“What Glamorized Career Path Is Actually A Complete Nightmare?” (42 Answers)
To succeed in this competitive world, you gotta make smart choices early in your career. Or at least we are taught that from an early age. So no wonder that most of us have compared ourselves with others at some point in our lives.
According to a recent study, more than 75% of people reported feeling envious of someone in the last year. But what if some career paths don’t even deserve that painfully nagging feel?
To shed light on how we glamorize particular professions and demonize others, people are busting careers that are “actually a complete nightmare” in this r/AskReddit thread. Let’s read on and let us know whether you agree with them in the comments!
Parents spend tens of thousands (or more) on training. They give up their entire teen years and schooling (most elite ballet dancers are homeschooled and a large percentage move away from home for training in high school).
Most dancers you see on stage in a ballet are paying to be there. The bottom rungs of ballet companies are pay to play. Then when you have paid to dance a few years you might be able to get a position that pays you with a dozen pairs of pointe shoes and a stipend for performances. Then maybe you'll be promoted to the bottom level where you get paid 20K a year and have no health insurance. All while putting your body through major torture.
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#2Political staffer. Most jobs in politics pay very little money and require you to work 80+ hours a week for a boss who is guaranteed to have a gigantic ego. You also have to look for a new job after every election day.
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Insanely competitive schooling that crippled you with debt, with a depressing debt:income ratio after graduation.
Most of your patients don’t like you, and most of the owners think you’re getting rich upselling them unnecessary services when their dogs’s exploding eyeball cancer can be cured with raw organic exotic meats/cbd/coconut oil, but you’re withholding that information because you’re in bed with Big Kibble.
High stress, stagnant wages, long hours, [poor] holiday leave. Rampant depression. Lost count of how many colleagues have committed suicide. Sometimes tempted to join them.
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#4I don't know if nightmare is the word, but my wife has finally reached her lifelong goal of becoming a zookeeper at one of the top zoos in the US. She is very happy to have the opportunity to hand food to otters, have reindeer eat out of her hand, and brush okapi. However, she took on tens of thousands of dollars in student loans and did months of unpaid work at the zoo to get the job, which is seasonal, requiring she be off 2 months a year. She gets up at 4 AM and does farmhand style physical labor for 8 hours a day for about $9 an hour with no benefits. I am thrilled that she reached her goal, and I am happy that she is happy, but I am pretty disenfranchised with the whole thing.
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Long hours, sh**ty environment, nothing is ever good enough.
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#6Teaching for sure. I mean, people know it sucks, but still the idea of becoming a teacher and changing the lives of children simply by caring enough exists in a lot of people and sadly it's just not like that. The very sad truth is it doesn't matter how much you care, there are so many people who just want to make your job near impossible and people drop out of the position left and right.
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#7My SO is an attorney and isn't loving life right now. She says "You know how you did term papers in college? Well I do term papers every day, all day, endlessly."
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#8Modeling, too competitive and not enough food.
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#9Medicine, a close friend is a doctor, he doesn't have a life.
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Yes, you sometimes meet famous people. Sometimes they're cool, often they're really not. The days are 14+ hours of work with a commute of who knows how long on either end, depending where you're shooting. You have half an hour for lunch. Coffee breaks are whenever you're not needed on set, so depending on your job (I was in camera, and we rarely had a down moment), it could be almost never. More often than not, someone on set is yelling. People lose their minds over making really [poor] entertainment. You start work by 7am on Monday, and by Friday you're coming in at 4pm and leaving when the sun comes up on Saturday. There are no paid holidays, no paid sick days, no paid vacation. If you don't work enough qualifying hours, the union kicks your healthcare.
And this is if you're IN a union. Non-union, much worse. Sexual harassment is through the roof, but the kids who get it the worst are afraid to say anything or they'll lose their jobs. I have been told some real horror stories about famous actors, some of whom I still haven't seen get outed by the Me Too movement. And I'm not talking word-of-mouth, second-hand stories. I'm talking about young women who whisper to each other what shows to avoid and make them swear to never use their name because if they want to work in this industry, they can't be known as a troublemaker.
I watched so many co-workers fall into addictions, lose family, miss their children's lives, over the dumbest TV shows in the world. If you go union, the money can be good, but it's not worth it. It's just not worth it.
