Some jobs create an unfavorable impression in the minds of people. Such impressions are subjective and may be the result of some personal experience with the profession or professionals, negative media projections, or some long-standing perceptions. A list of ten such most hated jobs follows.
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Telemarketers and Door-to-Door Salespersons
Telemarketers make unsolicited calls to promote their products or services and naturally endure the most of screams, abuse, threats, snubs, and other forms of harassment by people on the other end, for irritating or annoying them. The job of door-to-door salespersons making unsolicited visits to houses to peddle their wares is even worse, for they take such abuses to their faces, unlike telemarketers who have the shield of the telephone.
While telemarketers and door-to-door salespersons do remain an annoyance most of the time, at times they do help shed light on valuable products or offers.
Telemarketing and door-to-door-sales rank at the top of the most unpopular jobs. Both these jobs requires little formal education, but do require good communication skills, persuasive ability, and the ability to remain calm even when provoked. Door-to-door jobs also require a pleasing demeanor.
User car salesmen rank very high on the list of the ten most hated jobs.
The stereotypical image of a used car salesman is that of a fast-talking and lying individual whose only objective is to dump a defective car to the first gullible buyer for a high profit, and all that with a smile on his face.
The job of a used car salesman is in reality as difficult and challenging as any other retail salesperson. Used car salesmen help customers identify vehicles according to their taste and budget, and success depends on good knowledge of cars, communication skills, and a pleasant demeanor. Earnings usually come as commissions, and depend on the ability to make sales.
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Think stock traders and the image of greedy and manipulative speculators who try to get rich without honest work comes into the mind. The 1987 movie “Wall Street" epitomizes the popular impression of the stockbroker’s “Greed is Good" motive.
In reality, a stockbroker’s job is hard work. The stockbroker requires great analytical skills to research and identify stocks that have maximum growth prospects, and they need to work for long hours in stressful conditions under great time pressure. The uncertainty and risk involved adds to the stress, and the very high returns on some days that get highlighted barely suffice to compensate for the risk and stress. All that is very often eroded by corresponding high losses on other days.
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TV News Anchors
The common tendency to shoot the messenger prompts many people to hate TV news anchors who convey bad news. The fact that the TV news anchor keeps smiling when a car falls into a river, when people get killed in wars, and when someone has been brutally murdered adds to the reasons to hate them. Many people also associate the face of the TV news reader with a manipulative and self-serving media.
TV news anchors present news stories in a professional way and that is the interface between the media studio and news reporters who work in arduous conditions in remote and inaccessible places. They also provide in-depth analysis of news and events.
The job requires good analytical skills and presence of mind, ability to think coolly under pressure, and of course, good communication skills.
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The job of tax examiners ranks amongst the most hated jobs, simply because they take away hard-earned money and give nothing in return. The hate shown towards tax examiners and tax collectors is another manifestation of shooting the messenger. People hate to pay taxes, as they perceive a poor quality of governance, healthcare, infrastructure, security and other aspects for which the government is responsible, and that corrupt politicians siphon away their taxes. Tax examiners sometimes catch innocent people in their net, when trying to net major evaders, and this is another reason people hate them.
The job of the tax examiner actually needs appreciation, for they strive to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of dues, and they net the evaders who enjoy the benefits at the expense of others. Every case of tax evasion detected by tax examiners actually contributes to the possibility of everyone else either paying a lesser share, or getting something extra such as better roads or better social security in return.
A tax examiner's job requires an accounting degree, and good numerical skills.
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Think of politicians and the image of corrupt, self-serving, and venal people whose sole purpose is assuming positions of power and self-benefit sticks. Politicians debating with half-truths, the media exposing their corrupt deeds and incompetence adds to the negative impression.
The reality is that people get the politicians they deserve, for the people themselves elect the politicians to the power and position they enjoy. Good politicians remain responsible to the society at large, enacting laws to maintain law and order, striving to develop common infrastructure such as roads, educational facilities, and healthcare, and represent the genuine interest of the people who elected them.
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Most people hate traffic wardens for putting a ticket on their car or towing away the car for even minor violations. Some people even blame traffic jams on the incompetence of traffic wardens.
The job of a traffic warden is highly unrewarding. It entails long hours in adverse outdoor conditions bearing noise, pollution, and incremental weather, and in a hostile environment. The work that they do in implanting rules that contribute to maintaining order in the society is seldom recognized or appreciated.
Success as a traffic warden requires great physical agility, and ability to remain cool and rational when controlling peak hour traffic and confronting the people charged with offenses.
Lawyers generate the impression of bloodsuckers who rip clients off in fees, and who lie as a matter of routine.
In reality, lawyers provide valuable legal advice to their clients and represent their clients in courts, navigating the legal system on their behalf—very often protecting their rights when the clients themselves would not be able to do effectively.
Lawyers require a professional law degree, besides good communication skills and persuasive abilities, competency in the selected niche such as criminal law, family law and others, familiarity with law points, ability to think out of the book, and much personal courage.
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The stereotypical image of a school principal is of a hard no-nonsense disciplinarian, Uncle Scrooge, and a Puritan rolled into one.
A school principal is the CEO of the school, and just like the CEO of any company, he or she is responsible for everything that takes place in the school. Unlike a CEO, he or she has the added responsibility for the long-term development of the children in the school. The principal needs to meet educational goals, provide adequate emotional support to students and families, manage the teachers and other staff, ensure the proper maintenance of facilities, ensure compliance with safety and other regulations, prepare budgets, arrange for funds, and to top it all may even teach. Their strict approach towards students is to shape their character, and this is seldom recognized or rewarded.
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Finally, everyone understands the important role played by dentists in examining and caring for a patient’s teeth. The fact that dentists often cause pain and discomfort, and at times pluck the teeth, make people hate dentists or dread going to the dentist.
An underlying dimension of all these most hated jobs is that a few “bad apples" can tarnish the image of the entire profession. Unscrupulous elements who take their clients for a ride or deal in unethical conduct exist in all professions, but the fact that a majority of these most hated jobs are independent practices where the individual's work stands out more than any organizational systems or policies cause instances of bad client experiences to spread fast and be generalized to others in the same profession.