Why Having a Hobby Can Skyrocket Your Career

Imagine, if you will, turning your hobby into a full-time job. How perfect would it be to get paid to do the things you love to do on the side? What if I could do you one better? Imagine having your hobbies help you excel at the career you already have (or want to get into).

That is exactly what hobbies can do. Hobbies give us skills that we may not even think about. After all, hobbies are meant to be fun, relaxing, exciting and above all else, take our minds off of work. Let’s find out how hobbies can make you better at your career. I will show you how to market your hobby to suit your job and make you a stand out the next time a promotion comes around.

What are Hobbies?

By definition, hobbies are activities or interests pursued in your leisure time and not as a primary occupation. If you were asked to list hobbies, you would probably think of things like coin collecting, knitting, sewing, stamp collecting and other boring old hobbies your grandpa used to do.

In fact, hobbies are so much more than just putting paper stamps in a sticky-backed album. Modern-day hobbies include anything you do outside of work that is fun, relaxing, helps you relieve stress and improve your mental health. Hobbies can include:

  • Skydiving
  • Writing (creative or expository)
  • Video or board games
  • Team sports
  • Web design or development
  • Puzzle solving (or creating)
  • Card tricks or magic
  • etc.

Every hobby has a distinct feature that helps you, as a person, become more valuable in your line of work. If you can learn to extract those features and apply them on the job, your career will skyrocket. Let’s find out how.

How Can Hobbies Help Your Career?

It’s all about application and marketing. Think back to the last job application you filled out, or the last interview you had. There were the normal questions about your education and work experience; however, there was also a spot to answer or list your hobbies, activities, and pastimes.

This wasn’t just so the employer could mock you, it was to see what you do outside of work that can be translated to your work life.

Hiring someone for a position is easy. Hiring the right person for the right position is tricky. If you take these questions seriously, apply them not only during the interview but in every subsequent review, evaluation or during your daily duties, it will get noticed.

When it gets noticed, you get the bonus, promotion or raise (sometimes all three!).

Employers look for traits in an individual that correspond to their needs or wants for various positions. They also look for those applicants and current employees who want to do more, not only for themselves but for the company.

If you show that you are that person, you will be able to take your career to new heights. How? Having hobbies, of course!

I Don’t Have Time for A Hobby

As a businessperson, entrepreneur or even an entry-level clerk looking to make a name for his or herself, excuses come more frequent than production.

We tell ourselves we don’t have time for a hobby. We are too busy with work, the commute, family time, getting the kids to bed and trying to find enough time to answer all those emails.

The truth is, hobbies, for the most part, don’t have to take a lot of time. Most of them (depending on what you are in to) don’t require constant attention, funding or upkeep. There is always time, even if you have to schedule it.

Let’s say, for example, that your hobby is writing. It is a great hobby that you can do virtually anywhere and at any time. That hour lunch break you get every day? Use it to write 100 words in your notebook, or even on your mobile phone.

If you have a long commute (and aren’t the one driving), you can jot notes, create words or build characters on the way to and from work. After you get home, you can write while dinner is cooking after the kids go to bed. Or, if you are efficient, you can wake up an extra hour early and write in the morning.

Eliminate your excuses

Whatever your hobby is, there is always time for it. If you don’t think so, take a mental note of everything you do during the day for a week. If your memory isn’t the greatest, keep a small notebook in your pocket and write everything down.

Chances are that you have more downtime than you realize. Every time you check social network statuses, sit in the diner waiting for the waitress to bring your food, sitting on the couch waiting for dinner to be ready these are times you could be working on your hobby.

There are many minutes in the day when you are doing nothing, standing, sitting and waiting, playing on the phone. It all boils down to how you manage your time.

If you truly are that busy where you don’t have an hour or two of downtime, you should seriously keep track of all your daily goings on to find out why. Dollars to pesos says you have that hour or two and just don’t realize it.

Maybe, it isn’t about time. Perhaps you have another excuse, of which there are many:

  • It’s a waste of time.
  • Hobbies are a distraction from the important things.
  • Too expensive.
  • I don’t have any hobby related interests.
  • My spouse won’t let me.
  • I don’t have any free time.
  • Etc., etc., ad nauseam.

The truth of the matter is, the only thing keeping you from having a hobby is you. And you may change your tune when you find out how hobbies help your career.

What Hobbies Can Do for Your Career

Having a hobby, any hobby, shows drive, commitment, determination, and a host of other attributes that managers, CEOs and upper management look for in aspiring employees.

The rule of three exists stating you should have three hobbies: one to make money, one to stay in shape and one to be creative. It is unknown who said the quote originally, but the truth behind it is important: make time for hobbies, and you will be rewarded.

So, how do hobbies help your career? Aside from the aforementioned reasons, let’s take a closer look at what hobbies can do.

If you like crossword puzzles, word searches, and other puzzles, you are showing your employer you have problem-solving skills. You also state you can think outside the box, can handle stressful situations and will push through to the end because you enjoy seeing things through, no matter how tough they are.

If you enjoy rock climbing, skydiving, scuba diving, bungee jumping, etc., you show you aren’t afraid to take risks. You also show commitment, determination, overcoming obstacles (internal and external), and that fear of the unknown is something to dive head first into.

Collecting (coins, stamps, baseball cards, action figures, hairpins, anything…) shows cognitive abilities. You can showcase to the employer that you can manage time, have organizational skills, have attention to detail and can find high value in the smallest items or tasks.

It doesn’t matter what your hobby (or hobbies) is, when you can break down the skill set involved in undertaking that hobby, you have the basis for advancement in your career.

Conclusion

When you justify your hobby within advancing in your career, you are already two steps ahead of the next person. If the boss needs a team player, show him how you host an intramural softball team on the weekends.

Do they need someone that can think for themselves and accomplish the unthinkable? Show that CEO how you spend your free time hand coding web pages and coding scripts for fun.

Hobbies are more than just something we do for fun. They give us new skills, hone skills already obtained and can build your resume or portfolio with everything the corporate world needs in its next CEO: You.

Jason Hall
Jason Hall blogs at Wisebeards.com about everything manly - With a strong passion for men's grooming and self-improvement of all kinds.
Jason Hall

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