10 'Dream Jobs' That Aren't As Glamorous As They Look

dream jobs not so glamorous Who wouldn't want to be a travel writer? They visit some of the most interesting and beautiful places in the world, and they get paid for it. Or a celebrity assistant? They get to hang out with celebrities!

The truth is that while these jobs certainly do come with great perks, even so-called "dream jobs" aren't perfect. Though all 10 of the following people love their careers and wouldn't change them for anything, there are times when, like the rest of us, they think work sucks.

1. Travel Writer

The perception: Trips to the world's most beautiful locations and meals at the best restaurants, all expenses paid.

The reality: "It's a difficult industry to get into and it can be a tough field to stay in because it's not known for paying well," says Sarah Sekula, a freelance travel writer whose work has appeared in publications such as Sherman's Travel and USA Today. "Therefore, this is not the right profession for you if your main concern is making a ton of money."

Plus, Sekula says, although the travel is great, it can interfere with her personal life. "You're on the road often, so you miss things in town like birthday parties and weddings," she says.

2. Celebrity Assistant

The perception: Behind-the-scenes access to a world few get to see.

The reality: "From the outside looking in at [the life of] an assistant to Hollywood icons looks glamorous. Not really," says Lisa Krohn, who says she often worked 75 to 100 hours per week as an assistant to celebrities and business powerhouses such as Martha Stewart, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and author and Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber.

"You're an intimate confidant and muse for people 24/7 on top of doing all of the administrative work. It is crucial for you to find, maintain and grow in your own character, personality and identity constantly. Otherwise you become a victim, emotional cripple and you live vicariously through your boss and his or her life," she says.

3. Blogger

The perception: "[Since I work from home], many people immediately jump to the conclusion that I get to work whenever I want, sleep in every day, go out with friends all the time, make a ton of home-office tax deductions, and that it's an overall easy lifestyle," says Andrew Schrage, editor of the personal finance blog MoneyCrashers.com.

The reality: "I have had to overcome some major challenges to working from home to avoid business failure," Schrage says. "Not having the structured 9-to-5 routine forces me to become extremely disciplined and prepare for my work-from-home job. Moreover, working from home makes it difficult to separate work from my personal life. Working at an office allows you to shut out your work once you leave and get home. Unfortunately, I rarely get to enjoy that freedom, which I've learned is priceless."

4. Conference and Meeting Planner

The perception: It's all menu sampling and international travel. Paid for, of course.

The reality: "My friends think I lead a glamorous life -- traveling to all the great resorts in Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii," says Hillary Bessiere, director of business development for Bishop McCann, a firm that produces meetings and events for brands around the world. "However, what they don't realize is that as planners we usually only see one part of the destination from the time we arrive to the time we depart, and that's our operations office to make sure our clients' programs go off without a hitch. I've been called a jet-setter, but what people don't see are the days you are up from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m., and sometimes you're lucky if you are able to change clothes every day."

5. Jewelry Designer

The perception: Arts and crafts, for adults.

The reality: It can be a logistical nightmare.

"The part of my job that is not glamorous (that few realize before setting out) is the complexities of managing and financing a lot of inventory," says Kathy Loewenstern, who designs and sells her jewelry collection at KathyLo.com. "To be successful in the jewelry business, you need a very wide product assortment and you need to be constantly changing and updating to stay abreast of trends and to give your customers something new."

This need for an extensive product assortment creates stress throughout the business, from designing to sourcing to selling, she says.

6. Social Media Manager

The perception: Tweeting? How hard could that be?

The reality: "On the outside, it may look as though my job simply entails playing on social media and telling people what music I like," says Corina Newby, a community manager for Supernova , an online indie music community based in Ontario.

In reality, though, Newby says there is a lot of behind-the-scenes analysis and planning that goes into creating an effective social media strategy. "Not only is there a planned time, place and format for each message posted, but every like, share and click must be tracked meticulously to determine levels of engagement," she says. "All of this data is then rolled in to the next campaign, so that those deceptively 'random' tweets and Facebook posts can be used strategically to deliver results."

7. Private Investigator

The perception: Life is one big "Magnum P.I." mystery, waiting to be solved.

The reality: "I work very long hours and not every hour is paid," says Brian Baker, a licensed private detective in Pennsylvania. "Cases have budgets, and you may go over what you have contracted. Scheduling is dictated by the objective of the case. Plus, people think you have special access to private information, but so much is protected (fortunately for privacy) that if you violate certain laws or person's rights you can get sued."

