How To Become Unemployable

By Leigh Peele
34 Comments

I am unemployable. I always have been. I always will be.

Up until last year employment gave me a morbid fear deep in the pit of my stomach. Even with a successful personal business, living in a house that is paid for, and a dedicated support team in the wings – I still was freaking out about the fact that I don’t think I could hold a job anywhere for anyone. To give you the cliff notes,  I decided to embrace the fact that I am unemployable (not run from it). It has been a tremendous feeling ever since.  For the longer version, keep reading.

24 Jobs

I am 29 years old and  have had 24 jobs. This doesn’t include jobs without technical listings born from entrepreneurial adventures. I have been a flower sorter, waitress, bartender, toy store clerk, salesman, dishwasher, stocker, sushi maker, candleshop clerk, pizza girl, sandwich artist, graphic designer, musician, screen printer – the list goes on. Mostly, I worked in the food/service industry. There were times I had three jobs at once and times I had no job at all. Working wasn’t the problem. Working has never been a problem for me. Boredom and my lack of significance was the problem.

Except for being a musician, I hated those jobs. I never felt challenged in my jobs. I was bored and had too much time to think about all the dreams I wasn’t pursuing. Ultimately, it lead to the death of my jobs and the reason why I became unemployable.

What It Means To Be Unemployable

This is meant to serve as my personal interpretation of the term “Unemployable” and what “employed” means to me.  To me, unemployable means to no longer be a thoughtless performer of predetermined movements and processes. To me, unemployable means to no longer be a cyborg to an industry or job which will not let you develop. I can say with a sound mind – I am unemployable. I will never be in employed in that manner again.

Do you know how it feels to say that? It brings a slight tear to my eye. It is essentially, freedom.

I Don’t Have Millions In The Bank

I am not loaded in money, but I have trillions in knowledge. It isn’t about having so much money that you don’t have to worry about money. That isn’t the point. I don’t have millions – yet. I will, but it doesn’t matter anyway.

Just yesterday, I was reading in the news about a Wine heir who had over 10 million dollars and lost it all over the years through careless spending and lifestyle habits. The money came easy and left just as easy. In the end, he was employed by an automated system. He got too comfortable with employment and it laid him off. Now, he seeks formal employment where ever he can.  He never broke away from the machine, it just had a different name than we are used to seeing.

You can have millions or you can have nothing, it doesn’t matter. Unemployeable is a state of mind. It is a belief system within yourself. You have to trust your knowledge and self to manage your own dreams. Those dreams could be to work for a company. But, those dreams should never lead you to become a cog.

Most of us who visit a site like this one have a dream of being the leader, boss, and the driver. The truth is, we all are technically under the hand of something or someone. We are controlled by government, policy makers, trend setters, and our moral gut. You control nothing, but you control everything. It is a delicate balance you have to accept and treat with respect, or else it will govern your life and take control over your journey.

How To Become Unemployable

1. Hold The Knowledge, Hold The Power

In the movie Shawshank Redemption, Andy (the lead character) is a prisoner wrongly accused of a crime and serving a long sentence. One day, he is placed in solitary confinement for playing music over the loud speakers against the guards rules. When he was released from the dark with nothing but himself,  he spoke to others of the music keeping him company. He said “there are places in this world that aren’t made out of stone. That there’s something inside… that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s yours.”

So is knowledge. They can’t take it from you.

2. Find Your System Of Freedom

Since freedom is different for everyone, you have to figure out what freedom means to you. It isn’t always about money or time in a technical sense. Freedom, whatever it stands for, should be your ultimate goal.

My day is how I want to spend it. My life is how I want to define it. The choices I make will always fall within my system of freedom. For me, it is what time I get up, who I respond to (or don’t) and the ability to work towards the greater good for my family and people in general. This is my system of freedom. What is your system?

3. Play It Smart And Think Long Term

It is easy to get caught up with material possessions. Don’t get me wrong, I love nice things, but I don’t love them enough to relinquish peace of mind. If you have the ability to explore a lavish lifestyle – superb. Otherwise, play smart and plan for hard times. In desperation, it is difficult to maintain your inner unemployable.

In my timeline, there are certain things I will not do until the people I love and myself are in certain positions. Start with smaller homes and pay them off. Start with used cars, and pay them off. Own everything you can and create a safety net for yourself. Set up your life so that no matter what happens, there is always somewhere you can call home.

You Too Can Be Fired

Success is a fluid concept. Happiness is a fluid concept. The “rich” can be traumatic and “poor” can be jovial.

The best fortune some people can have is being fired from their employable job. As soon as possible, become unemployable. As soon as possible, take power of your destiny and move yourself from the false sense of comfort a job makes. The biggest trick in the world is to think someone else’s business decisions will keep you safe.  I sleep easier at night knowing that as long as I breath, I will have a job in me.

