How Hobbies Can Enrich Your Professional Life - 3 Examples

As a part of the generation y my understanding of work-life balance is not to strictly seprarated one from the other, my goal is to spend my time at work and at home with basically the same activitites that give me joy, a sense of fullfilling and help me develop at a personal level. I don't believe in a 9-to-5 work ethic, espeically in modern Marketing you need to be aware of your job 24/7/365. 

That doens't mean to be available all the time or to never sleep or to never go on vacation, it just means that even in times when your not sitting at your desk, there is the possiblity of inspiration or opportunity related to your job. Let me give you three simple examples from my experience that could benefit your work performance:

1) Traveling:

When your on holiday and you meet this person at a club or hotel and you have a conversation maybe have a coffee or something similar. You find out, that that person belongs to a company that is a possible lead for your company, wouldn't you want to connect with that person and later, back in the office look into a possbile work relationship? Perhaps it would have been impossible to get in touch with the COO of a certain company, an project manager or even an assistant but you were able to connect on that particular trip.  After all, business is easier if you know someone, even better when you share the same believes, experiences or trust each other.

This might be a typical experience for someone who loves to travel in his free and professional time. Being a good networker and coming around a lot makes you a great potential asset to your company. When I'm travelling I always look out to meet new people that might be intersting and see if I can relate to them in the professional as well as in the private, may it be through an exchange of experience or simply to check business opportunities wether it is a trip to a trade fair or a private trip to a foreign country. Keep your eyes open.

2) Being an Artist/Musician:

Creativity is always a good skill, thinking outside of the box, coming up with new ways of dealing with processes or simply inventing new ways of business - creative team members are invaluable. As an artist you may be able to visualize ideas better than anyone else, this might help other people to understand ideas faster and help develop a first tangible view on things.

As a musician you might be able to orchestrate a team and be an effective team player. You might also be valuable speaker, because you know how to act in front of a large audience without breaking a sweat. That makes you a perfect candidate for every job that requires similar traits as a sales rep or a public relations manager.

Through my experience of playing in different bands for the past 10 years, I was able to sharpen my team player skills and learned how to orchestrate not only songs, but people. It also gave me the chance to perform in front of huge crowds that made public speaking or holding presentations a lot easier and more natural to me.

3) Being a Writer/Editor:

In our daily business we communicate through many channels, most often we use the written word in emails, status updates or blog posts. Being a writer may give you an edge in the workplace. Writing clrearly, effectively and consicely is a must-have skill for managers, especially in regards to team management or when dealing with different cultures. Wether representing a company in a press conference, in a sales pitch or in an interview, good writing skills benefit your performance immensely because you know the drill.

Writing stories from an early age on and continuing it through different mediums on my way for example in school magazines, student newsletter or just creative writing gave me a wonderful playground of testing and improving my skills. Your content has to be engaging wether it is a short Twitter message with just 140 characters ora strategy paper with more than 5000 words. How would you write your application for a job? If you know how to put your passion on paper you will stand out.

What are your hobbies?

These are just a few examples from my own experience. Most things you start or learn in school can be polished throughout your student life and can be perfected during your career and adult life. Hobbies are not just a diversion from your job or a free time activity with no real benefits, hobbies give you a safe place for practicing skills, do what you love and benefit from that.

Let me know what you think and leave a comment!

Thanks for reading.

Sebastian