Sometimes we hear successful people in the arts say something like, “I had no idea I could actually get a job as an actor!” They’re not the only ones. There are plenty of people out there who have hobbies and passions that they never consider as a possible career–because they don’t know that their hobbies and passions can be careers. There’s a whole job market out there beyond “obvious” jobs like marketing, accounting, retail, etc.
First, take a good, hard look at your passions. Write them down. Brainstorm. Don’t be afraid. Really ask yourself that question: what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Perhaps you would pick big adventure or ambitious leadership. Perhaps you would opt for something simpler, more laid-back. Guess what? There’s a career for all of it.
If you’re interested in the fine arts, remember, thousands of people are out there pursuing theatre, dance, visual arts, and music. Universities and conservatories offer world-class training in these areas. And there are jobs beyond the “glamorous” ones (which are never actually glamorous). For instance, if you’re organized but love theatre, consider studying stage management or arts administration. Most of the fine arts fields are connected to major unions as well, so once you get really working, you can have reasonable work conditions and benefits. It’s not glamorous work, but the people doing it truly love what they do.
If you love travel, there are jobs out there as tourism guides, both stateside and abroad! Luxury travel companies need guides to accompany their tourists. If you are educated about a geographic and cultural area, and if you are organized yet flexible and a fast thinker, you could be a qualified candidate for one of these positions. If you are fluent in another language, you could be a particularly competitive candidate. Just think of it–you could travel to Paris every year and get paid for it!
If you adore animals, look into studying biology or zoology and aim toward a career working hands-on with animals. There are careers at zoos and even wildlife parks. These jobs can range from solely working and caring for the animals to engaging with both the animals and the people who come to the parks! On the other hand, you may love something as simple as household pets. Consider something like dog breeding or training. Research people or businesses who do things like this, such as FLpuppiesonline.com (a Florida-based, family-run dog breeder), and see if this career calls you.
Maybe you’re an Instagram junkie, a Facebook fiend, or use Twitter for a lot of your news. Businesses everywhere are realizing the importance of a social media presence, and if you’re an expert on that, you might have a great niche job waiting for you. Companies like this Toronto SEO team of “gorillas” include their Social Media Designer as a featured part of their team. Don’t be afraid to contact businesses that don’t have a big social media presence and ask if that’s something they would like to develop. Volunteer to create an account or page for them, and perhaps over time they will hire you. At the very least, you’ll be developing a portfolio!
Perhaps you really do want something laid-back that allows you to pursue your hobby and/or to promote an easy social culture. Consider working or starting a local coffeehouse, especially one that focuses on fair-trade and promoting community events. You might have a habit of vaping. Literally, you can sell high-quality vaporizers, where you are the expert on paraphernalia and liquids. These shops often include a smoker’s lounge, fostering easy-going socializing and a calming atmosphere–and, hey, you’re even helping others break the habit of smoking toxic cigarettes.