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#11Radio announcer. Like a lot of other jobs in the entertainment industry, it’s full time work for part time pay. Second jobs are common. Your pizza delivery guy just may be your favourite morning show host! At least, that’s how the morning guy at my station made ends meet, until he was laid off in the last round of cutbacks.
Now we’re a “hybrid station,” which is the preferred business model these days. That’s a fancy way of saying one person does everything while you run a ton of syndicated programs. 12 hour days of minimum wage.
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I went into it with the naive belief I would be making a difference. I wanted to protect people and make my community safer. Instead, I got to see the worst humanity has to offer day in and day out. Lets see if I can list all the negatives:
Most departments are filled with arrogant a-holes with inflated ego's that love to condescend to other officers or the public when they themselves can barley read.
Many officers have severe anger issues and love to take it out on the public (never saw it happen physically but verbally or by issuing ever ticket possible).
Try to suggest changes to bring about better relations with the public? Prepare to be ostracized and bullied till you tow the line.
The overall level of incompetence is staggering, with some officers barely knowledgeable of the firearms they carry everyday.
Your view of the public and people in general becomes very dark. The amount of EDP's (emotionally disturbed persons), druggies and alcoholics you deal with each day is ridiculous and you start to wonder how society hasn't collapsed.
You arrest a violent offender just to see them quickly released over and over, whats worse is how many times an abuse victim files a complaint because you arrested their "love" despite almost being killed.
Very few people are actually grateful when you cut them a break. They DO take it as a sign of weakness and try to push the envelope. This is an often overlooked reason why some officers become a-holes. You try to help people out and they spit in your face (sometimes literally), this gradually tears you down until you can barely recognize what you are becoming.
The uniform is a target. You can be the nicest most patient officer in the world but to many the uniform means you are the enemy. You will get cursed at, attacked and have your private life laid bare.
Low pay not even remotely commensurate with what you have to deal with.
There is sooo much more but I was lucky enough to get out and change careers before it all really got to me.
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#13Behavioral health. I spent a long time working towards a career in therapy, and I’ve noticed that a lot of new people/people looking to get into the field go in with the starry-eyed “I want to help people” mentality. I did, too.
You do help people, but it is [freaking] hard to help people. A lot of jobs are high stress/low pay type of deals, because a lot of the jobs available are through nonprofits that only have so much funding to go around. You are vicariously exposed to other people’s trauma, and it does affect you, no matter how good you are at creating boundaries and practicing self care. It’s an admirable profession, but a grossly under appreciated one, and it most certainly isn’t for everyone who wants to “help people” for a living.
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#14Architect is really bad. Most people don’t complete it and the mental health issues are quite serious. There’s a lot of criticism and stress in the beginning, lots of late nights and hard work. At the end of the work you get insulted in public.
There’s no real reason for this. You aren’t going to be saving lives or anything, there’s no need to make it so expensive either.
So three years later, you get a degree and have to do a year of intern work, then it’s time for another year of study and projects and exams. Then two years of minimum wage work.
Then you come back for more exams, essays and projects.
It’s really too hard for what it is. I get paid very badly and I don’t really use any of my training. It was pointless really but girls like it at parties when I say I’m an architect. That’s a lie I don’t go to parties I
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#15Being an artist. People think it's just fun drawing time in art class, but it is so stressful. Especially if it's a job you do. When I get commissions I spend hours just THINKING of the idea. I start sketching it, person (usually a non artist, artists are usually more gentle about it or don't mind) says it's not how they wanted it. Redo the sketch. HOPEFULLY it's okay now. Do the 2 hour line art. They say "Oh, this is wrong, this is too big, wtf is that, etc." After spending another 1-2 hours fixing it, you color it in. There's usually no problem with that unless it's an artist with a color pallet you're not used to. When you're done you send them to picture and hopefully they paid you while you were drawing because there's a lot of people who just make excuses. Also, if you're a small artist, you probably under charged that commission. That drawing you slaved over for 5 days... the person was only willing to 15 dollars and you'll take anything because everyone loves to ask for free stuff
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#16Fashion designer You won’t even get a job if you are willing to work for free
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#17The video game industry. A lot of kids and teens want in it so bad because “I grew up playing games blah blah blah they take me to another world blah blah blah.” Then you become an adult and learn that it’s all math and physics, and making a video game has NOTHING to do with what you experienced growing up. It’s all black screens of code, polygons, and being criticized for your work.
