There are many opportunities to turn your hobby into a career. Some examples of hobbies which can turn very easily into careers include cake making, writing, sport, photography, genealogy and gardening.
My husband is currently turning his passion for magic into a career by working as a magician. He started off getting paid by the company where he currently works as a data developer to do Christmas parties. He is working free of charge for a bar one night a week to help build up more contacts and through this work he has got more paid work at weddings, engagement and birthday parties and for an events organising company. He is working hard to build up his contacts and his paid work so he can eventually leave his salaried job. In the meantime he is earning a decent amount of extra cash due to his hobby.
Tips for turning your hobby into a career:
Make sure it’s really what you want.
You love your hobby but at the moment you are not doing it as a full time job. If you are doing it day in, day out, will it take the enjoyment out of something you love doing? Research your career choice carefully, there may be aspects of your hobby as a career that you don’t like. Consider doing a short course or take up a part time job involving your hobby to decide if it’s really want you want.
What are the options available to you?
Research the profitability of turning your hobby into a career. Are there jobs available which you can apply for or will you need to start your own business? If you do not wish to start your own business, jobs come in all different forms and there should be something that covers your hobby. For example, if you keep fit in your spare time, you could work in a gym, as a personal trainer or as a sports coach for children. Alternatively, you could move your current job into a sector that really appeals to you. So, if you are an accountant who loves travelling, you could work in the travel industry. If you wish to start your own business, research the market appeal of what you aim to do and the feasibility. Are there people that will require your services? Can you reach them? Will the business be able to make a profit?
Do it in stages
Don’t give up the day job straight away. If possible, start your new career in stages while sharpening up your skills and experience, doing your market research and ensuring that you have sufficient finances to support you. If you’re starting up a business, can you do it in your spare time while still earning a full wage?
Work for free
You may have excellent skills in your particular hobby but are you experienced enough to turn it into a career? Think about whether you will need to take on any formal training in your hobby in order to gain the confidence of future clients. Factor in whether you will need to keep updating and refreshing your skills and how you intend to do this.
Find people who have turned their hobbies into careers. What can you learn from them? There should be people out there who have done or are doing the same thing as you do. Get in touch with them. There are forums on the Internet and local business groups. Get in touch with everybody that you can and learn from them and their experience. Who do you already know that could be potential clients or business partner? Are there people you know who could be your first customers?
This is probably the most important point. Turning your hobby into a career won’t happen overnight. There will be obstacles and it will be hard work, even though you are working at something you enjoy. Some days you’ll feel on top of the world but on other days you will question what you are doing and whether it will ever work. For it to succeed you will need perseverance, you will need to be able to whether knockbacks. Look at my tips for keeping motivated. If you’re determined enough, your hobby has a market and you continually learn from your triumphs and mistakes you will succeed.