Being unemployed can be difficult, but admitting to it by labeling yourself as such is nearly as hard. So, the next time a friend, relative or date asks you what you do, here is a helpful reference list of ways to say that you’re unemployed without having to actually say “unemployed”.
1. Recent Graduate
This one is vague enough to cover you for at least the first 6 months after graduation. It indicates that you hold some kind of degree, and now have been launched into the awful abyss of being a 20 something with no job opportunities. It doesn’t require you to elaborate, its all there in the implications.
2. Netflix Expert
Here we have a more honest, and self deprecating answer. This one can be utilized after “Recent Graduate” begins to feel a bit stretched, or in order to horrify your parents and their friends while making yourself relatable to anyone who has ever had the time to hold manic Arrested Development marathons with their cat on a Tuesday.
One of my favorites, as it indicates that you work – sort of. So many things can fall under freelance, such as professional freelance work – writing/editing for which you actually receive money – but it can also be stretched to cover that repetitive trend piece you wrote about being a 20 something living at home (that got rejected, obvs), and that one time you “edited” an email your mom wrote.
4. Job Seeker
This phrase makes me cringe, it just reeks with fake professional sugar coating and political correctness. Use it only when trying to avoid admitting that you spend your days sitting at home listening to Grimes and tweaking your cover letter for the thousandth time. Don’t use it in your cover letter. Don’t use it on your resume. Don’t use it at all, really.
5. In between work
Okay, so maybe you’re actually really only in between realizing that you can no longer be a wild and reckless college student and reconciling yourself to finding a 9-5 that leaves little room for see-through clothing and late night Whataburger runs. You’re in-between, thats all that matters.
Use this one when you technically have a job, but realize that working at the coffee shop 20 hours a week is not your professional career goal, rather just a reflection that you majored in English. It indicates to whomever you are speaking with that you did not spend four years studying in order to make people lattes, but need to pay the bills somehow.
7. At liberty
This is a great way to simultaneously sound as if you chose to be unemployed, and are experiencing joblessness as an exercise in personal freedom. Example: “I’m at liberty, at the moment,” sounds much more casual and at peace than, “I don’t have a job.”