10 Fun Careers That Don't Feel Like Work Laura Donovan

When I was really little, I wanted to be a movie star. Not to get down on myself, but that ship has sailed, and I’m totally OK with the fact that I’ll never grace magazine covers, dodge the paparazzi or marry Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s quite possible to have a wonderful life and fulfilling career without getting your childhood dream job. There are lots of exciting and rewarding professions available to you, so in honor of International Fun at Work Day (April 1st), here are 10 fun careers that don’t feel like work. No job is perfect, and even the great ones below have downsides, but if the benefits outweigh the negatives for you, you’re set for life.

10. Writing

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What did you expect from a HelloGiggles contributor? Though I loved the prospect of acting as a child, writing was and always will be true love, and you don’t need to work for online or print publications to do it either. Whether you draft business documents, work on marketing campaigns, travel write, blog or pen books, your writing is a reflection of your creativity and inner self. Writing can be tough, especially when you’re feeling uninspired or stumped, but when that million dollar idea presents itself, you’re reminded why you chose this profession in the first place.

9. Performing arts

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I know, I know: I lamented earlier that we can’t all have four mansions and tie the knot with Leo (for what it’s worth, he’s never gotten hitched, so not even stunning A-list actresses can sway him). But you don’t need to be a famous or wealthy performer to thrive in this field. If you love to dance, look into studios and theaters in your community to participate in shows and maybe even get scouted in the process. The same goes for acting, and if you’d like to share your talents with similar-minded people, you may consider teaching or coaching your craft full or part-time. Dance instructors earn $40,000 a year on average, and acting coaches in Los Angeles can expect to take home $70,000 annually. Being a struggling stage actor or performer doesn’t sound all that glamorous, but it beats making cold calls forever.

8. Wedding planning

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You don’t need to see Matthew McConaughey’s 2001 stinker to know wedding planning is a stressful line of work. When you’re not dealing with demanding bridezillas who won’t shut up about their “special day,” however, weddings can be fun. Vows are made, tears are shed, love is in the air and everyone gets to dance. There’s a lot of work that goes into another person’s nuptials, but at the end of the day, you play a role in the happiest day of someone’s life. What’s more fun than that (aside from your own wedding, of course)?

7. Interior Design

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This is another career driven by the satisfaction of others, and when your customer is happy, you will be too. Interior designers have an eye for style, so when someone asks for an apartment or house redecoration, the designers pick out different colors, pieces of furniture and artwork that will make the living space shine. Interior designers may also work on offices, and this can be really fun if the work environment is laid back or creative.

6. Working with kids

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With five nieces and nephews and a longer babysitting resume than I’d like to admit, I know children can zap you of all your energy. I also know they’re hilarious, adorable and stoked about simple things, and working with them is a great way to bring that same enthusiasm back into one’s own life. Though tiring, teaching and watching kids can be an adventure, as coloring, games, music and dancing might be part of your job description. You’ll be overwhelmed and burned out some days, but you’ll never be bored or have a shortage of funny stories about work. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind making watercolor masterpieces on the job, and New Girl’s Jessica Day can always sell me on this area of work.

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5. Foreign service

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In the 2009 film Julie & Julia, Chris Messina’s character wisely points out that “Julia Child wasn’t always Julia Child.” It’s true. Before she was a world-renowned culinary queen, she was the wife of a foreign service officer whose work took them to Paris, which inspired Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This isn’t the norm for foreign service workers and their families, but it’s telling of the adventures the profession invites.

Some of the careers I’ve included are easier to pursue than others, and the foreign service has pretty high standards for candidates. Working as a diplomat is undoubtedly challenging, but it provides officers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in different parts of the world and promote positive relations between the U.S. and other nations. If you didn’t study abroad, this is another way to really experience other cultures and adapt to different environments. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a life-changer.

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  1. Stating that these careers don’t “feel like work” is ridiculous. Maybe they don;t LOOK like work from the outside. Maybe they have more fun elements than some others, but give me a break. Working with kids doesn’t feel like work? Planning weddings and dealing with brides and families isn’t stressful? Writing? Foreign Service? Bakery Owner? Seriously?! Clearly, you have never had your livelihood depend on any one of these industries. Wow. Just wow. I am usually a big fan, but this article is ridiculous, inaccurate, and insulting to anyone who works in any of the mentioned fields. How condescending to think that just because one is following one’s dreams, and that parts of the job are great fun, there is not toil and hard work involved. Granted, you did allow as to how some of these have elements of hard work, but on the whole, the article is far from your usual respectful and intelligent quality. You could have avoided coming off as incredibly judgmental and condescending for the most part by simply changing the title to “Ten Careers that Sound Like a Whole Lot of Fun to Me,” and moving on from there.

