I love to write and blog. I would love to get paid for my passion. However, I have to work and am unhappily employed as a receptionist. It’s full time and I have little time for my hobby. How do I turn my hobby into paid employment and a career?
Signed: Writer’s Block (WB)
I will refer you to read the fantastic blog written by columnist Jacquelyn Smith who provides some useful tips to turn your hobby into your job. It includes the following particularly useful suggestions:
Become an expert: teach your passion.
Blogging is a skill. You have figured out not just how to write, but to edit and publish too. It’s possible that there are many out there who would like to learn these skills.
Hobbyists can, for example, teach piano lessons, offer cooking classes, or teach another language, if those are your passions. Do this by volunteering at a local community centre, library, place of worship, the association, and any organization that you have researched and connected with to see if they are interested. Create your own curriculum, workshop and/or lesson plan. Facilitate it in the classroom or as a webinar. Organize speaking engagements. Write about your hobby in a blog or find a newspaper (online or printed) or a media source that will publish your writings. You may have to start “volunteering” but sometimes this type of “work” could lead to paid opportunities.
Find a way to innovate and deal in products related to your interest.
Think about ways to sell/import/invent/craft a product or accessory for enthusiasts in your hobby. Wine enthusiasts might import hand-blown wine glasses from a different country, or invent a unique wine refrigeration device, or develop a line of fun wine-themed T-shirts. You can use social media tools to source the people who share your interests. Try Meetup to meet and network with writers in your area.
Build a business on the side.
“The next time you find yourself confused as to how to generate income from your hobbies, search out the most successful entrepreneurs in your area of interest and study their business models and revenue streams,” suggests Jacquelyn Smith. For example, for your hobby, consider taking on some editing jobs. Start small. Create a website, and an email address. Begin to “brand yourself” and to find opportunities to monetize your skills.
Joanna Samuels B.Ed. (Adult Education), M.Ed., CMF, CTDP, RRP is a certified Life Skills Coach, and certified Personality Dimensions Facilitator who works at JVS Toronto as a Job Developer/Job Coach/Workshop Facilitator. Also, Joanna is a part-time instructor of employment counselling with people with disabilities at George Brown College.