What’s worse, if you make games you probably never have the time to play them anymore. The gaming industry is notorious for implementing 60-80 hour work weeks.
EVEN WORSE depending on what company you work for, you may never have stable work. You finish a project and then the company tells you “we don’t have another project for your particular skill set.” Then you gotta look for more work.
AND IF ALL THAT WASNT BAD ENOUGH, you’ll probably never work on a game you want to work on. All those big, fancy games and indie darling on Steam are a very small fraction of what exists. Barbie’s Horse Adventure? Those people got degrees and we’re inspired by the same games as you. Crappy Candy Crush knock-offs? Same degree and inspiration. Stupid table-top games that you only see in the family section at Walmart? Those also utilize game designers/programmers.
Don’t get into videogames because you like videogames. Get into videogames because you’re passionate about math and science.
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Like a small chance of making not only WWE but any other company in general
And injuries and travel. Some people are forced to retire young
Even if you never been in the independent scene WWE has an infamous schedule and travel time.
#19For all of you smart kids with advanced degree of from Top 50 colleges , don't go into consulting. You can do better. Find a line of work that is not as soul-sucking, and energy-draining. Those frequent flyer miles and free hotels, wining and dining in glamorous suits are just a smokescreen, to cover up the misery from constant travelling, networking, guaranteed overtime and no weekends are not worth it.
Many people do it as a stepping stone to a real career, which is smart. Staying in consultancy for 5+ years will likely turn your life upside down.
#20Idk if military is glamorized, but I saw a bunch of people who joined cause they wanted to be badasses and they couldn't wait to get out. Long hours, sometimes dangerous work, mind-numbingly repetitive tasks, being stuck with a-hole bosses at times (not like you can just quit), not the best pay, etc. Add it all up and you get a large portion of people who do one enlistment and never come back.
#21TATTOOIST... it's crazy hours, no hourly rate, if no one comes in to get tattooed you don't get paid that day, you often spend more time drawing for tattoos than actually drawing and more often than not your doing that at home. There's so much more BS than anyone thinks.
I don't know why anyone thinks it's glamorous I know I certainly don't.
#22I'm a professional, full-time voice actor. I'm blessed to be successful and happy, but about 99% of the voice actors I know are depressed most of the time, struggling hard to find work, wrestling with impostor syndrome, questioning if they should give up, and barely able to make rent. Particularly videogame/anime/animation actors.
#23Investment Banking. People talk about the fancy plane rides, expensive dinners, wild parties with your colleagues or a client. The reality of it is you're never trully off work, always on-call like a surgeon.
Works weeks are usually 60-100 hours and can be brutal if one follows another.
It's really more like working from 9AM-10PM in office and then get home to work another bit and have any given presentation ready stat. I've gone all-nighters followed by client meetings where all I have time for is a quick shower and a 7/11 coffee.
#24Farming on a large scale. I was living in debt up to my ass ($500k-$1 mil depending on the time of year), haggling for every input (land, fertilizer, seed, equipment), at the mercy of the weather, and got to watch the commodity markets kick me in the nuts every business day. The real cherry on top was everyone thinking you are trying to kill them with GMOs and copious amounts of chemicals that we dont use. Not to mention farms are passed down through generations so you've got a bunch of dead and living ancestors watching your every move. Oh and a lot of farmers work a second full time job for the health insurance. There's a reason farm suicides are high and farm "accidents" and accidents are higher.
There's a million young rural FFA kids that would give there left leg for a chance to farm.
#25i like all the pushes to get people into stem fields specifically science. they do all those demonstrations that make smoke or foam appear and make color changes, they are like LOOK SCIENCE IS FUNSIES, when in reality its the most grueling repetitive high stress miserable work you can get plus countless industries just contract out the positions so you aren't even guaranteed benefits plus any business is first and foremost a business so you have to spend countless hours in board room meetings explaining science and why things won't work to people who think the disc drive on their computer is a drink holder
#26I hear being a YouTuber is pretty s**t work. Constant pressure to conform to a mysterious algorithm that's constantly changing around you, and doing or saying something that it, or the advertiser's don't like means that the plug is pulled on your wages, possibly even your whole livelihood.
#27This is kind of niche but, scuba dive instructor. I did it for 3ish years, I can't begin to tell you how many times people wished they had my job.
A decent portion of the job was selling. I hate forcing people to buy things, but I had to have a certain percentage of people buy a mask, at least. The mask was about 25% of the cost of an open water course. Chances are they'd never use it again.
