Turn What You Love Into A Career
Work is what you make of it. These three enterprising moms created successful jobs out of hobbies. Their jobs bring them joy and satisfaction. Get inspired by these stories of hobbies that became careers.
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Photo credit: Jasmine Banks
Grad student and single mom of three Jasmine Banks began journaling as a child. She started blogging in high school. Years later, her hobby is now the foundation of her career as a chief marketing officer for Moxy Ox, a brand agency in Northwest Arkansas.
Always kept a journal
The idea of forming a story out of thoughts has always appealed to Banks. "I have always journaled," she says. She discovered online journaling while participating in a Yahoo group and decided to try it out. At first, she blogged anonymously while in high school. With youth came drama and many learning experiences. "If I felt annoyed with someone or something I laid it out there," Banks says, "and not in the most graceful of ways."
Blogging helped her gain experience
Looking back, Banks recognizes that her experiences learning to blog helped develop the skills she now uses in her career. "As a hobbyist I was able to make a lot of mistakes without a lot of collateral damage, experiment with how demographics respond to different voice and writing styles, and see what people are drawn to online," she says. "Hobbyist blogging and online publishing was live market research."
Banks began interacting with her current employer when she was brought on as a blogging brand ambassador. After seeing how she interacted with her followers and fans, Moxy Ox hired her as a contractor. She audited the brand's social media presence and continued to build blogger relationships. "After a few reports and Moxy Ox seeing the way I was able to grow their followers and fans they asked me to come on to market their company," she says.
Fast paced and exciting job
On any given day, Banks may be developing a marketing strategy, chatting with bloggers on behalf of the company or helping a startup develop brand assets. "My job is fast paced and exciting," she says. Banks is encouraged to remain true to herself while continuing to blog and interact on social media as a hobbyist. "They believe that my continued participation in the blogosphere enriches my professional life," she says.