We all want a job we love – after all there’s nothing worth than being stuck in a dead-end position where we’re forever watching the clock and willing our lives away. One sure-fire way to do that is to use something you love and are passionate about as your starting point and to build a career from there.

One thing we are often deeply passionate about are our hobbies, and you probably know someone already that has transitioned from the 9-5 to something more related to the things they love outside of the office. Illustrating, photography, writing – creative industries that are flourishing especially as our online community grows. And it doesn’t have to be typically creative hobbies if that thing just ain’t your bag. Careers like coaching, personal training and accountancy can all come from passions that didn’t start in an office.

So take your hobby, think deeply about it and consider the following factors in order to make it pay you a living…

Turn Your Hobby Into A Career

1. Look at industries and individuals

No matter what you love – whether it’s design, writing, baking or painting scale models – you need to think about the practical applications of these hobbies and find specific examples of real-life jobs that use these skills. Maybe your flair for words could earn you a post writing for an agency or online publication? Perhaps you could sell your illustrations on Etsy? 

You also need to think about the people who work in the industries your hobby relates to. Where have they come from and what skills did they need in order to get their jobs? Follow people on social media and don’t be afraid to ask for advice from people who have made the same leap as you.

2. Get serious

If you want to make money from your hobby then it’s not enough to simply enjoy it. You’ve got to be good at it and take it seriously. Approach it with a business-style mind set and look at what you might need to do to boost your skills and experiences by, for example, taking on any training courses or qualifications that can broaden your horizons and prove your credentials.

Turn Your Hobby Into A Career

3. Develop a body of work

When you’re starting out you’ll need to try to prove you are good enough to get paid for your hobby. Develop a portfolio showcasing the things that you’ve done and make sure it is as easy as possible for people to find you.

Do this with a website and you’ll be able to put this out in front of the eyes of would-be employers. You might need to volunteer your services for free in order to establish a reputation or body of work in your field. Put the hard work in at the start and you’ll reap the rewards later.

4. Employed or freelance

Consider too that you could choose to be self-employed when making a career from your hobby. This is especially true if you’ve got a talent for making something or wish to turn your efforts into teaching others how to be able to do something you are particularly skilled in. Being a tutor can be a lucrative career path – and can go hand in hand with a practical pastime.
Whether you find a relevant equivalent job or set up your own businesses, channelling the talent and passion you have for your hobby can be a great way to set off on a rewarding career. Put the hard work in and you really can do something you love for a living.

Turn Your Hobby Into A Career

Some more resources

  • We’ve recorded a podcast all about living the dream and whether that should be your ultimate goal. In the podcast we discuss turning hobbies into a career path, so if you are thinking of going down this path, give it a listen! Listen to the podcast here.
  • We also recorded a podcast on financial freedom. If you are thinking of making the leap to freelance or starting to change careers, having a solid financial footing might be worthwhile. This podcast will give you some actionable things to think about! Listen to the podcast here.
  • Want to keep your hobbies strictly for fun? This post by the brilliant Cass Denton will teach you to fuck FOMO and keep the 9-5 and your hobbies separate.

Have you made the leap from hobby to career? Share your tips in the comments below so others can learn from your experience!

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