Hobby to Career… Is it possible?
Is it possible to change your career to one you really love? How nice would it be to finally wake up in the morning and look forward to going to work? Many of us find we are not happy with our current careers and/or jobs. The reasons vary from not being happy with work conditions, rate of pay, co-workers, boss etc. Any one of these factors can affect job satisfaction.
Perhaps you do not receive recognition for a job well done, and feel unappreciated. Maybe your work conditions are unpleasant or you just don’t fit in with the company’s interests, values and enthusiasms. Or just maybe your daily tasks are not challenging enough or quite the opposite- overwhelming. The only way you will ever really be happy with your job is if you do something completely different, and change your career.
Why is it that so many of us end up in jobs that we do not like? I had to ask myself, Lori, what do you really WANT to do? What do you want to be when you grow up? (I giggle only because even after the age 40 I still ask myself this) I have asked myself this question over and over again. Deep down, I always really knew what it was, but never made any real effort to take it to the next level. I have always been advised to “do what I love.” I knew that the only thing that was preventing me from having that career I wanted was ME!
About 12 years ago, I discovered a new hobby building websites. I had a knack for it right away. I remember going to the bookstore and purchasing my first book on HTML. I spent hours browsing through the book shelves until I found it. It was a very thick book – in fact I still have that book today! My HTML book kept me entertained and occupied forever! With the help of this book, I was able to teach myself HTML so I could change and fix codes myself.
Of course, there were free websites back then with the pick and place editors but I wasn’t interested in keeping it simple. Years ago pages were made much simpler and much plainer than they are now. The templates consisted mostly of a banner, buttons and a background. Eventually we were inserting frames into pages. How cool was that to open another page into the same page with a click of a button?! Even the mouse-over buttons amazed me! My first mouse over menu, I must have sat there for hours amazed at how I could make them look like you were actually pushing them in when the image changed over.
Okay, do I sound like a “geek” yet? So let the truth be told – Yes I am a geek at heart and I love it. Building websites was in essence for me like putting a puzzle together and trying to make all the pieces fit until it worked and you got the overall picture completed. To this day, I am still just as amazed as to what you can do with a set of codes, just numbers and letters and produce some of the most amazing websites ever.
Back on subject now, there may be all kinds of reasons why I stayed in the job I chose for as long as I did. I was prepared to take the easy way out, or accept second best for me. It seemed like a good idea at the time, it was convenient and the money wasn’t bad either. Fortunately for me, a blessing in disguise, I became a statistic and found myself jobless due to the lack of work. Ironically, a couple weeks before being laid off, I had enrolled back into college to pursue my dreams and get the wheels turning to finally follow my heart. I wasn’t prepared for it to happen so quickly, I was planning on finishing school first. Over the years though I have learned that sometimes things happen for whatever reason beyond our control, and when one door shuts, another one opens.
It is such a shame I spent most of my days in a job I really was not satisfied with! Even when I was not physically at work, there were times I spent a lot of my time traveling to and from work – and way too much time and energy worrying about it or dreading it. When you really think about it, my work affected all other aspects of my life – my health, my family, my finances, my self-esteem, friendships etc. Feeling so negatively about it, resulted in a negative affect on everything else as well.
I have come to realize that choosing a career should not be a decision that is made so carelessly, or simply it is just because that’s what you can do. Choosing a career involves some serious self-investigation. I asked myself:
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What am I good at?
- What would I like to achieve in the future?
- What are my interests and hobbies?
Once I knew these answers about myself, I had all the information I needed to investigate the career areas that suited me most. I investigated what training was necessary, where I could do it, what companies offered work in the field that I chose, etc. The key was finding my niche.
Of course, nothing worthwhile really comes easy without obstacles. Sometimes challenging questions and issues arise that require some careful thought. Although I have over 10 years of “self” experience with building websites, technology changes rapidly and I realized that it would be in my best interest to return to a College or University. It’s crucial for me to update my knowledge and skills, as well as develop the necessary credentials that I need to promote myself in order for me to become a successful web designer and developer. But this need not be a reason to stop me from having the career I love. It is just one of the many issues that need careful consideration in order to find the correct solution.
If we want something strongly enough then we need to make a commitment and stick with it. This means even finding ways of getting around any obstacles that seem to be in our way, and not allowing them to be excused for not taking action. “Doors are everywhere. Open them.” (A saying that a friend recently sent me in a Facebook message as I was writing this article, thanks Lacy)
Going from hobby to career is possible! Check out this article on some fun career ideas. Therefore, don’t give up chasing a career you love ~ Have a life that you love!
It’s YOUR choice!