As it turns out, there are plenty of career paths out there that even the people in them wouldn’t recommend. Last week, Reddit user HalosOpulence asked readers to detail why they wouldn’t recommend their professions to others, and these workers were brutally honest. Below, we’ve gathered their most eye-opening, and frankly unfortunate, responses, so you too can know which career fields to be wary of.
Keep reading to also find an interview with HalosOpulence to hear what inspired this conversation in the first place, and be sure to upvote the replies you resonate with. Then if you’re interested in reading about even more careers that aren’t all they're cracked up to be, check out this Bored Panda article next!
#1Librarian. The pay is s**t, especially with the fact that you need a master's to have any meaningful advancement. Master's degree, to make $40-50k.
Also, depending on where are, libraries are just where homeless people go during the day. And a lot of homeless people are perfectly nice and respectful! But enough of them are not.
I normally work in a fairly nice suburban branch where the worst I get is old men coming on to me. I'm pretty lucky. Coworkers at the downtown branch have been grabbed, punched, screamed at, spit at. They find bodily fluids all over the place. They find people overdosed in the bathroom.
I'm sure any customer service position is like this. People think librarians sit and read in a nice, quiet library all day. We do not. We are expected to act as untrained social workers as much as we're expected to recommend books.
Image credits: baby_yaga
To hear what inspired this conversation in the first place, we reached out to Reddit user HalosOpulence, who was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda. "We are in times of uncertainty: job insecurity with the rise of technological advancement, the desire to have diversity, inclusion and equality in the workforce, and all the while struggles with the pandemic affecting one’s mental health," she shared.
"Firstly, let me say that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is very exciting. Apps like Chat GPT and Dall-E can formulate their own hypothesis of what something could look like with the intellect of the web. Chat GPT can come up with 'humanlike' responses and could write a song, make recommendations, and can take an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test," HalosOpulence continued. "Dall-E is able to create images based on a simple text, and can make anything that could look like a human or create a new idea for a company logo."
#2Pediatric cancer scientist. A lot of the kids that end up on our research protocol are going to die. Fewer of them are going to die than if they were *not* on our research protocol, but the prognosis for the "we've tried everything else" cases that get to us is not great.
Image credits: DrSuviel
#3I'm a scientist. That means you don't make much money, and no-one listens to anything you say.
Image credits: EmotionalTruth3477
"However, to contend, some developments are getting so powerful that AI is 'replacing' the jobs of others," HalosOpulence shared. "Job elimination could be as simple as being an admission clerk at the hospital. Of course, this is phenomenal news of return on investment (ROI) for the company itself, as they wouldn’t have to pay a human to do the work, but it’s very upsetting news to the worker that was let go. I’m unsure of what the future will be like, perhaps there will be a global income for all and we can live in augmented realities together (AR) or maybe there will be limits of AI ethical practice where we can still sustain our jobs and live to co-exist."
#4Call center tech support. Need I really say anything?
The whole job is trying to help people who treat me like I'm the person who broke their s**t.
Image credits: Korrin
#5I'm a janitor. Humans can be brainlessly disgusting, dangerous to others (and themselves) and generally be utter pricks.
And thats just from facing up shelves.
My job isn't bad. I work when the place is closed and clean up the aftermath. Today its tampons that are stinking of death and someone walking around the shop in boots covered in horse manure (its on the coffee shop sofas too).
Image credits: radeakins
"The reason for my post, 'Why would you not recommend your career?' is because we all have a voice and it needs to be heard," she explained. "The future is unknown and more than ever, we need to have each other’s back and increase our self-awareness because at the end of the day, being kind is what matters to each other. It starts with empathy. People’s lives are impacted by business matters. The reason why voices need to be heard is that these are human lives being impacted in increasingly significant ways."
"The more I read on my post, the more it was heart-felt. Heart-breaking really. A job is supposed to make you feel included, important, and ultimately like you’re needed. They’re not supposed to make us feel like slaves, under-appreciated or easily replaceable," HalosOpulence told Bored Panda. "The commentators on my post did not surprise me because I knew we were struggling. You can see it in their faces, their reactions and responses."
Well, I used to love reading. I joined a book club while in college and even voted as one of the committee. Now I see books as work and never touch them outside my work hours. *sigh*
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#7Social work (US) - every system we have to work within is failing or already broken. the trauma these children go through, sometimes at the hands of your own agency (unexpected placement changes), will shatter you. I've been doing it for 4 years and am feeling the cracks... no idea when the break will finally come.
