By Scott Vollero
Hobbies are something we develop with the goal of having fun in mind. Hobbies provide those much-needed and well-deserved relaxation hours that give us our “me” time after a hard week of working.
Hobbies can get to be expensive, however. If you’re restoring old cars or you’re taking photos of everyone and everything, you’re probably investing a substantial sum in equipment and supplies. The question as to whether it is worth it or not may be something you don’t want to consider.
Rather than fret over it, try looking at your hobby from an investment perspective. How great would it be if your hobby could be used to boost your career or your business’s bottom line?
This is a hobby that can get really expensive, really quick. It seems that the more you love it, the more expensive it gets. As you get better at your craft, however, you may be able to make this hobby pay for itself. Try putting yourself out there as a professional photographer. List your photos on a stock photo service as a way to get your name out there. Develop a webpage for booking appointments to do portraits, custom landscapes or wedding photos. When your boss decides to hire a professional photographer for that marketing shoot, you’ll be able to put yourself up as the logical candidate for the position.
In order for a company or business to be competitive, it has to have a great website. If you can create attractive, user-friendly web designs, make sure your boss is aware of this addition to your skillset. Let him or her know that you’re adept at using HTML coding and CSS. Smaller companies that don’t have a massive in-house information technology department full of designers and developers will be especially happy to see you coming. If you can also design mobile and iPad or tablet-friendly sites, you’ll probably find your résumé going to the top of the HR pile.
Blogging and Journaling
Blogging isn’t just for fun anymore. Not only is it a way to increase your own personal business or highlight your brand, it is an opportunity for you to network and collaborate with peers in your industry. Businesses are always looking for employees who can market the company on a blog. They will also use your skills to blog about customer service news and PR releases. If you can demonstrate an ability to use blogging software and create SEO-friendly, interesting posts, you’ll be a great addition to any business.
If taking apart computers and putting them back together is your obsessive hobby, make certain that your boss knows you’re the techy type. If you can do computer repair or smartphone maintenance, you could quickly become the most popular person in the office. A small company may not be able to hire a full-time information technology person. As the company grows, you may be able to move into a full time position in the information technology field.
Party planning and hosting
Pulling together a budget-friendly, attractive dinner or office party is a skill that is sure to impress any boss. If your skill here makes your boss look great in the eyes of clients, this will not go unnoticed.
If finding a good deal is something you love to do, your boss will appreciate you putting those skills to good use. Most bosses, especially those in smaller businesses, have a healthy respect for employees who are frugal when it comes to business expenses. If you can book flights at a savings, arrange conferences that don’t break the company’s bank account, or refill office inventory at a savings, you’ll quickly become very popular with your boss.