Dive shop politics are insane. I worked 6.5 days a week for 90% of the year. If I turned down a course, I wouldn't be given another until there were no other instructors available. If there were no courses going on, I still had to be in the shop incase someone came in. During slow times there would be 7 or 8 instructors hanging around doing nothing. We all lived less than 5 minutes away. My dive shop would only hire people who were attractive enough. They'd also refuse to hire people who had trained at certain other dive schools in the area. The owners would go out of their way to be charming to the customers and then take the piss out of them as soon as the were out the door.
The amount of responsibility is huge, and nobody even thinks about it until you point it out. You're taking 4 people into a deadly environment and have to bring them back in the same state they went into it in. If something goes wrong you can lose your license or go to jail. Where I was working, these were pretty exclusively early to mid 20 year olds. Not only that, but if someone you trained has an incident at a later date, you can also be investigated and possibly prosecuted.
I was diving in 30C (86f) water. I constantly had an infection. Could be from a small cut, or my ears or my throat. It was constant.
Long, very hard work days. 12 hour days were about the norm. I'd teach, be dragging around the tanks I was responsible for weighing 20kg each as well as tonnes of other gear, and putting on my 'be happy around the customer face' whilst keeping them from dying. It's like a combo of retail and warehouse work.
It also diluted my love of diving. Even when diving with professionals now I have a hard time not constantly being on alert, waiting for someone to do something stupid, rather than enjoying the dive.
Pay is [really bad].
It's an amazing job, but it turned my hair grey by 25.
#28Wedding photographer. The day of the wedding is just the precedent of two solid weeks staring at a computer screen editing images.
#29DO. NOT. WORK. FOR. TELEVISION NEWS.
Unless you like being underpaid, over-worked, unappreciated, actively bullied, over exposed to the depths of human depravity, on the clock 24/7 and ready to be completely disillusioned with the world and the monsters called people living on it.
There's no sure-fire way into the business. You can just have natural ability and take direction well, audition, and nail the role. You can follow a fine arts degree in theatre and acting and hone your skills which may help in the audition process, and further. Even at that, you've got to grind and grind and grind until you get noticed...if you ever get noticed.
If you end up being a star, you can expect a career of destroying your body. Want that latest role? Gain 30 lbs. Want the next one? Lose 50. If you're a woman, expect to have to maintain your figure through your relatively shorter career, and that doesn't mean an "average" figure. For an extreme example, Christian Bale lost 63 lbs for his role in The Machinist, eating an apple and a can of tuna a day, then had to bounce back and gain weight for Batman Begins.
#31I am the official photographer at a famous beauty pageant and it's not as glamorized at it looks.
To start off the girls barely sleep, you can always see them worn out and wearing eyebag patches at rehearsals, at the photoshoots I'm always a hot mess, I sweat, I get dirty because I have to drag around ln the floor, I run here and there, and on finals night it's a complete chaos... people running around, dressing rooms with clothes all over tha place, makeup stains and so on...
#32Graphic design. The whole "we're looking for a passionate, creative blah blah designer blah blah" thing is just an advertisement,especially if you're looking for a job at an advertising company. The non-graphic designers only care about the image of the company and their exposure (awards and s**t) while making graphic designers work for more hours than what was agreed, not paying them enough and generally the whole "passionate and creative" criteria is a bait. You might start as a passionate and a creative human but you'll end up a wreck eventually.
Everyone knows the money is s***, but people think you either starve early and give up, or you're talented and you break out. Not so. There are "normal" music jobs out there. Unfortunately, they're subject to the following constraints.
Nobody who hasn't also trained for 20 years knows whether you're doing a good job. Many of them don't either.
The products produced by the music industry have value; the services involved in producing those products can't easily be assigned a value. As a result, you have no leverage in pay negotiations
Everyone ignores wage laws, and nobody is interested in enforcing them. The government never enforces them; there is only effective unionism in the US and UK, whereas, e.g., in Australia, musicians are represented by the same union which represents actors and journalists, which laughs at the idea of giving a [damn] about musicians.
This includes things like state and federal minimum wage overall, not just the sector minimum. It's not uncommon to be making approximately $5 an hour to be working your ass off constantly without breaks.
You will eventually be able to find work that pays above minimum wage. It will have nowhere near full-time hours.