Image credits: NotoriousFawn90
"According to the World Health Organization, the pandemic has caused an increase of anxiety and depression by 25%," HalosOpulence continued. "People lost jobs, changed careers, or are still unemployed. Moreover, inflation has risen up almost 8% from last year and presently, cost-cutting is affecting the tech industry. It’s really sad to hear that there are people who studied so hard, and transferred countries in order to get a job, but then, they are immediately laid off or rejected. Tech layoffs aren’t just because of inflation and cost-cutting, it’s also because of social imitation. It’s a trend."
"Statistics are kind of like an insight to the future and when choosing a career path today, you really need to keep track of statistics," she noted. "Additionally, research, job shadow and speak to those in the industry in which you’re interested in. To add, it’s of great importance to keep track of the AI movement."
#8Union Laborer. Mainly concrete work but occasionally I do asphalt or other stuff like that.
The money is great and there is always work but unless you want to have very bad back, neck and joint pain by the time you’re 25 I wouldn’t recommend it.
I’ve seen countless people(basically 75% of the people I work with) addicted to all sorts of painkillers because it’s so rough on the body. I’m only 27 and I’m starting to see why they all are, my body aches all the time.
Go to college.
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Intense (if short) education that will eat your whole life and not prepare you for anything at all. The pay sucks. The hours are weird. No work from home options.
Pretty much works because we all have ADHD and hate ourselves. If you can wake up at 3am and shotgun a Bang on the way to a call because railing a line of coke is illegal, this field is perfect for you. Especially if you don't mind being poor.
Image credits: Officer_Hotpants
#10Funeral industry - the smell.
Ontop of that you need to maintain a pokerface the entire time when facing clients
Image credits: Flaky_Tumbleweed3598
Have you *smelled* lion spray? Otter c**p, oily and fishy and laced with territory-marking musk?
Yeah, you don't want to. You probably can't even imagine how badly you don't want to. Certainly not for close to minimum wage. You have to be a little crazy to get into this line of work.
My nostrils have never forgiven me.
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#12Freelance filmmaker here (cinematographer, director, producer).
- I can charge $150+ / hr.
- I can usually survive on less than 100 days of work per year.
- Seeing your name in the credits of a film/TV show feels pretty good.
- There is not a clear career path / road map to success. It’s mostly right time, right place, luck of the draw.
- A normal shift is 10.5-12.5 hours and have often gone 18+hrs…for WEEKS AT A TIME with sporadic days off.
- It can require extended travel, often with no warning.
- A job typically gets booked as a “hold” (which is a soft “maybe this will actually happen” kind of commitment) and will often get pushed or dropped with zero explanation or recourse for payment.
- With every job, you must negotiate against a shrewd producer who is always “working with a tight budget” whenever the client is: Disney, Facebook, Nike, Coldplay (insert Fortune 500 company / organization not hurting for money)
- Getting work often has zero to do with your portfolio or level of talent.
- Competition for work is FIERCE and often results in people undercutting each other (even as friends) to get that gig.
- For equipment, I have invested tens-of-thousands of dollars with the hope of rolling the new gear into my rental kit…only to have a client decline to use my camera or lenses in favor of cheap / inferior rental equipment.
- Films are no longer “fun” to work on
- I am self employed and have no insurance
- It costs $10k to join the Union to not have to fight for a decent rate
- The divorce rate in the film industry is extremely high
- There is zero stability as a freelancer
- I’m always “working”
- My mental health has suffered during periods without work. You begin to question why so-and-so is working and you are not. It’s a vicious cycle.
- On the best days, I feel like a disposable cog in a machine and not an artist.
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Elon Musk and the bias of national outlets in the US has made people the world over hate us for no reason on sight just for covering events. People are fleeing the industry like crazy out of fears over safety and simply stress after verbal and physical attacks have skyrocketed over the past year, in addition to the stress of trying to report while people scream nonsense at you the whole time.
Most journalists strive to not be biased and to cover all stories relevant to their readers/ viewers/ listeners. Pay attention to local journalists (and less to those in the US if you live outside it), not national outlets, if you want actual news, and please stop treating them like s**t for having the gall to be at an event with a recording device. We already get paid pennies on the dollar, we don't deserve constant vitriol while simply trying to do our jobs. Please stop generalizing professions under one umbrella.
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#14Crime Scene Investigator
17 years of doing it and my therapist agrees it's getting close to long enough. Seeing so many dead people in so many different ways. Murders, suicides, overdoses, infant deaths all take a toll. The pay isn't great and the emotional trauma just compounds. My first day was an autopsy for a 2 year old and I can still picture that kid. I could go on and on but then it's more like a therapy session.
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#15Machine operator, I've had 6 lung infections in the past year and a half from all the welding fumes.
