James Reed, chairman of the UK’s largest employment agency website, wrote an aptly-named careers book called The 7 Second CV. His inspiration for the title came from a study conducted using eye-tracking technology, which revealed that a candidate’s #resume is looked at for an average of seven seconds before a decision is made.
With only seven seconds to make an impact, you can see why certain parts of the resume tend to be overlooked. The ‘interests’ section, in particular, lurking at the bottom of the page, is often considered irrelevant, with #recruiters caring little for generic activities. After all, what difference does it make to an #employer whether a potential recruit listens to music, likes to meet up with friends, or enjoys travelling? Examples like these are so common and indistinguishable that they only serve to make the candidate seem more like everyone else.
But as we enter a new decade, interests and #hobbies now carry more weight. What we do on a personal level is more relevant than ever before, thanks to a fundamental shift in the #digital world, the evolving future of #work, and the growth of a burgeoning sector known as the ‘passion’ or ‘creator’ economy.
A New Way To Make Money
Contrary to intuition, the Passion #Economy has nothing to do with romance, and instead refers to the ability to monetize one’s unique skills and passions by finding an online audience interested in buying your brilliance. The growth of the sector has been made possible thanks to technology platforms that unlock economic value within individuals. With some rudimentary digital skills, anyone can share their talent with a large, often worldwide, digital audience, and actually start to make #money. The individual, who traditionally needed big publishers, an agent, or a deal with a store in order to get their work noticed, has now been handed their own megaphone.
A great example of this is Substack, a platform that allows writers to publish their own subscription newsletters. The top authors on the platform can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and can organically build readerships without needing their own column in a major #newspaper.
Or there’s Twitch, where gamers can livestream their antics to thousands of viewers simultaneously. A traditionalist may sniff at someone charging to be watched playing video games, but Felix Lengyel, who goes by the xQc handle on #Twitch, has earned nearly $2M so far, proof that huge amounts of money can be made in this sector.
Finally, there’s the recent art-world trend of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), where artists are able to sell digital work for sky-high prices. The growth of this market, and the monetisation of digital content, shows the power and variety within the creator economy movement.
The Future of The Career
These developments have a profound impact on the future of work and the future of ‘the #career’. Firstly it makes self-employment and freelancing much more financially viable. Consider that interest of yours that you always considered to be quite niche, such as playing a particular video game or blogging on one specific issue. Well there are thousands of people online who want to hear about it. Suddenly, a relatively narrow expertise can be turned into a marketable and potentially lucrative skill. All the while, building a relevant audience has never been easier, and can be done from your basement or the beach.
For the more risk-averse job seekers who don’t see #selfemployment as a realistic option, the passion #economy still has huge relevance. That’s because side-hustles are becoming a more important part of the professional package, allowing us to demonstrate skills to potential employers.
What better way to show your work ethic than to have made some money from a food blog? Setting up your own podcast will impress a potential employer looking to dabble in audio marketing. Giving legal advice in TikTok videos demonstrates curiosity and understanding of brand building. Hobbies of graphic design, photography, or illustration all show that creativity runs through your veins. And building an audience around any skill of yours requires effective #communicationskills, which are essential in the modern workplace. In short, our hobbies can become as important and impressive as our professional experience and academic achievements.
With #vaccinations increasing, at some point in 2021 the world will return to some semblance of normality. When that happens, the #jobmarket will be flushed with confidence, and therefore career moves. After a year of self-reflection, many will change jobs and all those that do should consider how the passion economy might shape their professional path. You never know in what direction it might take you.
Forbes.com – March 23,2021
Gustav Lundberg Toresson – Contributor