  2. I just wanted to say – I love the dress that Jess is wearing in the screenshot up yonder (yellow and green one) it’s just gorgeous. Also, on the actual topic – my thing at school, college and Uni was Art. I now work for a bank, in an office. It’s stifling. It crushes my spirit day in, day out. If you have a chance to follow the path of doing what you love, always take it. Chances are you will be in the same job (or stuck in the same job through necessity) for most of your life.
    Also – remember that whatever you do, don’t take it too seriously, heck – don’t take too much too seriously. Sometimes articles are lighthearted, others more involved….. high horses hurt when you fall from them.

    • I write for a living and I love it. I hope that someday I become more successful with it though. Not just financially, but I want to feel accomplished! And I agree, doing what you love is really important. I have a BA in Culinary Arts and I was miserable working in a hot kitchen with a bunch of bully-men. I still cook at home and find that fun/inspiring/interesting, but I will probably never do it pro again. On the other hand, writing is super fun and interesting and I have done it both personally and professionally and it never gets old! I think that’s when you know you are doing something you love; money or no money, personally or professionally, long pieces or short, if you STILL enjoy it no matter what the circumstances are, its probably something you should continue doing!

  3. A scuba diving instructor!! :D

  4. Marion is absolutely right. And in fact, interior design is as stressful as any other career, if not worse. Have you ever designed anything for another human being? It’s one of the most stressful things a person can do.

    Marion Ottavianihttp://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_139744020253410&key=d315a21d6d5a1bf22f62a7d4512f1e04&libId=eee28dc1-4ae1-44c3-99c2-a9e0d769b145&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fhellogiggles.com%2F10-fun-careers-dont-feel-like-work&v=1&out=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fprofile.php%3Fid%3D1426104892&title=10%20Fun%20Careers%20That%20Don%27t%20Feel%20Like%20Work&txt=Marion%20Ottaviani

  5. Having a passionating job is a thing everybody looks for, but saying that working in arts isn’t stressing is SO wrong. Obviously you can just sit down, reading or doing pleasant things waiting for the inspiration to come, but there’s always a time were you need to gain money to live. Personnally, I’m in fashion design and the job is fucking stressful, you don’t only have to be creative, you need to create when people ask you to, always on a schedule. If you want to be an independant, you’ll be a lot more free but there will always be this stress of not selling anything, not finding anyone interested by what you do. That’s life! But saying all these jobs doesn’t feel like work is more a fantasy than reality I think :)

  6. ANYTHING you love won’t feel like work. For me it’s UX, the field I’m in. Most things on this list WOULD feel like work for me because I won’t enjoy them.

  7. I would just like to point out that interior design is different than interior decorating. Any career in the field of design is extremely competitive and takes a lot of hard work. I know you weren’t implying that these careers don’t take hard work, but interior design should be considered interior architecture whereas interior decorating is just that- decorating. One does not need to go to school to be an interior decorator as long as you have a good eye. Interior design requires education of fundamentals such as sketching (perspective), drafting, model building, computer programs, etc. It is fun! But very different from interior decorating.

  8. skLMCMcJCdUsAPrzyG 1857

  9. I make balloon animals for living – best job ever! Whenever I go to work people spend the entire time telling me how wonderful I am, then they pay me and half the time offer me cake too.

    I’ve done professional decor for weddings but don’t anymore. Because what’s more fun than planning someone’s special day? Scratching your eyes out with poison ivy might be more fun. Brides are crazy and the only people more crazy and stressed out are their mothers. I don’t think I could earn enough to pay for the therapy if I took up wedding planning.

  10. Working for a nonprofit can also be really satisfying and fun. I work for an animal protection organization and even though I work really hard, it rarely feels like *work.*

  11. Interior decorating. Not design.

    Interior design, though often confused with decorating, is much more work and stress than could ever be considered fun moreso than work. Though it is a super satisfying job, you are working under deadlines, designing floor plans on autoCAD or Revit, working with architects and engineers. Only towards the very end of the process are you dealing with paint chips, window treatments and accessories.

    Also, in order to become or be considered an interior designer, you must have a degree. Interior decorators can only complete tasks that do not relate to anything structural or otherwise. They just have to have a good eye.

    In other words, do your research. What you’ve described is a decorator, which is about as insulting to designers as calling an architect a contractor or handyman.

