In a discussion following my rant (in Finnish, sorry — this is in English because the follow-up discussion was) on how schoolbooks are currently being bought (or, rather, not) by Finnish highscools I said something like "well, the book publishers then just have to get their hair cut and get a real job". Of course, someone saw that chat log later and asked later whether I seriously think book publishing is not a real job.
Of course I do not.
For me, a real job is not about what you do, it is why you do it, and what does it accomplish. Book-publishing can be a real job, if it is about publishing quality editions of good books and getting them for people to read, or about publishing textbooks cheap and getting them to those who cannot afford extra, or about trying to reduce the use of dead trees by publishing more ebooks, or whatever else that is actually useful to and needed by someone other than yourself needing the money they pay you for it. It is not a real job if what you do is publish new editions of textbooks where the subject matter has not changed every two years and make your living out of cheating people into believing they need those new editions.
Science is not a real job if you do it for your career or as a nice way to get a salary while allowed to idle around and read about and play around with interesting things. It is a real job if you do it out of a genuine interest to further our shared understanding or because some specific problem needs a solution that does not exist yet (idling and playing around might be a good tool for finding that solution, of course). Marketing is a real job if it is about informing people about advances or opportunities in things they feel they need; it is not a real job if it is about inventing needs that people do not yet have and doing propaganda to make people believe they have them. Living alone as a hermit in the forest and growing your own food is not a real job, though it probably is a whole lot of work; keeping a farm to raise your family on is a real job. It is easier to have a real job being a doctor or a teacher or an artist or indeed a farmer — but it is also possible to be any of those without it being a real job, because real jobs are not about your job description, they are about whether you contribute.
Some people do not want a real job. That is fine, as long as they are happy and someone wants to pay to them for the unreal ones, or they can grow their own food, or are rich enough.
Some people cannot get a real job even if they want to, but need to finance their food and housing and clothes by wage-slavery to imaginary purposes. That is not fine.
(No, I do not really have anything against long hair, either. That part is a joke, or rather, a lyrics quotation.)