Thursday, March 13, 2014

Passions and Hobbies

 I've gone on a lot of interviews this month and a lot of employers/recruiters wanted me to ditch my passions/hobbies and focus on the job responsibilities I'm good at.  I knew right away that was going to be trouble.  I'm a great worker, for sure, but that's not who I am.  I am not my job.  At the end of the day, I'm not sitting around patting myself on the back for my creative PowerPoint presentations and ability to multitask several jobs at once.  

So, when I finally was asked, "What do you do outside of work?" and "What are your passions in life?"  I was over the moon.  I basically lit up talking about improv and all the things I've learned doing improv and why I love it so much.  I talked about writing, blogging, my years of dancing and all the ways I choose to express myself creatively.  One interview, which was supposed to be 30 minutes long, ended up going on for over an hour because it sparked such an awesome conversation about our creative outlets and how important it is to our character.  

I accepted a job offer with that company this week!  I'm starting on Monday and I'm SO EXCITED.  I'm excited to work for a company that cares about its employees and their passions and wants to see them grow as people, not employees.  Make sense? 

It's had me thinking a lot about passions and hobbies though.  If you asked me how I spend my down time at home, I'd be embarrassed to tell you that I read a lot of blogs and magazines.  Magazine day for me is always my favorite day and I lock myself in my room until the entire thing is read... and then I spend the afternoon "getting the perfect blowout" or "perfecting my smokey eye" for all of a day until I realize it's too high maintenance for me and I stick to my normal beauty routine.  When I don't have magazines, I'm scouring blogs and eating up all those fun, creative voices I love to read every day that inspire me.  Is that a hobby or a passion?  Would I bring that up on an interview? I wouldn't know how to phrase it.  I guess "reading and writing" is a pretty standard hobby, but what am I reading about?  Personal style.  Beauty.  Cooking.  DIY Projects.  Magazine Writing.  Those are pretty specific hobbies and passions... and it's much better than saying, "Pinterest" and making it seem like I waste a bunch of time. I mean, I do waste a bunch of time... but I don't want to seem like it.  

Now, some passions of mine I probably wouldn't bring up on interviews would be:  mimosas, incorporating bacon into all foods, doing cartwheels wherever there's enough space to do them and hoping I have shorts on under my dress, giving shit to my friend for the way he says "bruschetta", listening to other people's conversations at Starbucks and buying four bottles of $2.50 wine from Trader Joe's and going through it in a day.  Also, those aren't necessarily passions as much as basic facts about me.  

Whatever you like to do, celebrate it!  And maybe find a way to phrase it so that it sounds like you're a productive, creative, cool person and not just a lazy time waster!  Just kidding.  But, the point being, you're not your job.  You're so much more than your job.  You are not spreadsheets and transferring calls and fixing printers and public speaking and consumer research... you are the things that make you light up when you talk about them.  I'm so glad I found a company to work for that celebrates those things instead of forcing me to hide them for a majority of my week.

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