Why Having A Hobby Could Benefit You At Work

By Nick Ellis, Editor at The Water Coolest

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The majority of people are boring. There, I said it… They wake up, sit in traffic, sit at work, watch tv, and then go to bed. Rinse, cycle, and repeat with every day the same.

But sometimes you need something to break up the day, to try something new besides plopping yourself on the couch for the same four episodes of ‘The Office’ every night. Because watching ‘The Office’ is not a personality trait. And that’s where a hobby could come in handy.

Hobbies could benefit all aspects of your life. They could stimulate your mind, help you think more creatively, feel a renewed sense of life, and just simply bring you joy. I mean, just think of how much happiness Adam Scott’s character in Parks And Rec got from making his claymations. Do you think a depressed person could make this?!

Ok, poor example… for now, let’s just focus on how having a hobby could benefit your career. I’ll get back to claymations and calzones in a later post.

First off, hobbies can help you network. Adult sports leagues are a great way to meet fellow coworkers either within your company or at other corporations that you wouldn’t have met from the comfort of your couch. And considering a pivotal question in the interview process is ‘who would I rather have a beer with’, you’d already be steps ahead of a random applicant. Looks like skipping class to drink beer with your friends may pay off after all.

Secondly, hobbies can boost your ability to see how different parts of the company fit together… a stretch, but stay with me for a second. A puzzle might seem like child’s play based on the, well, children putting it together on the box. But a puzzle also forces you to think big picture and not just focus on the small piece you’re holding. And that could be applicable at work too, as your work task doesn’t just impact your immediate coworkers. Audit, finance, accounting, IT… all these groups work hand in hand, so it’s important you’re able to complete your task, but also see how it impacts others down the line.

Third, hobbies can help with your problem-solving skills. Some jobs may be more routine, so there isn’t much critical thinking involved. Others may involve more analysis. Regardless of which yours is, it’s important to keep that problem-solving blade sharp. Poker, chess, or trivia are great ways to spend your time having fun while also tricking your brain into working past 5 p.m.

Lastly, establishing your hobbies while you’re working will help you avoid what my dad (and assuming many others) are running into as they near the end of their careers: they don’t know how the hell to spend their time once work is over. Granted my parents were busy doing a great job raising two (ok, one) contributing and functioning members of society for the past twenty-some years…. But I’m not sure what your parents’ excuse was.

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The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.