To all the geniuses who think I'm not wearing a respirator. I am. But it can only filter out so much. Especially if the shop looks like willie Nelson and snoop dogg were hanging out.
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#16Realtor. Seems like everyone and their mothers are getting their real estate license, then quitting a couple months in. The only reason me and my husband have found success is because my mom is the broker and owner of our firm and has devoted time to teaching and guiding us 1 on 1. If you are thinking of becoming a realtor, here are some things you will need to actually make it in the business
— At minimum 8 months of living expenses saved up. You will make zero money the first year, and if you try to do real estate and a side hustle you will fail. You have to devote yourself full time in order to learn and market yourself.
— Be ready to put yourself out into the community like a jackass. You basically have to show up to every community/public event the first year and act like those people in the quad on orientation week, or maybe like a mall kiosk person. If you don’t market yourself hardcore then you won’t have any clients. The first 2 years in this job my husband door knocked and gave his sales pitch everyday from 2-5pm. He definitely has a soft spot for door to door salesmen and gives them water and snacks when they show up to our house.
— You have to have a mentor who can teach you the ropes. You will not learn enough in school for your license. Find someone you can shadow for the first year, or someone online you can take classes from. There’s so many intricate details to contracts, appraisals, loans, inspections, and closings that you just have to learn from asking a pro. I’ve seen sooooo many dumdum realtors who get themselves sued because they didn’t know something was legally binding, they misread a contract, they weren’t aware of a deadline, even seen something as simple as they didn’t know to attach a lead based paint addendum. My mom suggested we memorize a standard contract front to back. I’m glad we did.
All in all we are very successful. I no longer work, I’m a stay at home mom, but my husband is still very busy in the industry and last year his income was $230,000. You do very well in real estate but the stigma that it’s and easy, over paid, hands off job is so stupid and just wrong. My husband works longer hours than 9-5 but he is paid accordingly. To anyone who read this entire post and still wants to get into real estate, best of luck to you!!
Image credits: ZealousidealPear2635
#17US Merchant sailor
1. Away from home majority of the year, if you’re lucky only 180 days. Sometimes I feel like a stranger in my own house. I can’t count how many holidays, birthdays, funerals, children’s events, anniversaries, etc that I’ve missed in the last 26 years.
2. Can be stuck on a vessel for extended periods with people you don’t like and there is no real escape, except a few hours in your stateroom when off watch.
3. Sleep can be a challenge. I work 6 hours on/6 hours off around the clock for 28 days straight. Rarely do I get enough sleep to be considered healthy.
4. Bad weather can make life a challenge, being sea sick is the worst. Luckily, most of the awful weather I was exposed to was early on in my career and I was too dumb to realize how dangerous it was. Poorly secured refrigerator flying across the galley was just kinda funny back then. Boat rolling so hard, the porthole in my stateroom was underwater a good bit of the time. Trying to not get tossed out of bed, using survival suits under my mattress to make a taco shell shaped sleeping space. Avoiding getting thrown into rotating machinery in the engine room. I would say weather is probably the number one issue with my job.
5. More and more regulations. When I first started, all you needed to work on boats was a MMD(Merchant Mariner Document) or z-card, issued by the coast guard that only required a basic medical exam and some basic background information and a small fee.
Now there is a mountain of paperwork, multiple different credentials(twic, stcw, comprehensive medical exam, random drug testing) just to get your foot in the door. Stcw isn’t required for all vessels, but if it is needed, it’s like $1100 for the basic, one week class. That now requires a refresher course every five years. When I first got it there was no expiration date.
6. Zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol. The swashbuckling/cowboy days of sailing are over.
On the plus side, this career has provided a good income for the past 26 years that I probably wouldn’t have gotten from many other jobs without a college degree. I’ve seen some amazing scenery and incredible sea life. I’ve been through the Panama Canal and I’ve visited some awesome foreign countries, although the majority of my job has been in US waters. I’ve been north of the Arctic circle, but never south of the equator, unfortunately. I’ve made some lifelong friends that I can always pick up the phone and talk to like I saw them the day before. I’ve learned lots of nautical lingo, which always impresses at parties and if pressed I have a lot of good stories that often leave people a little amazed and perhaps a little jealous or wondering if I’m just full of s**t.
Image credits: hoosarestillchamps
#18I build power lines-
it’s extremely hard on your body, long hours, work a lot of weekends and holidays. The pay is good but you can only do this trade for so long before your body gives out.
Image credits: OsideScumbag
NIMBY rage directed towards you, with the City Council joining in. Public hearings that sometimes last until 2 in the morning.
