5 hobbies that will (actually) help your career

Activities outside the office, or after work, can be a great way to distract you from deadlines and totally unwind. But you can also use them to enrich your CV and open new doors on your career journey.

Here are five you should really try.

1. Learning a foreign language

Depending on the industry you’re in, this could be a great way to expand your skills and potential at work. Be strategic and choose a language that is or might be relevant in your industry down the line. If you have to deal with foreign clients, for instance, your boss will instantly think of you for the next business trip  – who better than someone who speaks the language?

But benefits go beyond the obvious – studies show that learning a second language changes the way in which your brain works, making you smarter, more decisive and improving your memory!

2. Coding

Even supermodel Karlie Kloss has embraced the power of coding, saying it will “continue to play a major role in defining our future”. Kloss is right – coding isn’t going anywhere and adding it to your skills set will make you stand-out, whether you want to progress or change career paths.

3. Stand-up comedy

​No, we’re not suggesting you become the office clown, but improving your confidence and ability to speak in front of an audience is well worth the investment. There will most certainly be some kind of public speaking at some point in your career, whether it’s at meetings, conferences, or even recruitment sessions. If you can survive the hecklers, there is no meeting in the world that you can’t handle.

4. Graphic design

Think of it as the modern version of painting. It might not be as relaxing as holding a brush, but there are lots of creative things to be done with Photoshop. Visual communication is a very important part of many industries, and knowing the ins and outs of graphic design will give you an instant edge.

5. Lectures

Just because you’re done with school and uni, doesn’t mean you should stop learning. There’s always something interesting to know that will give you conversation topics for work or social gatherings. Try watching some TED talks online or go for the real thing at School of Life.