You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Hobby? Really Jena? How does this relate to my career?”
Now, before you get all bent out of shape, hear me out.
When I was working as an investment banker, I had NO time for a hobby. None. I was lucky if I had time to eat a balanced meal and get more than 5 hours of sleep a night. Not kidding. I remember that time clear as day and I definitely don’t wish to revisit that time. ALL of my creativity had been zapped from me. I wasn’t able to think creatively and I had become this professional robot. I had no hobbies and no work-life balance. And at the end of the day, I wasn’t a great employee.
Since then, I made sure that in every job I had something outside the office to look forward to where I could express myself creatively. It was at the NYSE, that in my free time, I started my first blog, Giant in Heels. It was at The Muse where I started to toy with entrepreneurship, delve into the world of personal development and get more involved in my church. For you, that may mean yoga or running or something physical. For others, it’s volunteering. And for others it’s taking an art class or learning how to dance or singing in a choir. If you don’t have a hobby outside the office that is NOT related to what you do day in and day out, you need to get one.
I talk to a lot of clients who are really unhappy in their jobs. Most of the time, they are unhappy in their outside-the-office lives as well. I always ask, “What do you like to do for fun?” Often times, they tell me they don’t have time for fun. They go to work, maybe go to the gym and pass out when they get home. Well, that’s not much of a life, now is it? Where is the fun? Where is the exploration? Where is the adventure? If you are just going through the motions, I want you to wake up.
This life is too short to just go through the motions. And one step to get you moving away from the same old is to get a hobby. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. And you may be surprised, but I fully believe that having a hobby will make you a more well-rounded employee, will give you an outlet to learn new skills and will actually make you better in your current job.
This has been one of my “crossover hobbies” – a mix of business and pleasure – gathering people around my new city at new breakfast spots to meet and swap entrepreneurial ideas!So take this as permission to get creative, have fun and not let your life revolve around your job. It’s not healthy and we all need a break now and again. Even if you love your job or you run your own business, you need something to define the end to the day and the beginning of a different kind of fun.
So get on Groupon. See what cool things are going on in your area. Get on Pinterest and find some DIY inspiration. Grab a friend and try out the newest fitness class. Maybe you hire a Spanish tutor. Or maybe you find the local pet shelter or homeless shelter that you can volunteer at and give back to your community.
Hobbies are good. Hobbies are a blessing. And having a hobby in 2018 is going to help you find freedom in your career.