You just finished college and ready to get a job but can’t find one. Or, you want to go to college but can’t afford it so you want to save money. Or, you don’t want to go to college but you have dreams of success, but “for now” you just need a job to pay the bills.
Some of the most common low-skilled jobs have the promise of helping you to pay the bills or increase your savings, but little did you know that secretly they will kill your dreams, sap your energy, steal your time, steal your life, and steal your soul.
There are certainly worse jobs, such as a coal miner or oil rig worker, but at least those jobs pay you hazard pay. This is not a list of the worst jobs in existence, but the top 5 worst jobs in America that secretly steal your life and soul while promising what they never deliver and paying you next to nothing.
Here are the top 5 soul-sucking jobs in America that you should avoid at all costs unless you are in a desperate situation. And if you must take one of these jobs, be prepared to do everything possible to find a real job before you get stuck in the trap of a horrible soul-sucking job.
5 Customer Service / Call Center
As a customer service agent, your job is to talk to unhappy people all day long. If the drain on your time, energy, and wallet were not enough, the drain on your mood and your perception of humanity in general is enough to fundamentally alter your perception of the world in a negative light. Unless you are the most resilient person in the world (and even if you think you are), no one can survive a customer service job without a significant detriment to your life, health, and attitude about life.
This is where the vast majority of retail workers are at. Most would love to have a better job, if it were available. Unfortunately, with a dismal job market and over 60% of America unemployed, many people are lucky to even have a retail job. Does that mean you should be grateful? Hardly. Retail is one of the worst possible jobs, and working it can cause you to get into a rut of not making enough money and living paycheck to paycheck.
The incompetence of coworkers and management can cause you to get into some very bad habits which will be harmful to you whenever you get a real job, and the atmosphere of a retail environment creates customers who feel entitled for you to cater to their every whim, demeaning and degrading you in every way possible. This is likely to cause you to really hate people, because every day you are surrounded with the worst humanity has to offer, with no end in sight.
3 Food Service
This brings us to job security. Do one thing wrong, it does not matter how long you have worked there, you are out the door. There are a million other hapless applicants just waiting for you to slip up, so management often doesn't care about the fact they are throwing you on the street because there are plenty of others out there waiting to take your place. Even if you do an awesome job at all times but just have one horrible manager who doesn't like you, even for an illegal reason, off to the street you go. It's not fair, but there is little you can do about it besides filing a lawsuit, which could be a death sentence for future job prospects.
The customers in food service can be so rude and disrespectful that there is a good possibility you will develop deep seated anger issues that could plague you in years to come, even when you finally get a good job.
Then there is the work schedule. It is so scattered and awful that there is little possibility of getting a second job since the food service job doesn't even pay the bills. Moreover, your hours are going to be at the worst times, the times when everyone else is out having fun, you will be working. When you get off, it will be during the times when no one else is doing anything (like a Tuesday afternoon), so your social life will also suffer severely.
Lastly, all that time and experience means nothing for your future. 5 years later after grinding away all your time and effort, you have absolutely nothing to show for it - neither money, nor experience, nor connections, nor anything but debt, a wasted 5 years of your life, and possibly some anger issues due to dealing with the worst of humanity day in and day out.
2 Taxi Driver / Lyft / Uber
A friend who is a Lyft driver told me that a realistic expectation is about 500 hours to make $2,000, which is only $4 per hour not including gas wear and tear and vehicle depreciation. Even if you worked 12 hours per day 7 days per week (84 hours), you can't even work 500 hours in one month. Then after gas and vehicle costs, you get almost nothing. So the money is one of the worst.
However, this isn't the worst part of being a Lyft or Uber driver. The worst part is that first you have no time, and second you become completely disillusioned with humanity. My friend who drives about 12 hours per day says that he hates people. However, he only hates people because he drives around drunk people and idiots all day long (your typical customer). Moreover, he is losing his house to foreclosure because Lyft can't pay the bills, and he can't get another job because Lyft is taking up all his time (Uber pays even worse).
1 Door-To-Door Sales
Why are they scams? Not all door-to-door are scams, but most are. Any job that says they are door-to-door with no salary or benefits but only commission, are only farming for people to pay them literally nothing and get them to do all the work.
Essentially these unethical companies will get a list of something like all the new homeowners in a city, and then instead of doing any real work to see which might be interested in the, say, solar panels, they will put an ad on craigslist hiring for "$100,000 per year opportunity" and give you a list of houses to visit.
They never called these houses, so when you visit them, most of the time, no one is home and you have wasted your gas. If you do get someone, almost everyone is going to turn you away because no one wants unsolicited advertising for a service they never asked for showing up on their doorstep.
Not only this, but door-to-door sales is also dangerous, because your manager is not going to only send you to the best areas. You never know which homeowner might open the door with a shotgun, or what kind of element you will be dealing with. After all, you are intruding on their property, and do not have the safety of a retail environment where you have other people around as well as cameras which tend to keep people more in line. You are alone on a stranger's doorstep on their property, often possibly in a dangerous area, and anything could happen.
Let's also not forget about the weather. Depending on where you live and what time of year it is, door to door sales could mean wading through snow in frigid temperatures or standing out in the blistering heat and humidity. It also has the same problem as postal workers, concerns about dangerous dogs or other animals. Not exactly a fun day at work.
Essentially, these door-to-door sales "jobs" are nothing but a scam to get people to do market research for free. The manager wants to pay nothing and get desperate people to waste their own time and gas money seeing what time people come home and finding real leads. Later, the managers will sell the real leads themselves and pay the employees nothing for the time and gas they spent doing the market research by driving up to all the houses.
If these reasons are not enough to stop you, then you are one bold (or desperate) fellow. Sadly, the job market in America is so dismal, that these worst jobs are often the only jobs available, especially if you do not have a college degree (unfortunately).
Because of this, self-employment is becoming more and more practical, and in some cases necessary for survival. While self-employment does not have the perks of a stable job, it is important to keep in mind that food service and retail are not and have never been considered “stable” jobs.
Therefore, the solution to America’s job crisis is to go back to America’s roots, small business. Everyone can be a small business owner, because there are so many needs that need serviced, and so few capable people to provide such services. Using creativity, ingenuity, perseverance, and the most powerful thing you have: your mind, you can escape the miserable existence of indefinite servitude (slavery) to the worst jobs that steal your soul.