The old saying famously goes, “time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” If that doesn’t make you feel better about watching that third funny cats YouTube video at work, nothing will. We all have hobbies and things that keep us amused in our spare time. But has it ever occurred to you that your hobby or pastime could actually be a worthwhile contribution to your professional skills base and overall hireability?
According to employers, there are certain very desirable skills that they look for when deciding on the right candidate for a position (in addition to the necessary skills and experience for the role, of course). You may be surprised to discover that your passions and pastimes can actually be appealing to prospective employers, by giving you desirable skills and personal attributes! Check out our list of hobbies that can add value to your CV, and if you feel like taking it one step further, you can always go the whole hog and turn your hobby into a business!
If you assumed coding was strictly for nerds, you might want to reconsider how sought-after this skill is! A basic knowledge of HTML coding is frequently listed as employers’ top desired skills in candidates, even in jobs that don’t directly relate to coding or website building. As a skill, it’s highly transferable with hundreds of day-to-day applications in the modern office workplace.
Furthermore, it can be addictive. Try it using one of the many free online tutorials out there designed to give you a basic overview of the process and then sign yourself up to a competitive coding site such as Topcoder, which offers cash prizes for those who can solve algorithmic coding challenges in the fastest time with the best score.
While we all love to go on vacation, those who have spent significant periods living or working abroad can sometimes have an edge over other applicants. To an employer, seeing that you have taken a sabbatical to travel tells them that you are someone who puts their ideas into motion and has initiative. Furthermore, a period of travel in your past suggests you would be someone with the inclination to consider job openings at offices in other parts of the world – making you a valuable asset to that company if you turn out to be a high performer.
Even if you don’t have a ‘desirable’ hobby such as the ones listed here per se, creating a blog on a subject that does interest you can be equally persuasive to employers. Creating and running a blog demonstrates your understanding of subjects such as online marketing and communications, as well as showing that you have self-starting disposition – ultimately a huge plus. Blogging isn’t difficult, just learn about it using a reliable ‘how-to’ guide on starting a blog from an expert such as 1&1 and you could be the curator of your own successful website in no time.
4. Public Performances Like Singing and Acting or Debate Club
Getting involved in local theatrical production or experience of this kind says to employers that you are confident enough not to be fazed by presentations and public speaking. Furthermore, the ability to form logical arguments shows that you have strong organizational skills and a rational manner, so definitely don’t be afraid to mention this in an interview.
5. Volunteer Work
If you donate some of your time to charitable work, you won’t just be rewarded with a sense of community and goodwill. There are valuable experiences to be gained, such as familiarity with public speaking, events organization, marketing as well as telling employers that you are conscientious and that you possess good interpersonal skills. Better still, some organizations such as the Red Cross will train you in skills such as basic first aid as part of your volunteer work – a valuable certification to have, particularly in management roles.