Did you choose to pursue your career because it was something that sounded glamorous, or perhaps suited your degree, or had the promise of a healthy pay cheque every month? Perhaps, but have you ever thought about turning your interests into a business or a career? Following something you are passionate about is likely to bring you more job satisfaction and keep you motivated on a day-to-day basis, according to a 2016 study by the National University of Singapore.
Two companies that have a lot of people who changed their careers to pursue their passions are audio platform and podcasting app Acast and online learning community Skillshare, who’s combined best advice this is:
Look for that ‘driving force’
When it comes to hobbies, it could be something that you simply enjoy doing once in a while, or it could be something that drives you to accomplish new things, discover more about yourself and speak to others who are passionate about the same things as you. Harriet, Emma and Natalie, hosts of Badass Women’s Hour podcast (www.acast.com/badasswomenshour) comment: ‘we decided to start our own podcast after running a Badass Women’s Hour event and we thought that if we recorded it and put it into a podcast, we could take the conversation to a bigger audience. It has never been easier to turn a side hustle into something which could start to pay your bills. And what you learn along the way are skills you can apply to any career move you might want to make during your lifetime. The hardest thing is often building the confidence to get started!’
Perfect, perfect, perfect
Sharpen your professional skills – whether your passion lies in business, tech, design, or photography these industries have one thing in common — they are ever-evolving. And it’s harder than ever to stay on top of industry trends, but if you’re looking turn your hobby into a career, staying up to date is crucial for your business. Skillshare, an online learning community with 17,000+ classes, has millions of members, many of whom are freelancers or creative professionals with side hustles. With their Skillshare membership they have access to a complete library of over 17,000 classes allowing them to continually improve their skills as the demand of their jobs change or new technology arises. The subscription also allows you to acquire skills across a variety of disciplines, which is especially important for entrepreneurs. “I’ve spent the last year building my own start-up,” says Skillshare student Tom, “and I used Skillshare to augment nearly every step of that process. We are officially launching in one week, and I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Find a platform
Once you have established that you want to make your hobby into a successful career, you should find a platform to help you promote yourself and your passion, advises Sophie Herdman, Content Manager UK at Acast. It could be as simple as making a website for your business, or it could be signing up to a podcasting platform to get your voice heard, or an online community to teach your skills to others. Whatever the best option is for you, make sure to research the platform thoroughly – you want to be in control of your creative output, but also for the platform to protect your interests and provide you with guidance whenever you need it. For example, at Acast, we could help podcasters to launch their podcast and earn money.
Join a community
Starting your own business or going it alone as a freelancer can be isolating! Having a community of likeminded professionals to help answer your questions, share advice, and fine-tune your skills can be instrumental to your success. Unlike other online learning platforms, Skillshare is designed to foster collaboration between students and teachers. Who knows? You just might find your next mentor!
Spread the word
Once you have chosen the right platform for you, use your existing network to spread the word about your new venture – tell friends and family, previous business associates and all those you met while perfecting your craft and skill. Social media is also a great way to reach and widen your target audience – participate in discussions surrounding your new career, make new connections and respond to your followers. All of this will help solidify your reputation and bring in a steady stream of listeners, followers and perspective clients.
Caitlin Thompson, US Director of Content at Podcasting platform, Acast.