Two Goofs Talk About Being Unemployable

Breaking down the best worst compliment I've ever received

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I kicked off this newsletter with a story about being unemployable, and it’s a word I think about almost everyday.

I’ve told the story before—I’m sitting at breakfast, I’m upset about work, my friend pulls out this term I’d never heard, etc…and I know it landed for me, but where did he come up with it? And do others feel the same?

My friend, Brandon. He won this Oreo bike in a raffle.

On the latest podcast episode of Boss Barista, I talked to Brandon about this conversation. I wanted to know where he first encountered the idea of being unemployable, and what about the stories I was sharing with him signaled I might be fighting an uphill battle.

Listen on Spotify

I’m still trying to grapple with what being unemployable means. I recently had a different conversation with a friend who warned me that using this term as a badge of honor might be a mistake—because everything about myself that I put into this bucket of being unemployable is actually really, really valuable, and I need to frame it as such. Instead, the term being unemployable might be placing the blame on me for the fact that a lot of people are shitty leaders and bad employers.

I don’t disagree—this whole newsletter is pretty much an ode to terrible leaders—but I still could never capture the feeling of being continually frustrated at work in the way that the word “unemployable” has. And it translates. When I use it around others, they know exactly what I’m talking about, even if they can’t define it themselves.

Me blowing out candles on my mom’s birthday cake. I’m a cute jerk.

So listen to this episode! Tell me what you think about being unemployable! If anything, Brandon is one of my best friends so this is a weirdly intimate and close episode of the show—which I love because I’m way too excited for radical transparency and thrive off shared moments—but I hope beyond that, you get a sense of what I’m trying to articulate. And you feel seen.

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If you can’t donate, please share this article with someone you know. Someone who might be struggling at work or someone with whom this message will resonate. The key to power is keeping folks ill-informed—and we’re here to fight that.