Leigh Peele

About Leigh Peele

Leigh Peele is a nationally published author and expert in the field of fat loss. Currently, she has two successful ebooks, a membership site, and endless options in clients and business opportunity. She is now taking her time to help others grow in the business of marketing and blogging. You can find more information at http://www.leighpeele.com

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34 Comments

  • A very powerful post – thank you for writing and sharing it.

    One thing I would add to the part about thinking long term. Sometimes you really need to sacrifice and delay gratification in the here and now in order to experience greater freedom in the future.

    At least I hope that’s true since that’s the path I’m currently on . . .

    • We can also look at sacrifice as a means instead of a problem. I know that I spent some time away from friends and family to do certain work and education in the beginning, but it was just that – education. Now, I have that education and built a structure to add on to, but without it having to be the aggressive pace it was before.

      I hope you move into that next phase soon.

  • Hey Leigh

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. I also have had a myriad of employment that I ‘suffered’ from, if you can call it that, haha! It was only in June 2008, that I finally had enough from a ruthless and berating boss plus the boredom, oh the boredom! was finally killing me.

    It is truly as you said, it’s about freedom. And freedom is what we define is as – we’re more like lifestyle artists, learning to live with less yet earning more than we need. Some others define freedom as being in employment – they are ‘free’ to think and use their time in between, instead of being an employer and having to be ‘responsible’ for everything. Perhaps, they’re free in their own ways, no?

    Freedom, and the pursuit and maintenance of it, can be an ultra cool thing. Today, I too, am unemployable, by my own choice. It’s more fun too. =p

    Nigel

    • “Some others define freedom as being in employment – they are ‘free’ to think and use their time in between, instead of being an employer and having to be ‘responsible’ for everything. Perhaps, they’re free in their own ways, no?”

      Agreed.

  • Leigh-

    Thanks for an empowering and confident perspective.

    It reminds me of the day I got laid off as a secretary at an advertising firm. Most people might be upset and concerned about the bills I remember having strong feelings of relief and happiness! I was ecstatic!

    All that you mentioned are traits of being an entrepreneur. Other jobs not fitting, having confidence in our personal knowledge – we just have to believe in ourselves and have faith in who we are and the value we have to offer. It’s real!!!!

    BTW, after being laid off, I started my first business and now am working as a website entrepreneur. Some things don’t change. :-)

    Natalie

  • Hey Leigh,
    Thanks for another great post. You have motivated me with your fitness site and inspired me here. Keep it up!

  • Another powerful article for reading and getting some note to work on, to live the life without any barrier – for getting success, this article is also giving me another site to follow and observe the experiences you have.

  • Powerful message – great read.

    I checked at Godaddy: unemployable.com and beunemployable.com are taken – I hope by you!

    Cultivate your in unemployable. Become unemployable as soon as possible.

    Excellent goal – I am 10% there!

    Thanks!

  • This is an excellent article. Inspiring and reassuring, especially for me in the past month or so as I prepare myself to become “unemployable” I’m jumping ship from the corporate game and doing my own thing. Thank you for all the insightful posts like this one.

    • That is a pretty bold move, I wish you the best of success on your journey.

  • Leigh,

    This was a great, great post. Definitely link post-worthy, for sure. I know how you feel… I’ve often felt unemployable, and I find it increasingly hard to enjoy a corporate nose-in-the-cubicle desk job. I got laid off from my position last month (story: http://www.passivejourney.com/what-to-do-when-you-lose-your-job/ ), and it’s allowed me room to make several transitions in my life that needed to happen.

    Best of luck, and keep up the great writing. Cheers!

    • Great post, I enjoyed this the most.

      “I don’t care if you work for Mother Theresa, Incorporated… When a company forgets to remember its people, it’s best to keep your mouth shut or get out as quickly as you can.”

  • Leigh,
    I am now a student. But my dream is like to be an unemployable guy like you.

    • You will find you will always be a student, even if you somehow fool the world into thinking you are the teacher ;)

  • Joe

    A lot of people are better off being employable rather than unemployable. For some, the traditional 9-5 path is their best bet at having:
    a happy life
    a good retirement and nest egg
    a healthy life not plagued by stress

    • I think you might have misunderstood what I meant by unemployable. There are great companies to work for, it isn’t about always being your own “boss.” I stated I would never work for a company that didn’t value the thought process of it’s workers; a company that wanted cogs. To that kind of company and job, I will never work for again. To that kind of company, I believe to be unemployable from.