You will do as many unpaid hours as you do paid hours, minimum. Sometimes you will do 2x as many.
Work on the next AAA title? You will be one among hundreds.
Indie developer? Take huge financial risks without even knowing whether you will even see your investment give any returns.
The amount of work you have to do to make a game is enormous.
Any mistake you make (unbalanced weapons, too much grind, pay2win, etc) will blow up in your face with huge negativity.
It's not super glamorous, but I hear people talking all the time about university professors sitting on their asses in an ivory tower. It's not like that at all.
You spend years in grad school--in my field it takes 6-7 years for a PhD student even if you already have Masters. If you stick it out through grad school and get the doctorate, there's a good chance that no university will hire you, even if you did good work. Sometimes your particular niche research interest is out of fashion, so you're screwed.
If you are lucky enough to get a tenure-track job in your field, you're constantly balancing teaching, research, writing articles and monographs, begging for funding, networking at conferences, serving on committees, reviewing other people's books, and generally trying to justify your existence to a crumbling system of higher ed that's suffering from budget cuts.
Academics usually are able to work in fairly safe environments, but not always. Field work can mean diseases, parasites, and political violence. Lab work can mean back pain, repetitive motion injuries, and long-term exposure to dangerous substances. The hours alone (I'm in grad school, and I work 60-70 hours per week) grind you down.
The famous Maria Callas said if she could do it all over again, she wouldn’t.
Takes countless years, hundreds of thousands of dollars, hard to hold a day job due to rehearsals, bouncing from place to place to place, people in music don’t always consider you to be a musician, people with “regular jobs” constantly asking you what you’re “real career” is, or they do the polar opposite and think you’re some famous diva when in fact you aren’t. Incredibly difficult to keep long term relationships due to the constant travel, you literally pay hundreds of dollars for job interviews (since that’s what auditions are), you perform most holidays since Christmas and Easter are the prime biblical times which = lots of singing and NYE means operetta or “A Salute to Vienna” where you sing Johann Strauss Jr all night. It’s rarely fur shall’s and champagne, and you work in the evenings and sleep in the day. It makes it difficult if you have a family, especially a young family because you have to decide if you work on Christmas to help pay for things or you stay home to open presents.
It’s a string of tough decisions. It’s taxing and a lot of people take breaks. It’s truly a passion that drives you forward because it’s hard and thankless and less and less people support it. You really gotta love what you do.
Opera is the meeting of all the art forms, music, visual art, dance, literature, and acting. Please give it a shot before dismissing it. Please support the arts.
#37Professional sports: people have no idea how much time, effort and resources goes into competing at elite levels of any sport/esport. It is soul-sucking. Think a 50hour work week is hard? Nah fam, try living and breathing what you do. That’s why I hate that people think talent is what gets you there, but in reality those people are just extremely dedicated to their craft.
#38Nursing. In today’s consumer-centric world, RN stands for Refreshments and Narcotics. Overworked, understaffed, underpaid, and expected to do it all with the graces of a Chick Fil A employee. My pleasure! eye roll
You’re mostly putting a bandaid on issues. You go into it wanting to help people, but far too many people are ungrateful, not willing to help them selves, or complain no matter how much you’re trying. I cannot tell you how many people have made threats even when you’ve gone well above and beyond for them. So many people abuse the system for freebies. I had people come in trying to get freebies who make over 100k a year.
The pay is always [poorly] unless you’re at the executive level. It is ridiculous how much executives make compared to the workers doing 90% of the work. The CEO of my organization makes well into the six figures while we have to work 3 years to get a 3% raise on our low salary. They also devalue you constantly. You have people with master’s degrees working entry level positions being bossed around by some old lady with zero education but who’s friends with the CFO or something.
You’re constantly working with a ramen noodle budget expected to come out with steak and lobster results. 9/10 volunteers are only there because they’re trying to get hours or a reference and complain a lot.
You’re constantly battling other nonprofits even if you’re just trying to share resources. You can do completely different things and are just trying to refer clients back and forth so they can acess all available resources, but they’ll guard their clients like gold.
The amount of shady practices that occur as well... Inflation of numbers, total lies, etc... it is really sad how many places do nothing or very minimal, but are galmorized as “doing good”.
#40Psychologist: (Talking to a drug addict in a very low unemployment economy)
Q: "So, Ralph, have you thought about getting a job?"
