10 Fun Careers That Don't Feel Like Work

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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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559805637 Aimee Van Vliet

    Hi! While I applaud your motivations in trying to include ‘fun’ as a criterion for picking a job, I’m pretty horrified by how utterly traditionally female these jobs are. Really, you don’t think any young women have considered working in TV or as an actress? Baking? Interior design? You’ve basically described a 50s housewife that earns money (if she’s lucky).

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1635433319 Gabrielle Wiley

      In response to what you said: I hate to be that person, because I’m all for women taking on what have been “traditionally” men’s jobs – however, at the same time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to pursue the stereotypical feminine jobs as well. Because really, the whole generalization of “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs” should be eliminated.

      And as a note to the article itself, the very first thing on the list has long been considered a very masculine job (writing: Hemingway anyone?), along with performance which was massively male-dominated for years (Shakespearean plays had female roles played by men), and of course diplomatic relations because of course if women couldn’t vote, how could they possibly be involved in international politics? And tv, where there’s an extremely low number of late-night female comedians (like Conan). Finally, owning a bakery has for a long time been relatively male-dominated, especially considering that most famous chefs are men.

      (As for my personal opinion, I would love working any of those jobs because they all fit my artsy and creative personality and talents, the only thing that wasn’t here that I wish was is owning a bookshop – dream job right there.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001122437270 Juhani Heino

    I might add massage, designing puzzles, and game development. Though none of them is really my career.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537652403 Jessie Ramon Orozco

    Pottery never feels like work but it is a challenge. Instagram@gp_clay

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=650975894 Isabel Maria Whitehead

    Definitely missing teaching yoga. I leave work feeling better than when I arrived, and hopefully so do my students! It is fun, healthy, and a great community. On a side note, I kind of agree with the previous poster @Aimee Van Vilet about the way the topic was presented…its a difficult subject to navigate. I mean, I think welding is fun and enjoy it when I am able to work on a project, and I am sure there are lots of women who also find traditionally male gendered jobs or tasks ‘fun’, too. Be careful of the message you send to readers — this one came off with a weird spin to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004308309716 Dusti Kemp

    That’s funny…because I want to be half of these things….writer/bakery owner/wedding planner/interior designer?! SIGN ME UP!

    crossesandbows.blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502583598 Sarah Jewell Harper

    What about being a makeup artist or stylist. That is my dream job and something I someday will do. I work in radio right now and its pretty fun to but also stressful in the sales position!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=872830318 Dani Daigle

    Cosmetician/makeup artist. Making the world a more beautiful place is pretty freakin fabulous…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15600392 Colva Weissenstein

    Also, and probably the unsung hero of this kind of work, the sex industry: counselors, therapists, educators, toy developers and designers, writers and reviewers, retail, even a lot of sex-positive performers have a really good time with our work.

    Hey-O, just hanging out in my dildo-filled office, writin’ about making orgasms awesome for everyone, and how important condoms are!

    My work is an amalgamation of writing, educating, social media, and event planning, and I speak from experience, these jobs are fun, they are also cool. (People with these jobs tend to network well, connect with people, and do well at cocktail parties.) But, you often end up doing more than one, and you often have to accept not making much money, or it being less than stable.

    Except the foreign service, which is well-paid, pretty stable, but fun in a complicated way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1305361265 Marsha Wisely

    Being an engineer! Work with a lot of great people, help try and make the world safer, basically do logic puzzles all day. Sounds really fun to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002574860194 Gwendolyn Popejoy

    Ice cream shop!!
    Even as an employee I love my job. I plan on at the very least co-owning my amazing little piece of heaven. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=763043170 Katerina Pat

    Dietitian!!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1045397463 Karen Cline-Tardiff

    Working for a non-profit, any non-profit that you like, is tons of fun because you feel rewarded for doing it. You get to help others or work with the arts or music or help make a positive impact on your community. And there is a non-profit for just about anything you can think of. Sure, some of them are hard (think women’s shelters) but you are satisfied at the end of the day knowing you are making a difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=568454151 Allison New

    Fitness Industry!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1338606176 Summer Winkler

    I love these! All of them. Can I do all of them?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=23449309 Noel Davila Guillory

    Designing definitely feels like work, but it feels like work I would be doing wether someone was paying me or not. Having any kind of job will feel like work sometimes, but the creative field sure can be fun!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1258546842 Marjorie Whitlock

    I must respectfully disagree about #6 in reference to teaching. It’s my passion and I love it, but it 100% feels like work. I had to chuckle when I saw “coloring, games, music, dancing, and water colors.” Even in second grade it’s all about balancing equations, searching the text to find evidence to support your answer in reading comprehension, and so on. Everything we do revolves around state test scores and data. I’m a “fun” teacher so I try to squeeze in as much creativity as I can, but it’s super hard to do these days!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002353057572 VernandHeather Girvin

      Marjorie, I highly recommend preschool. While the pay is not stellar the experience is all about building relationships and watching little people grow with a sense of wonder and amazement. I never thought I would want a job like this, but now that I’m in it, it’s seven kinds of awesome every day.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502808472 Claire Willis

      Agreed! I work with 3-4 year olds. I love my job, but it is a job. It’s tiring, mentally and physically draining, and there’s a lot of pressure!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=638954847 Tori Pelham

