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Is it possible to turn your hobby into a career?

Like many Australians, Bianca Lambert had a hobby which she loved. Craft was her creative outlet de ella and she found joy in making things.

But unlike many Australians, Ms Lambert decided to turn this hobby into something more.

“I really got into making pots… [Around 2015], indoor plants had become very popular. And I realized that there was a real market for this,” she tells ABC RN’s This Working Life.

With that, Capra Designs was born. Ms Lambert started making and selling pots from her granny flat. Customers and wholesalers became interested and before long, as she puts it, “I just couldn’t keep up with the orders.”

“Within six months, I was having to outsource production,” she says.

A woman kneels next to a small table with pot plants and books.
Bianca Lambert and some of her Capra Designs homewares.(Supplied: Catherine Elise for Capra Designs)

Today, Capra Designs pots and other products are in homes and gardens around the country.

More and more people like Ms Lambert are turning their hobbies, passions and side hustles into a career. But the process can be fraught and success is far from assured. So how can it be done?

Tip #1: Be realistic

Dan Schawbel is an author and managing partner of Workplace Intelligence, a US-based HR research and advisory firm.

He says first up, it’s about figuring out exactly what your passion is and why it’s the right fit for you.

“For me, it’s about doing as much as you can, as early in life as possible. I believe in experimentation and reflection,” he says.

A man in a suit stands in front of a light and a table.
Dan Schawbel firmly believes it’s possible to turn a passion into a job.(Supplied: Dan Schawbel)

But from there, he says a healthy dose of reality is needed.

“Not every passion leads to an income that can support you … You have to be realistic. Sometimes things are better left as a hobby than a career. And that’s perfectly acceptable,” he says.

Tip #2: Talk to those who have already succeeded

Chances are, there’s someone (or many people) out there who’s already successfully turned your hobby into a career.

Mr Schawbel says these individuals can provide invaluable advice and insights about the transition.

“People who have really lived and breathed that whole process are going to know [so much],” he says, adding that their advice “is almost like taking a big shortcut.”

“And it’s not just that they can give you critical information. They can also help connect you … to other people who can move you along quicker.”

Tip #3: (Really) know the market

Capra Designs’ Ms Lambert says one of her biggest pieces of advice is not to try and turn your hobby into a career overnight.


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