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...

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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. And remember, you don’t have to give up your day job to start your own business.

Some of my clients have gone to 10-hour, 4-day weeks, some stockpile savings or plan to live off a partner’s income, and some work only part-time.

Getting a chance to stick your toe in the water lets you see whether you can really do your own thingand 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 unnecessary suffering.

Most businesses need three to five years to become profitable. Look at your budget and think about how long it might take you 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 money.

Make sure you don’t have life events on the horizon that would set you up for failure. Newly married? Have a baby on the way? Facing surgery or a family problem? It’s probably not an optimum time to launch a business.

I believe what we lament most on our deathbeds aren’t the things we did but the things we never tried. Worst-case scenario is you’ll discover you don’t like or can’t manage your own business.

If you fail, you’ve learned something and done one more thing in life that 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: “If only I had.”

The last word(s)

Q: I’ve had a string of bad bosses. A friend says I should think about my “contribution” to the problem. Is it my fault that I work for jerks?

A: No, but it is your responsibility if you keep saying, “Yes,” when jerks offer you a job.

Daneen Skube, Ph.D., can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at interpersonaledge@comcast.net; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to: www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube