When the Fairytale Ends: 11 “Fun” Jobs That Are Nothing Like You Thought

If you ever dreamed of working a job that screams fun, excitement, and adventure, hold onto that resume before you make the leap. Many professions that glitter from afar lose their shine up close. We all love the idea of spending the day doing something thrilling, but sometimes, reality bites. Take a peek at 11 of those jobs that may not be as entertaining as people think.

1. Game Tester

mobile games
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Beta testing for video games may sound like gamer heaven, but it’s not nearly as fun as it seems. Sure, you have access to games before they’re released. But remember, this is an entry-level position, with or without a degree. Instead of exploring a fascinating new world, you’ll be stuck in repeat mode. As one experienced tester cautions, “You are playing the same level of a game over and over seeing if there are bugs.” So rather than an exciting gaming adventure, picture more regimented problem spotting and rigorous report writing.

2. Lifeguard

Lifeguard on watch by Flagler Beach, Florida
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Let’s be honest. Real lifeguarding is not Baywatch, with Pamela Anderson jogging in slow-motion. A person points out how, thanks to that show, people believe lifeguards save “lives all the time.”

But as someone else puts it, the job is “mind-numbingly boring.” Sure, you’ll get a tan, but it’s a lot of sitting around and arguing with people to adhere to rules that are in place for their safety. I have no idea how they do not fall asleep—I know I would.

3. Character at Disney

woman kissing mickey mouse at disney
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People love Disney so much they dream of working there in some capacity. One employee, who’s a character performer, admits it’s not all sunshine despite some “magical moments.” The work is tiring. Guests are abusive, and depending on leadership, there are plenty of harsh criticisms about physical appearance.

This is not a permanent job, as there’s little “upward mobility.” People don’t last as they get older, and their looks change. Despite the perks and Disney’s joy, this job sounds dreadful.

4. Paleontologist

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Jurassic Park did a number on an entire generation. A paleontologist emphasizes working on digs with complete skeletal remains of dinosaurs is incredibly rare.

More often, it’s looking at “pictures and logging stuff on your computer.” So, like most desk jobs. Even a dig doesn’t sound as appealing, as they break down that it’s hours spent in “the hot sun dusting off rocks.”

5. Voice Acting

Voice Acting
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Voice acting seems exciting, especially if you enjoy animated series like Jujutsu Kaisen or The Simpsons. However, they usually receive little compensation though they often have to play several different voices in a series. On top of that, it’s common to strain or injure the vocal cords, which means no pay, and who knows about the long-term damage?

6. Writing

Smiling female student doing homework by laptop at cafeteria table
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Writing is a broad term, but specifically, a writer points out they worked at a “content mill,” churning out articles for blogs. Often the pay is subpar, and they favor quantity over quality. Usually, these types look for students, like this person, fresh out of college. Typically, people experience burnout, which destroys the urge to write.

7. Movie Extra

Woman acting
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I can attest to this person’s claims, as I did extra work years ago. Acting is “99% sitting” around waiting, even more so when you’re an extra. You get into costume and makeup, then sit for hours. The scene is usually all of a few seconds but takes a good hour or two to shoot. Then it’s more sitting around and waiting—one of the most tedious experiences.

8. Flight Attendant

Beautiful air hostess in an airplane smiling
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Traveling to various locales might sound exciting, but being a flight attendant is far from the joyous career path many think. As a flight attendant points out, when you start the job, you have no life, are on call, and have a horrible schedule.

The pay is awful, plus, and I did not know this, flight attendants do not get compensation when the flight is at the gate. So, stuck flights mean hours that flight attendants stand around for free. It’s not quite a jet-setting lifestyle.

9. Flower Shop Worker

Female flower shop worker.
Image Credit: Pexels.

Working with plants and flowers sounds fun. But flower shops are not precisely joy-filled. After all, as one worker reminds everyone, people buy flowers for various reasons—childbirth, weddings, and funerals. As they tack on, “it’s not fun,” helping families who suffered a tragedy choose the best flowers.

10. Pediatric Nurse

Young African-American nurse in clinic
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A pediatric nurse explains that while working with kids seems impressive to outsiders, there’s a dark cloud over this. They see the most “cases of abuse and neglect.” Because of how often the Department of Child Services has gotten involved, they know a few caseworkers. It’s not fun-filled watching children suffer.

11. Bartender

Classy bartender barman pouring rum based drink cocktail shaker in bar uniform cruise ship
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Tom Cruise in Cocktail made bartending look exciting. But it’s not all glamorous. Think about it. The bartender is the designated sober person at the party. Not to mention, not all people are good drunks. Another bartender said their manager encourages drinking throughout the night and criticizes them if they do not want to drink. Either way, alcohol consumption seems a one-way ticket to drama.

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