Having a hobby is a healthy way to ensure work-life balance. When you crochet, do art, or tinker with codes at your leisure, this should be considered your downtime. The novelty of having a hobby is that you don’t dread doing it; the reward is simply the enjoyment you feel while immersing in the activity.
In Malaysia, the average working hours should not exceed more than eight hours per day. Other pursuits, such as familial responsibilities and commute time, make it slightly difficult to squeeze in time for leisure. But having a hobby is still a healthy way to escape stress. Not to mention, a hobby has the potential to be your new source of income.
Some people turn hobbies into a kind of escapism, and some develop hobbies with the purpose of monetising them after a period of time. However, if you’re the former, it’s also quite possible that you’ve also thought about how to make money from your hobby.
The question is: Should you?
If you’ve considered turning your hobby into a career, good for you! There are many people who are doing this, considering that the market is becoming more and more creative. This means that no matter how unusual your hobby is, turning it into a business is most likely possible!
Since this is something that you’re used to doing periodically, you’ll hit the ground running. In your spare time, you’ve most likely done your research about the activity and have developed a certain level of aptitude. This will make starting the business or career less of a hassle and more of an exciting pursuit for you.
Ironically, there are some people who become more productive under pressure or if they’re working with a deadline. While this can cause stress, one good way of rethinking is pretending it’s all a challenge. If you used to only complete a painting after a week, you could challenge yourself by meeting your targets once you start taking in clients.
This can lead to self-improvement and the discovery of what else you can do. Just be careful that you don’t push yourself too much to experience burnout.
You will ideally start thinking of making some cash from doing your hobby by making it a sideline. The best part of this is that, as a freelancer, you will be your own boss, and you can make a schedule that fits your everyday bustle. You also get to set your own expectations and reward yourself when you meet them. While keeping your full-time job and having this side hustle in the few hours at the weekends, the extra cash you’ll get will surely be a mood boost.
You can also start investing in tools and equipment that you may need if you ever want to dabble into your side hustle more seriously. If you create websites on the side, perhaps upgrading your old, dusty laptop can enhance your overall process.
If you’re feeling stuck with the job that you currently have and don’t enjoy, your hobby can be your way out. That is, if you play your cards right and you have enough determination. Once you find your footing, you’ll most likely start your new career on a good note because it’s something you’re already quite familiar with.
Transitioning from one job to your hobby-now-turned-career can be a little bit disorienting. But as long as you keep your head up high and meet your targets, the outcome will be favourable.
While learning how to make money from your hobby sounds fun, it isn’t ideal for everyone. Here are some reasons you should avoid turning your hobby into a career.
One of the drawbacks of making your hobby into a business or a career? Your interest will feel less like a novelty and more of, well, work. After years of enjoying it in your spare time, you now have quotas you have to meet or clients you have to impress. When you’re given parameters and limited margins for error, your sense of enjoyment will take a toll.
It’s also possible that you might start dreading what once made you excited. In this case, you’ll be back to square one, and you might end up wanting to find another career path.
If your hobby-turned-career is on the artistic side, such as graphic design or even copywriting, you may experience creative block. In the past, you’ve had ample time for breaks and refreshed your creative side. But once you make it into a career and you have a set of deadlines in place, your creative side may not keep up, possibly resulting in inefficiency.
The market is large and continuously expanding to accommodate both patrons and service providers. However, increasing demand doesn’t necessarily equate to having decent turnouts for beginners. If you’re planning on freelancing, expect that competition will be tough, and you’ll have to offer something unique on the table so people will notice you.
Now, if the last segment didn’t deter you from your goal and you’re still interested to know how to make money from your hobby, here are some tips to get you started.
You have to assess yourself and determine which skills need refining and what works. Consider taking up a few classes to be more equipped for taking on a more serious role. Perfect your craft and skills so you’ll have more of an edge against other competitors. This way, potential clients will more likely lean towards your services.
As mentioned earlier, the market is tough, and you have to think of ways to set yourself apart. You can try dabbling a little bit on social media and promoting your services there for people to see. You can even be creative with it to attract customers.
Some examples of hobbies that you can turn into a career are the following:
One way of doing this is by utilising social media. The top platforms right now are Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Make your presence known by introducing what you do and what you offer to the table, but make sure to keep your content unique.
List down targets. After a few months, determine if you’ve met them or not. These key ideas will help guide you in this new career. Fortunately, there’s no right or wrong timeline when it comes to turning your hobby into a career, so if you have enough resources, you can take your time.
However, even though you have the flexibility, it’s still essential to check how far you’ve come. This will help you identify your next steps or if you need to reassess your priorities.
If you’re in need of more tips and advice, feel free to check out our Career Resources Hub, so you don’t miss out on the latest trends. Our Career Tools will also help you improve your overall experience. #SEEKBetter jobs and start enjoying the work that you do.