I’m Unemployable… Are You?


So I was sitting in Starbucks the other day – as often happens when I get bored of working from home with only my kitty as a companion – when I overheard 3 business people talking about their ‘terrible’ jobs and ‘tyrant’ boss. Munching on scones (which are uber fattening I may add) the trio varied in age, gender and nationality but they had one common thread that tied them together like brothers – they ALL hated their jobs, but were ‘stuck’ for one reason or another.

As I gazed at these three I thought “I’d rather live out of my car than have to go back to work in corporate America” then it dawned on me…

I’ve become unemployable…

How about you? How close are you to being truly unemployable? Have you quit your 9 to 5 yet, or are you still stuck in a job you despise for a variety of reasons. Maybe you tell yourself “I can’t quit I have a family to raise” – funny because MOST entrepreneurs I know started their business with a family at home and still made it big (notably: Mike Michalowicz, Johnny B Truant and Janine Allis). Or maybe it’s “I just don’t have any good ideas” – well why not take an entire weekend where all you do is brainstorm – then do this every week until you come up with a winner!

Being unemployable is both an awesome and scary feeling. I feel like I’ve reached a new plane in my life because I know I’ll never, ever go back to a ‘normal’ job. But I’ve also lost a great security blanket – because from now until doomsday I’ll be forced to support myself.

I have no 401k that is matched by some corporate entity, no retirement plan that is set up by my company, no insurance because I’m an entrepreneur and insurance companies can’t seem to grasp that we need health insurance too. Instead I have to fend for myself in some scary ways. I have to invest in Roth IRAs myself to make sure that I have a solid emergency fund and am saving for the future, I have to save enough money to help myself through a medical emergency until someone in the health industry decides to TAKE MY MONEY for a little insurance coverage.

This isn’t easy and it isn’t always fun… but you know what keeps me motivated day in and day out – FREEDOM. Because what I do may be hard and it may be scary but I am laying the foundation for freedom – both financially and emotionally – that will last the rest of my life.

How to know if you’re Unemployable too…

  1. Seeing people in suits makes you either want to cringe or give them a big hug and tell them ‘Run!!’
  2. Every time you’re in a business establishment that isn’t run properly you think ‘Gosh, I could do this! Just hand me over the reigns and I’ll get this biz into top shape in no time!’
  3. When your at your darkest moment  you consider getting a ‘real’ job and then shake yourself violently and consider the other options like: panhandling, living in your car and starting another business from your cardboard box home.
  4. The word ‘entrepreneur’ to you sounds like angels singing.
  5. You can’t fathom trading precious hours of your life for not nearly as precious dollars.
  6. You’d rather fall on your cocktail sword than work in a business you don’t own.
  7. You read this blog and don’t think “Get a job weird little crazy girl”.

So ask yourself the question… Are you unemployable? Even if you are currently working for the man but the idea of being  unemployable rings true with your very being then realize that the path of entrepreneurship is strong within you! Remember the Force lay dormant within Luke for years but once awakened led him to greater and greater heights. You can be LUKE if the entrepreneurial force is strong with you! And hey, if you ever need any help feel free to ask me (I’d love to be your Obi-Wan!)

  • JJ

    For people who are depressed, where misery is internally generated and undeniable, being an employee can be a welcome situation, a way to jump into the open, outstretched arms of oblivion… the oblivion of mind-numbing work. When numbing the mind is your greatest desire, there is nothing better. Being an entrepenur takes hope and faith and excitement, qualities in short supply when all of life feels like a burden.

  • http://BrandonCordoba.com Brandon Cordoba

    Wow that is an awesome post! Love ur weaving of your story, humor, & Starwars. Nice to see others our age doing amazing things; keep being amazing Maren!

  • Spi245

    I don’t know if I am unemployable. I haven’t had a job as an adult since I was in college. I was a floor trader at the Chicago mercantile Exchange(15 yrs), then I started a prop trading firm as well as seeding a internet gaming company. The last is doing great but is not cash flow positive yet(will be in 6 months). Is a J.O.B. something to fear? Am I employable?

