A work culture that encourages hobbies is a win-win. Having a hobby outside of work is incredibly valuable when it comes to problem solving, public speaking, networking, and always remaining curious. This is one of the many reasons I love working at Brown Bag. We are a group of people with all different sorts of interests which benefit our team from many different angles. My biggest leisure activity is cosplay/cosplaying – using an interest of crafting and creating to wear your favorite fandom interests on your body.
How does sewing and dressing up in costumes benefit my work life? Here are four ways my hobby – or any hobby for that matter — can improve your career.
1. Building self-confidence
Cosplay exposes you to new skill areas. The learning process is never-ending with cosplay, so your brain is always activated with sewing, prop making, special FX makeup, and much more. Getting into the mindset of a specific character is great practice for strategy development and understanding buyer persona needs and wants.
Plus, cosplay is for EVERYONE, no matter your size, race, age or gender. The inclusivity of cosplay makes it fun and helps those with self-esteem issues face their fears and be a badass male POC Wonder Woman … or whatever tickles your fancy. For me, it was cosplaying as different Jinx skins from League of Legends with my overweight, curvy body type. Building self-esteem and becoming braver carries over into every aspect of my job.
2. Reducing stress
Everyone knows a stressed-out employee is not good. Having an outlet of any kind outside of work can help you change your focus and work off the stress from your everyday. Cosplay is a creative, interactive, social, and safe outlet to relieve my anxiety and stress. Creating or becoming something that you love – and leaving behind daily issues – allows you to focus on a different, more fun part of life.
3. Expanding your network
Through social interaction, whether it’s virtual or at conventions with other cosplayers, cosplay connects you with others from all around the globe. When you surround yourself with people who enjoy it as much as you do, the sense of community makes you feel empowered. It helps you a lot with social interactions, especially with strangers. If someone recognizes and is a fan of my cosplay, we immediately connect and know that we share something in common.
4. Managing your physical well-being
Hobbies help develop and better your physical health. Most wouldn’t think a nerdy hobby would help you exercise, but walking all over a convention or event in cosplay is a work out! I tracked over 39,800 steps during my last weekend convention. Keeping yourself healthy helps productivity at work.
No matter which hobby you choose, dedicating yourself to an interest will fuel your self-esteem, relieve stress, help you meet new people and manage your physical health. All of these positive characteristics will help you become well-rounded – and give an added boost to your professional life.