We’ve all heard the saying, “Do what you love.” As a result, we might believe we shouldn’t experience difficulties finding a job that plays to our passions and makes us thrilled to get out of bed in the morning.
The reality is, many perfectly good and even lucrative jobs may not carve aside duties that include the hobbies you like to do in your spare time. This reality doesn’t mean those hobbies need to be kept separate from your career, however. Here are some ways the activities from which you derive the most pleasure when away from the office can help advance your professional career.
Bolster creativity with art and writing
Most, if not all, companies value creative thinking for problem solving or project management. If you feel your creative mind is rusty, spend some time writing or making art at home. Even something as simple as drawing a picture for someone else has been shown to feed into the creative process. By focusing on writing a story or drawing a picture at home, your skills can translate to work at the office. What does this mean? The next time management needs a creative solution, they may just look to you.
Enhance mental skills with video games
Over the years, video games have gained a bit of a bad reputation for increasing aggression or encouraging low activity. When played occasionally, however, they have the ability to increase your critical thinking and quick problem-solving skills. Many accomplished young professionals grew up with video games and still enjoy a turn with the controller now and again.
Unwind with a game in the evening, and you’ll likely see everyday improvement in things like hand-eye coordination, quick decision making and even attention, which will certainly help at your next staff meeting.
Build teamwork with sports
Enjoy getting active with a local soccer league or playing a game of baseball on the weekends? Translate that passion for team-based sports into an ability to be a strong collaborator on your next professional project. Many of the skills that are present when working together to win a game can directly correlate to your career. Build confidence, trust and even constructive communication skills by playing team sports during your downtime.
Ease stress with gardening
Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States, and its widespread appeal is easy to understand. The time allotted to let your mind wander, the feel of the dirt in your hands, and the (usually) edible end result are all reasons to love caring for plants. What’s more, gardening has been shown to reduce stress, something many Americans deal with on a daily basis. If you feel yourself starting to burn out at your job, take a step back and use an activity like gardening to bring you back down to Earth. This way, you’ll be better able to perform your job functions and that much closer to your next promotion.
Whether you enjoy drawing or gardening quietly on the weekends, or the fast-paced environment of team sports and video games, your hobbies don’t need to be kept separate from your professional life. The next time you pick up that controller, think about how you can translate what you learn when having fun into advancing your career when you head back to the office.