Millennials are constantly told about the importance of a ‘work-life balance,’ but that can mean a lot of different things, and achieving any kind of balance in life is more difficult than it sounds.
If you have a job or career that is your passion, you are one of a fortunate few. Most people have a job that pays the bills, and typically funds their hobbies or passions to a certain extent. That being said, most of us have one or two passions, and sometimes several hobbies outside of those passions, whether they relate to our job or not.
So what is the difference between a hobby and a passion?
A hobby is something you do regularly in your free time.
A passion is something you have strong, barely controllable, emotion for.
I believe both need balance (there’s that word again), and taking the time to embrace them is essential for career and personal growth.
If you are not one of the fortunate few who get paid (and get paid well) to do what you love, then you often find yourself dreaming of the day when you can. That being said, it is just as important to maintain your work ethic at your current job as it is to embrace your hobbies and passions. Why? Well, I’ll share a few reasons that have helped me.
- It’s a Connection Tool
- In most lines of work, you have to talk to or work with people. Typically, those are connections that can really help in your career growth, or find new jobs in the future. By sharing a unique passion or hobby that you have, you’re more likely to be remembered. Use your hobbies and passions as a conversation piece and as a way to stand out from the crowd.
- To share a personal example, on my resume at the very bottom under a section I have called ‘Personal Attributes’ I wrote “I collect comics and hula hoop.” It was a risk, but for the job postings I was submitting it to, I felt the risk was worth it. Turned out I was right. My current boss told me a couple weeks ago that he liked that bullet point because he knew what he was getting when he hired me: Someone who could be professional, had experience, but had pride and passion in other aspects of her life. (Actual words he used, too!)
- Mental Balance
- Even if you love your job, and love the people you work with, eventually you have to give your mind a chance to focus on other things. This not only exercises your brain, but it also can lead to inspiration that you may not have found otherwise.
- Your brain is so powerful, and it needs to be exercised like a muscle. If you don’t find new ways to expand your knowledge and way of thinking, you’ll find yourself stuck in a rut.
- Skills are Invaluable
- Learning and enriching yourself are things you can’t put a price on. Especially with the Internet providing so many affordable ways to learn skills or research topics. Most skills are transferrable, too. If your job is at a yoga studio, but you have a hobby for photography, focusing on photography by taking a class, asking a friend to model, or taking a shot at creating some stock photos to post online, can lead to combining your skills and take some great images of your job or business for a website or social media channels.
- I have found that, despite what many people think about millennials being content with the bare minimum, we all strive to be better in some way. Whether that be mentally, emotionally, financially, romantically, or physically. That being said, following your passions and hobbies leads to self-motivation to grow and better yourself in a variety of aspects. Your knowledge and confidence grow, and your time management skills are improved. As your motivation and drive grow, the more time you want to dedicate to certain things in your life, and you force yourself to find ways to make that work.
I often say, ‘Adult so hard, you can be a kid.’ The term ‘adult’ being used as a verb is a growing trend, primarily by millennials. As we grow, we are learning that all the things associated with adulthood can be mashed up into one term: adulting. With that in mind, thinking of our childhood years, back when our biggest worry was who got the best dodgeball in gym class, couldn’t we all agree that getting to a point where we don’t have to worry anymore is the overall goal?
Keep up the pace at work, and spend some time embracing the things that make you, you.
How will you use your unique hobbies and passions to further your career, stand out from the crowd, and better yourself?