A: "Are you kidding me? If I get a job I'll get money. If I get money I'll buy drugs."
First you bust your ass in undergrad to get accepted to a good grad school. If you're like me and did biology, that means you're going to be taking the same classes and stressing out about a lot of the same stuff as pre-meds. Then you go to grad school which lasts on average 5-8 years (in the sciences). That's most or all of your 20s spent making ~$26k/year on a student stipend. But hey, at least school is free.
Then after you graduate you've got your PhD and can go work, right? Not really. If you're extremely "should play the lotto" lucky, then yes, you'll get a coveted research job. If you're like the vast majority of people, however, you'll be forced to get a post-doc position. That's where you work under a professor in a lab (just like you always have) and get paid a whopping ~$40k/year. They also last for only 1-2 years, and once it's up it's time to try to get a real career job again, or, more likely, apply for yet another post-doc. People can be stuck post-doc'ing for 10+ years.
This is the first real piece of the nightmare. Turns out twice as many PhDs graduate every year than there are jobs available for them in the sciences. That means there's a ton of competition all vying for the same tiny handful of professorships. "What about industry?" you say. Industry has even fewer openings and is a pipe-dream for most since they only want practical experience and skills. You're also still working under someone, unlike being a professor where you're free to explore any interest you want (kind of). So most people go for being a professor, where the average opening gets 200-300 extremely well qualified candidates.
But maybe you get lucky and get your job as an assistant professor (entry level). You're now making ~$60k/year, and you better bust your ass getting tenure because if you don't meet your tenure requirements by the time you have your tenure hearing (after about 5-7 years at most places) you're fired. And the problem with that is, a typical part of tenure requirements is getting one to two R01 grants (the grant name is only relevant for biology, I have no clue what the physics/chemistry/etc. equivalents are). The R01 is a big grant, considered to be the bread and butter grant for research...too bad it's funding rate is around 10%. Go to a scientific conference and chat with people and I guarantee you will have no problem at all finding scientists with stories of applying for that grant for years with no success.
Now lets say you do miraculously make it past that hurdle and get bumped up to associate professor. Now you're making ~$75k/year and things are smoother sailing. Think you can stop worrying about grants? HA! Even if you work at a university that still has real tenure (i.e., can't be fired) they probably have a clause in there about you funding your own salary through grant money. So no grants = no salary. Even better, as you have your own lab, you're also the person funding your workers' salaries. So if you lose too much grant money, you have to fire everyone. This happens all of the time, even to great labs.
Finally, if you've had a successful career, then around the time you're in your 50s or 60s you'll get promoted to full professor, where you will finally make ~$100k/year.
It's worth noting that scientists' work lives are stressful. Working weekends and holidays is common. Working late is very common. You screw up one detail in an experiment and you may have just thrown away months of work. You are constantly stressing out if you'll reach the next goal or not. "Will I get into grad school?", "will I finish grad school?", "will I ever get a professorship?", "will I ever get grant money?", etc. You get exposed to dangerous stuff like radiation, biohazards, chemical hazards, carcinogens, hell, I've even been in rooms that had magnet hazard signs up.
Don't do science kids.
#42Foreign Service Officer.
You are paid to live in a foreign country and meet interesting people. You get to travel. You are paid tax-free allowances.
You also have to defend all government policies and practices to foreigners while keeping a straight face, even the ones you disagree with or are totally inane. You have to politely and respectfully deal with foreigners you know are lying to you, trying to rip you off, corrupt, criminal or just generally horrible. This includes foreign officials, visa applicants, business people and others. The Ambassador acts like he's the king of the world, and expects you to kiss ass, when in fact he's nothing special. Administrative regs mean allowances don't always cover genuine expenses. In most countries, locals think they can rip you off and charge you ten times the price because you're a dip. Dip plates on your car are an invitation to smash-and-grab. Offices always look like they were fitted with cast-offs from government surplus warehouse rejects. You have a fancy title but not budget for local initiatives, so you always look like a cheapskate. You're the last to know what is going on in office practices and politics, and coming back to HQ means "surprise!! everything changed while you were away!!". Genuine promotions few and far between which means competition hinges on ass-kissing, unrealistic job appraisals, and cut-throat competition with sociopaths. Postings seem to be assigned in order to make everybody miserable, with the good gigs going to people the Posting Officer wants to kiss up to.
And when you come back to HQ, you realize it's even worse there.