Our careers take up a large percentage of our time. We’re in the office most days, for most of the day, and probably working longer hours than we should. Sometimes it’s difficult to find time for hobbies and pastimes as we may feel that this time is better spent on our careers, but having a creative hobby can benefit your career in a number of ways.
1) Getting away from it all
Doing something creative, and unrelated to work, is a great way to relax, de-stress and remove yourself from, what is quite often, the hectic schedule of your career. If your hobby involves being outdoors then you’ll also benefit from fresh air, different scenery and exercise, which are all known to be great at reducing stress.
By regularly removing yourself form your day job, you’ll feel recharged and ready to go when it is time to concentrate on professional matters.
2) Train your brain
By being more creative, and training your brain to think in a more creative manner, you’ll also start to be more creative where work is concerned. Problem solving, strategising and collaborating are just some of the areas that will benefit from a more creative point of view.
How many times have you heard someone say ‘let’s think outside of the box’? What they’re actually asking is for people to think creatively.
3) Use your creative skills in the office
Depending on what creative hobby you choose to do, you may well be able to transfer the skills you learn directly into your working life. For instance, if you learn how to paint then you could decorate the office with some of your paintings. Adding colour and interest to an office is great for inspiration and productivity, not to mention gratitude from your colleagues.
4) Create new contacts
Learning new skills invariably involves researching online. Joining social groups, interacting with blogs and sites and sharing your work are all effective ways to meet new like minded people. Building a network of contacts from different walks of life, but with a common interest, can lead to new professional opportunities from people you would otherwise never have met.
5) Great for your CV
Contrary to some best practice articles, include your interests on your CV, even if they aren’t directly associated with the role your applying for. Recruiters and employers like and want to see that people have lives outside of work. Being active and creative shows that you enjoy learning new things, have skills (which are often self taught) and are self motivated.
It may even be that an interviewer shares your interest, this is never a bad thing for an applicant as it provides a common ground other than the interview itself.
Recruitment agencies and employers want to see what sort of person you are, not just what duties you can perform.
Cultural fit is more important than ever, without an insight into WHO you are, how will they know if your right for the business?
6) Helps you to engage with colleagues
Having interests provides a topic of discussion within the office. Enjoying your time at work is important not only for you as an employee, but for your employer too. Being able to discuss extra curricular activities with your colleagues makes the day more pleasant and builds relationships, not only great for job satisfaction and productivity, but happy employees reduce absence and are less likely to look for alternative employment.
7) Impress the boss
If your manager takes an interest in your passions and creative skills, then showing what you can do in addition to your role is an alternative way of gaining attention and engagement. Building relationships with peers is important for career progression, drawing their attention to what skills you possess outside of your immediate responsibilities can lead to new opportunities within the business.
8) Self discipline and time management
Manage your own time and using it effectively is an important element of any creative activity. You need to be disciplined and dedicated when allocating time to your hobby, using this discipline in the working environment will help you to chair meetings, manage projects and manage your schedule on a daily basis.
9) Teach colleagues your art
Teaching others your craft is a great way to engage with people and reinforce what you know. Using your creativity to implement related wellness initiatives for the business will help to increase engagement and collaboration as well as improve employee wellbeing and the employer brand.
Sharing your passion and getting colleagues interested in creative activities will mean that the benefits you see as an individual, and your employer sees in you as an employee, are enjoyed by others.
10) You’ll be a happier employee
Having more variety and creative activities in your life makes you happier. Doing things you enjoy is essential and starting a hobby that you can spend quality time on will enrich your life both personally and professionally.
People using something that you’ve created, having your work on display and the sense of achievement from completing a creation are all great feelings that will contribute to your happiness and wellbeing.