Career Sustainability And Your Passions

So last week I discussed Career Sustainability and why it was important. In short, Career Sustainability is about ensuring your career lasts to pay the bills, and I explored what it took.

Now in the spirit of Muse Hack, I’d like to specifically address how to tie your hobbies, passions, and interests into Career Sustainability. Your Geekery can be applied to keeping your career – and the money – going.

Admittedly if you’re already a fan-to-pro type this is probably old hat. But if you’re still syncing up your career and passions, or are still exploring options, these should give you some great ideas.

So all those areas I discussed last column, let’s see what you can do with your own geekiness . . .

Getting what it’s about:

  • Your knowledge about specific industries, organizations, etc. can help you understand ways you can have sustainable careers – at least within those parameters. In fact, it may be a good reason to move into an industry you’re passionate about.
  • You also understand the careers in areas and industries you’re a fan/have an interest in. That can help you make career plans (or avoid making them if they’re too unlikely).

Having a career plan:

  • Because you have that knowledge about your specific industries and interests, if you do base a career on them in whole or part, you can probably device a pretty good plan. If not, you at least know where to start.
  • Your interests and geekery also connect you with people who can provide specific feedback. A simple panel at a convention and a talk with a guest may be all you need – and you know what you need.
  • You have a pretty good idea of the history of your areas of interests, and if they’re part of your career you can leverage your historical knowledge.

Do it and show it:

  • Your hobbies and passions probably involve you doing all sorts of things that are evidence of your talents. They may not be directly useful in your career, but never look down on secondary evidence. As often noted here, I use my books as evidence of my organizational and communication skills when job hunting.
  • Your hobbies and passions may have given you large portfolios of material to show off – perhaps with a little repurposing.
  • Your experiences can also help you practice for classes, tests, and certifications.

Having a backup plan:

  • Your hobbies and geekery may not be a large part of your career – but you may find that they provide an excellent potential for a secondary career.
  • Remember these “backup” plans can also leverage your various hobbyist/enthusiast experiences even if they’re not professional.
  • Your hobbyist/geek connections may also provide you with potentials for relocation or moving if you need that.

Follow the news:

  • Your interests will likely keep you up on news that may be relevant to your career.

Engage people:

  • Your interest-based connections are fantastic for networking. Definitely leverage them.
  • You can likely find mentors in your areas of interest by leveraging your fannish/geek/otaku connections.

So go on and use those passions and hobbies and interests to build a sustainable career.

– Steven