20 Overhyped Professions That Are Just Not Worth the Struggle

We all know some overhyped professions that people keep glamorizing like they’re the holy grail of careers. Like we’re all just supposed to bow down to them or something. But guess what? Some of these jobs are just not worth the struggle, no matter how cool they might seem on the surface.

One Redditor asked, “Which profession is overhyped and not worth the struggle it brings?” This thread received insights from many users, and we have compiled the top professions for you.

1. Chef

smiling chef tossing up frying bell peppers with frying pan.
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A discerning Reddit user commented, “CHEF! Hours are horrid (50-60 hours a week, all nights and weekends), working conditions dreadful (hot and gross), stress levels through the roof! Impossible to be a chef and have a healthy family life or healthy liver for that matter …..”

Another replied, “Seriously, this is it. Worked in kitchens for 16 years. Typically, 80 hours a week, but my record was 94. Now my knees and back hate me, and I didn’t make good money anyway. Not worth it at all.”

The pressure, the crazy hours, the heat in the kitchen that could probably melt steel- it’s not all about artfully arranging food on a plate. It’s about sweat, stress, and more sweat.

2. Growing Weed

unsatisfied negative person closed eyes open mouth scream raise arms
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Sure, it sounds like a laid-back, hippie dream job. But guess what? It’s not all peace, love, and plants.

One said, “Growing cannabis is not the cool job you think it might be. Edit: just thought I’d add: that growing cannabis was perhaps the most fulfilling, wonderful job I ever had. I was good at it, too. But it’s not what people think it is. It’s hard work, and there’s no good odds of success anywhere along the way.”

Another added, “I am in the Central Valley, and I met a LOT of people who thought they were going to make it big when the market opened up. But..a couple of hippies in a warehouse have nothing on farmers who switched crops from agriculture to herbiculture.

I’ve seen weed farms that are just like any other agricultural crop. Rows that are hundreds of yards long. Professional farmers. Traditional farm labor. Those guys don’t mind driving the price down, because they are used to it. And they are good farmers too. Relying on science and ag managers to run things well.”

3. Academia

teacher sitting at desk.
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Ah, the ivory tower, where brilliant minds collide and knowledge flows like water. Or so they say. The reality? Endless research papers, constant pressure to publish, and let’s not even talk about the crazy politics.

A Reddit user wrote, “Academia. I was enthusiastic about research and was able to do my own in undergrad at the lab I worked at. I was taken on as a grad student in another institution, and it was the worst experience of my life.”

Another replied, “In the US, this is very much true. All of my friends with PhDs are never going to get tenure, working as part-time adjuncts and having a side job at Trader Joe’s”

4. Entertainment

New York, NY, USA - December 13, 2019: Taylor Swift performs at the 2019 Z100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden.
Image Credit: Brian Friedman/Shutterstock.

Everyone wants to be a star, right? Well, good luck with that. For every A-lister, there are a thousand struggling actors, musicians, and artists just trying to catch a break. It’s a tough industry, where rejection is as common as air.

Someone commented, “Entertainment: I’m not talking about the actors and musicians I’m talking about all of it. 99.99% of people making music, TV, movies, plays, etc. are destitute.”

Someone else added, “That gaffer who spends 10-16 hours a day adjusting lights for a commercial shoot and has to live out of a van because they can’t afford accommodations near shooting locations is brutal.”

5. Clinic Work

Clueless Young doctor surgeon woman over isolated white background shrugs shoulders with hesitation.
Image Credit: Roquillo Tebar/Shutterstock.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Anything clinical. ALL OF IT. The pay is BAD. The work is hard. It takes a long time in school, and you don’t get to have a normal life. And you’re never done with school. You will FOREVER have to keep taking continuing education to sustain your license(s)”

Another replied, “Medical assistants get paid 15$ gave me some really hard depression. My dad told me to drop the career cause it was getting bad. The pay raise they gave me was legit 50 cents. Ya the most I’ve ever been paid hourly was 17$ an hour. Apparently, other places pay 20$ that isn’t a clinic”

The emotional toll is huge, and the paperwork? Don’t even get us started.

6. Doctor

Doctor with female patient
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One said, “I work with doctors. They have no life. Not worth it to me. I know they get paid well, but I want a life. Plus, they all have kids, so throw that in. No time to relax.”

Another added, “Doctor. All that time in school and all the debt accumulated just to end up doing what the computer and administrators tell you to. Scared to think for yourself for fear of losing your job or your license.”

Sure, they save lives and all, but have you ever seen the crazy hours they work? It’s like they live in the hospital. And the student loans? They’re practically as big as a mortgage.

7. Psychiatrists

Woman having a conversation with her therapist on couch in office.
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People think they sit and listen to others talk about their feelings, but it’s so much more complicated. Dealing with people’s deep-seated issues day in and day out? That’s emotionally draining.