      That being said, an entrepreneur is a person who, “organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture.” The articles and direction I focus on is going to generally fall into that category, but that doesn’t mean it will be for everyone or that there is any judgment to those who do not wish to do so themselves.

      • Yes Joe you should read this article carefully and understand what she said, Unemployment not only mean that you leave your job and sit at home !

  • Great post Leigh,

    I truly believe that everyone wants this type of freedom, but it takes a special drive and a special person to have the guts to make it happen.

    Great information!

    • Add education to guts and drive; you have a winner.

  • Well said! I wasted precious years before claiming my freedom. I’ve been working form home for nearly 2 years now after setting up my own writing business. I could never go back to being a cog! Once you step out of the grinder, things can get tough – but difficult times only serve to demonstrate that there are very few things you really need in life. I thought about this very thing just yesterday and happily concluded that I would never again subject myself to the employment mill.

    It’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference for me – not having to wake up to the irritating sound of an alarm, not having to start and finish at a particular time or squeeze personal errands into a lunch break; and the freedom to make banana cakes and home made bread whenever the urge takes hold!

    Anyone who wants to become ‘unemployable’ might enjoy reading a book by Wayne W Dyer – “Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life. Living the Wisdom of the Tao.” There’s a great chapter on “Living by Decreasing” and “Living Without Attachment.”

    The feeling of freedom is euphoric!

  • Thanks Leigh for the inspiring article,
    I would like to tell you that I am a student currently and I have decided to never be employed and work for others, I will do anything for my own.

  • Thanks Leigh for that wonderful post!

  • Tim

    Knowledge and the right amount of action gives you power. Knowledge without proper action is nothing. I have to agree with you that sometimes I think that getting fired is what will really start to make me realize “what I really want”. Afterall, a lot of great people got fired from their jobs and did something great… Disney, Steve Jobs, The Beatles, Michael Jordan, etc.

    I’m of course hoping that it wouldn’t come to that point. But I guess your story is similar to theirs?

  • Leigh, I was so similar to you – I finished my career as a professional cyclist and then went straight into the workplace 9-5 at age 30! – how I hated it. Like you, I had well over 20 jobs over the past 5 years and hated it beyond belief… I was an office cleaner, department store cleaner, then got into an office (yipee!)..office typist, audio secretary, but still hated it because it was so insanely boring. All the time I knew I had this special knowledge inside.

    What grated at me to change was I had two choices: either all this knowledge would go to waste and I would regret it, OR I’d make something of it….I took the “warriors path” and like you I am not scared of hard work and look to work hard and strive for excellence in everything I do – what sports backgrounds do to you -eh?.

    Yes, and similar to you because I’ve worked cleaning toilets I know where the money comes from…I know the colour of the coins…so you kind of know how to be responsible for it when you get it. The important thing is to put it back into your business no matter how much you earn. This is the biggest lesson I think here.

    One thing I read last year also and that really fueled my desire to succeed with my own thing has been realising that YOUR KNOWLEDGE is your GREATEST ASSET….!

    Great post as always Leigh…and so good to see someone else who’s been in a similar situation to me – and succeeding!!

  • Great post, Leigh. That really made me feel good and a bit more secure about what I’m trying to do. Being able to do something meaningful in life that you enjoy and put your heart into is certainly the way to go. Everyone should try to be unemployable.

  • He he! A girl after my own heart!

    Yup I am unemployable too. I started to embrace this fact for the last year and a half and it has helped me tremendously.

    People that don’t fit the normal corporate 9-5 job and keep trying to fit a square peg in a round whole, will just end up going round in circles, as I did. Until ultimatly you let go, take a leap of faith, because nothing else has seemed to work and just decide to try doing your own things, and then you start to learn and grow… like never before :)

  • [...] Leigh Peele, nationally published author and fat-loss expert, offered this guest post on Yaro Starak’s blog today, and it really spoke to me.  In the article, she speaks about the (desirable) qualities that [...]

  • You’re courageous, some people just settle in.

  • I am currently in your shoes. I am also 29, and have had over 25 jobs. I never feel like the employer could appreciate the ideas and hard work I could give them. I do not feel I am too good for the job, I feel I can do something better.

  • Back when I had a day job not only was I unhappy but could see clearly that I was nothing but a hamster on a hamster wheel, running fast and getting nowhere fast. Now I am working hard to build my business and free my husband from his job too. The vision is so clear in front of me.

  • Unemployable, never heard it put that way, but the freedom in being your own boss is great.

  • this is exactly what ive been telling to a friend today. I am going to school but hey, Im unemployable! What will i do then? Im telling him this is why i blog and try to open an online business! He cant blame me for that right? Good post.

  • Just thought i would comment and say neat design, did you code it yourself? Looks great.

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