The importance of having hobbies outside of work

by Alex Iftode

Your career is a big part of who you are. It takes up about a third of the day, it brings structure to life (or at least it should) and it puts food on the table.

However, your job simply can’t be the sum total of one’s existence.

Coming home after work in a daze, shutting off in front of a monitor, and counting the time before it’s time to go back to work isn’t a pleasant existence. No one wants a life like that and yet plenty of people end up in this kind of rut.

Putting time aside in your schedule for self-care or self-improvement is great. It’s crucial that you invest in yourself. But you might still feel like something is missing, something to do just for the fun of it, not for some sort of benefit.

As you must have guessed at this point, we’re talking about hobbies. Here are four benefits that hobbies bring, through the lens of a career-oriented person:

1. Hobbies relieve stress

Aside from all of the perks, work usually brings a good amount of stress as well. Deadlines, difficult tasks, supporting your team, you get the picture.

A way to stop negative emotions from building up is to pick up a hobby. It’s common sense that people that have hobbies are generally in a better mood and experience less stress. To be sure though, here’s a study that proves it.

Even if you enjoy your work, there will always be a slight distinction between enjoyable things we have to do and those we want to do. The fact that you choose to do something in your free time is already a major factor in how hobbies relieve stress.

Think about it. A hobby can be a high-intensity sport, like football, or a cozy, relaxing activity like reading. They’re very different actions, but the end result is the same - they make people feel better.

Basically, anything can be a hobby. The only requirement is that you enjoy doing it.

If your number one priority is giving 100% at work, then get a hobby. Relax during your free time so that you can push forward at the office.

2. Hobbies shape who we are

Many identify themselves by what they do, either in a professional sense or through their hobbies. Even if you don’t introduce yourself that way, you can’t deny that hobbies influence who you are.

Any employer worth their salt will know that your resume doesn’t represent all that you are. They’ll want to know who you are as a person - what are your interests, likes, dislikes, and hobbies.

At Knoxon, hobbies are one of the first things we ask about. We like to know about the people we work with, what makes them tick, what they like to do in their free time. It’s a lot easier to organize fun team-building activities for the team when we know their hobbies.

3. Hobbies give you bonding opportunities

Hobbies don’t stop being useful after the interview. When meeting new colleagues, hobbies are a go-to icebreaker.

Everyone loves to talk about their hobbies. If you bring up the subject, it’s basically impossible to run out of things to say.

Who knows, you might just run into someone with the same interests. At that point, you’ll probably feel an instant connection with them. Exchanging info and experiences will be a real joy for both of you.


Of course, talking is just the start. Pitch your hobby well enough and next thing you’ll know, you have a whole new group of people to enjoy your favorite pastime with.

4. Hobbies help you unleash your creativity

You’re probably not thinking about work all day long and neither should you. However, you never know when inspiration will strike. What’s certain is that it happens more often when you’re doing something enjoyable - a hobby.

This doesn’t strictly apply to creative activities. The simple fact is that a hobby helps you plug out from work. Then, with a new perspective, you might find a fresh solution to the challenge you’ve been facing for a long time now.