10 Jobs People Have Completely Romanticized but Honestly Suck

Ben Rice

Investing years and thousands of dollars into a career is arguably life's biggest decision, influencing much of what follows. However, in a recent online post, professionals share their thoughts on over-romanticized jobs.

1. Raising Livestock

Alpacas on a ranch on a farm in a field in Oregon
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Modern culture loves to romanticize life on beautiful pasture land with nothing but nature and big skies as a company. But this cliché is far from realistic. “Everything about it is so much rougher than any book, show, or movie lets on,” reveals a farmer. “You have many days that go by swiftly and easily, then you're hit with an emergency that makes three hours feel like a week.”

2. Being a Spy

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Not that this person has experienced being a spy, but this is an interesting take. “I strongly suspect being a spy doesn't involve half as many high-tech gadgets and spontaneous ‘romantic' encounters as I've been led to believe,” jokes a James Bond fan. While Bond lets men dream about having a license to kill, the reality of being a spy is the constant threat of assassination and no public recognition for serving one's country.

3. Working in Antarctica

People in Antarctica
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A geoscience specialist relives the days when they were posted to a research base in Antarctica, which most people would dream of. In reality, rookie scientists end up doing a lot of menial site work, such as cleaning dorms.

“The novelty and romantic ‘cool' factor wear off after a couple of days, and the remaining two to three months of the work is brutal,” says the geologist. “You are constantly cold, hungry, dirty, and exhausted.”

4. Being an Entertainment Intern

Man saying no, stop.
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While young people dream of sitting in that exposed brick writing room and bouncing ideas off other like-minded scribes, this trope may be misleading. One poster speaks of their friend who got an internship by writing Stephen Colbert's monologue but had to quit.

“The hours were so demanding and mostly in the middle of the day, so it canceled any chance of having a normal job without running the risk of being tired for the internship.”

5. Testing Videogames

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“Imagine a game type you don't like. Maybe soccer games. Maybe an RTS. Whatever,” prompts a professional game tester. “You now play that game eight hours a day.” They add that even then, the fun parts are disabled so that one can test each gaming feature — you may not even play the game at all.

6. Being a Bandit

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Folklore commonly portrays fearsome horseback outlaws as romantic heroes, throwing caution to the wind and living by their own code. In reality, argues a history reader, these icons were “nothing more than common criminals and fugitives who were always on the run, could never settle down and relax, and often had only a rope or bullet to the head to look forward to at the end of their incredibly short lives.”

7. Working in Publishing

Woman working in publishing company
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“How many television shows and movies must I watch where the plucky young upstart graduates from college and gets a job at the magazine or newspaper of their choice, is respected, and can make a living?” ponders a journalist. Another graduate who decided against following a publishing career jokes, “Yeah, I can afford to move to a place with five times the cost of living than where I am for a full-time job.”

8. Robbing Banks

Pasadena, California - March 13, 2021: The Wells Fargo Bank on South Lake Avenue
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Bonnie and Clyde, Dillinger, and Jesse James all have two things in common: they all robbed banks and were mowed down in a storm of bullets. “Bonnie and Clyde were not living the high life by any means,” confirms an observer. “They were constantly on the run until the end of their lives and always had to stay one step ahead of the law.”

9. Working on a Film Set

Man working in Film Set
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The talent has it easy on a film set. While they need to prepare themselves mentally and physically, they only appear when needed for close-up shots and have body doubles for long shots. Meanwhile, key grips, beleaguered sound engineers, and set assistants are working 14-hour days making sure the film set matches the acting.

10. Being a Therapist

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The romantic scenario is a smart, little practice in a leafy suburb of an affluent city, dealing with wealthy professionals who wear nice sweaters. Most psychology majors end up working in public health, with 100 daily clients and a crippling caseload. “I couldn't do it, so I left as soon as I could,” shares a former shrink. “It was so stressful. I now work a ho-hum desk job, and I'm totally fine with that.”

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