TV shows that make us wish we’d chosen different careers

From Grey's Anatomy and The Good Wife to Sherlock and Call the Midwife, these TV dramas inspire us to make a career change

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Forget career advisers, apparently around a third of us take job inspiration from the telly we watch. Rather than following in our family’s footsteps or embarking on some cold, hard research we just sit down in front of some proper good TV to choose our route. 

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From scrubbing-in on surgeries and solving unsolvable crimes to kicking ass in court, this lot with their fun, exciting and exhilarating careers look like they are having a much better time than the rest of us.

But, hey, it’s never too late for a career change. Here are six shows that regularly make us wish we’d picked a different path… 


A Surgeon 

Pass me a 10-blade, put in a central line and push one of epi. After 11 seasons of dramas in Seattle’s most unlucky hospital, plenty of us spend our days sat at our desks dreaming of being surgical interns. All that Grey’s Anatomy medical jargon has pretty much convinced us we’d be able to hold our own in the OR anyway.

Sure, there are plane crashes, murderous gunmen, bombs and traffic accidents waiting around every corner, but we’d somehow look great in scrubs and be able to exist on minimal sleep, all while saving lives, performing ground-breaking surgeries and indulging in regular late-night tumbles in the on-call room. Plus we’d earn enough money to build ourselves fancy houses like McDreamy. A win-win, right?


A Lawyer

Alicia Florrick makes it look so easy. Why take messages, lick envelopes and order stationary when you could be swanning around Cook County’s courtroom in a sharp suit and killer heels, righting wrongs? Sure you have to study for years (around six, with perfect grades) before you get to make like The Good Wife’s Alicia, win almost every case you take on, run your own law firm and hang out babes with Diane Lockhart. But it’s surely worth it. 

And those trials, they’re easy, right? You’ve just got to avoid double jeopardy, respect fifth amendment rights and keep guns away from unstable defendants… 


A Private Detective 

There are always strange and intriguing mysteries to be solved, and now we’ve watched every episode of Sherlock (a few dozen times) we wouldn’t mind trying our hand at it. We might be a little forgetful, a tad sluggish around 3pm, but if we were private detectives our grey matter would be unrecognisable. Anagrams and crosswords would be no match for the super speedy processing systems inside our skulls. 

We all have mind palaces, if only we could remember where we’d put the keys…


A Midwife

Watching BBC1’s hit period drama Call the Midwife makes us want to swap our keyboards for forceps and start bringing life into the world. We know it wouldn’t be all cake and cuddles. Night shifts aren’t as glamorous as Trixie makes them look, we’re not 100% sure whether the NHS lets you wear a cute red cardi while welcoming newborns, and you’re more likely to drive to work than cycle over cobbles but, you know, there’s always room for negotiation. 

We’re pretty sure we’ve grasped the basics (just little pushes now!) and, though we’re sure it’s stressful, we’d like a slice of that life-affirming euphoria that comes with each new baby. Where do we sign up?


A Fixer

White hats at the ready, people. We’re not sure if Olivia Pope’s job is even a real one – if it is, it makes us question all sorts of things we think we know about democracy and the government (B613 is fictional, right?) – but we want it.

From the looks of Scandal, Washington is a complete mess, and someone needs to sort it out. We’re not sure we’re entirely qualified, but we’d be keen to give it a try. This career aspiration has nothing to do with Liv’s glam apartment, super stylish wardrobe or passionate clinches with the most powerful man in the western world. Promise. 


A Journalist

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I couldn’t help but wonder… if being a journalist in real life was actually what it looked like on TV. Sex and the City’s Carrie mainly spent her time brunching and dating, and apparently funded her lavish lifestyle, plus extravagant shoe habit, by writing the occasional article. That sounded pretty good. And it’s, er, almost exactly what it’s like. Right, guys…?!