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Employment Advice Column: Turning Your Hobby Into A Career

Employment Advice Column

Artwork provided by an individual supported by Reena.

Dear Joanna,
I love to write and blog. Because I need to work, I have a part time job in an office which leaves me no time to devote to my hobby. How do I turn my passion and interest into paid employment and a career?

Signed: Writer’s block

Dear WB,
I can proudly state that after a long process, I turned my hobby and passion into a meaningful career as an Employment Specialist. I will present some tips below based on my professional experiences and observations as well as some references to columnist Jacquelyn Smith’s posting.

    1. Teach others to do what you love. You can do this by volunteering as a tutor or “instructor” at a local community centre, library, place of worship, the association, and any organization that you have researched and connected with to see if they are interested in your writing and blogging. Create your own curriculum, workshop and/or lesson plan. Present in the classroom or as a webinar or tele-seminar.
    2. Speaking engagements. Again, as a volunteer at first, organize and facilitate workshops on your hobby or on a topic that you wrote and posted. Turn it into a Powerpoint presentation. Be a guest speaker on a panel or debate in the community. Research upcoming conferences, community events and any opportunity where you can contact the organizers to see if you can facilitate a workshop and/or be a guest speaker. This is a great way to market and brand yourself as a professional writer/blogger. Perhaps your next employer/boss might be in the audience one day!
    3. Sell/import/invent/craft a blog or story for enthusiasts in your hobby. For example, pick topics that are important to you. Blog about them on social media. Source people who share your hobby. Check out www.meetup.com. Again use all social media tools and start posting your work across your network both in social media and with real time people. Be pro-active. Build your contacts and network as much as possible to let as many people know about you and your blogging as possible.
    4. Create a side-line business. Research the most “successful entrepreneurs and businesses” in your area of interest and study their business models and revenue streams. Follow the experts on social media. Engage in conversation with them. Join their groups on Linkedin. Start initiating these contacts to bring traffic to your blog, your facebook page or your website. For example, for your hobby, consider taking on some editing jobs. Start small. Create a website, and an email address and/or a Facebook page. Begin to “brand yourself”.

Joanna

To submit your questions for this column IN CONFIDENCE, please email jsamuels@reena.org.

Joanna Samuels, B.A., B.Ed. (AE), M.Ed., CMF, is an Employment Resource Specialist at Reena. Joanna’s expertise is providing customized employment support services and job search skills training to unemployed and underemployed individuals with disabilities and multi-barriers from diverse communities. She also helps employers with inclusive/diversity recruitment. Joanna is a certified Life Skills Coach, Personality Dimensions Facilitator and is a guest speaker and published author and blogger on related topics.