Should You Turn Your Hobby into a Career?

Ever wondered how you ended up in your profession? Did you choose it when you weren’t sure what else was out there or did you just fall into it by chance? Many of us work in jobs we’re not particularly interested in just because they pay well, or they provide us with the stability we crave. While these might be great ways to justify staying in your job, if you don’t love what you do, it can make the path to fulfillment tricky.

One of the major things holding most people back from changing their career path is not knowing what they want to do as an alternative. It can be daunting to identify something that you feel is a viable substitute for that nicely paid but rather boring office job, but it boils down to a couple of simple questions: What do you love doing and if applicable, why aren’t you doing that all the time?

What do you love doing? If the answer to this is your 9-5, then congratulations for already achieving your goal! You are one of the lucky ones. It sounds like you have already made your hobby into a viable enterprise. However, if your answer was based on what you do in your spare time, then you need to ask yourself: Why aren’t you doing that all the time? After all, life is short! We should be spending every moment doing work that not only fulfills us but also makes us happy.

Ok, so it might not be as straightforward as simply leaping into a new business, but whether you love photography, poker or video gaming, someone somewhere will have already made that hobby into a viable business. All you need to do is learn how to make the transition. You just need the willpower to make it happen. If you’ve got plenty of that, the path to career success could well be an achievable aim.

But it’s not all smooth sailing. Whether you like it or not, when it comes to making your hobby into a job, it’s super important to be aware of the downsides. Yes, doing what you love full-time can be an incredibly rewarding life goal, but it’s also a sure-fire way to take all the enjoyment out of it. Making jewelry in your studio might sound like the ideal way to spend your days, but if you are solely reliant on that for income, then your focus will be less about creating beautiful items and more about making sales. Accounting, networking and marketing can take up huge amounts of your working week, so just be sure that you are prepared for those elements of your new career.

The upside to wearing lots of hats for your new venture is that you get a crash course in learning skills that you might not have come across in your last career. You may even find a new passion amongst them!

It’s also worth noting that even if you have spent hours learning your craft, there are always more ways to improve your skills before you decide to make it a full-time gig. After all, just because you know a few different hands in poker, it doesn’t mean you are going to sweep the floor with your professional opponents overnight. Invest time in establishing yourself as an expert in your field by practicing your hobby, attending workshops and events related to it and networking with people who could potentially refer customers to you. Go to evening classes or brush up on your skills with an online course.

Once you have a solid foundation of skills to work from, the rest should fall into place. Specifically, if you have invested time in building your hobby up as a side venture while you continue with your 9-5, it will give you ample opportunity to notice any potential flaws or difficulties before you make that final leap across. It also provides you with a safety net of income while you try out new ideas. Sure, it’s not going to be an easy journey, and you might have to take a pay cut in the early days, but if you stick with it and remain determined, you might just surprise yourself with your new career path.

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