Academia is seen by some as something of a gravy train, so it might come as a surprise to learn that that's certainly not the experience of adjunct professors in the US, many of whom find that the pursuit of a faculty position involves long hours, poor pay and none of the advantages of full-time employment (most critically, healthcare insurance).
It's saying something that one of Alastair Gee's interviewees, Rebecca Snow, gave up on the dream and is now trying to forge a career as a novelist - itself not exactly a profession noted for providing stability and financial security. Indeed, some adjuncts find themselves homeless even while employed and one woman Gee spoke to has effectively been driven to sex work just to make ends meet.
The situation might not be so severe in the UK, but don't imagine that postdoc students and junior researchers aren't being exploited as a cheap resource by universities here too, offered little in the way of pay, support or job security.
(Thanks to Cat for the link.)