FROM HOBBY TO INCOME: THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF PARALLEL CAREERS
Back in the 20th century, our career path was simple: get your degree, get a steady job and stay put until retirement. Job security and a sense of loyalty towards our one and only workplace were synonymous with success, peace of mind, happy families and, at least in my case, a satisfied Jewish mom. And while toward the 90’s the norm began to shift from holding one job to holding two to four jobs throughout a career lifecycle, HRs still perceived employment changes as a lack of job stability.
But then came the 21st century featuring the new and improved millennials, who created new norms that instantly disregarded all our previous beliefs about what it means to have a successful career. Keeping a steady job in one organization was now perceived as being ‘stuck’ or even stagnant, while experiencing several workplaces and even combining some freelance work with your day job, were now being regarded as versatile and open-minded. This new mindset further triggered organizations to value and prefer fast-paced learning of multidisciplinary skills over the Ivy League college degrees we all aspired to back in the day. Indeed, the world of work has changed, and this is only the beginning.
We are all multi-dimensional
Today, organizations are also beginning to understand that employees are complex, multi-dimensional human beings. As such, not only are rigid job descriptions and linear processes ineffective; they are even harmful to the organization. This concept paved the way for job crafting: instead of setting boundaries for the employee, smart managers are now trying to identify what each individual employee can further do and contribute within their designated role. They encourage their teams to seek completeness, flexibility and mobility in the face of ever-changing tasks and needs.
Hobbies are the new black
As it turns out, nowadays almost every person has developed extra-curricular activities, that have nothing to do with their day jobs. Be it engineers who play in local bands, lawyers who train for marathons or analysts by day and D.J.’s by night, everything goes. Yet this trend can be taken a step further to benefit organizations. For example, some organizations have opened ‘pop-up universities’ where employees can take short hobby-classes led by their peers while offering new learning possibilities and interests in various fields. Even the Israeli Defense Forces have recently begun to identify significant hobbies, skills or expertise of new army recruits prior to their draft. This has been shown to reduce training costs and benefit certain military roles, such as lifeguards, drivers, digital experts or film editors and has also boosted the recruits’ sense of satisfaction with their military service.
Parallel careers: having it all
Millennials have taken this idea a step further as they refuse to distinguish between their paying job and their hobbies, and demand to simply have it all. This thought-provoking idea introduced the emerging trend of parallel careers.
The logic behind this is that life is short, and today’s careers are a fast-forward whirlwind of at least six to eight job experiences. So why not play this game to the fullest, with the greatest sense of purpose, creativity and passion? And while we’re at it — why not earn some more money that can help us through these challenging Post-Corona times?
From hobby to income: The Fabulous Five
If you’re thinking about turning your hobby into a parallel career, here are five questions you should ask yourself:
- What do I love to do? What am I good at? What field of practice besides my job profession do I have a calling for?
2. Is there a demand for this practice? Does it require further training? Can I do it in terms of time and money?
3. What are the pros and cons of combining my day job with my new, emerging, parallel career? What will my two careers look like together?
4. How will my new professional joy affect my family, in terms of time, budget and focus?
5. How will my workplace react to my investment in another additional career dimension?
Confusion and Infusion
In the face of these challenging Post-Corona times when even the captains of the economy are unable to predict when and how they will end — we are all burdened with a survival mode of fear and anxiety. But in this reality of confusion lies the potential for the infusion of new beginnings. It’s the perfect time for soul searching and a great opportunity for both personal and professional development. Find your calling, own it, hop on board and create your parallel career. You can, and should, have it all.