Discover How Your Hobby Can Advance Your Career

 

If you need one more good reason to get a hobby, do it for your career prospects. A recent study found that what you do in your leisure time could make you a more valuable employee.

People who use their free time creatively performed better at solving problems at work and were more helpful to their colleagues, according to researchers at San Francisco State University. They believe creative activities stimulate learning and help people to feel energized and engaged.

Ready to make the connection between your hobby and your career? Consider these suggestions about using your hobby to get ahead at the office.

How to Choose a Hobby That Could Help Your CareerDiscover How Your Hobby Can Advance Your Career

  1. Focus on the mission. Think about how your pastimes align with the company mission. A sustainable architecture firm might appreciate your organic garden.
     
  2. Connect with your colleagues. Relationships play a big role in job satisfaction. Accept your coworkers’ invitation when they ask you to join them for a game of badminton.
     
  3. Review your job responsibilities. Do your hobby and your professional position have anything in common? You might be juggling numbers at work for budgeting and at home for Sudoku.
     
  4. Showcase your strengths and achievements. We’re often drawn to hobbies that enable us to develop our innate talents. Employers will notice that you’re a strategic thinker if you tell them about your tournament bridge winnings.
     
  5. Be memorable. In today’s job market, you may need to distinguish yourself in a large pool of candidates. A recruiter is more likely to remember your name if you tell them a funny story about your baseball card collection.
     
  6. Express your personality. Focus on something you’re passionate about so it will be easy to sound articulate and engaged.
     
  7. Act cool. At the same time, it’s always good to keep up with trends. Be open to designing your first videogame diorama.
     

How to Use Your Hobby to Help Your Career

 

  1. Edit your resume. Depending on the positon, add a hobbies section to your resume. Include it only when it appears relevant.
     
  2. Mention it at your interview. Some questions provide an opening to discuss your hobby. When a reviewer asks what you do with your free time, you’ll have a better answer than watching TV.
     
  3. Put on a show. Hobbies come in handy for the office talent show. Reveal your musical talent on the piano.
     
  4. Share with your coworkers. Whatever activities you enjoy, you probably have expertise, goods, or services that your coworkers would appreciate. Baked goods usually top the list.
     
  5. Personalize your staff bio. Let your clients get to know the real you. They may enjoy finding out that their graphic designer also illustrates his own comic books.
     
  6. Create side income. Some people turn their hobbies into full time jobs. Starting off gradually is a good way to test your earning potential while you hold onto your current paycheck.
     
  7. Extend your network. The best leads tend to come from friends of friends and acquaintances. If all your LinkedIn connections are accountants, your leisure pursuits could help you to meet more hair stylists and foreign diplomats.
     
  8. Achieve life balance. Best of all, a hobby widens your experiences and knowledge. You’ll gain exposure to things you may never see around the office.
     

Of course, your hobby is rewarding in itself even if your boss doesn’t share your enthusiasm for carving turtles out of watermelons. Advancing your career is just a bonus compared to the deeper benefits of learning about yourself and becoming more accomplished.

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