there and no relief.

Worked as a guard for like 5 years and never had to save anyone thankfully, most action I had to deal with was cleaning up p**p from the pool or kicking people out for repeated violations. Got paid 7.25 to start 7.55 at the end. Got a gym membership out of it for free though, but one wrong move and you can get sued for more then you would ever make there”

2. Bummer.


Expectation: I’m gonna be the next Hunter S Thompson and write compelling feature pieces with a unique voice and get paid to travel the world!

Reality: Talking to my editor about how my contact from the cat fashion show won’t call me back or do an interview unless we pay them $80 or adopt two cats.”

3. That’s too bad.

“Most (not all) jobs in the environmental sector.

Pay is usually quite low, you tend to work in very ugly places (landfills, contaminated sites). You are expected to get jobs done in half the time you really need with as few resources as possible.

And if you are consulting for other companies, nobody really wants to be working with you to “save the environment” – they generally are just trying to barely meet some regulations.”

4. A tough life.

“Film/Television industry.

Long, thankless hours. The expectation that you should be available 24/7, otherwise there is a long lineup of replacements waiting for the chance.

You might get lucky and work your way to the top, maybe enjoy some fame and fortune…but even there, it’s a dog eat dog world.

Most people have to sell a bit of their soul to get and stay there. And if you don’t make it? You either toil away on crew or end up regaling your co-workers in some other industry, with exciting stories about your “time in the biz”.

That is if anyone hires you, because they just can’t understand why you left the exciting world of Hollywood to come work at the grocery store.”

5. Just like George Costanza.


You think you’ll be designing big fancy iconic buildings.

Warehouses, Walmarts, strip malls, and s**t box apartments all need architects and that’s probably what you’ll end up doing”

6. Rock n’ roll!

“Anything in the music industry.

You’re never really off the clock, the pay is terrible pretty much all across the board unless you’re in the 1% of top of the top in any business.

People think it’s all glamorous because they see the popstars, the music videos, the award shows. Truth is, it’s blood, sweat, tears, stress, lack of sleep, a lot of inappropriate behaviour, drugs (fun if you like it, not fun if you don’t), al((hol (again: fun if you like it, not fun if you don’t), and again: low pay, and then maybe once or twice a year you get a perk of going to an award show with free food, booze and a chance to say “Hi” to some celebs (can’t even take a photo with them, really, as it’s not deemed professional in a “work” setting).

I’ve been there for 15 years give or take, branched out, still linked to it in some ways but I get my money (much better money, might I say) elsewhere now and without as much stress or worry.”

7. Gotta be cut out for it.


S**t pay. Toxic work environment. S**tty hot working conditions. Megalomaniac/incompetent management and owners. Long s**tty hours.

Working every weekend and every holiday. The only people you will see regularly are your coworkers. And most people decend into a**oholism or drug a**se to cope. Most people get into it because they’re passionate about it, and most bosses will take advantage of this.

I spent 10 years in this field. I walked away with nothing other than the knowledge I gained, then had to reenter to work force at the bottom at the age of 30. Been out 5 years now, and started making more money and working less hours within a year. I wish I’d left sooner.”

8. In reality…

“Lawyers – Everyone thinks that it’s like Suits.

Reality – Reading papers for hours and running behind clients in order to get them to come to the appointment.”

9. The ink world.

“I’m a tattoo artist.

There are a lot of elements of my job I really love, but the reality most ignore when considering it:You work constantly. You’re either tattooing or designing for next client. This includes often staying up till early morning drawing constantly. I’ll often only ‘clock out’ after a 12 – 16 hour day.

You work weekends and generally have Mondays off (some folk take Sundays too). Which means your social life suffers immensely. No one is free when you are on a Sunday night. I also won’t tattoo hungover, so I don’t ‘party’ like some folk think we do. Relationships and friendships will suffer when you realise you’re hardly ever available.

It’s a very hard industry to get into. You’ll work for free for years as an apprentice learning as you go while having to make a plan for food rent, transport etc with no free time to actually do that. It seems to be changing a bit, but it’s not hard to find countless stories about how badly you can be treated as an apprentice too. In the industry for a long time it was considered a right of passage to earn your way in and weed out the ‘weak’.

Your lower back will be in constant pain.

You will generally work as an ‘independent contractor’ and have no job security or health insurance. You don’t make money if you don’t work. Every vacation is a working vacation.

You’ll be expected to forever make custom artwork for clients who feel very entitled to demand changes (fair, considering the medium) who often have a very clear image of what they want which they have trouble conveying to you.

For the hours put in for a finished customized piece, after shop and equipment cuts, you’re not making nearly as much as people like to think based on hourly rates. That amount also has to be put towards your dead hours too.

It’s unforgiving but there is a unique freedom that comes with it too. But it isn’t all the romance you’d like it to be.”

10. Sounds horrible.


The dream is you come in every day searching for truth and answers to life and the universe’s fundamental problems.

The truth is you are stuck in a no-win situation of having to publish like crazy, write grants that are expected to support your work and the whole university, while also handling a teaching load, fending off toxic colleagues, doing “service, and getting a destructive administration off your back.

Everywhere you turn is criticism and blockages. Your papers and grants are rejected, your students s**t on you in your teaching evaluations, you go into every faculty meeting already gritting your teeth because your colleagues on the other side of whatever faction are going to try to shut you down about everything.

You can always go into industry and make quite a chunk of change, but people give up a lot of creative aspects of their work. There is nothing wrong with science being another job where you are part of the larger mission of your company (including making a profit), it’s just not what people think being a “scientist” is like.”

11. Sad.


People think it’s playing with puppies all day, but you see some really disturbing things and people can be awful. You don’t make nearly as much as you should. You’re having to do the jobs of like 10 human doctors combined plus knowing how to work on different species.

The s**cide rate for vets is through the roof.”

12. Yup.

“Probably anything in the entertainment industry.

It’s bogged down by a lot of workers rights violations, insane hours during ‘crunch time’, no work/life balance, and you don’t even get paid much because your employers and society at large think it’s a privilege to even be working in the industry.”

What jobs that are romanticized do you think really SUCK?

Talk to us in the comments and share your thoughts.

Thanks, friends!