20 Jobs That Are a Lot Less Fun Than Most People Expect


There are a lot of jobs that seem like a lot of fun. Some of them are, but the truth is that many of them don’t live up to the images we create in our minds.

This doesn’t mean they aren’t worth doing, but if you’re considering one of them as a career, knowing there’s more to them is important than you might think.

Following are several that are much less fun than they’re cracked up to be.

Preschool Teacher

African american woman preschool teacher smiling confident writing on document at kindergarten preschool teacher.
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A lot of people think it would be great to work with young kids because they’re fun and cute. It can be great, but you also have to be ready for runny noses, “potty” accidents, messes, and aggressive behavior. And then some parents treat you more like a glorified babysitter than a professional.


Forensic Scientist

African American science student taking notes while analyzing test sample in a laboratory.
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CSI conditioned millions of people to believe forensic work is glamorous and filled with amazing breakthroughs. In reality, the work is highly technical and dominated by routines.



Mature archaeologist discussing antique vessel with colleague.
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The time in the field can be exciting, but the job is much less Indiana Jones and much more research scientist. More than 90% of the time goes to research and analysis with books, computer screens, papers, etc.



paleontologist archaeologist unearths bones of dinosaur skull.
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The same goes for being a paleontologist. You’re not going to spend most of your time digging up or reassembling complete dinosaur skeletons. You’ll spend very little time handling fossils at all.


Professional Photographer

Woman photographer with dslr camera taking pictures outdoor.
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Many a person with a passion for photography have lost that passion after getting into it professionally. Some of the killjoys are demanding brides and parents, customers who are never satisfied, and people who don’t want to pay up.


Park Ranger

St. Croix National Scenic River, WI, USA-circa July 2015 – family fun day includes fly tying lessons from a park ranger as part of the Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative, getting kids outside.
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The parts of the job giving educational talks and leading nature hikes are great. Much of the job, though, involves cleaning up messes, enforcing regulations with people who disrespect them and you, and doing routine chores.


Closed Captioning Creator

Play Button Audio Video Media Technology Concept/
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Getting paid to watch TV might sound great, but there’s a lot of tedium that comes with this job. It’s even worse when you’re not finding the content enjoyable or interesting.



Portrait of young female florist with red tulips looking at camera.
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Here’s another job that can kill a passion for the subject. Difficult brides and families are again big factors. Another, though, is working with families grieving the loss of a loved one. It’s hard not to let the pain affect you.


Marine Biologist

Equipped marine biologist writing notes on a paper while working on a boat.
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As with many other scientific jobs, most of the work is research and review, not activity in the field. Don’t go into this expecting that you’ll spend most of your time diving with sharks or swimming with dolphins.


Jobs That Require a Lot of Travel

Attractive caucasian female passenger of airplane sitting in comfortable seat listening music in earphones while working at modern laptop computer with mock up area using wireless connection on board.
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It might sound great to be away a lot and see lots of different places on the company dime. What’s easy to overlook is that you’re there to work, not to enjoy a vacation. After some time, the routines of hotel life and shifting schedules get to you, and they can strain families and relationships.


Pediatric Nurse

African American nurse communicating with mother who is holding baby daughter in her arms at medical clinic.
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Here’s another one that has the appeal of working with children and making a difference in their lives. Unfortunately, you’ll see a great number of abused and neglected kids, and knowing their lives won’t get any better after they leave takes a toll.


Amusement Parks and Arcades

A cute African-American child with afro curls with her mother playing air hockey at an amusement park and carousel on her day off in the evening.
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There’s a saying that the places that are the most fun to visit are the worst places to work, and it’s often true of this one. Belligerent customers, cleaning up messes, and sheer monotony overshadow what are supposed to be the fun aspects.



Professional bartender in white shirt and black apron holds in hands steel shaker. Blurred bottles on shelves in the background.
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Bartenders don’t get paid that much in wages, but they can do well in tips, and that’s a major plus. However, bartenders also have to deal with all kinds of difficult behavior from customers who drink too much. You’re also constantly on your feet in what’s often a very loud environment.



Demolition and construction destroying. worker with hammer breaking interior wall plastering.
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It might sound fun to break things up with a jackhammer or sledgehammer, and it might be. However, the cleanup isn’t fun at all and requires heavy lifting and hauling.


Video Game Testing

Young hispanic man streamer using computer and smartphone at gaming room.
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Video game testers don’t simply play a game and say whether they like it or not. There are several different things they test for, and the tedious nature of that takes a lot of the fun away.


Animal Shelter Worker

Dog at the shelter. Animal shelter volunteer takes care of dogs. Lonely dogs in cage with cheerful woman volunteer.
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The reality of an animal shelter isn’t playing with puppies and kittens. It’s feeding and cleaning up after animals all day, and it’s seeing the tragedy of so many lost, unwanted, and mistreated animals. It’s especially hard in kill shelters.



young actress reading scenario on stage in theatre.
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Unless you’re among that tiny sliver that makes it big, acting isn’t that glamorous and doesn’t pay that well. You spend long hours in often uncomfortable costumes rehearsing scenes that last a few minutes on the screen or stage.


Flight Attendant

Portrait of smiling cheerful flight attendant demonstrating how grasping mask over nose and mouth while slip elastic band over head.
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Sure, you get to go places, but you don’t stay anywhere for long, and you often work a particular route for long stretches. What about the travel perks? They’re real, but they can be difficult to use, and there’s not much time for them, anyway. Now add in the fact that abusive behavior by passengers has skyrocketed in recent years.


Disney Character Actor

Marne-la-Vallée, France - 10 13 2022 : Close up of a costumed actor of Donald Duck in a float during a parade in Disneyland Paris park.
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People who have worked these gigs will mention hot and uncomfortable costumes. They’ll also mention rude treatment that includes physical abuse and sexual harassment/assault.



Cheerful young muslim arabian lady young woman sit on cozy sofa female freelancer writer take notes in diary noting information write book daily tasks.
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There’s this image of the writer hunched over a keyboard and typing away at some novel that becomes a bestseller or a renowned journalist who influences politics or culture. It works that way for a tiny handful of people. Most writers struggle to find ample work and make it pay their bills.

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