How To Turn Your Hobby Into A Career

Wouldn't it be great to wake up every day and do something that you're passionate about? In today's job market, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity every now and then to turn our hobbies into full-blown careers (if we're lucky). But even with all the tools that we have today, do you have the courage to take the plunge and make your dreams a reality?

Everyone in the world has a hobby that they love to do. Whether it's painting, writing, or playing video games, there's always an extracurricular activity that can be turned into a job. Turning your hobby into career can be one of the greatest feelings because it proves that hard work and determination can really take you anywhere. But what if you're on the fence about changing your career path, because you're scared that your dream can fall through, or you're not exactly sure about how it can pay the bills? Well, don't worry, because you're not alone in your concerns.

While it would be amazing to give your boss your two week's notice right away, you have to try and be realistic about your dreams. So before you make any big decisions, here are a few tips on how to turn your hobby into a career.

1. Be Honest With Yourself

Before you jump on this journey, you should try and be honest with yourself if this is something you really want to pursue. Going after your dreams is about hard work and dedication. While it's always good to have a plan B, you want to make sure that you're ready to put the time and effort into it. According to INC., Candice Landauthey, editor of The BPlans, suggested that you ask yourself these few questions before you take the plunge: "Will I enjoy doing my hobby on a deadline? Will I enjoy doing this with a financial gun to my head? Am I up for the challenge?" These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself, but the bottom line is that you have to make sure that turning your hobby into a full-time job isn't just gumdrops and rainbows. But if you are indeed serious about it, then it's totally possible.

2. Come Up With A Plan And Do Research

Once you have decided to go after your passions, it's time to come up with a plan and conduct some research. This is when you should analyze the market and see if it's in need of the career that you're trying to pursue. This is also a great way to help you think outside of the box, and see how your talents can make a difference in a unique way. According to How Stuff Works, make sure you have a business plan and a savings plan before jumping into anything. A lot of entrepreneurs don't turn a profit in the first year, so you want to make sure that your plan is solid enough to where you could survive while you're trying to meet your goals. Or if you're looking to work at your dream company, make sure you're doing enough research about them and the industry that you want to dive into. If you're not in college anymore and/or can't intern, see if you could join some workshops or learn new skills from sites like Silkshare. Whatever route you're trying to pursue, you have to make sure you are completely knowledgeable and secure in the decision you're going to make.

3. Be Persistent

If you've come to the conclusion that you're going to go after your dreams, you have to push yourself to the limit. And one of the best things to help with that is to have a strict schedule. According to The Muse, Jim Competti, one of the owners of Old World Garden Farms website said, "It’s okay to dream, but that’s not enough—you have to take action on your dreams — every single day.” The Compettis continued, “Be sure to work at some part of the business or hobby at least 15 minutes every day.” While your dream position might seem like roses on the outside, the job usually consists of a lot labor and determination to keep it going.

4. Network And Conduct Informational Interviews

The best way to get your dream started is by talking with people who have similar interests. While networking might seem like a nasty word on its own, it's really one of the best way to connect and establish relationships with people that could possibly help you later on down the line when your business is booming. If you're not sure where to begin, ask people you admire for informational interviews. Ask established people questions to gain a better understanding about their company or their current roles. Plus, they may even help you secure a job in the future. According to Forbes, David Parnell, a legal consultant, communication coach and Forbes contributor, said, “While informational interviews are taken under the guise of ‘learning more about the company,’ their true purposes are to impress your connection within the company, and to gather intelligence that might help secure a job there."

If that isn't your thing, try to go to events that are in the industry you want to partake in. Always try to say yes to them because you just don't know who you could meet and how they could benefit you in the future.

5. Don't Be Afraid Of Criticism & Feedback

While listening to your gut can be the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to making choices for your passions, don't be afraid to listen to criticism and feedback from other entrepreneurs. The cool thing about becoming friends with other hard-working people who are already established in their careers is that you have an abundance of information when it comes to how they got there and what mistakes they've made themselves. If someone critiques how you want to turn your hobby into a career, use the valued information and think of it as a positive. According to Lifehack, criticism lets you view things differently. Having new perspectives when it comes to your ideas can be a good thing because it can make your ideas that much stronger, whether you agree with them or not, because it can solidify your ideas to make them the best they can be.

6. Do A Trial Run

Before you jump and put all your eggs in the basket, it might be best to start small. Do a trial run of your business or work freelance for a company before changing your career completely. This is a good way, especially if you're not in school anymore, to get your feet wet when you are not 100 percent sure on how you want to dive into your next venture. According to career website Job, try and create a mock scenario of how you would run your business. Find out how quickly you could complete a project, if you could work on multiple projects at a time, etc. Also, take note to see if you no longer enjoy doing it while you're on the clock. Sometimes the passion of the hobby loses it value once you're pressured to do it everyday. If you already feel stressed just from dipping your toes in the water, then it might be time to reevaluate if you want to do this for a career.

Your dreams do require a lot more work than you could ever imagine, but if you're willing to step up to the plate, and make your hobby into a reality, then don't let anything get in your way. So don't be afraid and just jump in and get started.

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