We can all agree that every job is essential, but not all are fun or rewarding. So what do you think are the worst jobs? Maybe it’s doing sewer work or healing with hazardous waste. After polling the internet, here are ten top-voted careers people deemed the worst.
1. Low-Wage Factory Work
Someone shared, “My mother was once a factory worker, and the hours were brutal—minimal pay, long hours, hard and repetitive manual labor, working basically like a robot.”
“Of course, a job like that you could do for 1-2 years, but in the long term, it is not sustainable, or that’s how I feel. Working in retail or hospitality is something I could never do. Still, I’ve got friends who have mixed feelings about this.”
2. Investment Banking
“Investment banking may be high paying, but with the stress and long hours, it does not seem worth it,” claimed one.
“A graduate analyst in investment banking will get a $100k salary and work 100 hours per week. Once you account for that, they’re getting paid well below minimum wage to make PowerPoint slides in a high-stress environment.”
“Honestly, I do not know how veterinarians do it,” one confessed. “They are amazing people. I lost my two-year-old dog with an unexplained illness and spent some time watching animals go and people distraught over it.”
“It must be so hard. We gave care packs to both vet surgeries to thank them. It’s a thankless job much of the time.” A veterinarian shared, “Much of my distress around euthanasia centers around the client. I don’t like seeing others in pain, and I have my grief to draw upon, and I can empathize deeply.”
“It is difficult to witness such distress and feel like you are the one inflicting the hurt because often you are the one relaying the upsetting information. More so in a situation like your own where the cause is unknown. Uncertainty is the mother of all stressors.”
4. Call Center Work
“I did some time in an insurance claim call center. I would get to the front doors and physically shudder. I hated saying the script, which took 40 seconds and had to be said word for word. I got into trouble because I’d skim it. People just wanted to tell you what happened,” admitted one.
A second replied, “I once worked in a call center for one month, five days a week, 9-5. I was terrible at selling, so I only made one sale and made $80 out of that sale. So I worked for a whole month for $80.”
5. Court Workers
“I used to work for a law firm and saw tons of mental illness claims coming through; Older men who were broken by the gravity of having to take the life of someone who doesn’t want to die all day,” one explained.
“A photographer in New Zealand had a photo series where they took close-up portraits of court workers on their first day and compared them to a picture after they’d been working there for months-years. You could visibly see the soul drain from these people’s faces. It was super interesting and disturbing.”
“I worked as a dishwasher at a restaurant, and it was so boring and monotonous and dirty. No air conditioner or even a fan in this small kitchen,” stated one.
“Once, I was sick from dehydration from working over a hot sink in 40 degrees Celsius heat and 100% humidity. You couldn’t make plans afterward as you’d be dirty, and your shift never ended on time.”
“I worked as a dishwasher in KFC. I was greasy, soggy, and slimy. I smelled like sweat and a kitchen bin. It was the worst. When cooking, you’d have to wear a heavy floor-length rubber apron.”
“It caused me to smell horrible after work. I can still remember it now, 15 years later. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so gross since then.”
7. Cart Collector
“The only horrible job I’ve had was cart collector at a major shopping center,” explained another. “I did that job for one day. It was way worse than any retail job I’ve worked. They put me on a 12-hour shift on my first day with zero training.”
“They told me to go around the car park collecting carts. Then, twelve hours later, they reprimanded me because I hadn’t done a good enough job, so I had to stay back to rectify my mistakes.”
“My muscles were destroyed the next day (when I was supposed to work another 12-hour shift), so I called in to tell them I wouldn’t be coming in again.”
8. Hotel Housekeeper
One user said, “I worked housekeeping in a hotel for a while. I thought I was used to being constantly on my feet and active after hospitality, but that was another level. Both guests and other staff spoke down to me.”
“Unattainable expectations of time per room, so I was running at every moment. Horrible pay. After the cleaning chemicals started triggering migraines and leaving my hands cracked, I quit.”
“It’s heavily dependent on the person. Despite the love they get on this sub, working in trade jobs was not my idea of a good time, and the money isn’t nearly as good as people here are led to believe,” confirmed one.
“Working in trades has been one of the worst experiences I was coerced into,” agreed another. “I had trouble with school, so my father pushed me into construction and welding.”
“The manual labor alone was enough to make me want to quit. The jobs are paid minimally, and almost half my paycheck went to ibuprofen and iced coffee to get through the day ahead.”
10. Cold Calling Sales
“I hated working in cold calling sales. Everyone you speak to makes it evident that they hate you and do not want to talk to you. Everybody says no and explains why they can’t afford it now, and you can’t blame them. Times are tough.”
“All I ever wanted to do was say, ‘totally understandable, no worries, thanks for your time,’ but management had a rule we must ask them three times before accepting no as an answer.”
“Pretty hard to do that when an elderly lady tells you she has cancer or a single mom tells you she is so behind on bills her electricity has been cut off. I felt evil even asking these people more than once, so I quit after a few weeks.”
Do you agree, or is an even worse job deserving of its place on this list?
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Amanda Kay, the founder of My Life, I Guess, provides valuable career advice and support for anyone striving to make a living and, more importantly, make a life. Whether it's navigating job searches, learning new skills, overcoming unemployment, or dealing with debt, My Life, I Guess has been a go-to resource for career guidance and financial stability since 2013. Amanda's expertise and relatable approach have been featured in trusted publications such as MSN, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, the Ladders and Fairygodboss.