  • Vintage Sol

    Honestly, this article really sums my life situation!! I’ve been feeling so lost, alone and sad about it all. I went from being an independent contractor to touring musician, now to this retail environment and it’s KILLING ME. Every time I have to participate in a psuedo corporate life where crazy people abound, I can’t take it. I loved being an Independent Contractor, where I can pick and choose with whom and when to work. Being able to opt out a gig for another with no hassle was perfection. I’m trying to hang in there, but it’s not really putting food in my mouth AND I’m no happy. Yet, there’s “job security”…which makes me shudder. If this is all there is to life, what’s the point of living? I think I’m gonna quit soon. Do you think it better to have something else lined up before you jump or simply jump on faith because the pressure’s too heavy?

  • Richard

    Nice work Maren. You are an inspiration. Know anyone who wants to buy three new suits?

  • Virginia in Virginia

    Wanna know how you can really determine if you’re unemployable? You get fired by a
    judge who tells you because you got sick with a disease, you are now unemployable!
    I’ve got it in writing!

  • http://www.todobefore30.org DJ | Before30 Project

    I graduated from university thinking I was VERY unemployable and I nod ‘yes’ to number 1, 2, 3, 5 & 7.

    Untill I found my current job which offers me a good work/life balance, tons of holidays and, indeed, health insurance and retirement planning. I do like most of my current tasks (hey, nothing is perfect), but honestly, without the amount of holidays I have, I wouldn’t enjoy it.

    Being an entrepreneur is cool if you are about to found something that you can sell for cash within a reasonable timeframe, like you are intending to. I can see you are on the right track to get there 😉

    Being a small entrepreneur sucks even more than having a job. Been there, done that. Don’t stay stuck there 😉

  • http://www.VirtualZeta.com Maren Kate

    Agreed – it’s nice that you have a job like that :) When people find those
    dream jobs I always encourage them to stay until they aren’t happy anymore –
    because there is no reason to leave if you’re loving it.

    The other good thing about a job like yours is you could probably start a
    side business while enjoying the benefits of a solid salary and holidays –
    then eventually transition completely.

  • ImsohungryIcouldeatmypistol

    Try being 56 and unemployable.

  • http://freelancepf.com FreelancePF

    I would add that as a business owner, you might want to look into a “solo 401(k).”  It may allow you to invest a larger amount of money each year than the IRA ($5,500…a/k/a I’ll never retire on this even if I max out each year until I’m 59) will allow. 

  • Anonymous

    This is really nice article to read. Entrepreneurship will lead the economy. I am totally agree with the article. I am also want to be unemployable and I will do it. Thanks for share such a nice and innovative article.

  • Suki

    Being an entrepeneur won’t always work out.  But this is a nice view of the “unemployable” as opposed to the view of the uneducated, lazy scroungers!  The trouble is, I think the more you fit into this particular unformed mould, the more potential employers can spot it and feel threatened.

  • bookworm worm

    THE NUMBER of people covered by private health insurance has fallen below 50 per cent for the first time in many years, new official figures reveal. life assurance

  • Rob

    I AM unemployable! Here are the symptoms:


    I worked in the same company for 27 years and
    became completely institutionalized.

    I was made redundant at 48. I walked away with a cash package and
    didn’t even empty my locker or turn up to the leaving party.

    I’ve three times in my life, dropped my address book in the trash
    and started again.

    I’m best friends with people for 20 minutes, then I can’t trust

    I am a perfectionist. You will never be able to do it, the way I
    want it done.

    I am an inventor. I am a dreamer.

    I haven’t paid income tax for 5 years. I will never pay
    income tax again….. ever.

    I don’t read, listen to music, or I have any
    interest in current affairs.

    I am not a team player.

    There are no lighthouse keeper jobs anymore.

    I hate children. Especially, if they’re in the
    same restaurant as me.

    I hate bad parents more. Especially if they’re in the
    same restaurant as me 

    I emigrated to a country where charity work and
    religious involvement are almost compulsory. I
    am completely critical of religion and charity work.

    My parents divorced when I was 3.

    Apart from good cooking, I’ve had virtually no parental support.

    I have had virtually no education.

    I have no qualifications at all.

    My two children are at university and doubtless will qualify
    highly. They’ve never failed at anything, ever. We love each other but barely speak.

    I have met my true soul mate. We shun other humans.

    I’m disappointed in life. I can’t help it, I just am.

    unbelievably, I’m completely positive about everything.There is no such
    thing as luck.I write my own future. I think it so….. and it is so.


