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The Importance Of Hobbies

The Importance of Hobbies

by Vickey Habel

Following graduation I landed a full time job as a human resources assistant. From 9 to 5 in my little cubicle I see resumés pass under my nose on a regular basis. I discovered something quite unexpected and interesting; the importance of hobbies on a personal and professional level.

I’ve been in the workforce since I was 18; summer jobs to pay for tuition and part time jobs to sustain me during the school year. As you can imagine I’ve sent many a resumé. The last line of those CVs was the “Hobbies” section which received the common “watching movies, hanging out with friends, reading, badminton…” Being a full time student and part time employee, time for extra-curricular activities was limited.

During university our minds are consumed with the constant buzzing of worry, stress, homework, exams, research…and when it all ends, it leaves an emptiness in our mind. At my little desk from 9 to 5 staring at a computer screen I realized that I needed something to fill in that void; to keep me sane. I needed a hobby.

Three months after graduation I started swing dancing at Cat’s Corner and it lifted my spirits, got me in shape, and helped me meet new people. I got so hooked on it that I began taking classes, planning to attend the next workshops in Montreal and finally planning to attend other events outside of Montreal. My hobby became a buoy for me. Work is work but my life is my life.

Through my job in human resources I learned that the “hobbies” section of a resumé is actually quite important. It gives insight on the actual person’s personality which an employer is always curious to know. It also serves to indicate the balance one can achieve in one’s life which can also reflect the balance one can achieve at work. In many work environments I’ve been in, the more experienced employees discussed the superiority-complex, workaholism and brown-nosing of university educated entry-level employees. Work becomes the focal point of these new graduates sometimes to the detriment of the development of healthy work relationships and even the possibilities of advancement. Ever heard of gopher-jobs? Too much enthusiasm can lead to employers taking advantage of the new employee. Moderation and balance are key words for the workforce.

Hobbies also provide references. In my line of work, there was a selection process that asked for three different references in order to be considered for the job.  One of the candidates did not have three work-related references so he provided the name of a superior he had while organizing an annual event on a volunteer basis for his hobby. If anything it painted a picture of this person as a well-rounded individual and provided a different perspective of this candidate.

Building the foundations of one’s career is what we work towards throughout our university career but it’s equally important to build the foundations of a life. Getting involved in a hobby, a forgotten passion, is not only a healthy lifestyle choice but it also is beneficial for your employment prospects.