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Brits long for a hobby career

Thibault Peeters

Half of Brits wish they could take up their favourite hobby as a full time job, according to new research. Contributor Thibault Peeters, CEO – Decathlon UK.

A survey of 1,000 people, carried out by Europe’s number one sports retailer, Decathlon, found that 50 percent of workers would like to turn their hobby into a career, with 23 percent more passionate about their hobby than their current profession.

The majority of Brits (30 percent) would want to turn their passion of caring for animals or children into a paying career. Sports is another popular choice with 27 percent wanting to pursue a career in an outdoor pursuit like camping, 25 percent a team sport like football, cricket or rugby and 24 percent an individual sport like tennis, golf, cycling or swimming. Crafts like knitting, sewing or card-making (19 percent) and indoor pursuits like writing or computer games (17 percent) are also desired hobby careers

However, despite many Brits longing to turn a hobby into a career, only 3 percent have actually gone on to do so. The main reason (39 percent) holding people back from pursuing a hobby as a job is that they simply would not know where to start. Financial implications are another concern, with 37 percent worried they would not earn enough money to support their lifestyle and 26 percent scared it would cost too much money.

Just over a fifth (21 percent) felt too settled in their existing career to make the change to another industry and 16 percent think that changing career would be too difficult. But those that have taken the plunge to make their hobby a career have seemingly reaped the rewards, with almost three quarters (70 percent) of people saying it has made them happier than before and 60 percent stating that their hobby job is fulfilling and rewarding. Only 10 percent said it has been stressful.

While turning a hobby into a career may be a pipe dream for some, just under a third (29 percent) of people would want their current job to include some elements of their favourite hobby to make them happier.

Thibault Peeters, CEO at Decathlon UK, said: “They say that if you do what you love and follow your passion you will not have to work a single day in your life. And that sentiment may explain why so many people wish they could take up their favourite hobby as a career.

“But as we can see from the findings not many people actually go on to do so, for various reasons from financial concerns or fear of failure. While there may not be ample opportunities for converting a hobby into a career, there are ways to incorporate elements of your favourite hobby into your job or access jobs which boast similarities to your favourite pastime.

“And it’s great to see that so many people are passionate about sports. At Decathlon, our goal is to make the pleasure and benefits of sport accessible to all. We provide enthusiastic sports people with the opportunity to be in-store experts, so they can use this passion to help customers get started and grow into that sport.

Our team mates are encouraged to run their own department and have the opportunity to shape product development, connect with people and groups playing that sport in their area and also work at stores nationwide to pursue that passion in different parts of the world. By giving people the chance to accommodate their favourite activity into their working life has resulted in an engaged and happy workforce.”

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