    I AM unemployable! I have no idea what’s next.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EFKPXGF4QR3O5OARYCE5JS3YHA B

    I am 58. I  have leukemia. My doctor says I can work a desk job. No one will hire me because of the amount of time I need to take off for treatments. UI will run out in 3 months. I AM UNEMPLOYABLE.

  • C Mitchell

    I am unemployable.  Have been out of work for 2 years!! Some of that time was caring for my mother who had cancer (she has since passed).  Employees do not believe or care about an absence from the work force for that long.  I went on one interview and aced the test and interviews and was told I would start work if someone cancelled who they had called first.  This was humiliating.  Of course, no one did decide not to show up for this high paying job and I am still out of work.  The other thing that makes me unemployable is that fact that I once sued a company for discrimination and once because in my area most of the employers are white all they have to do is look this up.  I don’t know how I am going to make it any longer.  I have been living on the generosity of relatives but I am tired of burdening them.  I feel like I am being punished by this endless joblessness because I had the compassion to look after my mother in her time of need and could not look for or take a job.

  • http://www.VirtualZeta.com Maren Kate

    I’m sorry about that :( Truly… Maybe you can look into a job as a Zirtual Assistant – if you’re interested let me know and I’ll do what I can to help.

  • Jessicareinhold1420

    Reading all this, and wow, I think I’ve got everyone beat. I am an only child and never really had to do squat. Then I tried to work, but wasn’t too good at it. So I tried something else. I’ve tried so many different things, and was never happy. Then I found someone to take care of me. Then after years that didn’t work either. I started getting into trouble and got my self a record. Any thoughts of employment ran out the door. With drugs and violence, no one will hire me for anything. I’ve tried cashiering, door greeting, and housekeeping, and no one will hire a felon with the charges I have. So if a company says equal opportunity, that is total bullshit!!! So I decided I’m going to try going back to school at te age of 48!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FZTFW5YFYLZTTMLKUFBSCFYUSU Daring

    I am unemployable due to my race.  I am unlucky to be born Indian. Having dark skin really is a death sentence. Even with a Masters degree , relevant experience,  and high gpa, employers do not want to hire me. I had a white woman tell me after an interview  that she cannot hire me due to my skin color even though I was more than qualified for the position. I had a white guy tell me that he has to give the job to those that are true American citizens. I told him I am an American citizen and I have proof, but then I realized what he really means. Another white woman told me to apply for a job at a career fair only to be told by her it was to meet some EEO agenda and that they have no intention of hiring me.  I have no criminal records, but I am treated like one.

  • SimonCow

    You’re unemployable because you don’t know when to use the word “your” or “you’re”.
    Look at number 3. “When your at your darkest moment….” Seriously?

  • Unemployed

     You need to move from where you live. Here, in San Diego, my Indian friends are very successful and have an entire community of like-minded Indian folks. If race is truly your only blocker, move to a more progressive area.

  • Done

    I’m unemployable but not in a good way. At this point, I just wish I had a fast forward button for my life.

  • Dude

    Maren Kate, what is it exactly that you do?

  • http://www.theuniuni.com/ Payton_vege

    Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

  • Dlmoulton

    You put an interesting twist on the scenario. Thanks for making me think with more clarity.

  • Sagittario74

    I think you’re abusing of the word unemployable and I think that is not respectful for people who are truly unemployable, i.e. people who nobody would hire. Unfortunately the unemployable, the real ones, are a growing number across the Western world and a neglected problem by governments who prefer to turn a blind eye to this ignominious plague which leads people to depression and in some cases, to suicide. US has become numb to the sufferance of many of its citizens. This a form of extreme social Darwinism which is against at odd t with the concept of civilization.

  • http://BrandonCordoba.com Brandon Cordoba

    If you know anyone suffering send me a email @ coach@brandoncordoba.com & I’ll send em our “Finding Hope Technique” (it’s free).

  • hardworker

    I’m going on five years without any fulltime work…all freelance projects and about at my wits end. I’m in my 40’s, still have a great work ethic and never shy away from the long work hours. However, the “careerbuilder” type experts fail to acknowledge the fact that there are simply bad H-R and hiring managers who have now takeover the workplace. Very few people think outside the box. Most upper-management types are in self-preservation mode and are doing everything to hold onto their jobs and that includes not hiring more qualified people who aren’t a threat. There are some excellent, unemployed, high-gifted people out there looking for fulltime work. I just wish people would take-off the blinders!

