A hobby is an activity that people do to relax in their leisure time, outside of their occupation. Hobbies are really important as they boost self-esteem and personal growth. It’s essential to destress yourself from the hustle and grind of everyday life and enjoy your personal time doing the things you like. Some people might be interested in sports or fine arts or setting up small businesses through their hobbies of crocheting, making jewellery etc. During the pandemic and right after it a lot of small businesses started booming. Many people realised that they might not actually be happy with their jobs and left their corporate jobs to follow their passion. The rise in the number of people who became self-employed increased. Pursuing passion as a career might seem attractive if you’re burnt out due to your current profession. It’s also believed that if you do what you love, you will be successful and hence take the decision to pursue your hobbies as a career.
People mistake a hobby for a passion. Passion is not just something that you’re interested in but it is something that you can imagine yourself being immersed in, without getting tired of it. Most of the time people who are very keen on pursuing their passion succeed due to hard work, determination and finding new ways to love their job. For instance, someone might love and appreciate art, so should they become an artist? Not necessarily. It depends on the skill set and what art means for them. One might find their passion mid-career. It causes the dilemma of choosing whether to stay in the same career that has worked out until now or chase your newfound passion.
In India, we’ve seen many engineers turn into actors and stand-up comedians because they’ve found passion halfway through their careers. Turning pastimes into paychecks is sometimes very difficult especially if they are luck-based or creative jobs. It is also difficult to monetise hobbies like crocheting, knitting etc unless you have clients and time to make many projects. In this case, it might mean that selling your skills to clients or the public would earn you money.
Doing your hobby for a job might put pressure on you but for some people, the pressure works and they become more productive and push to the fullest of their abilities. Pursuing hobbies and passion as your career is only possible when it’s financially feasible for you. Before getting into the field you want to be in, verifying the scope of the field and how you must make it more than just a hobby is important. Once you’ve started and there’s no looking back, you should work on advertising and promoting your venture to attract more people and clients; only then, you be able to earn money to bring food to your table.
The major drawback of pursuing your hobby as a career is that you burn out and exhaust your liking for your hobby. If you’re a writer who has hit ‘writer’s block’ and is not able to catch up with the pace required for their work to be finished, it gets really hard to buckle up. Whenever it was a hobby, it was an activity that you did during your free time, at your own pace and time but ever since it changes to a career it becomes a tedious job because of deadlines and client obligations. The fun and enjoyment that you get while doing your hobby might disappear altogether when you make it your daily job. Taking it up as a profession removes the novelty and spontaneity it used to have as a hobby. You would constantly question if it was the right decision or not. Monetising hobbies means that the freedom to do it your way or even make errors is small because you’re answerable to your client, who requires your best work. When creativity dries up and leaves you work-less, you might face anxiety and insecurity which is not relaxing and fun as it might have seemed before, because you’re pursuing your hobby as a career.
It is possible to turn your hobby into a full-time career but sometimes it might just be more appealing in theory than reality. If you’re determined that nothing can go wrong and you have enough grit and financial stability, then pursuing passion is definitely a positive direction. If not, try injecting creativity into your existing workplace and give time to your hobby more often!