    • THANK YOU!! An Interior Designer has to work their butts off, it is seriously one of the most difficult careers. Interior Designers are equal to architects in most firms. In order to even be called an Interior Designer in most states you have to pass the NCIDQ which has a 40% success rate… they don’t just hand those out without a boatload of hard work.

    • thank you thank you thank you!

  12. Some people on here really know how to complain. This article clearly isn’t based on personal experiences of every job, it’s just saying that these careers can be very rewarding and *quote* if you’re having fun for the most part, the negatives aren’t so bad. The job descriptions are obviously intended to be lighthearted so if you aren’t the type of person who could see that then I don’t know why you’d read articles on a website called hello giggles.

  13. Can we add midwifery to that list?

  14. Entrepreneur, graphic, web, and interaction designer, and a practicing artist on the side. It’s really the best I could have ever asked for! Running a studio full of talented, intelligent, and creative people who love to have fun, I often find myself saying “Damn I love my job” <3

  15. As a teacher (I teach freshmen college kids, but still) and writer, I LOVE my jobs. Of course teaching and writing is hard, but sometimes it truly doesn’t feel like work. Like, I’m just hanging out with a group of teenagers, talking about books and how to write to specific audiences. I get to hang out at home and write whatever I feel like writing! Loved this article. <3

    Gina Vaynshteyn | 4/02/2014 09:04 am
  16. Just wanted to point out that Julia Child was a lot more than “the wife of a foreign service officer”. During WW2, she actually worked for the OSS (the predecessor of the CIA), and did a lot of work with classified information.

  17. In terms to all the complaints about #6, I really don’t see what your issue is. Especially considering the heading is “Working with kids”, not being a teacher. (Being a teacher to teens and young adults is a completely different story!)

    Let’s have a look at what she said:
    “THOUGH TIRING, teaching and watching kids CAN BE an adventure, as coloring, games, music and dancing MIGHT BE part of your job description. YOU’LL BE OVERWHELMED AND BURNED OUT SOME DAYS, but you’ll never be bored or have a shortage of funny stories about work.”
    The way I see it, that’s EXACTLY what all of you are saying! It’s hard work and can be very tiring, but overall it’s an amazing experience!

    I mean no offence but I have to vent here a bit… I know a few teachers who work with children and every single one of them seems to think they’re profession is underrated and that they deserve to be put up on a pedestal. They seem to think they work harder than most and that their job is more important than most…
    Yes, teaching is important. Yes, teaching is hard work. I was an au pair for a year, looking after two girls who were 2 and 5 years old and that exhausted me, so I can only imagine how difficult managing 10 to 15 of children at the same time would be.
    BUT – I’m tired of hearing people moaning about it! Nobody is forced to be a teacher. I don’t know about the States but in Germany and here in the UK, teachers get paid very well and have a hell of a lot more holidays and shorter working hours than anyone else I know (including my friends in banking) – and that’s actually the reason most of them seem to pick the profession! Yet they still go on regular strikes to try and get even more money/time off based on how >important< they are. One girl I went to university with is now a "teacher" of 3-4 year olds (aka what we would call a "kindergarten supervisor" back in Germany where I'm from) who LITERALLY spends her days colouring, reading books to her "students", and even has a NAP TIME in her 7 hour day, yet she seems to think she's pretty much a super hero and is definitely better than most people she knows – including her teaching assistant, whom she openly looked down on and mocked in front of me as being "not a real teacher"…

    As I said, I am not saying teaching is not important and I'm not saying it's not hard work – but if you spend more time arguing and moaning about that than enjoying what you do, maybe you're in the wrong profession.

    • Wow. What is with this vile attack on teachers? Most teachers do not go into the profession just for the holidays; that’s just what ignorant people like you come up with in order to keep the salaries down. I was 12 years old when I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I had no idea of the concept of money but I wanted to make a difference and be a positive role model in other people’s lives, as my teachers had been in mine. I have been an au pair and now I’m a teacher and believe me, both are very different. Being an au pair is not hard work – you do not work 6 to 8 hours a day and then have to spend your evenings planning lessons for the next day. You do not have to conduct exams and then have to mark those exams in your own free time. The same thing with homework. A lot of the work that happens in younger years education is supplying the right skills for the child’s future. It may seem like fun and games but without these basics the children aren’t going to get very far. When most people leave the office, they can also leave their work (note: I did not say all people). Teachers cannot do this. You cannot rock up to a lesson 2 minutes beforehand and just get on with it. Just think about it – without teachers, you would not have been able to write this condescending and downright degrading comment.

