Remember those hobbies, and passions that put a smile on your face when you were younger? Or even the interests that developed going into your adult years? The things you loved that once may have been a dream job but seemed so distant? The answers that come to mind may be things that you put on the backburner or put on the shelf to be picked up later.
What if someone told you that those things could actually show up or inspire your career path?
There are many things that as a child, teenager, and even adult that spark the kind of joy that you want every day in life, and while sometimes those hobbies and interests seemingly disappear, they don’t have to stay hidden forever.
At one point or another, you may have considered some of those interests to be dream jobs for you (maybe a singer, an artist, or a fashion designer). However, for one reason or another, those specific passions may not have been realistic jobs on their own, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make their way into your career.
There are several different ways that your interests could be a part of your career without that thing being your main job. They may not always show up in obvious ways, either but it could be certain aspects or concepts that are very similar. Maybe you loved playing sports – but for you, being a team leader and captain was what fueled you – is there some way to bring that element into your work?
You may even be able to cultivate a career where multiple interests are combined. For example, one of your passion may be (or may have been) singing, and you love the industry, and you also have always loved writing. An idea sparked from that could be to start working towards a writing career that focuses on the music industry.
Real-Life Example: In high school, I developed a big interest in photography as I took classes in it, and I started to think about becoming a wedding photographer. I was accepted into a few photography programs, and even accepted an offer at one point, but ultimately decided to not pursue it. I put that idea of being a full-time photographer away for the time being, but now things have come a bit full circle as I pursue roles in social media and content creation.
With that in mind, there are a few different perspectives when it comes to thinking about your interests and how they play a role in your career.
1. If you’re currently already in a job, and you’re missing the spark or the joy, how can you bring in those passions to your career?
Ask yourself the following questions:
• Are you in a position to speak with your manager to discuss how you can incorporate (not everyone will be in this position)?
This will be very dependent on the type of job you’re currently in, and the relationships you hold with your higher-ups. If leadership is an aspect of your interest (as in the above sports example), is there a potential to be a lead on a project, fundraising event, etc.?
• Are there open roles in the company that might be more suited to the things that are you are interested in (or allow you to bring in those aspects)?
Consider talking to your manager or other managers at the company to find a position that will highlight and utilize your particular interests and talents in a way that is more fulfilling for you. How this plays out will vary from company to company but it’s worth considering. There are a lot of benefits to staying with your company and making a move to another department or position and being a “lifer”, so this is a great avenue to explore.
2. You are currently looking for a job and to start your career
This is the time to ask yourself – what kinds of jobs have aspects of my interests even without being that exact thing?
For example, if you’re really interested in travel, what jobs might incorporate things like adventure, exploring, or nature in them? Some jobs that may be of interest could be a trip planner, a travel blogger, or if even working in the hotel industry if you’re near a tourist destination!
As you look for jobs, you’re likely going to be very open to all of the different possibilities, but think about the jobs that are somewhat tied to the things that bring you joy.
The great thing about this is that you’ll be able to put this into your cover letter and talk about how it connects to that role and your potential at that company. For example, you’re really interested in art and more specifically conceptualizing ideas, and you find a job in marketing that you want to apply to. In your application, you can directly speak to your ability to come up with incredible ideas.
3. You’re already in your career, but you are absolutely loving it
This is a great time to reflect on those passions and interests and what you are doing in your job and connect the dots.
By doing this, you are able to recognize why exactly it is that you are doing so well and are enjoying what you do. This also allows you to determine what you want to do more of going forward if you are ever given the opportunity to focus on one thing more specifically. Additionally, if you are ever in a position where you are looking for another job, this will help you narrow your job search and present yourself as a great fit for the roles you apply for.
Here’s a recap of the steps you can take to incorporate your interests into your career:
1. Think about the things from your childhood that lit you up inside, were intriguing to you, or even the types of things you said you might be someday.
2. Reflect on where you are in your career journey right now. Are you just beginning your career and have more freedom, or are you more established in your career and need to find ways to incorporate joy into the role you currently have?
3. Consider the various ways you can incorporate your interests to make a more rewarding and fulfilling career for yourself.
Remember, your interests and passions don’t have to end when your career does, rather, your career can be a more fulfilling one with them in it.
Are you still wondering how to create e a career you love that relates to your interests? Book a Virtual Career Meeting with Christie. These meetings will help you gain clarity on the types of roles that will work best for you and support your goals! Christie will also give you support with your cover letter, resume and LinkedIn profile and walk through how they can work together to achieve your career goals.
By Jenna Yeomans – Jenna is a marketing grad based in Hamilton, ON with a passion for storytelling, creativity and supporting small businesses.
Featured Image: Adobe Stock