A Reddit user wrote, “Acute inpatient psych is a rough job, I do not envy that position at all. 4 years of med school, 5 of residency, to go and work in a system that has high levels of liability in addition to constant legal involvement due to incapacity assessments, etc, is no joke, the quality of life of many psychiatrists is not all that it is cracked up to be”

Someone else added, “Reminds me of my first day of 3rd year psych rotations. The attending talked to me for a minute and then went into his office. His door was locked from the inside, and I was left to wander the halls.”

8. Nursing

Nurses assisting elderly people at retirement home
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Nursing, oh boy. Nurses are like the unsung heroes of the medical world. They do all the dirty work, deal with cranky patients, and still keep a smile on their faces. But the pay? It’s often not enough for the amount of stress they endure.

Someone commented, “Nursing. I’ve been an RN for 34 years. I left the hospital setting in 2011 because they just kept piling more and more on our plate and expecting us to continue to give quality care to our patients. It was awful and seriously dangerous. I have a lot of compassion for young nurses in healthcare today.

It’s an impossible task for someone who chose a career to help people and walk away feeling like they failed. It’s not you! You didn’t fail; it’s corporate greed.”

Another replied, “People really don’t understand how brutal nursing is. They just see that a few of them travel the country and make bank, so it must be tolerable. They don’t see the nurses and aides who get punched, kicked, spit on, and hit every day. They don’t see the near career-ending back injuries that take out young nurses let alone older ones.”

9. Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio arriving at the 20th Annual Palm Springs Film Festival Awards Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, CA on January 6, 2009.
Image Credit: carrie-nelson/Shutterstock.

A user shared, “Being an actor, I mean, I’ve seen 20 people fail trying to be an actor (most of them are studying engineering or smth in college rn)”

Another added, “Agree. Most actors don’t become truly famous. Plus, I can’t imagine not being able to go where I want or do whatever I want to do without a crowd of people following me.”

Do actors get their privacy? Nope, that’s not in their vocabulary.

10. Lawyers

Confident lawyer portrait.
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A discerning Reddit user commented, “Lawyer. Many lawyers make very meh money while their jobs are very high stress.”

Someone else added, “Even when they make ok money, it’s a terrible lifestyle. The more successful you are at law, the worse the lifestyle. Lousy way to live even if the money is good.”

There are so many rules and regulations to remember, and you spend half your life buried under legal documents!

11. Journalist

woman working home on her couch on a laptop
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One said, “Journalism. Stressful, long hours, bad pay, retrenchments, crumbling industry, etc. On top of that, often listening to jargon-laden speeches by idiots in power who cannot get enough of indirect language and the passive tense to confuse the public and hide that they probably don’t care about you or your problems.”

Another replied, “My first semester in journalism college,

they explained all the ways you could get sued or be imprisoned. Next, they told us our major newspapers all select what news they’re going to write about from a pre-selected list. I quickly realized I would not be reporting on things I’d be interested in investigating so I quit. Glad I didn’t stick it out tbh.”

Sure, it sounds glamorous- chasing stories, meeting interesting people, but it’s a dying field. The hours are insane, and thanks to the internet, everyone’s a journalist now.

12. Teacher

Portrait of black teacher giving math lesson on chalkboard.
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We’ve all fantasized about standing in front of a classroom and inspiring young minds. Reality check- it’s not all apples and accolades.

A Reddit user wrote, “Teaching. Summers off is great. Working with kids is great. Teaching a subject you love is great. But so much about it sucks. Waking up at 6 am on weekdays. Being “on” the entire time you’re at work without more than 1-2 minute breaks—low pay.

Getting asked to do more work every year without getting paid more. School and district leadership barely spend any time in the classroom and don’t understand why they can’t snap their fingers with a new curriculum or policy to make things better.

But if YOU have a good idea, forget about it. Everyone thinks you do the job because you weren’t smart enough to do something else, and if you work in an even marginally affluent district, the kids and the parents will both treat you like “the help.””

Another added, “This is so sad. Teachers have one of the most important jobs in our society, but nobody seems to act like this is the case. I have been greatly enjoying my current part-time work as a tutor, but really hesitant to take my career in that direction because it seems to be really rough by all accounts.”

13. Youtubers

Surprised young woman showing smartphone with Youtube app while standing near shocked man
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Making videos, sharing your life, and getting paid for it? Sounds like a dream, right? Well, the competition is so fierce.

Someone commented, “I think trying to be a YouTuber has its difficulties; most people who get famous on there already have money to supply them; videos nowadays need to be like T.V quality for you to get an audience. Edited videos take hours and hours and can be very repetitive and boring. It’s just so hard to break into it when you don’t have the resources and time that others do.”

Someone else added, “It’s also 90% fake wealth. I’ve filmed and edited for some big-name YouTube “celebrities” – those mansions you see them living in, and Lambos they’re driving are rented for them by their sponsors. It’s all a facade. YouTubers are basically just dirt-cheap advertising for companies. When they can’t afford to hire an actual celebrity for an ad, they go to YouTubers.”

