One of the most fun parts of being unemployed is having to tell other people that you’re unemployed. (That was sarcasm, in case you missed it.) It goes a little like this:

Person: Hi QL! How are you doing? How is work going?

[Awkward pause as I look at the BF and make a face/chuckle]

QL: Actually, I was laid off last month…..but I’m doing great!

[“Person” makes a face and you can immediately tell they regret asking that damned question….]

Person: Oh, wow, that sucks….I’m sorry to hear that!

Come on, you know it’s happened to you! Right? Right?!!

In the past two months I’ve had to tell many people that I’m no longer employed, and after a while I started noticing how I’m always trying to lessen the impact (you know, so they don’t feel bad they brought it up?), or make it seem like it’s not a big deal.  Or sometimes I just try to mix it up so the same old phrases don’t get boring! I can’t be alone in this, so let’s see….how many unemployment euphemisms have I come up with?

(Disclaimer: I realize not all of these are euphemisms….)

  • I’m unemployed. (Not a euphemism….incidentally I’ve used this one very rarely.)
  • I was laid off. (Quite commonly used)
  • I lost my job. (Only when I’m feeling particularly pathetic….as if it ran away from me when I wasn’t looking.)
  • I’m between jobs/projects. (This one didn’t work well for me….due to the nature of my work it took a couple of tries before they understood I had no job. Period. lol)
  • I’m on an extended vacation./ I’m enjoying some time off. (ahem, involuntarily)
  • I’m no longer a part of “Corporate America”. (My anti-corporation friend was particularly pleased when I used this one.)

Hm, I thought I had more. Anyway, as you can see, those are phrases that I’ve actually used. My favorite being “I’m on an extended vacation”, although I haven’t had a chance to use that too many times, as it just confuses people when they think I’m actually on an extended vacation.

Other euphemisms I’ve heard, but have not yet had the pleasure of using:

  • I’m taking some time off to focus on [insert new hobby/lofty social cause here].
  • I’m on sabbatical.
  • I’ve decided to pursue a new degree.
  • I’m in the process of making some career transitions.

So, I know some of you out there have been “without job” at one point in your life…..do you have any favorite unemployment euphemisms?

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