5 hobbies to enrich your career
There’s more to life than the 9 to 5 grind. A lot of us can get stuck in the never-ending cycle of waking up, getting straight on our phones, going home, watching Netflix, going to bed, and starting it all over in the morning. As Dolly Parton said, “what a way to make a livin’”!
Taking time out of your day to focus on hobbies isn’t just good for de-stressing or introducing something new to your daily routine. Studies have shown that people who take part in hobbies perform better in their jobs, are more satisfied at work, and are less likely to burn out. On top of that, hobbies are a great way to show potential employers more of your personality, and the kind of addition to the workplace you might be.
Get out your books, crafts, and exercise gear: here are five hobbies that can enrich your life and career.
I don’t know about you, but it just feels so good to make something and have a physical representation of your time. The best part is, you can make whatever you want and share it with whoever you want! You could schedule a Sip and Paint night with your friends, spend a crafternoon collaging, or get your green thumbs out for a gardening day.
If you’re entrepreneurially minded, your hobby could even become a side hustle that helps you earn a bit of extra cash on the side. Whatever it is – zine making, quilting, drawing, the list goes on – turning your hobby into a side hustle will teach you about branding, promotion, and building a portfolio. These are all skills that will stand out to an employer, all while allowing you to learn a little extra dough.
That being said, don’t feel pressured to have to monetise your hobby! It’s totally valid to make something just for the sake of it.
Reading or watching movies and TV have been conventionally seen as “lazy” hobbies, or not even hobbies at all. Most of us will have a memory from our high school days of our parents yelling at us to get away from the TV and do something productive, but for those of us in the creative industries, content consumption is a legitimate and fulfilling part of our lives.
Watching or reading other people’s stories can give us empathy for a diverse range of experiences, or inspire us to create our own works.
Even if you’re not in a traditionally creative field, you’ll probably find that the creativity and imagination that comes from these hobbies will directly transfer to your work anyway. Most jobs will require you to think outside the box and offer dynamic solutions. Who knows, one of these might just come from your favourite Netflix show!
If you’re stuck in that eternal hobby-less cycle and struggling to think of different ways to occupy your time, a great way to start is by simply learning something – anything! – new. Pick up an instrument, download a language instructional app, or go rogue and try your hand at something you might not otherwise ever have attempted.
Learning something new is not simply a hobby, it’s an example of personal (and even professional) development that will serve you in good stead no matter what your ideal career is. If you can show that you’re proactive and eager to learn, your new hobby might upskill you in your current job, or prepare you for another one. Learning new skills like video production, blogging (shout out!), fundraising, or coding make great additions to your LinkedIn profile or CV, while indicating to your potential boss that you’re a total go-getter.
Not only that, but studies show that mentally stimulating hobbies like learning new skills have an immediate positive effect on your stress levels. Why not take a two-pronged approach and take up something like meditation? Win-win.
The problem with the endless wake up, work, scroll, bed, repeat cycle, is that it doesn’t allow much time for keeping active. Keeping in mind the fact we’re all ~supposed~ to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, moving your body can quickly begin to feel like a chore and not a hobby.
That being said, the health gains that come from physical activity are incredible, and it turns out you don’t have to engage in demanding or rigorous activity to feel the benefits. Things like walking, visiting the beach or park, or even knitting can improve your health and get you feeling good.
Hobbies that get you moving also have the added bonus of switching off your mind and recharging your battery while not at work. If you set yourself goals and challenge yourself, your confidence will increase too!
Take it to the group
Sometimes hobbies can take us into our own little worlds, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Whether it be online or in person, turning to group activities as your hobby will allow you to socialise with like-minded people, expand your network, and make friends.
It’s easy to cater the group to your interests as well. Enjoy reading? Find a bookclub! Into gaming? Start a discord group with some friends! Interested in sport? Join a local team! It’s as easy as that.
Taking part in group activities shows future employers that you have a team-mindset and can work well with others. It’s a great way to meet people outside of work and strike up a glowing work life balance.
No matter your interests or talents, there’s a hobby out there for you!
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Lily Cameron is a writer and editor based in Sydney. She is a UTS Communications (Creative Writing) graduate, and current Communications Assistant at UTS Careers. She is passionate about telling stories, both hers and others’, and the way digital and social media is changing the literary landscape. Her writing has appeared in Voiceworks, The Brag, and elsewhere.