It might look glamorous, but behind those viral videos, there’s a ton of hard work and sleepless nights.

14. Real Estate Agent

Couple at new home keys
Image Credit: Amaviael via DepositPhotos.com.

Ah, the allure of selling houses, making big commissions, and living the high life. But the market is unpredictable, and the stress levels? Through the roof.

One said, “Being a Real Estate Agent. I did it. Don’t believe the hype. Like in any industry, only the 10% actually earn big money. But you need to work 7 days a week, 10-14 hour days, deal with the stress of buyers and sellers, and you are constantly under pressure because everyone thinks you’re a liar with commission breath. Not worth the hype.”

Another replied, “I just quit real estate after 8 years. Made $100k my last year. Hated the job because my clients were mostly super sleazy slumlords.”

15. Manual Machinist

Car repair mechanic fixing auto. Man working on car in garage. At home do it yourself.
Image Credit: Chris Driscoll/Shutterstock.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Cnc / manual Machinist. You are just another tool in a sweatshop.”

Another added, “Yeah. A lot of places think all they need is some high school kid to push buttons and/or pedals, and the machine does all the work. I think a lot of this is the salesmen selling the machine to upper management. And upper management likes the idea of minimal training and doesn’t question it.”

Well, it’s tough, physically demanding work. Long hours, repetitive tasks, and the constant fear of making a mistake that could cost the company big bucks.

16. Therapist

Skeptical brunette woman looking at camera
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A Reddit user wrote, “Therapist. Private practice therapists can make a lot of money, but it’s not worth it at all. It’s so much work, mental work, and it isn’t cheap at all. It’s not affordable to do all that schooling and still not guaranteed you’ll make a living wage.

The only people who do are the ones who have connections and are already middle-class enough to do all the schooling without having to work full-time. It’s just not a great field for struggling individuals due to the cost and the time that is required.”

Another person agreed and said, “It sucks. You have to be 100% “on” for the whole session. It’s so intense that you can only see so many clients a week/month. Then you can’t come home and talk to your partner or friends about what kind of day you had because of client confidentiality. So you carry those stories with you, alone.”

Plus, the constant pressure to have all the answers? It’s enough to give anyone a headache.

17. Politicians

National Harbor, MD US - Mar 4, 2023: Former US President Donald J. Trump makes remarks at the 2023 CPAC. Credit: Julia Nikhinson - CNP.
Image Credit: Consolidated News Photos/Shutterstock.

Now, politicians. We see them on TV, making promises and shaking hands. But in reality, politics is a dirty game. You’ve got to have a thick skin to survive all the criticism and scrutiny.

One said, “Politicians. Totally, it might give you a lot of power, but all you’re doing is solving problems every day which never end, and millions of lives depend on you. That’s got to be stressful if you’re the least bit sincere.”

Another replied, “Donald Trump accomplished this cause he genuinely didn’t care about anyone else, and he ran for president to make money and no other reason.”

18. IT

person hacking a computer
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Then there’s the IT crowd. Sure, we’re living in the digital age, and IT jobs are supposed to be the bomb. But the pressure to keep up with ever-changing technology? It can be too much for some people.

Someone commented, “IT – You can be 15 years in the profession, and still, before an interview, You need to waste time on LeetCode grinding.”

Someone else added, “Top-tier IT jobs are more about who you know and not what you know, and thus has been true for almost 20 years now.”

19. Pharmacist

Man doubting
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A Reddit user wrote, “Retail Pharmacist. Pay is good, but insurance companies and the big 3 retail pharmacy companies have ruined the profession. From a former retail pharmacist.”

Another added, “Long time tech here, and I can attest to this. The pharmacy is going down in flames. Specialty/mail order is a tad more tolerable, but the bottom line is insurance companies are running the show, and we do what it takes to get the claims through and spend valuable time doing endless changing documentation to ensure reimbursement. This is the focus now, not patient care.”

One wrong prescription and lives could be at stake. And let’s not forget the irate customers who think they know more than the person with a pharmacy degree. It’s a high-stress job, dealing with people’s health and expectations, day in and day out.

20. Military

Cheerful military man in uniform and cap smiling near american flag
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We see action movies with soldiers looking all heroic, but real military life is grueling. Endless training, deployments that take you away from your family for months, and the constant risk to life and limb. It’s not all medals and salutes; it’s sacrifice and hardship.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Military. The pay sucks; most locations you go are trash. Hard to keep up with friends and family.”

Another replied, “Military pay only sucks for the most senior roles. The general makes good money (+$200,000) but is vastly underpaid, considering they manage an organization of 40,000 people. Sergeants Major have a good upper-middle-class income but never get a raise after E9, only more responsibility and less room for error.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.