How did you choose your profession? Did you pick a job that you thought would be easy? Or lucrative? Or glamorous? Or, did you pursue a career related to your interests and hobbies? Chances are, you didn’t base your decision on the latter—but you probably should have.
Why? Hobbies are the things you choose to do; activities that you’re probably good at and enjoy doing, and these personal expressions “will give us unedited clues as to our real desires and interests,” says Joyce K. Reynolds, an expert business coach.
She says looking for career clues in one’s choice of hobbies, interests and vocational activities will provide the most fruitful direction for highly successful career choices. “In fact, the earlier we are able to observe our personal tastes as they show up in hobbies and outside activities, the more powerful a lead these things will provide in steering us to meaningful professional and career choices.”
Career coach Phyllis Mufson agrees. “A hobby you really enjoy can be an important part of choosing a career because your hobby is a window into what you love and value and do most naturally, which are all important components of a career where you’ll flourish.”
While there can be tremendous joy in earning income from doing something that you might happily do for free, there are also practical benefits. “It can be easier to segue into a hobby-related career since you may already have many of the skills, experiences and personal connections needed for success,” says Nancy Collamer, a career coach at MyLifestyleCareer.com. But you need to spend time seriously evaluating whether turning your hobby into your work is a good idea, she adds. “Sometimes it’s best to leave the two as separate and distinct parts of your life.”