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Hobbies that double as career development tools

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We all have hobbies that we enjoy, but did you know that depending on the hobby you have, it could actually boost your career prospects? Not every hobby is going to make the difference and help you to smash an interview or get ahead in the jobs market, but you would probably be surprised by just how beneficial hobbies can be in the workplace. 

This is not to say that you should pick up a hobby just so that it helps you to get ahead at work, but instead you should follow your passions and genuinely enjoy your hobbies. Once you know how your hobby is beneficial to you, you can use it to your advantage. 

Below are just a few of the many different hobbies that can be used as career development tools — while having fun!

Learning languages 

Regardless of the career you pursue, it will always be beneficial to have language skills. If you are able to communicate in multiple languages, you are able to work with many more people, markets and demographics. It is beneficial for both you and your employer, as you are able to apply to many more jobs than you otherwise would be able to and your employer can use your language skills as an important asset. 

Gone are the days of language classes only being available in universities or late-night programs. There are now dozens of different platforms for you to choose from once you have decided to start learning a language. Some platforms, such as Duolingo, can be used for free or at a very low cost. There are enough apps and websites dedicated to language learning available — you are sure to find one that suits your learning style. 

Another fun aspect of language learning is the social nature of it. If you are a language learner, you can join different local, international, in-person and virtual conversation groups so that you can meet people from around the world while also boosting your skills. 

Socializing 

Believe it or not, socializing and spending quality time with friends and family can actually boost your job prospects. Not everyone is great at making conversation with strangers, but practice makes perfect. Spending time talking with friends, family, colleagues, and anyone else you happen to meet is a great way to boost your conversation skills and learn how to communicate effectively. 

Communication is a core skill needed to succeed in nearly every career — even some that you may not expect. For example, nurses need to be excellent communicators as they are working every day with the public and with individuals who are confused, scared, or unfamiliar with medical terminology. The job outlook for nurses is excellent right now and programs such as Baylor University’s Distance Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program give prospective nurses the chance to learn and grow as nursing professionals in a flexible, remote environment. 

Computer skills and digital literacy 

Anyone who has tried to explain email to their older friends and relatives will understand just how important computer skills and tech literacy are. We are living in a digital age and nearly every single job will involve a digital application of some sort. 

You do not need to be a computer whizz to succeed in every job, but spending time on computers regularly — whether that is through social media platforms, work, gaming or even shopping — is a good way to maintain a basic level of digital literacy. 

Individuals who greatly enjoy working with computers may find that their aptitude, comfort, and abilities are what helps them to outshine other candidates in the interview process. The tech world is constantly changing so it helps to have a degree of familiarity with current technology and a comfort navigating both desktop and mobile devices and applications. 

Sports and exercise 

If you enjoy playing team sports or working out at the gym, then you are creating healthy habits that will also benefit you professionally. Working out helps to reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and can boost your muscle strength which is important regardless of the career you have. 

Even if you are sitting at a desk for nine hours a day, it is important to have a strong and healthy body. We are not meant to sit for such long periods as it can lead to strain on our muscles, joints and backs. Exercising, doing yoga, and maintaining a certain level of activity outside of work is a good way to ensure that you feel energized each day when you head into the office. 

Volunteering your time 

Finally, volunteering your time can be a great career development tool. No one should volunteer just so that they can boost their CV — that is not what volunteering is all about. However, we all have causes that are close to our hearts and donating time and effort to one of those causes could benefit you professionally. 

Having volunteer experience on your CV is a great way to show a potential employer that you are a well-rounded person who is a part of the community, hardworking, and ready to give back. 

Believe it or not, volunteering also has health benefits that could help you — and your career — in the long run. Recent studies have shown that volunteering boosts physical and mental health, gives individuals a sense of purpose, and helps them to build relationships. These are all things that could greatly benefit anyone’s career.

What are you waiting for — go and try out a new hobby! 

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