8. Sporting Event Producer

The perception: "[People believe that] I have the opportunity to go on a lot of the experiences we create. We create experiences to major events such as the Super Bowl and Final Four," says Robert Tuchman, author of "100 Sporting Events You Must See Live," and president of Skylight Entertainment, a company that produces sports-centered events and travel experiences.

The reality: "Everyone thinks because this is what I do that I am actually the one enjoying these once-in-a-lifetime type experiences," Tuchman says. "At the end of the day I am making sure they go well and are planned out correctly. It is long hours and the event planning process is very tedious. People don't realize a lot of the time all the back end that goes into a great experience."

9. Bed and Breakfast Owner

The perception: "Most folks think being an innkeeper is about entertaining guests and having fun," says Jan Preus, owner of the Inn at Sandwich Center, a bed and breakfast in Sandwich, Mass.

The reality: "While it's true [that my job is fun], the other side of the equation is the amount of work involved," Preus says. "The two things most people are really surprised about with my job are the time I spend doing laundry and the sheer volume of it, and the amount of time that you must spend managing your Internet presence: blogging, tweeting, Facebook interaction, maintaining your website, tracking your presence on Google, Yelp, Yahoo, etc."

10. Matchmaker

The perception: That the job is easy. "I get emails from women all the time telling me that they would love to be a matchmaker because they have had luck matching up their friends," says Marla Martenson, who also gets frequent "Millionaire Matchmaker" comparisons.

The reality: "People don't realize how particular my clients can be. I have had a client not go on a second date with a woman because she was wearing a puffy skirt and he couldn't be 100 percent sure that her butt wasn't big. I have a client who sends me photos of supermodels and wants me to track them down so he can date them. I am only a mortal matchmaker and not a magician."

Next: Perchance to Dream: Quirky Fantasy Jobs

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They forgot prostitute. Yeah my job is enjoyable most of the time and it pays decent for little work. But some of the time I have clients who try to go beyond the agreed upon time frame. I also have a coked out pimp who constantly smacks me around and yells at me. There are also times when the guy will try to sneak in through the "back door," if you know what I mean. A lot of times I have had condoms rip and then I got pregnant. I had 4 abortions last year so that's no good.

September 20 2011 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Life is tough all over. Given the failings / corruption / incompetence / anti-American ways of the current administration, along with the horrific global economic conditions, if you have a steady job that supports you and your family, you are lucky and should make the most of it. Others are not so fortunate. Even if we all come to our senses in November, the road to recovery will be long and arduous...

September 19 2011 at 11:56 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Khuram Shahzad


September 17 2011 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They forgot makeup artist. Lots of hard work behind the scenes, being on your feet for hours and trying to use makeup to make unattractive people attractive is an art. We use makeup, not magic wands. Can't erase years of sun exposure and aging to make someone 50 years old look 25 again.

September 10 2011 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know why EVERYBODY doesn't get on welfare or disability like most GREAT AMERICANS DO...EASY MONEY..work at home!!

September 10 2011 at 8:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh please, like these jobs are so hard. These people probably never got blisters on their hands from working before. The hardest thing about those jobs is finding the motivation. No heavy lifting, no getting dirty on, no stinky crap, no extreme temperatures, no dealing with dumb customers, and not much of a risk on getting killed on the job unless you smoked too much weed and drank too much alcohol and about to jump off the building with your celebrity boss.

September 10 2011 at 7:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

try truck driving...Go many places, see new faces, only put up with idiots for the moment...work 18 hour days...sleep little...and put up with cars who have a death wish by cutting u off...Life is grand ! oh yeah, stay out 1 week to many...but it is a job :D!

September 10 2011 at 5:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All things considered... doing a good job in most professions requires hard work.

September 10 2011 at 5:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whenever someone says to me "you think you want this, but you really don't" I ignore them immediately. This isn't just about jobs. It applies to romance, health, appearance, financial decisions, personal goals, and everything else where people can dish out cheap advice. "You think you want this, but you really don't" is code speak that translates to "Your life isn't going to get any better and you aren't worth pursuing the things you want, so settle for less."

September 10 2011 at 5:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They also forgot Archaeologist..... although, I think my profession is FUN!

September 10 2011 at 2:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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