    Hate to be a naysayer, but interior design definitely feels like work for me–especially the corporate side that you mentioned. Seems like you’re describing a decorator, as most of my job as a designer is dealing with building codes and creating construction documents in autoCAD. I love my job dearly and encourage young people to look into getting a degree in design, but remember that picking finishes is a relatively small part of the job. Just my two cents! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25804758 Kristin Carnes

      Yes! Thank you! Yes! If the author changed “design” to “decorating,” maybe then it would qualify for this list. Yes, a successfully completed project is rewarding, but the insane amount of work and detail that goes into a successfully completed project is not “fun.” It’s so much more than picking paint colors, furniture, and artwork. I’m a designer for commercial, healthcare, and gov clients, and it really gets my goat when my livelihood (design) gets reduced to a small, small portion (decorating) of what I do on a daily basis.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14826379 Melissa DeVries

        I have to agree with the other comments about interior design. I work as an interior design for an architecture firm, mostly doing commercial work. It’s A LOT of HARD work. Picking colors is about 10% of what I do. You definitely mean “decorator”.
        That being said, most of these sound like hard work. Wedding planning? Planning my wedding was so stressful I don’t even want to look at another wedding. And working with kids? That’s definitely a stressful job…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=829922409 Kelsey Cornedi

      I’m going to third the comments about interior design, as what was described in this article is definitely interior decorating, not interior design. I know this is an honest and very common mistake, but it gets so frustrating! I’m finishing up a 5 year program for a bachelor of science in interior design, and I have had to learn to do a heck of a lot more than pick out furnishings, paint, and artwork. I’ve had to learn building construction, structures, lighting and HVAC systems, applicable environmental technology, codes and how to research them, how to do technical drawings for construction documents, multiple drafting and modeling programs,and all of this has been applied in the four different internships I’ve completed. So yes, I may be overreacting, but I’m not an interior decorator. It would be really awesome if that job title in this list could be changed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=651120542 Robin Sharp

    Being a photographer is another amazing job that doesn’t (usually) feel like work. I shoot weddings and families and I get to share super fun days with people and get paid for it! I’ve had so much fun with some of my wedding couples that we’ve become friends afterwards. But the marketing/self promotion aspect of it definitely feels like work. It takes time and a lot of effort to build up a client base, especially in the first 5 years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1634414634 Ken Loizar Monton

    i jsut wanna share.. i work as a customer service representative. Yeah, this isn’t a easy job but i dont know, sometimes it feels like you are just doing some chit-chats. haha! this isnt the coolest job but it fits me, coz i really talk a lot. sometimes i screw the whole company process coz i go beyond miles out of our company rules. but our customers always recieve brilliant service! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000833614694 Stephanie Adele Coiro

    I actually do not like this article or agree with some of the statements.

    1) Being a writer means being someone that researches and translates what someone else wants you to market into words or someone who digs deep inside of themselves to write. Being someone who writes, it always feels like work getting things onto paper.

    2) I watched my sister-in-law work so hard for her Interior Design Degree. Her Thesis from FIT was one of the most insane things I witnessed a single person do. She works HARD figuring out people’s taste and making it all happen. It is not just making a room pretty, at all.

    3) Wedding Planning. I own my own wedding planning business. It is work. Hard work. From gaining a client book to carrying out weddings it is a lot. The work does not even happen from dealing with the couples, it happens on the wedding day. Sure you may think that weddings are all teary vows and cake from a guest’s perspective but for a planner a Wedding is a 12-18 hour day full of schedules, counseling, mediation and everything in between. Every wedding I do I come home beat – sometimes I even sleep a whole day after because of how physically demanding it is.

    I think every job feels like work to those who are doing it. I know that is not what you were trying to say, but until you do the job, I don’t think anyone could say what feels like work and what does not. For example my husband has never worked with the public. Me having a retail background knows how strenuous that is. He once said ‘I wish I had a job at like a bakery where all I had to do was put cookies in a box’. Anyone who has worked at a bakery knows you are on your feet, dealing with customers and sometimes working very fast paced. I guess it is who is looking at the job, but saying someone’s profession is more fun that function is not something you should just throw around.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=64300377 Kat Engh

      I have to agree on your point about writing. One of the best books ever written about the writing profession spends the entire first chapter warning people how agonizing writing will be for most people. I am a book publicist and freelance writer, and while I love my job, I don’t know a single author or writer who would disagree with the following statements about the writing profession:

      The pay is terrible, if it exists at all.
      Most writers will never have anything close to mainstream success.
      Most publications have cut their full-time writing staff (with more cuts likely to come), so the opportunities for paid, stable work are few.
      Author advances are also fewer than ever.
      The vast majority of writers who do gain meaningful recognition for their work will still need supplemental income to support themselves (like wealthy spouses, trust funds, or another full-time job).
      If you want to make a living as a freelancer, be prepared to work around the clock.
      The best writers either know how to hustle or have good agents to do it for them. In other words, the best writers are also confident salespeople in writing.

      It’s not all bad, of course, or there wouldn’t be so many eager and willing writers in the world. It is absolutely hard work and will feel like it most days.

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