In “How to turn your hobby into your career”, we’ve discussed about identifying your interests and spending time fine-tuning them to transform them into life skills. The next logical step will be to use your interests in working environments, turning them into industry tools. What better way to start with an internship?
So how can an internship benefit you and your interests/hobbies? Does it help you learn how to turn your hobby into a career?
1. An internship confirms and validates your passions
Is coding just an innocent hobby that is best practice in your spare time, or is it worth spending time doing it everyday for the first few years of your working life? Sure, when you’re in school you may get to pick the most exciting projects to work on, but in the context of a company, you’ll have to produce the programme that your customers, not you, want. You’ll need to take into account customer experience, adjust the programme based on customer feedback, company resources, etc. Are you sure you can handle all the stress for the sake of doing what you love?
An internship helps by validating whether your interest is purely something you enjoy doing, or something that makes everything else worth doing. If it’s the latter, then congratulations, you may have just discovered your passion. If it is the former, you’ll probably be better off pursuing something else as as your career.
2. An internship turns your interest into practice
Remember when discussing how to turn your hobby into a career, we’ve talked about the stages of acquiring and mastering a skill? It all starts with an interest, which compels you to pay attention to things and people related to your interest, which leads to you wanting to practice applying your knowledge and observation into real life situations. It is from this consistent practice that a skill may be acquired and perfected over time.
An internship provides the opportunity for you to observe your interests being practiced by individuals with knowledge and experience in the field. You get first-hand insights into how programming, design, marketing, etc. is used in a business or corporate context. Surrounding yourself with experts and practitioners in the field also gives you an insider’s account of what it is like spending your career doing what you love.
3. …and turns your hobbies into skills
The last stage, practicing the trade after paying sufficient attention to how it is done, is the most important in the acquiring and refining of skills. An internship gives you just that. You’ll get to practice what you love in the appropriate industry, from which your innocent hobby evolves into a working skill. After this stage is achieved and you have overcome the initial steep learning curve, all that is left to do is constantly refining and updating that skill to keep up with the industry. And…. Congratulations! You can now make a career of doing what you love.