How do you know if you’re unemployable?

I always felt like a failure on my career.

For real, every day since 2012 when I walked into Credit Suisse as my first employer in investment banking - I felt like I would be fired at any moment. Simply because I don’t like this horrible corporate theater where people play roles to succeed.

Fast forward 10 years and I don’t know if I changed much emotionally. I still have a job (now in a startup) and I still don’t play the game. I pay the price for that though.

This question is for entrepreneurs: I wonder if there’s really this ‘unemployability’ concept (and if I’m in the wrong game) or if the game of entrepreneurship is similar, but the hats change (instead of having bosses and peers you have clients and investors)?

Do people that say that they are ‘unemployable’ hide some sort of immaturity of dealing with the strategic positioning that any professional project (either a job or having a business) requires?

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    Employability just comes down to showing up, making the company you work for a bit better each day, and stepping over the bodies around you. Most people are uninterested in putting in effort or making an impact. The world is full of mediocrity.

    In my experience, when people talk about unemployability they’re usually referring to either imposter syndrome (not good enough) or a perceived low pain tolerance (don’t like office politics or work nonsense).

    Imposter syndrome is a known one. You just have to google it to realize everyone experiences it. It’s worth putting yourself in situations where you feel it so you become accustomed to it and learn coping mechanisms.

    Low pain tolerance is a different beast. If you truly think your work place has high office politics, then it’s worth leaving. Politics in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, everywhere has it and it can be useful - but if you can tell it’s happening then the folks around you aren’t good at it.

    I like to find a section of my job I enjoy and can contribute positive impact to and double down on it.

    If at the end of each day the company you work for is a little better because you were there then congrats - you’re employable.

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      I really like the way you summarized in these 2 aspects what would be the most commons reasons why people would leave a corporate job.

      I agree with you that being part of a corporate structure maybe a very challenging and interesting project since you would be aligning forces in such a way that you would be able to reach results that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to.

      And also agree that majority of people are just cruising by life and have no intention of dedicating real efforts into building something meaningful.

      What I’m reading here is that the pains that you go through by having a job are not different from a journey of building your own business. That’s why I’ll never understand this statement ‘I’m unemployable’.

      Ultimately people would have to be accountable with some one…

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    I want to add: never compare having a job with creating a product/service

    They are 2 separate beasts.

    All these comments can explain various opinions to your topic, but may not give the answer desired. This is because your question is too personal.

    A job is basically helping another person create "something". All the emotions involved cannot compare to the "owner". No employee worries if the person signing the paycheck is okay, but owners have to build ways to check if employees are in fact, okay... their business depends on it
    The owner is the creator. From the moment an idea is put in motion, unlimited factors stay constant while discovering if that idea will fail or succeed.

    Trying to find similarities is pointless . Even a person with no money and multiple failed businesses will have no comparison to an employee unless they quit and go back into the job market.

    I hope this gives a different perspective, and to add a solution... If you feel you have any idea that can maybe make someone's life easier, or any solution for a problem you know of, then I want to say GO DO IT . Not everyone wants to try and own a business. People my age or older may not even believe it's possible due to our upbringing . Still, you are on a website that gives you an instant boost over others to have a real chance at success. I wish you the best.

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      Best piece of writing I’ve read in a while. Well constructed, concise and direct. Actionable and deep, shows clearly that comes from someone that has experience and put a lot of thought on the topic.

      Thanks for this great piece of well designed advise.

      I am indeed building something on the side mainly because I believe I can live a more interesting life - more creative and meaningful.

      I’m very curious about your journey though…

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    What can you observe in your colleagues that may possibly point to your unemployability? For example:

    Do your superiors berate you for being behind schedule? Do they struggle to understand the meaning of your written/verbal communication? Do you deliver work that is astonishingly different from what was expected?

    1. 1

      Very valid points here Tristan, but I think the point I was trying to make is between being an entrepreneur vs being an employee.

      I can’t really understand if the journey of being a founder doesn’t have the same challenges as being an employee.

      I completely understand why people would want to run a business rather than be an employee based in the risk return relationship; you capture much less of the value you create for a business when you are en employee.

      But the whole statement ‘I had to build a business because I’m unemployable’ is something I’ll never understand. Unemployable people can’t run businesses as well.

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