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Hobbies Today, Careers Tomorrow

Tick, tock, tick, tock: Your future is calling your name, and it'll be here before you know it. You may be trying to survive and pay this month’s rent, but that’s no reason to lose sight of the vast tomorrow ahead of you. After all, after a stressful day at work, what do we turn to? Our hobbies.hobbies1.png

They fulfill us, help us explore different skill sets, and lower our blood pressure. So it should come as no surprise that many “hobbyists” and “tinkerers” are in fact subconsciously prepping for future careers.

The economy is a moving target, and it can only move forward. That means, like a chess player, you need to be thinking about what employers will demand not today, not next year, but five or ten years down the road. This also makes sense since the average adult switches careers seven times in a lifetime. Surely, they drew inspiration from their past times as well.

So, what do your hobbies today tell you about your future jobs? Let’s peer into the crystal ball:

The multilingual travel junkie

Did you grow up in a bilingual household? Is your passport crammed with stamps from nearly every continent? You might have extra grey matter in your inferior parietal cortex (which governs language), and that puts you in a superior position for future careers such as international law or international business.

“It’s a small world after all,” as the jingle goes, and global business and trade can only continue to grow. Whether you go into international law, tax codes, regulations, or work for a multinational, it helps to maneuver the cultural nuances that can make or break a deal. Also, a recent Wall Street Journal analysis showed that global companies are doing better than U.S. companies: Nearly 60% of the revenue growth between 2009 and 2011 came from overseas.

The Stamp Collector

Are you ecstatic when you find a 1993 29c Elvis Presley Mint Single? Hoarding stamps isn't just a past time for retired geeks - it can be quite the intellectual hobby for the younger crowd, too. Not only are they history buffs, most philatelists are also unparalleled in their ability to organize large amounts of data.

If you can carefully document all your items' grades and descriptions (like circulation status or Mint State), you will probably be an excellent database engineer or information scientist. Many Big Data occupations (including database administrators) command an average salary of almost $72,000. Six years from now, they will add over a million jobs to the U.S. economy (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The Bard

If you’ve ever kept a spiral-bound journal or faithfully wrote a blog on LiveJournal or WordPress in your spare time, you may have a knack for content creation. Tomorrow’s marketing will be much more education-based than purely sales-based, so headhunters will be looking for business writers who can specialize in technical blogs, B2B (business to business) articles, whitepapers, and special reports.

The DIY-er

If you’ve ever found yourself buying a short-sale home, thinking “it just needs a little bit of work” only to find yourself overhauling every nook and cranny, you just might have the project-obsessed mindset of a civil engineer. What better time than the present, to prep yourself for this high-paying career that’s poised to grow 19.7% over the next 10 years?

After all, the “improvements” to your humble home are a microcosm for designing bridges, roads, waste treatment plants, and water systems. 

The Foodie

Your concoctions fill up Instagram, and several Facebook friends have blocked your mouthwatering pictures from their feed because it’s ruining their diets. You obsess over different beer brewing ideas. Not just a hobby for the gluttonous, food science and technology is serious business. As Americans become more health-conscious and crave more innovative flavors (bacon vodka or sushi ice cream, anyone?), food scientists will be in demand, with job outlook growing at 9%.

The Numismatist (Coin Collector)

Got a yen for tracking your coins’ circulation history? Must numismatists aren’t just history buffs who like to look at shiny pieces of bullion – they are detail-oriented, and genuinely understand the value of currency, money, and how they fluctuate with the stock market.

These are critical traits of personal finance advisers, who are winning in a field which is projected to grow 27% in the next 10 years. Even the lowest end of the salary range is a comfortable $49,410. Thanks to Baby Boomers and the erosion of Social Security and pensions, everyone is more conscious about not outliving them. Because most advisers recommend keeping about 10% of investment portfolios in precious metals, you’re at least already an expert in one area of personal finance.

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