Everyone has hobbies, or interests they pursue in their free time. For some, it’s hiking, for others, it’s the occasional Netflix binge. These are all well and good, and incredibly important for maintaining a healthy balance between work and your real life. But what about hobbies that meet in the middle of business and pleasure? The passions you discover while starting a new project or the work relationships that turn into friendships are very important and can help you grow professionally. They can also give you some inside jokes to talk about in the elevator.
I am a fully self-aware data nerd and a proud one at that. I have always been interested in the stories data can tell. One of my biggest passions for data is visualizing it. I think that taking a dataset and turning it into beautiful graphics or dashboards is a superpower. I have used my data obsession to help better imagine ways to visualize data here as I get new work with the insights team. This is just one example of my professional passions. Many of my other tech-minded coworkers have personal projects they work on that translate to business prowess. For example here at Sundog, we have people who code games or create websites in their free time. These hobbies refine their skills and make them a more well-rounded worker. I know one of my favorite things about being a Sundogger is seeing the cool projects my coworkers are invested in outside the office and the excitement they have when introducing others to them.
Another beneficial personal hobby can be something that you do outside of working hours but include your coworkers in. Here at Sundog there is:
- A regular book club that meets, where employees can express ideas on a book they all agree on.
- A group of photographs with particularly good eyes. This group shares pictures and often photograph company events.
- A group that meets after hours to play games, giving time to unwind after work with colleagues.
Things like this may not increase your skills that go on a resume, but they help you form stronger relationships with people you spend a considerable amount of your life with. These relationships might help you better understand how somebody thinks, or help you realize you had more in common than you thought. These activities help satisfy the work-life balance by joining the two together in an incredibly enjoyable way. This is a large part of what makes the Sundog culture so unique.
Finding a professional passion, whether it be practical or personal, can help you grow and will assist in creating new connections between people with whom you work. I would highly recommend finding a passion project to help you with work, reaching out to some coworkers to find some common ground in an area you love, or testing the waters with something new with your coworkers.
Software Engineer Intern