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5 steps to turn your hobby into your career

A wise man once said, if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

It’s the dream right? To turn the thing that you’re passionate about into the thing you get to do day after day and get paid for doing it.

But how do you actually go about making that a reality? How do you turn your hobby into your career?

We’ve got 5 steps to help you get you started.

Step 1: Work out what you enjoy doing

Do you have something that you really enjoy doing? Maybe it’s something that you look forward to doing in your spare time that makes you smile? Here’s some possibilities to get you started:

  • Cooking
  • Tinkering with things
  • Helping others
  • Writing
  • Cleaning
  • Home maintenance
  • Running

If you’ve got a few things that you like doing, try listing them out and scoring them from highest to lowest.

It’s okay if you can’t pinpoint any hobbies that you like – you’re at the start of discovering your different interests, and that can take some time!

Step 2: Work out why you enjoy it

If there’s something you like doing, try to work out what things you like about it, because it’s those things that can become the ingredients for a career pathway, e.g. cooking: is it the science of following the recipe? Or is it about feeding those you love. Work out what drives your passion.

Step 3: Get the low down on career opportunities

Now that you know what you like, you can start seeking out guidance to better explore why you like these things, and where it could lead you.

Try creating a vision board or a mind map that puts together all the things that bring you joy in one place. These are the things that you can’t wait to do, that you’ll put effort into even when it feels hard. Next speak with a teacher, parent or career advisor about what that all means to you and where it could take you.

Step 4: Work out some pathways

If you have a potential career in mind that harnesses your hobby – that’s great, but it’s always good to have a few options up your sleeve. And they don’t all have to be from the same hobby or interest. That way, if one career pathway doesn’t work out, you’ve got another to fall back on. Once you’ve got a few paths in mind, take a look to see what’s required to enter those careers. Are there any subjects at school that will support your goals? Do you need to do further study at university or TAFE? Are there any certifications that will help you? If you’re planning for your senior years in high school, having these pathways in the back of your mind will assist with your SET planning. Have a chat to your career advisor at school for help.

Step 5: Put in the work

If you want to turn your hobby into your career – you gotta put in the work. It won’t all be easy going, and there may be times where it’s hard to be motivated. No matter how much you love doing something, you’ll have to develop your resilience to get through the times when it feels like a chore.

We’d recommend getting professional training to help you reach your maximum potential. Seek out those that can provide mentorship – people who have tread the path before and can give you advice on real life situations. Avenues for professional support will obviously depend on your interests, but here’s some suggestions to get you started:

  • Seek out any relevant internships, traineeships or work experience
  • Take art classes
  • Take some classes at a technical trade school or TAFE
  • See if there’s any groups or clubs in your area that are passionate about the things you are into. One of the best ways to learn and grow your skills is by being around others who share your passion and will drive you forward.

At times, you may not be able to get experience in the ‘exact’ area that you want to be in, but there’s more accessible experiences that can help pave the way. For example, if you want to sell your own jewellery, working in Kmart might not seem like an obvious first step, but it can actually teach you a lot about retail, presentation, sales and stock levels; and that will all be essential once you start doing your dream job.

Step 6: Find support and inspiration

If there’s someone who has your dream career, try reaching out to them to find out what journey they took to get where they are. Doing so may give you inspiration and insight into the steps you should take as well!

If it’s someone who’s famous or has a high profile – why not take a look at their path to fame. Where did they start? You’ll likely find a heap of information online – try Wikipedia to start with. Otherwise, if it’s someone you know, you can try scheduling a time to chat about how they got to where they are, or if it’s someone you don’t know, you could try reaching out to the company they work for – they’ll likely appreciate your interest and give you some pointers!

Remember

if it turns out that your hobby doesn’t turn into your career – that’s not a failure! If you put the effort in, you can turn a hobby into your side hustle – the thing that you do on the side of your main career. Even if it’s not enough to make a living from, having a self-sustaining hobby can give your bank account a boost and help you engage with the thing(s) you love on a regular basis.

If you’re still feeling a little lost, try speaking with family, friends, your school guidance officer or another trusted adult.

Good luck!

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