Nurturing Talent Beyond the Workplace: Five Lessons Learned

TalentExtracurricular activities are a great way to express your creativity and unwind after a long day at work. But did you know that nurturing talent outside the workplace can help how you perform on the job as well?

A study from San Francisco State University found that professionals that engage in creative hobbies performed 15-30% better at work.

Photography has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember, and a few years ago, I took my hobby to a whole new level by starting a small, side photo business. Not only has this challenged me to become a better photographer, but it has challenged me to be a better agency professional as well.

Below are key lessons I have learned over the years as a result of expanding my passion of photography and how I am able to apply them to my work at the agency.   

1. Fuel Creativity and Passion

Creativity is one of the most unique assets that you can leverage to set yourself apart from others. Photography as a hobby has taught me to always think outside the box to uncover new ideas. It has also given me confidence, allowing my creativity to flourish.

Passion is another critical aspect of fueling creativity. When you are passionate about the career you’re nurturing, you are more likely to get those creative juices pumping.

2. Always Be Reliable and Dependable

No one likes to work with someone who is unreliable or can’t be depended upon, so make sure you don’t fall victim to these characteristics.

In both my personal hobbies and career, I have learned that it is important to not overpromise and to always over deliver when possible. Set a standard of what is possible within an allotted timeframe, and stay on top of deadlines.

If you get done with a project before the assigned timeframe, it’s a bonus for both you and your peers or clients. And remember—never rush yourself. Although getting ahead is good, poor work will set you back and warrant unhappy clients.

3. Communicate Well and Often  

Communication is key to assure appointments, meetings, deadlines and projects are accurate. Solid communication skills ensure that you are managing your priorities appropriately, and that clients and coworkers are always informed. Send reminders, and provide details upon meeting or project completion.

Keep in mind that people prefer different communication methods. Be conscious of this, and distinguish upfront the best way to contact a specific individual.

4. Understand Time Management

Time management helps you succeed in all aspects of your life, whether extracurricular or work. For example, if I know I have a busy month coming up between family, friends and work, it would not be wise to book myself up with photography appointments.

This stays true to your work at an agency as well. Always be aware of the various projects you have on your plate, and communicate to your team members if you have too much going on at once. Understand what you can and cannot handle so you are able to deliver the best results, while enjoying yourself along the way.

5. Look for New Opportunities to Challenge Yourself 

Personal and professional growth comes when you step outside of your comfort zone and seek new opportunities. If new opportunities arise that test your skillsets and knowledge, don’t be afraid to seize them. When you challenge yourself to explore new talents, you may uncover potential you never knew you had.  

How do your extracurricular activities help you grow as an agency professional? Share with us in the comments below!

Image Source: maryalena

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