People Share The Jobs That Get Romanticized But Are Actually Terrible IRL

Ashley Hunte
A metal sign that reads, "for hire."
Unsplash | Clem Onojeghuo

When you're growing up, you might dream of having a really cool job, like an archeologist or secret agent. But the truth is, a lot of the jobs we might glamorize aren't really all they're cracked up to be.

Redditors recently shared the jobs they see as romanticized, but are actually pretty boring or horrible. I guess the grass isn't always greener.

Working as a game tester.

Two people playing a sports video game.

"I worked as a game tester for EA for almost 3 years. Here's what it's like.

"Imagine a game type you don't like. Maybe soccer games. Maybe an RTS [real-time strategy]. Whatever. You now play that game, 8 hours a day."

"But you don't play it. You test it."

A person playing a video game on a computer.
Unsplash | Fredrick Tendong

"So let's imagine an RTS. You are told to test the resource acquisition systems. All you do is click around and make sure your guys can mine gold and harvest lumber. You click around the map and mine and forest."

"There is no combat, they've turned that off for your testing."

A black PlayStation controller.
Unsplash | Alexey Savchenko

"There is no story, because you just flick from level to level to test the resource system. You test using one guy. You testing using 100 guys. You make sure no other units can gather resources. You try blocking your own guys. You try killing your own guys. 8 hours a day. Every day. For weeks."

Field archeology made the cut, too.

Ancient ruins of some kind of city/structure.
Unsplash | Russ McCabe

"99% of the time you find absolutely nothing, it's often physically demanding (sometimes grueling), the pay is [expletive], there are no benefits, you have to constantly travel, there's very little stability, I could go on."

Live sports doesn't sound all that glamorous.

An aerial shot of a baseball arena full of spectators.
Unsplash | Tim Gouw

"Everyone used to think it was awesome that I worked in live sports TV. 70% of the people I worked with were miserable pricks with over-inflated egos, and then there were the athletes..."

The oh-so (not very) exciting world of journalism.

A person writing notes while in a conference room.
Unsplash | The Climate Reality Project

"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."

Every building is designed by an architect. Every one.

A person designing a mock-up for a building.
Unsplash | Ryan Ancill

"Architect. You think you’ll be designing big fancy iconic buildings. Warehouses, Walmarts, strip malls, and [expletive] box apartments all need architects and that’s probably what you’ll end up doing."

I... used to want to be an architect growing up.

If you knew how many actors there really are out there, you'd probably reconsider trying to be one.

The silhouettes of three people behind a red curtain.
Unsplash | Kyle Head

"Actor/Actress. Most don’t make it big and many have very short career spans, then fade into obscurity."

The people we see in movies and shows are just a fraction of the number of actual actors out there.

Financial advisor.

A man wearing a suit and tie.
Unsplash | Hunters Race

"I was a Broker/Advisor for over 25 years and it was what I wanted to be from about age 15. I thought it would be cool to know all about the stock market and make a lot of money.

"What I didn't realize was the fact that, if you're a person with any moral compass, it can be extremely stressful as you have people's financial lives in your hands."

"When I first got into the business drug use was a rampant."

Tall, modern buildings in a city center.
Unsplash | Sean Pollock

"Divorce rates were high (I experienced one myself) and if you have kids it was near impossible to spend quality time with them on a regular basis."

Weirdly enough, this one seems exactly how it appears in movies.

Being a scientist isn't all fun and games.

A scientist looking through a microscope.
Unsplash | National Cancer Institute

"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."

A scientist putting fluid in a small vial.
Unsplash | Julia Koblitz

"Your papers and grants are rejected, your students [expletive] 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."

Flying planes seems a lot more stressful than it's made out to be on TV.

A pilot and co-pilot flying in a plane.
Unsplash | Rayyu Maldives

"Pilot. You are essentially a bus driver with a really expensive bus, except the bus drivers I knew made better money with city benefits and a pension."

Working with animals isn't nearly as fun as it sounds.

A vet sitting with a dog.
Unsplash | Karlo Tottoc

"Veterinarian. 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."

Secret agents aren't really like James Bond, you know.

A nondescript man walking in a suit with a briefcase.
Unsplash | Killian Cartignies

"I strongly suspect being a spy doesn't involve half as many high tech gadgets and spontaneous sexual intercourse as I've been lead to believe."

Another user adds, "Super boring and lonely. Keep your head down with your local, usually [expletive], job you're placed in and write reports at night. For years. Typically never leads to anything."

Working on a movie is a thankless job (except for the credits, I guess).

A person holding a clapboard for a scene set in a desert.
Unsplash | Jakob Owens

"If you're crew, it sucks. Long long hours for what seem like very very slow progress on the picture, lots of standing around waiting, etc.."

"You arrive well before everyone else and leave after everyone else."

A camera on the set of a movie.
Unsplash | Chris Murray

"If this is an indie production you also may have to beg/chase down for your pay at the end of each week. Oh and when the film wraps, you're now unemployed."

Those law dramas kind of ruined my perception of lawyers, tbh.

A bronze statue depicting blind justice.
Unsplash | Tingey Injury Law Firm

"Long, non-standard hours. Lots of research, paperwork, filing, and more paperwork. And long. boring. depositions and other statements from clients. Very little time is spent in an actual courtroom, and the time spent in there is often long, tedious, devoid of any action, with plenty of procedural rules and stipulations to follow."

"Way too many people think being a lawyer is a lot like it is in movies:"

A library full of old books and statues.
Unsplash | Giammarco

"Driving cool cars, lots of tension and build-up in high-drama courtroom scenes, yelling, posturing, etc. In reality it is absolutely none of that. 'I WANT THE TRUTH!' doesn't actually occur inside courtrooms."

Social work might be one of the hardest professions out there.

Two people having a heartfelt conversation on a couch.
Unsplash | Phillip Goldsberry

"I've been told that so many students come in expecting to change the world with their work and realize after 2 weeks that it isn't that."

Yeah, from what I know, it's grueling and unforgiving.