5 Ways to Build Career Skills in Your Spare Time 

September 30th, 2016

In today’s competitive landscape, you should look for every opportunity to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. Have you devoted time recently to honing your career skills to stay ahead of the competition? jobs in Los Angeles

Believe it or not, your hobbies and interests can help you boost your career and increase your chances of standing out with recruiters. In fact, these 5 hobbies can make a major impact:

  1. Indulging your creative side. Are you always creating funny memes or other images and sharing them with your friends and family? Your creative endeavors — both online and off — can help you build important critical and software skills. Even if the specific software you’re using doesn’t relate directly to a specific job, your ability to quickly learn and adapt to new software is extremely marketable to employers.
  2. Volunteering. Giving back to the community is great for your neighborhood and can even be good for your health, but it also offers benefits to your career. Many nonprofit organizations lack funding to hire full-time staff. They depend on volunteers for things like donor solicitation, administrative tasks and other mission-critical responsibilities. These types of tasks can provide excellent opportunities for you to learn new computer skills, grant writing skills and more >> earning hands-on experience with real results.
  3. Starting a Meetup. Meetup.com has become an excellent resource for clubs, professional networking groups and more to connect and unite over shared passions and interests. When you start a new group on a site like Meetup, you are not only nurturing your passion, you are demonstrating and building strong leadership skills. Promoting your group and expanding its reach will help you develop strong marketing skills. And when you present at your Meetups, you’ll hone important presentation and speaking skills that can help you in a range of industries and roles.
  4. Reading. One of the first hobbies many of us develop is also one of the most beneficial. Not only can you read books that help you learn new skills and aid in your personal development, reading any book helps improve communication skills. Focusing on business or personal development books can also give you some important leverage in job interviews. Many interviewers like to make small talk – this is partially to put you at ease, and it’s also often an assessment tool. Rather than talking about the latest TV shows you watched, talk about the latest important business book you read. That is MUCH more likely to get the attention of your recruiter and increase your chances of landing the job.
  5. Yoga. Yoga can help you avoid muscle injuries and stay flexible, but its effects can also help you at work. The focused breathing and mindfulness associated with yoga can help you better handle the daily stresses that happen at work. Most employers today are looking for a strong cultural fit. Employees who can keep their cool during stressful moments are highly desirable for employers. The next time an interviewer asks you about a time where you faced a difficult situation at work, mentioning your yoga hobby and the benefits it affords you in the office can show interviewers that you take your career seriously, inside and outside the office.

Today’s employers are looking for well-rounded individuals. Embrace your hobbies and their ability to impact your career! Here at Helpmates, we help professionals across Southern California match their skills and goals to job opportunities with some of the area’s top employers. Search our current job openings or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

Image courtesy of samarttiw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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