Your hobbies can help your career

Are you a techie by day and a dancer by night? How about a writer, football coach, musician, or car repair enthusiast? If so, this column is for you.

One thing that’s great about being a professional techie is that virtually every business, government organization, non-profit group, religious order, and professional association needs your knowledge and expertise. This ability to potentially work for any company anywhere in the country or worldwide has two huge advantages.

  • The ability to work for any type of organization
  • Knowledge of your hobby brings you added marketability to that industry

Regarding your ability to work at any organization, this allows you to try to find an organization that does work that you believe in. For example, if you believe in the importance of clean energy, try to find an IT job at a company that manufactures windmills, solar panels or other renewable energy products. This can be a double win for you. Not only will you be working with people who are similar minded, but you will also be helping forward a cause you believe in.

Regarding your hobby-based knowledge, if your hobby or interest brings with it a large or specialized body of knowledge and/or experience, you may be very personally marketable to the IT groups and software vendors that support that industry. For example, if you are a Data Mining professional, love football, and pride yourself on being an expert in NFL player and team statistics, try to get a job working for a team in the NFL as a statistician. You may already be more qualified for the position than you think.

The idea here is that the combination of your computer skill, passion for the topic, and deep personal knowledge of the subject makes you uniquely qualified for a job in an area you really love.

A real life example of combining technical expertise and personal passion was exhibited on the TV show “America’s Got Talent”. Miral Kotb, from the dance group named iLuminate was a software engineer with a passion for dance. She was a dancer who conquered a personal struggle with cancer that reduced her physical ability to dance. She then combined her technical knowledge of software engineering, with her passion for dance and masterminded a light-based dance team that reached the finals. This combination of technology and great dance choreography was fabulous to watch and almost won them a million dollars and a show in Las Vegas.

This type of story could be you, if you can find a way to combine what you know with what you love.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.

Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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