What is the hardest job everyone thinks they can do?

 

Chef A chef, by definition, is not a cook. Our job involves quite a few qualities that, in the days of “the power of introverts” books, have fallen a little out of fashion.

Immediate response, stress management, personnel management, conflict resolution (both with customers and in a high-heat/high-stress kitchen), micromanagement under adverse circumstances, long term and short term planning, inventory management, effective communication up and down the chain of command, and - most importantly - we have to do all that while working a physical job inside a 100 degree environment, on our feet, for six hours without a mistake, and look like fresh from the drycleaners doing it.

Jonas M Luster, culinary scientist

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Translator People think it’s so easy that anyone who is fluent in two languages can do it.

What they’re missing out on is that translators have to have near-native command of a language when they START studying for their degree. Some of them grew up bilingual and still they have to take several years’ worth of classes.

In the easiest of cases, translating general everyday texts only (such as you might find on blogs), translators have to be completely immersed in the culture of two or more countries (while only living in one) in order to understand the connotations and cultural assumptions both countries assign to something.

In the worst of cases, they might be translating legal texts, a job for which you might as well have two degrees in law, possibly from two completely different systems that don’t even share the same general idea/purpose.

Unlike that guy with a law degree, translators aren’t generally paid much either, because “anyone could do that job”.

Judith Meyer, Berlin-based polyglot and developer

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Photographer Many people think that because digital cameras are ubiquitous, all you need to do is put the camera in automatic, take a shot, and presto...awesome photograph! 

Aspects of photography have gotten easier in the past 15 years, and it’s resulted in an explosion of “professional” photographers who are woefully incompetent.

A real professional needs years of practice finding the right light and compositions and, if necessary, shaping the light.  The business aspect of photography is just like running any other business and is a challenge as well.  Even talented photographers frequently underestimate the business aspects.

John Dawes, photographer

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These answers all come from quora.com, the popular online Q&A service. Ask any question and get real answers from people in the know

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