“So what do you do for fun outside of work?”
It’s a pretty stock standard question that you’re likely to get in a job interview. It’s a sign that things are probably going well, on a date it’s a sign that things are going so well that you’re resorting to canned questions that get asked in job interviews. Interesting juxtaposition if you ask me, but I’m not one to give dating advice so let’s focus on the former. Interviewers ask you this question because they want to know about you as a person and how you’ll fit in culturally. Your hobbies say a lot more about you and can have far-reaching implications for your career. So for this week’s edition of Wellness Matters, we thought we’d look at 5 healthy hobbies that help your career.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you’d know that we’re fans of yoga. That’s because, aside from the physical benefits of practicing yoga, it teaches you breathing and mediation techniques that improve your ability to deal with tough situations. You can read more about the benefits of yoga and our guide to cheap classes you can do from the comfort of your own home here.
2. Long-distance running
It’s well known that running improves your cardiovascular system, blood pressure, sleep and energy levels, but what is lesser known is its ability to positively affect the brain – improving memory and learning. Long-distance runners are determined, disciplined and goal-oriented, which are all desirable qualities in job seekers, potentially giving you a competitive edge.
3. Social sports
Whether it’s ultimate frisbee, volleyball, touch rugby or soccer, team sports are a great way to improve your fitness levels. The implications for collaboration and teamwork are fairly obvious; you need to work together to achieve a common goal. But, joining a local social team can offer a great opportunity to network and, if nothing else, help you improve your interpersonal skills. Joining a corporate team might also score you brownie points with the boss.
4. Board games
Stepping inside for a moment, let’s talk about board games. Games like Chess, Sudoku and Scrabble exercise your brain, reducing the risk of cognitive decline and its associated effects. This may help you offset your retirement by a couple of years, but what benefits can board games offer you right now? Opt for a Settlers of Catan or Risk to hone your strategic thinking skills and master the art of negotiation (at least until you amass an army capable of world domination). Or, if you want to improve your collaboration skills, try out Pandemic and other co-operative board games.
It’s a generally accepted principle that including volunteer activities on your resume will improve how you are perceived by potential employers. But, volunteering can offer you many personal benefits, such as a broadened perspective and a greater sense of community. Kevin Eschleman, an assistant psychology professor at San Francisco State University, wrote this on volunteering:
“Anything that provides you with a real cognitive shift in how you see the world, that’s going to be an asset in terms of your overall health and wellbeing, and also how you solve problems, whether it’s in personal relationships or in a work environment,”
So there you have it. Five hobbies that can improve your career prospects. If I’ve inspired you to spend more time outdoors I want to make a quick note on sunglasses. I’m a serial offender of buying knock-offs and on-trend $20 sunnies, preferring fashion over function, but it’s important to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. So here’s a guide on how to pick a safe pair of sunglasses.
As always, please feel free to chime in with your own advice on hobbies that help your career and let us know if there are any other topics you would love us to look into or you have any queries or concerns. You can contact us here and we’ll get back to you shortly.