On the basis of memoirs sent to the “Lives of the Unemployed” competition in 1938 the author describes the lifestyles of the unemployed inhabitants of interwar Poland. He uses qualitative textual analysis and Andrzej Siciński’s concept of homo eligens. The article is divided into three parts. In the first, the author sets forth the theoretical background and departure point of his analysis. In the second he describes specific components of the lifestyles of the unemployed on the basis of their memoirs. In the third part, he draws conclusions and proposes a classification for the lifestyles of the unemployed in Poland in 1938.