How often have you heard people say that they fell into a job when asked how they chose their career?
It’s almost like they were walking down the street, minding their business, when a job tapped them on the shoulder and said, “Pick me.”
Although we know that falling into a job is a figure of speech, many people choose a position merely because they need the work.
Falling into a job means that the position was the most accessible and available opportunity.
And this doesn’t just apply to lower-skilled workers.
I have known attorneys who had their eyes set on becoming entertainment lawyers but had to settle for worker’s compensation because that’s the first job they could land after graduating from law school.
So dead-end jobs are equal opportunity providers.
And to be clear, a dead-end job is any job that does not provide emotional satisfaction or a sense of well-being.
A corporate attorney once told me that he could not make the kind of money he earns doing any other job that requires so little commitment.
And I don’t recall him suggesting that he had other ventures he was pursuing.
How long could he maintain a job that he was neither committed to nor interested in?
Like anyone else, introverts can find themselves doing work that does not inspire them.
Discovering inspirational work is not easy.
I have a friend who experienced two bankruptcies and near homelessness to pursue his dreams.
Leaving a job to pursue one’s dreams sounded great in the 1990s when motivational speakers Tony Robbins and Les Brown recommended that we do so.
However, the day-to-day financial responsibilities of living expenses prevent unrealistic notions of leaving a job without financial resources intact.
So, hobbies can be a starting point.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a Hobby as “A pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.”
A hobby allows you to create personal satisfaction and build a potential career for long-term happiness and financial independence while working a job.
But what kind of hobbies should you consider for enjoyment? And what hobbies can potentially earn you money?
Productive hobbies that make money
Alyssa Tabit Smith, a podcast host, author, and realtor, recommends that individuals should have five hobbies.
Smith categorizes these five hobbies as:
- One to make you money
- One to keep you in shape
- One to be creative
- One to build knowledge
- One to evolve your mindset
Smith’s framework is reminiscent of Charles Lieberman’s article, How to Achieve More with an Introverted Lifestyle, where the intellectual curiosity of introverts is morphed into a comprehensive lifestyle of work and play.
Since control, independence, and self-determination are critical for many introverts, a chosen hobby should lend itself to creating a lifestyle that replaces an unfulfilling job.
Also, many introverts already embrace a lifestyle of intellectual creativity, knowledge building, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
And so, any recommended hobby should encompass the strengths which introverts already possess.
If money is not a motive, the hobby should be transformative enough to satisfy the shortcomings of a job.
Because succeeding at anything requires excessive energy, focus, and tenacity, it is recommended that introverts choose one hobby.
Whether an unsatisfying job is a financial fuel for a hobby or entrepreneurial pursuit, a hobby should be the center of your universe for two reasons.
First, if you have not identified work that inspires you, a hobby allows practical experimentation. A fulfilling hobby stems from a general interest that you can build on.
Secondly, if the hobby is an entrepreneurial endeavor, you should invest your time and money into it until it becomes viable.
With these considerations, you should contemplate a few factors to ensure that a hobby has the best chance of meeting your expectations.
These factors are:
A hobby should be pandemic-proof.
The Pandemic of 2020 showed us where vulnerabilities lay by exposing the gaps. If you enjoyed a hobby that involved people, fitness centers, or governmentally owned venues, you were out of luck. The mandated lockdowns required you to forego many of the hobbies you came to enjoy.
You should be mindful of selecting a hobby that could be cut short or eliminated if any public health crisis occurs.
A hobby should be scalable.
Hobbies that are considered scalable can efficiently exist, whether shared by one or one million participants. Gaming initiatives fall into this category. You can play alone online or with people worldwide without extra costs or setups. Gaming technology allows for automation without the need for you to do anything manually.
A hobby should be online.
Pursuing a hobby online is a catch-all in that it is pandemic-proof and scalable. If you want to activate any artistic expression, you may utilize online platforms like Amazon, Etsy, Spotify, and YouTube.
Starting a hobby is an option if you want to create intellectual property on these platforms for pure enjoyment or as a business startup.
I have always been interested in writing. But I don’t possess the confidence that I can write the next great novel. I am not a J.D. Salinger or J.K. Rowling.
However, I can write articles and books that solve compelling problems. And I say compelling because my introverted lifestyle has allowed me to think about issues long enough to develop viable solutions.
As a result, I have made far fewer mistakes than some extroverted colleagues. And you can often determine how well you are faring in life by comparing your choices to that of your contemporaries in achieving overall happiness.
So, I have created books on Amazon Self-Publishing and blogs to document and sell my insights.
What started as a hobby has blossomed into a career.
And during the salad days of nurturing my hobby, I held jobs that merely paid the bills.
Once I decided what I wanted to do in life, I was unwilling to invest any intellectual energy outside of the information I was creating.
Cultivating my intellectual curiosity allowed me to create a life that became fulfilling.
But I did it on the backs of unsatisfying jobs. And you can too.
Dr. Thomas Sowell, an eminent economist, and public intellectual said that there are no perfect solutions in life, only trade-offs.
I vowed that no corporation, which I did not own, would ever receive the benefits of my good ideas.
That was the line I drew in the sand for my life.
What line have you drawn for yours?
Smith, A. (2021, Oct. 12). Five hobbies everyone should have for a better life. Alyssa Tabit. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/3OzOGYQ.