Guide: How To Find New Interests (Tips And Importance)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 1 July 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Finding new interests and learning new skills can be essential for growth. Learning about new things can help you build knowledge and improve your technical abilities. Knowing how to find new activities and interests can help you improve personally and professionally. In this article, we discuss how to find new interests and learn new skills and explain why doing so can be essential.
How To Find New Interests And Learn New Skills
Here is how to find new interests and develop new skills:
1. Think about your childhood
One of the most effective ways to find a new interest is to recall what you loved doing when you were a child. Remember the activities you enjoyed doing, whether it was sketching, gardening, undertaking projects or playing an instrument. Children usually find interests and hobbies based on how much they like doing something and retain the same core interests as they grow up but do not spend as much time on them.
It is important to note that not all past hobbies and interests might still excite you. For instance, if you liked drawing and sketching, you may not like doing the exact same activity but learning about design or illustrating can be interesting. It is essential that you find a hobby where you do not realise how much time you have invested or do not get tired. This means that as a kid, you might have liked gardening and today, you simply enjoy staying outdoors more.
Related: Guide: How To Choose A Career
2. Try something you would never expect
Think of one thing that you assume you are not good at. This can be a technical skill, like developing a website, or a more creative endeavour, like singing. Sign up for an online course or workshop to learn more about it and see whether you can develop this as an interest. Surprising yourself and others around you by doing something totally unexpected can help you discover a talent or develop skills in a field you never imagined.
3. Find activities that are enjoyable and make you feel productive or energised
Try different activities until you find something that makes you feel more productive and energised. You could start with small things in your house, like rearranging the furniture or creating a fun greeting card. Find something that helps you enjoy the process of investing time and energy and makes you proud of the final outcome, even if it is not something tangible.
When finding such activities, make sure you do things that require active participation. For example, if you want to learn how to compose music, listening to it may not be enough. If you wish to write a script or make a video, simply watching movies may not be sufficient. So, find activities that make you feel creatively satisfied and go beyond passive engagement.
4. Identify interests related to your work or hobbies
If you are struggling to find something that you enjoy doing, identify fields relevant to your existing work profile and interests. For example, if you are a website developer, you can try learning how to design web interfaces. Similarly, you can be a trekking enthusiast and discover that you enjoy volunteering at animal shelters. Try to find one thing about your work or interests that you are certain you enjoy doing, and find activities that share the same core motivations. This can help you enjoy more activities and motivate you to learn about new fields, careers and competencies.
5. Work with a friend or colleague
If you find it challenging to sustain your interest in new hobbies and activities, you can try learning them with a friend or trusted colleague. Having someone to share the experience can make the learning process more enjoyable and simplify the challenges. This can also create a sense of accountability to the learning process, as you can share your progress with someone else. Another advantage of this approach is that you are likely to get motivation from your friend and, in turn, inspire them.
6. Attend events and meet new people
Sign up for events, workshops, conferences, fairs and expositions to discover new interests. These events can be about travel, health, culture, food, entertainment or learning new skills. When you are there, interact with other people who have come to learn and get inspiration from their journeys and experiences. By surrounding yourself with people who are passionate about their hobbies and interests, you are more likely to feel energised and motivated. This can also help you expand your network and find interesting people who can introduce you to new hobbies and interest groups.
7. Find a role model
Finding a role model in a field that interests you can help you learn more about it. Look for a prominent public individual to get inspiration from and follow their updates. If they discuss upcoming tools and technology in their latest interview, try to learn more about it. Similarly, if they are talking about upcoming trends, try to find out more comprehensive information about what the future in the industry looks like. Refer to varied sources, such as books, news articles, journals, essays and online courses to learn comprehensively about new topics.
8. Consider volunteering or interning
Internships and volunteer programmes can help you explore new hobbies and interests with limited commitment. When looking for such programmes, try to find organisations that align with your personal values. For example, if you feel strongly about protecting trees and preserving nature, look for organisations working in the domain of environment and sustainability. Similarly, if you enjoy being around animals, look for animal shelters and pet adoption agencies. Contact them and express your interest in working with them in a limited capacity. Besides finding an enjoyable new interest, you may also identify new career options for yourself.
9. Take a short break from your routine
If your current routine leaves you little to no time to explore new interests and hobbies, it can be beneficial to take a short break to re-energise yourself. When you do not focus on your work duties and deadlines, you can be more likely to discover activities and tasks that you enjoy doing. Besides, changing your routine can force you to find new ways to keep yourself occupied, which can result in identifying new, enjoyable and valuable interests beyond your professional life.
10. Start with one thing
To prevent getting overwhelmed, start with a single activity and try it for some time. Be conscious of noticing how you feel when you are doing these things. If you feel confident and energised after these activities, you can find new ways to incorporate them into your daily routine. If you feel frustrated or tired while performing these activities, you can try new ones.
Importance Of Finding New Interests And Acquiring New Skills
There can be many benefits to finding new interests and learning new skills:
Leads to new career options: Trying new things can help you identify undiscovered talents, which can help you make a career transition to a job that you enjoy doing. Often, people move to new roles and careers after discovering new roles that excite them.
Results in better work-life balance: Having interests outside of your professional life can help you improve your motivation and make you feel more energised. Personal interests and hobbies can be great for balancing your personal and professional life goals.
Aids in career progression: By learning new skills relevant to your current job, you can acquire new abilities and competencies that can help with rapid career development. Networking while learning new skills can also help you find new job opportunities.
Increases confidence and satisfaction: Learning about new things and being able to perform different activities can work as a confidence booster and help you feel more satisfied with your life. Your interests also help expand your knowledge and improve your personality.
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