When you feel at a loss at your current workplace, it might seem tempting to convert something you love doing into a full-time job. With social media at our fingertips, exposure and recognition have never been more accessible. Besides, doesn’t everyone say, “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life”? You finally catch yourself thinking, ‘Maybe this is what I should do as well.’
In the era of motivational Instagram posts and inspiring Pinterest quotes, I’m here to be the proverbial wet blanket and to tell you –
Turning your hobby into your career seems like the best-case scenario you could have ever planned for your life. You get paid to do what you love – who wouldn’t want that? But many people get lost in the dream without really considering the downsides. If you think you can really push through and make something out of your hobby, definitely give it a go! But let this article serve as a cautionary reminder of why turning your hobby into your career isn’t always advisable.
From no expectations to no boundaries
We partake in hobbies because they enrich our lives. One of the reasons we enjoy them so much is because they aren’t coupled with the added pressures of a normal job. It serves as an outlet that we can engage in whenever we want. Monetising your hobby could very well suck the fun out of it. The lines between your personal and professional lives will begin to blur because now your hobby isn’t just a way to let down your hair, it’s how you put food on the table. Soon, your hobby will become just another job, you will have lost a creative outlet and you will start to feel the burn out set in. The financial stress and demand could ultimately lead to disappointment and frustration, and leave you resenting your career.
Up close and very personal
Hobbies come without the baggage of having to excel at it. You don’t have to be the best cook in the world for you to gain pleasure from indulging in it. When you turn your passion it into your job, there is a pressure to achieve a certain standard of quality, and sustain it. Whether you work with a client or under a supervisor, your hobby is also no longer yours alone to pursue. You are not in control of the output and cannot do things the way you want to. You can expect to receive a lot feedback and critique. And considering how personal hobbies are, criticism (no matter how constructive) could really sting.
Demand, supply and diligence
For every successful artist or icon there are a thousand others striving to make ends meet. Even if you are incredibly good at what you do, your talents could only cater to a niche market. With the competition as high as it currently is, building a steady income might be much harder than previously anticipated.
Suppose the endeavour turns out to be successful, you still have to maintain the enthusiasm for it. The idea that you can continue to stay passionate about one thing for the rest of your life is extremely misleading. As we age, everything about us grows and adapts with our bodies. If our tastes and inclinations are subject to change, it is very likely for the strong passion we feel towards our hobbies right now to fizzle out over time as well.
Your hobby is not your only passion
Too often have people made the mistake of assuming that their hobby is the only thing they can be passionate about. It’s true, passion isn’t easy to find. Still, you should choose to develop a passion for your work rather than convert an existing passion into work. Find something that interests you, and build off of that instead. You will almost never find the perfect fit right off the bat, but over time, you will learn to love what you do without having to sacrifice your creative pursuits.
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