  • Nicolajirving

    I am unemployable.  I have raised 3 boys single handedly, went to University while 2 of them were young, trained as a teacher with all 3 of them to keep fed, clothed, safe and loved yet I cannot get a job in any field.  It is now month 9 of endless applications and only 4 interviews.  I was employed twice and dismissed within the week on both occasions.  I have entrepreneurial traits, I can’t take orders from dick heads, and I can’t be told what to do by jumped up shop girls with more make up than sense.  Needless to say I am bordering the poverty line and my self esteem is at rock bottom.  I even started a book on raising kids alone, that’s still a work in progress.

  • Marccashiry

    In fact I for myself discovered that its more dangerous trying to be employed since I can hide my personality maybe for 4-5 weeks until
    the unemployable alpha comes out. So people try not to pay me !!! I
    rather choose to be an entrepeneur knowing what I do befor getting
    humilated by some scary corporate chicken again!!!

  • J. Napier

    Homeless looms.

    I am unemployable. Alcoholism was my nemesis. It runs my family – killed my absentee father in his early 40’s, then his brother, my uncle. It nearly claimed my life ten years ago, but I’ve survived through the grace of god and AA’s help.

    It still – I still left a trail of wreckage in it’s/my wake. My career was it’s first victim. I was earning 50K a year, employed at one of the larger telecommunication company’s in Kansas City. I worked nights and drank days. Despite my heavy drinking, I managed to hold onto that job – by tooth and nail – for nine months. My forte’ is computers – UNIX and the C Language.

    The story doesn’t yet have the happy ending. I have been sober for eight years now, but at 50, I’m unemployable – I haven’t worked during those years. I was a self-taught computer programmer. I have a flair for the work, and loved it, did it for nine years. Today, however, no company will even let me get my foot in the door because – not because my alcoholic past and credit record, no. They never even get that far. It’s because I haven’t worked for the last eight years.

    Right now, I’m about one step away from the streets, literally. My family – my mother, in fact – can no longer afford to help me. No one will hire me, not even the dead-end minimum wage employers around here. It’s an “Employer’s Market” because so many are out of work.

    I’m thinking about starting a blog, something I always refused to do because I’m a private person, and I also thought, who in the hell would be interested in my story? Maybe they will be, now. I plan . . .hope . . to continue this blog once I’m homeless, relate what life is like on the streets. Buy a cup of coffee in a Internet cafe’ and type in the day’s events. I could possibly scrape enough cash together to get a laptop, but on the streets, how long would I keep it, I wonder. It’s Darwin at his worst on the streets.

    I’m not an entrepreneur, not that type. I’m the computer nerd who, at his happiest, is in a dark corner, given tons of work to do, and left alone. Not a people person. Can’t even return to school, because of an old college loan debt for which I never received a degree ( again, alcoholism) nor made a payment.

    I’m good at what I do, very good. Sober for eight years (nine in October). No one will give a chance.

    I’m still considering the blog. Right now I’m scared, of the future.

    JN, Unemployable In Kansas

  • Ed

    To JN,

    You seem very intelligent and I’m sorry you’ve having such a hard time getting a job. Could you try volunteering using your computer skills for a charity? Or maybe even an internship, even if you are older than most interns? At least that could get some current work experience to put on your resume to show employers. Can you move in with your mom or another relative just until you get a paying job? Just some thoughts. Best of luck!

  • SD

    “I can’t quit I have a family to raise” this phrase is more often said by the women who work and have young children at home. Many of us find fulfilling work, and would be happy if that was all that needed to be done in the day. But the majority of mothers spend their lives stressed out when they come home to their second job (the children) with little help from most men/fathers. What can businesses do to help here?

  • Karen

    I would like to know in plain simple terms, am I classed as unemployable being as I have been unemployed for about 3 years now, on and off. I was on jsa then I got a job, then while I was in this job I became ill so I went onto esa then I was told by my dr that I was fit to work again so it was back on jsa, while I was on esa I got a letter from my boss basically laying me of. so it was back to jsa, this was about 1 year ago and I am still on jsa. I have applied for countless jobs and havnt got anywhere. I am over 50.

    What does being unemployable actually mean is there a benefit for this? Basically I would like to know in plain simple terms all about being unemployable , ie what it entails , what is the criteria and everything pos. Thank you