The problem is two fold. First, I want you to like my central character. Show the character as the underdog and - goes the reasoning - bingo! We automatically like them. Maybe, but in real life while we may offer sympathy as our friend moans on about how hard done by they are, unless there's something really dreadful going on, secretly we're thinking: Get a grip!
Same with characters. Making them put upon doesn't actually make us like them. Just as we avoid the real life heartsink friend when they phone, we don't want to read about books about moaners - even if by p15 they've got their act together and are now kicking ass. It's too late.
Secondly, novels are about people with problems solving them. Characters without problems don't work. If you're writing contemporary women's fiction, as I do, then problems are more likely to be domestic in scale rather than baddie makes a bid for world domination a la James Bond novels. Husbands, children, boyfriends, jobs, parents, lovers, pets, money - it's the stuff of most of our lives, and most of us will have a good moan about some aspect of it some of the time. So, make the character someone with an everyday problem at the beginning, and we'll like them, yes? Actually, no.
Because I know whinging moaners are my natural setting, I have to forcibly make my characters cheery and resourceful, constantly plotting and planning to improve their lives. I think I'm getting better at it. Although Natalie, in A Single to Rome, is first met getting dumped by her boyfriend, she is determined that she can get him back and plans accordingly. Lu starts Kissing Mr Wrong on a mission to get Marcus and find out about Jack.
So, bringing this post back to Fiona's What If comment, if I make my character not like her job at the start I can guarantee that my innermost self is getting all geared up for a quick round of Poor Little Me. It's best avoided.