Being a fan gives you all sorts of benefits for your career – gaining skills while having fun, networking with interesting people, traveling to places that may be good to relocate too. I, as is obvious, am big on Leveraged Geekery to benefit one's career and life.
It's too easy to focus on "obvious" things like, well, the above. But there's one less obvious – but very important – thing fandom does for you.
It teaches you new, useful habits habits – habits that may be good on your career or indeed to improve your whole life. Yes, in short, fandom may be making you a better person.
You just may not be aware of it.
Take a look at your hobbies, your geeking, your fandoms.
- Did you learn any productivity habits? Did you learn enough planning and brainstorming habits to turn out fanfic, a newsletter, a podcast, etc.?
- Did you learn any social habits? Did you learn how to connect with people of similar interests, or in general learn new techniques of socializing with people like you?
- Did you learn any organizational habits? Did you learn how to get people together for a sports team, or how to run a convention on time?
- Did you learn any psychology habits? Can you manage stress better after a flame-war-a-month in your TV fandom, or watching your favorite sports team loose humiliatingly year after year?
- Did you learn any study habits? Did you develop ways to gain knowledge for your giant multi-year RPG, or learn how to pick up a language fast to fit in with your fellow otaku?
The intensity of fandom, the passion, the involvement, leads us to develop a number of good habits. We just tend not to appreciate them – or see them – because, well, it's FUN. We rarely appreciate the good fun does for us.
Sit back for a moment and do an inventory of your major fandoms and activities. What habits have you picked up from these – and how can you apply them in your career and the rest of your life?
You may find you've already applied things more than you realized . . .
– Steven Savage