What do you do in your personal life that helps you in your professional life?
Back in 2018, the University of Denver outlined seven ways your hobby can help you in your professional life. For example, hobbies like photography and painting can boost your creativity, while hobbies like martial arts and and horseback riding can help you build confidence. Likewise, you might take up knitting to strengthen your organizational skills, or learn to play chess to boost your critical thinking skills.
Digging a little deeper into the idea, researchers at San Francisco State University conducted two studies examining the relationships between non‐work creative activity, recovery experiences, and performance‐related behaviors at work, and found that employees who had some sort of creative outlet after work hours were more likely to be better problem-solvers during work hours. Researchers noted businesses could benefit from encouraging their employees to engage in creative activities to better recover from work.
With all this in mind, I decided to survey a handful of people to see how their own hobbies — creative pursuits or other endeavors — help with their specific careers:
- Megan, a registered nurse of over 10 years, hits the gym every day after work: “Well, I’m a nurse but I sit a lot — I’m chained to a desk most of the time! By going to the gym after work everyday I’m staying healthy and destressing so I can handle the demands I face daily without becoming overwhelmed and losing my cool.”
- Ari, a college coach of nine years, regularly reads and works out: “Reading helps my job by continually growing, a lot of the books I read are for pleasure but many of them are related to coaching and team leadership and development. Working with college athletes, they are in school so I feel it is my duty to be engaged with them as much as possible. Working out is huge for my job. I believe as a leader if I am asking them to do things I need to lead by example. There are many benefits to working out, however I feel it’s a huge part of my job to be in shape and represent college athletes in a healthy way.”
- Ashley, a nurse practitioner of six years, never skips a day with her yoga practice: “Yoga helps me because it gives me a chance to use the creative side of my brain. My occupation uses almost exclusively the logic/reasoning side of my brain. Being able to do something that I can express myself creatively helps me find balance and not feel frustrated in working in such a serious environment without creative outlets.”
- Matt, a financial advisor of 17 years, coaches his son’s Little League team: “It might not seem like much of a hobby, but I’m really passionate about volunteering with my kid’s baseball team. I like my job, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not always easy to feel passionate or inspired about helping people manage their money. So by coaching my son’s team, I’m still getting to help people, but I’m also getting the warm fuzzies, too. I think this helps me not get jaded or burnt out with my day job.”
- Kristi, a retail store manager of six years, likes to roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty: “I garden. I have a huge vegetable garden each year and not only do I cook with what I grow, I can a lot of it so I can eat it throughout the year. It takes a lot to have a sizeable and successful vegetable garden. You have to figure out what you want to grow, how it will work in your climate, when the best time of spring or summer is for that plant — and if you want to can your vegetables, well that’s a whole other set of planning. So I would say my hobby helps my career because it keeps my planning and juggling skills sharp!”
Nice mix of hobbies helping people destress so they can stay fresh at work, sharpen work-related skills, and maintain a well-balanced life, yeah?
Your turn! Head to the comments below and let us know how your hobby helps you in your professional life!