What do you like to do in your free time? Photography? Gardening? Spending time outdoors? Cooking?
Our hobbies can make us very happy. We enjoy the time we spend doing them, but can they translate into our careers? The answer is . . . it depends.
Some individuals can translate their hobby into their career. Consider the following example. My client, Mary, loves photography. She has spent years perfecting the craft. She has purchased an expensive, high-end professional camera along with the latest version of Photoshop. Her friends and family members ask her to be the photographer at family gatherings, weddings, or the family photo shoot.
Starting a business as a photographer is something that she would love doing. Launching the business, crafting the marketing messages, keeping a flexible schedule, and making money doing something she loves truly appeals to her.
Using the same example from above. Mary loves photography, but the pressure of needing to make money in a business related to her passion causes extreme amounts of stress. Taking the pictures is what appeals to her, but launching the business is not something that interests her or is something she is skilled in. If the business fails, it may cause Mary to view her photography skills in a negative light. The flexible schedule seems appealing, but she doesn’t want to work on the weekends.
Two different individuals… two different results. For some, turning a hobby into a career is a lifelong dream, allowing them to work every day in an area they love. For others, turning their hobby into a career takes the fun out of that hobby and that past love is now… work.
There are many considerations when deciding to turn a hobby into a career. Below are just a few considerations:
- Can you do this for a living? Is this something people will pay for?
- How can do you do this for a living? Do you need to start your own business or can you work for others?
- Can you implement this career change with your current life and maintain the lifestyle you want?
- Will you enjoy doing the non-hobby or business aspects of the job?
- How will this impact your love for this hobby?
If you are thinking of taking that hobby and using it for the next step in your career consider the questions above and think through the entire decision-making process. It makes sense in some cases and for others some hobbies are best left as hobbies.