Have you ever yearned for a career that aligns with your passions and ignites your enthusiasm each day? If you’ve had the privilege of pursuing such a dream, did it indeed materialize into an extraordinary reality?

A user asked the forum, “Have you ever dreamed of doing something your whole life only to find out, once you did it, that you hated it? What was it?” Here are the top responses. 


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“Being an EMT. I had planned on it being my lifelong career since middle school. I loved the medical field and wanted to save lives, but I knew I wouldn’t have the stamina to get through medical school.

I got into training as soon as I graduated high school, and I was top of my class in the educational sense, but as soon as I started doing ride-along, everything just fell apart for me.

I didn’t fit in well with the firefighters, which sounds stupid, but I think I needed that brotherhood if I was going to survive in that field. The real problem, however, was my empathy. I knew quickly that I would not be able to see people on their worst days every day. I could deal with broken bones and blood, but I hadn’t prepared myself for the screams.

On my third ride-along, I responded to a teenage suicide, and that was it for me. I work for a museum now, lol.”


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“I went to law school, too, dreaming of helping people and earning money in the process. Today I’m a Portuguese teacher.”

“I’m a government attorney now. This is mostly true, but depending on where you live, that government job is going to pay you very little. Very very little.”


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“All my life, I wanted to make cartoons. I fought tooth and nail to reach the top.

Then I interned for an old studio in Burbank specializing in cartoons about a certain yellow family. Then, after college, I became a mechanic and never looked back.”


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“Blacksmithing. I watched a ton of blacksmithing content on youtube, got SUPER intrigued, and wanted to build my setup in the backyard. My Father talked me into trying a class before jumping in headfirst, and I am glad I did.

My Father and I were the only two in the class that day, so we got all the attention from the instructor, which was awesome; he really helped us both perfect our techniques and corrected any mistakes quickly so we didn’t form any bad habits, it was the best instructor I have ever had for anything, the guy was an amazing teacher.

He even offered to let us stay for a couple more hours to make another piece, which we took him up on. After all that, an amazing class, and three metal pieces that I worked on and created by myself by hand, I walked away. Dissatisfied.

I think metal as a medium just felt very hard to work with, everything is super hot and dangerous, and I just didn’t see myself wanting to ever do it again. I really recommend taking a class to try something out rather than spending time and money to build your own setup for something you may hate. I spent 75$ to save thousands.”


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“Being the boss of people. Boss is a title, but being an effective leader of people is an emotionally draining, often thankless roller coaster.”


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“Music production, which is what I majored in. As soon as I graduated from college, I realized how much I wouldn’t say I liked sitting in a recording studio doing the same thing repeatedly, only to scrap it and do it over yet again. It turned out to be brutally technical, drawn out, and boring with minimal reward, and it took all of the fun out of music for me.

Even the pros I worked with who were doing objectively “well” seemed miserable most of the time due to having to work with some truly insufferable people and never getting the recognition they felt they deserved. And half of them were alcoholics, chain smokers, or insomniacs with pronounced depression.

EDIT: Rather than pursue a career in music production, I focused on enjoying being in a band and got a day job to support my hobby. Turned out to be far more sustainable, and once I got married and had a kid (requiring me to take a step back and focus on my family), I had already established myself at a decent job with benefits.

I’m not suggesting this is the path one should take, but almost everyone I know who was trying to make it 20 years ago is still struggling to pay bills and gain traction despite whatever talent or “success” they’ve had. What I am suggesting is that if you decide to pursue a career in the arts, you have something to fall back on. The industry is brutal – it requires constant networking, long hours, and it is very easy to get burned out.”


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“I majored in graphic design in college. Worked in the industry for 14 years. I had always been a creative person growing up. Working in a creative industry totally destroyed the joy of being creative for me. I can’t do it anymore, and it’s depressing.”


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“Traveling for work. You spend a lot of time in hotels and rarely get the opportunity to see anything besides that due to flight schedules. And being hungover on an airplane is an awful experience.”


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“I grew up feeling passionate about physics and always planned on being a professional physicist. Got my undergrad, started a Ph.D. program, and spent a good time in the program before absolutely hating it. The politics, the narrow spectrum of novel research, the terrible grad school pay, being far from home, etc.

