You’re Not “Unemployable” Because You Prefer to Work from Home

UnemployableCan we talk?

Why has it become fashionable for freelancers and telecommuters to proudly proclaim how they’re “unemployable?”

Listen. Just because one feels s/he’s not suited for the typical 9 -5 or prefers a more casual, flexible, working environment, doesn’t mean that person doesn’t have the ability to be employed. It only means said person is making a conscious choice not to enter a more traditional workplace. Showing a preference for working at home or being an entrepreneur doesn’t make one “unemployable.”

I don’t think I know anyone who is truly unemployable. If you can do something and earn money in return, you are, in fact, employable – no matter what kind of edgy image you’re trying to put out there.


If you can do a job you are employable

Whether you’re working from home for a full time employer or freelancing and have clients, you’re not unemployable. You have a job. Even if you’re in business for yourself, you’re still bringing in money with your work.  Even if you aren’t currently working, you’re probably employable.

If you have skills people are willing to pay for, you’re not unemployable. If you can flip burgers, wash cars, write stories, balance books, sell, code, play video games, make crafts, or hammer a nail, you’re employable. Situations might prevent you from finding immediate employment or a perfect situation, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the ability to be employed.

What unemployable really means

“Unemployable” means no one will hire you ever, or because of certain circumstances you cannot land and/or hold down a job. While very few types of people are truly unemployable, there are situations in which employers won’t or don’t want to hire. Upon searching online to see what were deal breakers for employment, I came up with very few scenarios in which someone is unlikely to be hired:

  • Someone who has been to prison: In many cases, doing time is an automatic deal breaker. There are some employers who hire former inmates depending on the crime, but not many businesses want to have anything to do with someone who committed a violent or despicable act or embezzled funds, stole, or defrauded someone.
  • Someone with facial tattoos and/or an overabundance of piercings: As employees are representative of the brand, many employers don’t feel facial tattoos and and an excessive amounts of piercings are how they want to be represented. While no one is supposed to be discriminated against because of physical appearance, employers don’t have to hire people who they feel look unprofessional or sloppy.
  • Someone who is illiterate or so uneducated it prevents him or her from doing work: Not being able to read or write hinders employability, even for unskilled labor.
  • Someone with no address: Having no address means no one knows where to send tax information, set up health care, or know how to reach family in case of an emergency.
Related Reading:  How and When to Say "No" to Clients

Two things to keep in mind:

  1. None of the above-mentioned people are truly unemployable. However, they’re the ones who have hardest time finding jobs.
  2. Most truly unemployable people would love to have your job or do what you do to be able to support themselves, and probably resent how proud you are to say you’re “unemployable.”

Here’s what happens when you put it out there that you’re “unemployable”

While it’s ever so adorable to put out there that you’re just too awesome for employment, it doesn’t necessarily come off as cute to the people who hire. If you boast about your unemployability on your website or business cards (Unemployable and business cards? Does that even make sense?)  it can come off as laziness or a poor work ethic. I mean, if I’m hiring for a project, the last person I’d pick is someone who isn’t employable. My perfect hire is someone who shows he or she has a good work ethic with the references to prove it. In fact, I’ll skip over “unemployable” every time.

“Unemployable” isn’t a selling point

When you boast about your unemployability, some might perceive it as an unwillingness to do work. There’s nothing about “unemployable” that even remotely says “flexible,” “creative,” “entrepreneur” or even “hire me.” While it’s up to you whether or not this is the image you wish to portray or message you want to put out there, do consider how it can be perceived.

Still think you’re unemployable? Give me your best argument why this is selling point to clients and employers.


Image of “Unemployable” t-shirt is from Affiliate links were used in this post.

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