Everyone wants to break [stuff] with a sledgehammer. Everyone is tired of lifting that sledgehammer by 5 swings.
Nobody wants to load the broken stuff into bags or a wheelbarrow and take it to the dumpster.
Paleontologist. You don’t get to work with full dinosaur skeletons and do all kinds of awesome expeditions. You’re mostly sitting at a desk looking at some pictures and logging stuff on your computer, maybe examining a fossil occasionally. If you’re lucky you can go on a real dig, and OMG SPEND HOURS IN THE HOT SUN DUSTING OFF ROCKS!!!
All the ones we see on TV and movies are the 0.0001% of incredibly lucky and talented people who managed to thrive in a hostile and overcrowded industry.
And even when you are working, the actual job itself is 99% sitting on apple crate in hot makeup waiting for some grips to move a lighting fixture. Then you say three lines over and over again for an hour, and then you wrap.
Lawyer, no it isn’t like they show on TV.
Hey, finally case is before the judge, damn the other party didn’t show up. Next date that judge has given is 3 months away.
Google Street View driver.
You’re all alone for 8+ hours a day, can almost never take a break, need to constantly be “on” and focused (lest you crash the $25,000 Subaru with $60,000+ worth of camera equipment on it), you end up becoming an amateur meteorologist to keep track of weather patterns and cloud cover, and in my experience there are a lot of people who just get insanely upset at you, at Google, and the job in general for a wide variety of reasons. I enjoyed myself when I did it, but it was nowhere near as glamorous or fun as I or my friends & family assumed.
Edit: Thanks to everyone who expressed an interest in my summer job from almost 10 years ago. I’ll just answer the most asked questions here real quick:
Pay? $15 an hour, but contingent on hours driven, which were themselves dependent on clear weather to ensure optimal image quality
Why not drive every day no matter the weather? Google got around this problem by making you re-drive routes whose pictures turned out subpar. To prevent people double billing by driving the same easy route constantly, you also had a weekly quota of unique miles driven, so no double dipping.
What could you do in the car? As long as the camera and the napping software (Edit: MAPPING software, thanks for the heads up) was running properly I was on my own. I listened to music, the news, and lots of books on tape. I could stop for short bathroom breaks whenever I felt like it, and had an hour guaranteed for lunch whenever I wanted to take it, which usually amounted to eating in the car on the side of some lonely rural road 90% of the time.
Who would ever think this was fun or glamorous? All I can say is, back in 2012 most people I talked to were pretty excited, myself included, about getting the chance to do any work with Google, let alone this cool new project that would let you see what any place on Earth looked like at street level from the comfort of home. This was the era of Google Plus being a potentially exciting new thing, of Google Glass being the future of tech, and overall it was a different time. That’s why everyone I knew thought this was a cool gig.
Working in a music store ( musical instruments )
Your days are spent listening to 50 different people play 50 different riffs poorly simultaneously, as if they’re all putting on their own concert.
Accounting isn’t the adrenaline rush that most people think it is
Farming. At least in my experience it’s a rough and thankless way to make a living with no days off and no management to cry to when there’s a problem.
You: My dad is in the hospital and isn’t doing well, can I take a couple days off? The plants:
Also everyone thinks you have the cushiest job ever. Everything is automated now, isn’t it? You get tons of bailouts and subsidies and whatnot, right? You get 3 months in winter off, right?
Maybe out west where they’re growing a billion acres of corn in one field so the robot tractors can’t really get confused and such a machine would actually pay for itself.
Only if you’re in Iowa growing ethanol corn.
It’s 3 months of building and equipment maintenance with no pay. It’s the exact opposite of a paid vacation but it goes for months. No we don’t go to Hawaii.
Working in a thrift store? Well I always thought it sounded fun but it’s basically just the retail experience but on top of that people think they can haggle with you. I specifically worked in a non-profit thrift store (charity shop) so it was extra infuriating when people tried to return things or talk us down from a $5 shirt. THIS ISN’T A GARAGE SALE.
Cyber Security. Bro, the movies do us no justice. Hacking is not as fast nor is it as easy as the media makes it. It’s a great field but you spend a lot of time researching or watching paint dry, especially in the gov side.
Working at a Charles Dickens fair is… Interesting, but not incredibly fun. It is hard to stay in character, and people get so mad when they see the Alice in Wonderland area. Yeah, we know it’s not Charles Dickens, but we can’t have a kids play area in the world of Oliver Twist, okay?
Trimming weed, Idk why people think working with weed is like working in the willy wonka factory, it’s not. You literally get to make tiny cuts with sticky scissors for 8 hours.
Working at Victoria’s Secret. People think it’s a lot of hot women coming in to buy underwear, but it’s mostly Karens.
Being a writer. I always thought it was my absolute dream job. But the only job I could get after college was working in a content mill as a blog writer. I used to work 70-hour weeks staring at the computer in a basement of an old bank writing nonsense articles about the dangers of mold, fence cleaning, and why you need a commercial awning and the dream turned into a nightmare.
While I still write occasionally, I am now working as a communications person so it is a bit less heavy.
I grew up loving planes and space travel and being interested in how things work. I loved cars and motorcycles and anything mechanical or electrical.
The reality is that you sit behind a desk likely making subcomponents at best, and dealing with issues that arise when it doesn’t work with another component for the final product. Most engineers will not use even half of what their degree was for.
Please note that of course there are exceptions, and many engineers get to do really cool things for their whole career, I’m just saying that most don’t.