I got super depressed and had to reevaluate my career, even though I had spent so much time on this path. It all wasn’t worth a field in which I lost my drive.

Ended up leaving the program and working for the government for a few years before returning to grad school for statistics. Best time of my life, and I got a permanent research position at an R1 university in my home state (where I have been to the day).

TL;DR Spent a ton of time going to school for something that was only fun until you hit the professional level. Changed to a different field and never looked back.”


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“Moving to another country. I loved the romantic idea of moving to a new place and finding out about the culture. Turns out it’s expensive, it’s complicated, and it’s tiring. 

The only silver lining is that I’ll have a few good stories to tell… To no one since I basically lost all my friends.”


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“I spent most of my 20s dreaming of the digital nomad lifestyle where I’d work remotely and travel the world. I tried it out for a month in Costa Rica when I was 30 and decided that it was not for me.

It made me realize how important it is for me to feel connected to a community in my day-to-day life, and when you’re traveling full-time, all your relationships are transient and start to feel a bit meaningless. Likewise, I was having lots of cool new experiences, like learning to surf, exploring the jungle, and snorkeling in coral reefs, but everything felt a little hollow because I wasn’t sharing those experiences with the people who mattered most to me.

I’m very glad I did it because it gave me the perspective to see what’s really important to me and worth investing in. Granted, I met a lot of people who genuinely thrived in this lifestyle, so I’m not saying it’s an objectively bad way to live, just not for me.”


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“Being a Chef, I left high school in year ten to get a cert ||| in commercial cookery as I loved cooking and making dishes at home. Loved it for the first few months, then realized how draining it is.

I do split shifts from 9:00 am-2:30 pm to 5:00 pm-9, sometimes 9:30 pm. It’s Exhausting after doing it for four years. You lose your appetite completely. I recently had a knee injury and have been off for a few weeks; it really made my anxiety and depression calm down after not being torn to bits by chefs who have had 20+ years of experience and ‘know’ everything. It’s making me realize I’ve chosen the wrong career choice.”


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“Being a veterinarian. I never became a vet, but one of my first jobs in high school, having wanted to be a vet my whole life, was in a vet clinic. I was ecstatic. Vet clinics are depressing. Dogs and cats were hit by cars coming into the clinic in horrendous pain.

It always smells TERRIBLE from fecal floats (checking for worms), pets that got put down but could have been saved if only their owners could have afforded it. 2 freezers in the basement- one for dead dogs and one for dead cats. They get hauled to the basement freezer in trash bags in case they release waste after they die. I couldn’t take it after only a few months and left.” 


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“Being a cop. I quit after six months.”


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“Being a dog groomer. I love dogs and working with my hands. What a load of stupidity. Owners are bad; some dogs are terrible, have horrible bosses, and have unrealistic targets, you get scratched, bitten, dumped on, and hair gets everywhere, even your eyes. Unless you work for yourself, it’s a crap job.”


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“I wanted to be an architect, so I became one. Quickly learned that the only people who actually get to be creative are the people who own the firm. Pay is low, and they grind through young architects, but you require a very expensive degree, and testing to get your license is expensive and difficult.

Very dependent on the economy, and at first sight of a downturn, everyone gets laid off, Slow to recover as well as construction sometimes lags.

Long terrible hours doing work to make some stupid design some partner thought up actually work in a technical sense for months on end only to have a client say it’s too expensive anyway, and you end up with a square glass box.

The deadline drove like “We’re digging a hole on Monday, so be done, or we’re all fired,” so high stress for such low pay.” 


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“Working in a lab. Wanted to help cure viruses and diseases. Turned into monotonous days of pipetting, plating germs, and tediousness that was soul tiring.”


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“I thought I’d be a practicing psychologist but had a very idealistic view of it. Like the patient lying on the couch, telling you about their life problems, then you were telling them something and giving them a breakthrough. Mental illness cured!

I did complete my psych undergrad, and I loved the subject matter, but after doing my internship at Child and Family Services, it was very clear to me that I wasn’t cut out for clinical work. I certainly would have burned out and barely made enough money to live as a caseworker.

I got my masters in HCI/UX and made my career in tech, which was a great decision. I have nothing but respect for the boots-on-the-ground social workers, but I’m gonna continue to read books about psychology instead of working on it.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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