Why your hobbies could be your secret weapon in job applications
Have you considered how a love of football, music or drawing could translate into a career beyond being a footballer, musician or artist? How a passion for art could lay the foundation for a career in architecture? How excelling in drama could equip you for public speaking, sales, teaching?
You might not know it, but the hobbies you enjoy now will help you get a job in the future. Not only do they look great on your CV, they also force you to lead, communicate and work as a team – the type of skills employers prioritise when sifting through applications.
We recently worked with leaders in the UK transport sector to build a website to highlight the wide range of roles and opportunities available for you in transport. The site connects opportunities to subjects you might be interested in now, as well as linking them to your personality traits.
We’ve picked the brains of the team at MKF to see how their skills and hobbies have helped them professionally. We also thought we’d treat you to some photos of our team when they were slightly more fresh faced...
Ben – Media Manager
Sport was big for me. Playing football in a team forces you to work hard towards a common goal with people you don't know. You had to listen to the manager, but also be proactive and show initiative, suggesting alternative tactics, new approaches – everything used in a collaborative office environment when working on a group project. The social side was great as well. It allowed you to make friendships and know when to have a laugh while maintaining focus on the pitch. That balance is equally important at work – especially during stressful days. Football talk also goes down great in interview small talk!
Penny – Campaign Manager
I started working as a waitress when I was 16, and continuing through sixth form and university. Quite quickly I had to meet a variety of different people to work with, make sure customers were having a good experience and often dealing with tricky situations. This helped me massively with my confidence and how to approach a problem and come up with an effective solution on the spot. It also meant I also had to learn menus and recipes (to spot for allergies) so my attention to detail really improved.
Catherine – Head of School Relations Team
I was a Flight Sgt in the Air Training Corps (ATC) where I learnt to shoot and fly. Through this when I was 15 I managed a group of 35 young people between the ages 13-21, making sure they were safe, well and developed. I planned activities, events and expeditions, and delivered training sessions - including creating displays of continuity drill (fancy patterns through marching!). This gave me great experience of leadership, project and people management, creativity and giving clear instructions. A large aspect of this hobby was about authority and structure, so I’m great at seeing where there is a lack of processes, understanding what needs to be done and implementing them.
Krish – Schools Relations Manager (and former teacher)
From a young age, I was a keen cross stitcher which improved my attention to detail - and my patience! These are 2 skills that are really important on a daily basis, particularly when looking through vast documents and checking for errors.
At school I was also Head of School Council. This gave me the confidence to be able to argue my point in an effective way, listening to students’ concerns and thinking practically about how to problem solve - which was really useful in my role as a teacher, communicating with numerous different stakeholders: writing emails, at parents’ evenings and making phone calls. In confrontational situations I needed to think quickly and calmly on my feet.
See how your hobbies could land you a career with Transport for London here: http://tfl.mykindafuture.com/