Image credits: CalCOMLA
It’s mentally exhausting. People are f*****g sensitive and weird when it comes to money. I have to request pretty standard information, which make some clients get very defensive. I’m not questioning the quality of your work, jesus christ calm down.
People also don’t understand the importance of little things like keeping receipts/invoices. It’s rare to find business owners who are organized and know anything about accounting.
I helped with the back end work of doing tax returns and it amazes me that there are people who have been doing taxes for 20+ years yet you still have to beg them for the same information every year. I’m the type of person who after 2-3 attempts, I will just move the f**k on.
Also, it’s funny how growing up the saying is “if you don’t want to deal with people, be an accountant!” Big nope. You have to not only get information out of people, you have talk about money with them and like I said before, always a sensitive issue.
No matter how good you are at your job, how much you have done, you will still be hated by half of the population
Your private life will be under microscope by either side of the MSM and any small mistake will become the biggest news and headlines for them.
#22As a vet tech, the absolute stress of the day to day, the unknown of the days schedule, having more hard nursing skills than human nurses (placing IVCs, NG tube, urinary catheters, calculating CRIs, performing blood typing and matching and transfusions, making and reading cytologies, running and reading lab results etc), to make (at best) 25$/hr (with multiple degrees, letters behind my name and over 10 years experience), to be traumatized by the absolutely gut wrenching things you see in the ER, to the screaming pet owners who simultaneously believe you to be a god and perform literal miracles while also believing that you personally set the prices because you’re the devil who hates pet owners. Literally there’s very little “winning” in veterinary medicine
#23Passenger railway, as an operations functionary, for a privatised operator.
Crazy hours. Some weeks upwards of 80.
Dealing with scum of the earth fuckwits who think hanging around train stations is cool.
Explaining to some pen pusher screaming at you why is the train late that there was a problem, for which they don't give a f**k, because their on time bonus is at stake.
Like, say a single line working two way traffic. Don't need to be Einstein to figure out only one train at any one time can go on it.
#24Dog Groomer - customers are the worst part about this job. The lack of understanding of the physical and mental toll of the job; the impression that we are magicians that can fix months of neglect without making fluffy look naked; not knowing anything about the breed of their own dog and it’s needs.
The risks of being bitten, scratched, pooped on, peed on, a**l glands expressed on you (you do not unsmell that). Hair splinters in your skin in literally every imaginable spot (nipples included), hair and dander in your lungs. Repetitive strain injuries, and the likelihood that you’ll have severe arthritis when you retire. Deafness from the noise.
Corporate grooming- slaving away for a company that cares about nothing but the money and forces you to push products on customers who clearly don’t want them, and said products being pretty useless anyway.
Private grooming- the whole organisation of your own diary and trying to get bookings/if you’re lucky having to reject bookings. Some weeks are just mad quiet for no reason and you’ll be wondering if you can afford your rent. You want to charge your worth but clients refuse to pay it because “you just play with dogs all day” or “I could do that at home”
#25I worked in a comic store for far longer than anyone should. The only money in comic stores is owning one, and you'd better be smart about it. The worst customers are entitled c***s, most people are flippers that don't preorder s**t and then complain when you don't let them have 10 copies of something on release day. The best parts of the day are people that dig through bins and actually like comics, and aren't solely interested in turning a profit. And there's not nearly as many of those as their should be.
Don't work in a comic shop.
At least double the work of any standard engineering professional, with the lowest pay rate.
Often times not sleeping due to deadlines.
Lengthy testing process (ARE requires multiple long tests which require you to study on your own time like the BAR, but instead of one test you have many).
Usually the “bad guy” in the construction industry.
(Contractors b***h, owner bitches about added costs and at times blames you and engineers will generally not understand why certain things are designed)
I love my job and wouldn’t ever do my life any other way, but definitely some negatives that if you cant accept you shouldn’t be in the industry
#27Long haul trucker
It’s nice getting to work alone and see the country, but it absolutely destroys your social life. I only get one day off for every week I work so every month I only get 3 or 4 days at home. In that short amount of time I have to cram in all my socializing, dealing with family, and any errands I have to do at home.
It's countless hours of practice (and talent doesn't hurt either), just to get to career level, and countless more to maintain that level. And even *that* doesn't guarantee you a spot on stage or in the studio, or that people will like what you do enough to pay you.
It's also about who you know. Which is a combination of networking skills, a tasteful amount of pushiness, and sheer luck. So if you're not a people person (and that's ok, lots of musicians aren't, even some successful ones), your task is even harder.
We certainly must do it for the love of music, mustn't we...
