Find A Hobby To Balance Out Your Career

Do you have a hobby or two? What are they? How much time you spend doing them? (Psst! Can’t get hired? Watch this free tutorial.) I know your reaction to this line of questions, “Lisa, why are you talking about hobbies. You're a career management coach. You help people find jobs and manage their careers. What does a hobby have to do with a career?” I submit to you that it means a great deal. Our expression of ourselves in the activities we do, especially the ones we thrive at and get invigorated by tells us about ourselves. It tells us what we enjoy, our interests, sometimes our passions. It may even help us to find our next great career. Who knows by exploring an area of interest that you already enjoy what could be the possibilities to be involved in that industry. I know. I know. You are going to say, “But Lisa, if I did my hobby as full-time work I would hate it.” Perhaps. But it comes down to balance, doesn't it? Investing so much of our life and ourselves into constant work, drains us. It doesn’t refresh us. Who said you have to work “a million” hours a week to succeed in your career? Here’s my pitch to you... What if you actually worked a balanced schedule and refreshed yourself in the other parts of your life such as fun and recreation (hobby)? I believe you will be more productive, more creative, more relaxed, and even amicable in your work. What is your hobby? Biking, skiing, car racing, running, music, art, history, politics, kayaking, surfing, sailing, scuba diving, hiking, cooking, sewing, knitting, painting, writing, photography, aviation, jumping from airplanes and the list goes on. I am sure I missed a whole crowd of them. I have had difficulty in embracing hobbies myself. I am a very productive person and if I am not checking things off my list I have felt I was wasting time. Well, not true, friends. Not true. Hobbies are meant to relax us. They are meant to be enjoyed. Putting our energies into something totally different than our careers or businesses can help our bodies and our minds. We gain new perspective on our jobs. I promise you, you will feel better and be more creative. You may come up with an idea to fix a problem you never would have before had you not “walked away” to engage in a new passion, even if for a few hours at a time. I mentioned hobbies have been difficult for me. I am more of the lover of all, master of none when it comes to this. Here or some of the hobbies I have dabbled in over the years: sailing, surfing, scuba diving, knitting, painting, photography, skiing, and snowboarding. My current hobbies are more around what I can do with my husband and boys – kayaking, hiking, biking. I also have picked up knitting again. This hobby comes and goes throughout my life. I learned to knit in high school. I knit nothing fancy and am a slow one but I find it enjoyable at certain times. During the past two winters I was a puzzle fanatic. I would find a cool puzzle. Put it out on a table in our living room area and work through it over the course of a week or weekend. As friends came by, we would ofyen work on the puzzle as we talked and had a glass of wine. My boys would help out with the puzzle as well. It working my brain, but it was social, too. I have some new/old hobbies I would love to explore more. Kayaking – I want to pick up enough kayaks for the family and begin to do this more often from spring to fall. Painting – I have never taken a painting class and am not sure I will paint anything beautiful but I would like to try an abstract acrylic class. (If anyone knows of a good teacher who can put up with a complete art newbie, let me know).

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Work is important to a lot of us. And we all have egos. The trick is to balance our own view of work and success so that the ego remains a helpful source of support and not a tyrannical master. One is the road to relative contentment, the other to continued misery. Have you struck the balance?

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