Career Advice

8 Things to Consider Before Turning Your Hobby into Your Career

Photography team at work

While some lucky folks truly love their jobs, many others landed in their careers due to necessity, convenience or even a high salary figure. Loving what you do and finding success can be hard when you’re not completely enamored with your career.

So let me ask you this: What do you love to do? If your answer is your hobby — baking, crafting, writing, playing sports — then it may be time to consider turning your after-hours activity into your 9-to-5 grind.

Transitioning your hobby from part-time to full-time and getting paid for it is no easy feat. In fact, it requires a planning, dedication and the right attitude. So, here are eight things to consider before turning your hobby into your career:

1. Is it the right time to transition?

Some say the best time to do anything is now, but turning your hobby into a business requires near-perfect timing. How soon can you pull off a transition from hobbyist to professional?

Map out what kind of time frame you would need to get things up and running and take your personal life into consideration. If you’re getting married, buying a house, attempting to pay off student loans or credit card debt, making a risky career transition may not be the best at this time.

2. Do you have the persistence to turn a dream into a reality?

Sure, we all love to daydream and run through the “what if’s” when it comes to our beloved pastimes. Taking action to turn your dreams into a reality requires a huge dose of persistence, every single day.

Write down everything you would need to do to simply get in the starting blocks of your hobby-turned-job and check your stamina from there.

3. Can I do what I love part-time before quitting my day job?

The possibility of easing into your hobby will allow you to grow at your own pace. If you’re not ready to kiss your lackluster 9-to-5 goodbye, consider ramping up your attention to your hobby as you lay the foundation for growth. This could mean taking on freelance writing gigs to grow your resume and your portfolio or setting aside 15 hours each week to spend perfecting your cupcake recipes and building your client base.

4. Are you willing to sell yourself?

A great business is absolutely nothing without marketing. And if you’re the shy, introverted type, shouting from the rooftops about your new interior decorating side project probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list. On the other hand, poor marketing won’t get the job done either.

Fortunately, with the right tools and attitude, you can learn how to sell yourself and your business. Lay the groundwork for marketing by using a free or low-cost website building platform, as well as establishing your business on relevant social media channels.

5. Can I actually make money?

The majority of individuals maintain a job — good or bad — to pay the bills. While money isn’t a priority for some, the rest of us have to find a way to make ends meet. Will your hobby turn a paycheck on which you can survive? And if not, what can you do to make ends meet in the meantime?

Considering the financial aspects of your future career may mean meeting with a financial advisor, accountant, mentor or even a family member to better understand your options, risks and financial growth potential.

6. Can I teach, speak or write about my hobby?

While you may love playing video games, a professional career in video gaming may be out of the question. But what if you started your own blog and began guest blogging about your experiences?

Asking yourself what elements of your beloved hobby can turn into a career is a good way to get a new perspective for job potential. It’s always possible you could teach your hobby, speak about it professionally or even write about it.

7. Can I handle the criticism?

Your friends, family, significant other, and even your children will all have their own opinions and advice about your endeavors. Feedback, both positive and negative, can be a challenging aspect of making your hobby into your career.

8. Will I still enjoy it?

This is the most important question of them all. You may love watercoloring the occasional piece to add to your own art collection or give to a friend, but will you still love painting when you’re doing it every day, with deadlines, while marketing and trying to turn a profit?

Sometimes bumping up a hobby from part-time to full-time can take the fun, passion and relaxation away from something you once loved. Take time to explore what it’s like doing your hobby for several hours every day or all weekend to check your level of enjoyment.


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