Image credits: crappotheclown
#29I love my Army career (benefits like 30 days of leave and half my pay is tax free, free medical, VA disability pay, tuition, plus experience I would never get in the civilian world) but wouldn’t recommend it because your life is not your own. You can be sent to do dangerous s**t and leave your family at any moment. World events affect you differently.
If your supervisor is a d**k you don’t have very many rights, although at least they can’t sexually harass or assault you with impunity anymore, or threaten to out you for being gay if you don’t do what they want.
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#30Healthcare (U.S.) should be avoided as a career because it's exploited ruthlessly for profit. If you go to work in my field, you're signing up for extra stress for life, all to make money for some parasitic MBA.
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#31If you want to live in Japan and don't care about not earning very much money, come "teach" English. Literally the only real requirements are 1) be alive and 2) at least kind of speak English. If you can read this comment you're probably overqualified.
Reasons not to do it:
- Pay is s**t.
- No benefits.
- You will either spend your days sitting around doing f**k all but waiting to or being worked to exhaustion.
- No advancement, this is it.
- Feels utterly pointless. The curriculum is garbage. Most students don't give a f**k and won't learn much of anything. The few who *do* give a f**k and have some degree of aptitude will be f****d over by a combination of the s**t curriculum, their classmates weighing them down like an anchor, and the Japanese English teachers may not even actually speak English themselves and/or teach weird and wrong s**t as a result.
- You'll probably get shunted off to some random mountain town that's been hemorrhaging population steadily for decades with an average age of 48 and absolutely f**k all to do there unless you like hanging out in smokey old people "snack bars" or smokey pachinko parlors.
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Most people in advertising get aged out of the profession between the ages of 35 and 40.
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#33I'm a retail store manager. Pay is good. Hours are s**t and I suspect it may have something to do with me hating people.
If you want to see the worst of people, work a face position with the public. They have absolutely no consideration for you, your life, your job, whatever.
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#34Middle School Teacher
It’s stressful and low pay
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#36Plumber: make 6 figures after your apprenticeship but it’s a long road. Don’t really know how to describe it, but this isn’t your backup plan if academia doesn’t work out for you. It will destroy your body and be both physically and mentally stressful every day for many years. We aren’t just fixing leaky sinks. Heavy electrical/controls component and it’s heavy duty on the commercial service side. You will be injured, and have lasting chronic pain. I’ve encouraged all of my very young apprentices to seek a desk job. That being said, if you have the brain and the toughness, you will make good money, but have a plan to get out.
Image credits: Pihkal1987
If you land a permanent, full-time position at a good institution, it's an amazing career. But you almost certainly won't land such a position. There aren't enough jobs, and the number is shrinking.
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The field can be thankless and the stress is unrelenting. There can be days that make it worth it, but you can have all the work caught up to be blown up and have several days in a row ruined by something dumb. Law school was insanely clicky and people are hyper-competitive, a sense of community can be hard to find while superiors take no hesitation in reminding you that you work for them
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Long hours. You get paid well but you long for the days in a sweaty server room laughing with friends and eating chips. You spend your time in meetings to explain to people what you want to do and why you can't do it in three hours. You get harassed by a variety of accountant class people implementing something they got paid a lot of money to learn at a conference. You get just about everyone in your family asking you why you are not farming cryto or why you are not a multimillionaire at this point - that Elon musk- a great coder. IT used to be the best most fun thing in the world. Then money happened to it.
#40Corrections, 90 percent of the time it’s pretty chill.
But the other ten percent is balls to the wall fighting back just enough to gain control, all while the inmate wether they are covered In s**t, p**s, blood, or all three is trying to kill you, or at least seriously injure you. Mandatory overtime 12 hour shifts turn into 16 or longer back to back to back the deaths you walk into seeing. The brutality of it. Look up correctional officer statistics.
#41Working in IT means most of the time people barely know you exist, until something goes wrong then you become everyone's worst enemy. Then, the moment you fix it you get months of complaints that "it no longer works right because of whatever you did" even though you didn't actually change anything. You need to grow a really thick skin, especially if you work in technical support, which everyone in the IT industry does at some point.
Definitely used for propaganda.
#43My father is a doctor and wouldn’t recommend it to his six children. My oldest brother is a math professor and he wouldn’t recommend it. My sister is a lawyer. Doesn’t recommend it. I’m a electrical engineer who does integrated circuit design. I actually wouldn’t have talked someone out of it though I personally wish I had gone into software or at least computer architecture if I wanted to make chips. Instead of analog circuit design. But the last three years have been so stressful I wouldn’t recommend.
So I don’t know what to think.