    • I have NO idea how much you think teachers earn in the UK , but it really is not a lot (graduates start at 21K and usually peaks at 34K – also remember they DO NOT get paid during holidays) and you don’t seem to be thinking about what kids are really like. Yes, children are cute, and can be fun, but they can also be super trying. They can be slow to learn basic concepts, they can be annoying, they cry – a lot, they don’t understand jokes, they’re often trying to eat things they shouldn’t (like blue tack) and there’s always at least 1 kid who won’t-stop-wetting themselves.
      Even considering this, teachers spend HOURS planning lessons after work, making resources, and ensuring that students are engaged, and challenged. My house mate is a teacher, and often spends 4-5 hours planning for lessons the next day. Also I’d say most classes are no where near “10-15″ children. The Average is probably 21-30.

      Along with this you don’t seem to have included teaching Secondary School (High School) where students are more often then not rude and disengaged. Teenagers can be horrible. When I was in school, I remember a class in the year before me deciding they didn’t like a teacher, and waging a psychological war on her. They never hit her, or anything like that, but half way through the second term she had a mental break down and left the school. This wasn’t even at an inner city school, which are much much worse.

      Teaching is definitely hard work, and it’s definitely under-appreciated, and I don’t think you really know much about it.

    • Uh, yeah–here in the United States, where my mother has a Master’s degree in Special Education (that’s 7 years of college), after being a teacher for THIRTY EIGHT YEARS she only makes about 60k per year. Oh, and everybody thinks it’s okay to walk all over her because she’s “just a teacher.” Also, being an au pair is not even CLOSE to being a teacher–that’s like comparing a nanny to a parent. But you know what? I doubt there’s a single person who ever lived that has never complained about their job. So before you start judging the people who have dedicated their lives to making sure that the people who are running the world have enough knowledge to do so just because they’re pissed that they get paid next to NOTHING even though they work more hours than the average citizen, take a second to consider what the world would be like if they all decided that they, as you so insightfully put it, “are in the wrong profession” and quit. Obviously there’s a reason people choose education as a career, and it’s not for the salary or all the “days off”….it’s because even after all the crap that everyone gives them at every chance possible, and even after working in extra hours every week to help that ONE kid who’s struggling, they still love what they do. Nobody decides to be a teacher because it’s easy, they decide to be a teacher because for them, nothing is more fulfilling than knowing that because they did a damn good job, someone else will be better for it.

    • Short working hours? You nuts? The 9-4 in class with up to 30 13 year olds is only part of the day. Personally, I find it the easier part of the day. We then go home and spend another couple of hours planning how to keep them entertained while educated the next day. Not easy. The main reason I am teaching is I do not want to be on the dole, living off other peoples earnings, as finding another job would be incredibly difficult. 40% of qualified teachers leave within 5 years – a clear sign. http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jan/15/ofsted-chief-teachers-quitting-scandal

    • You’re absolutely right, people shouldn’t be getting into teaching unless they love it, but it’s very different than just watching children. Both certainly have their challenges and I’d never say that anyone’s job is more difficult than anyone else’s, but they are different.
      Also, I wish teachers in the US were treated like those in Germany. I’ve had foreign exchange students who cannot believe how disrespected and underpaid American teachers are. Class sizes here are more like 20-25+ instead of 10-15, it’s really not fair to the students!

  18. believe me interior design is mostly pain in the ass to deal with invesotrs and other stuff… A LOT of work and rarely a satisfaction from it

  19. I think the author should understand that “fun career that doesn’t feel like work” means “you love what you do” that you feel excited when you do it, doesn’t matter you’re paid or unpaid. It can be anything in any kinds. For sure, so much bigger than just those 10 mentioned career that are very common seen on chick flicks. Those 10 are careers that are hard to maintain even in you love them. Works are works. I’m a geography student, I play music, make art and travel. And I always feel amazing every time I finish a work of one of those. If I can do all of those my whole life being paid, that would be a good life. In a reminder that hard work will always have to be put. So I’m putting a geographer, environmentalist, traveler and journalist in my list of careers that don’t feel like work. What about you? You know you’re free to put your “dream job” as the “fun career” ;)

  20. I feel like any job (paid or unpaid) will feel like work. I’m not a graphic designer, or even pursuing a career in design, but I do create designs in my spare time. And when I do, it is work. After working on a design for about 5-6 hours I usually end up with a headache. But because I love it so much, it doesn’t bother me and in a sense doesn’t feel like work, but that doesn’t mean it’s not work. Which is what I think many of you guys are claiming right? I’ve concluded that what most of us want is not a job that doesn’t feel like work, but a job that we love enough we are willing to work. And that’s what I want for myself. What about you guys?

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