How to invent a dream job

Q. I don't think the job I want is in the want ads. Does that mean I can't make money doing what I want?

A. Most hybrid or emerging jobs are not in the classifieds. Especially when people reach the middle of their careers, they can find themselves with skill sets they'd like to blend that don't fit typical job descriptions.

Self-employment is an option when you can see a market for your skills but can't find your dream job. You don't have to give up your day job to start your own business.

Some of my clients have gone to 10-hour, four-day weeks, some stockpile savings or plan to live off a partner's income, and some work part time. Getting a chance to stick your toe in the water lets you see whether you enjoy it and can make money before diving in.

Don't be shy about approaching self-employed people doing what you're interested in and asking if you can buy time with them to learn about their business. What you learn will save you years of mistakes and plenty of unnecessary suffering.

The standard statistic is most businesses need three to five years to become profitable. Make sure you look at your budget and think about how long you'll need to make a living wage. In the beginning, the majority of your time will be spent marketing, so focus tightly on the activities that make you money.

Make sure you don't have life events on the horizon that would set you up for failure. New babies, new marriages and family illnesses are not optimal times to launch a fledgling business.

I believe the things we lament most on our deathbeds aren't what we did but what we never tried. Your worst case scenario is you'll find out that you don't like or can't manage your own business.

If you fail, you've just learned one more thing in life you don't want to repeat. You can start a business with more wisdom later or return to corporate life and know you'll never have to regretfully murmur, "What might have been?"

The last word(s)

Q. I've had a string of crappy bosses. One of my friends says I should think about my "contribution" to the problem. Is it my fault I work for jerks?

A. No but it is your responsibility that you keep saying yes when jerks offer you a job.

(Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel's "Workplace Guru" each Monday morning. She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.)


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