The Great Recession and globalization have upset the traditional path from college up the career ladder. Recent grads face the worst job prospects in 75 years, while layoffs and industry shakeups have stranded older workers who had been counting on placid careers. Americans are coming to realize that you can’t simply expect to get a job anymore. You have to make one for yourself. This a daunting, but thrilling, prospect. Becoming independent requires an entrepreneurial spirit, the guts to patch together multiple part-time opportunities, to volunteer in an organization you admire in hopes of turning it into a real job, or to launch your own venture. In Invent Your Future, Slate is asking you, Slate’s readers, to share your real-world advice and stories about how to make it in this uncertain, exhilarating world—the best tip you got about starting your own business, the best advice for cobbling together gigs, the amazing story of how you turned a hobby into a career. Read this introduction for more details and submit your story or tip below. Check back in October and November to comment and vote on reader ideas. We’ll be pointing out favorites on Slate and highlighting the very best when the submission period ends on Nov. 14.