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Has anyone taken a "hobby job"?
Old 07-17-2016, 11:03 PM   #1
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Has anyone taken a "hobby job"?

DH and I are planning ER soon. I've been a C-level exec for many years and have no interest in continuing a career in my field post ER on a part time or consulting basis. We both have many interests so not too concerned about getting bored. I'm curious to hear from people who have taken a part time job doing something completely unrelated to your former career, not for the money but just because the job is related to a personal passion or hobby. I've thought about doing that but I wonder if it would really be satisfying or if it would just feel like w**k?
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:29 AM   #2
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Have thought about same thing when we pull the plug next year. My biggest concern is time off as we would like to hop in RV and take impromptu trips. Seems like that job could really curtail that flexibility.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:45 AM   #3
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I'm seriously considering Taskrabbit, which pairs people looking for someone to do something with someone who offers to do it for a price. They collect a lot of personal info (this is a step up from Craigslist!) and they've been interviewed by the BBC in 2 podcasts I've heard. One example is putting together someone's IKEA furniture. I'd like to do home-based spreadsheet work.

I definitely don't want anything with a fixed schedule or that requires me to set an alarm clock!
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:31 AM   #4
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Yes, I turned a hobby of making jewelry into a small business. Very small, but I've been at it a few years and it does bring low 5-figure side income. I like the business and competitive side as much as making stuff, so it feeds a few passions for me. It's not enough to feel like a job 90% of the time, on average 2 hours a day? And I can shut things down for vacations whenever I like. But during the holiday season I need to plan better because then it becomes very busy.
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:58 AM   #5
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I worked as a volunteer for an organization, but got fed up and quit after one year. I don't know why I thought the organizational dynamics would be any different than the corporate world, in my experience they were probably worse. When people are depending on a paycheck, they're more civil? When they're volunteering, maybe not. But I am hopeful I will 'work' again...
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:04 AM   #6
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This year I started working as a whitewater raft guide-- something DH and I did on weekends 25+ years ago. Definitely in the hobby j*b category-- so far I've spent a bit more on gear than I've earned (but the gear purchases can slow down a little now that I've got the basics). I usually only work on the weekends when there are more customers, and I can get time off whenever I want as long as I give more than a week notice. There will be no work available from November-April.

Occasionally I have to set an alarm if I have an early trip, but I don't mind since it's only once or twice a week. The vast majority of the time I thoroughly enjoy my day, it's only once in a while that a guest is annoying and I have to remind myself that we are in a customer service industry. As an introvert, I expend a lot of emotional energy being outgoing and friendly with the guests all day. That's probably a good thing because my other hobbies are loner activities. I might turn into a hermit otherwise.

There's a bonus for me: a stronger core and deeper tan (albeit with weird tan lines).
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:24 AM   #7
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I worked as a volunteer for an organization, but got fed up and quit after one year. I don't know why I thought the organizational dynamics would be any different than the corporate world, in my experience they were probably worse. When people are depending on a paycheck, they're more civil? When they're volunteering, maybe not. But I am hopeful I will 'work' again...
I have had just the opposite experience. I've been volunteering for our local food pantry and have found it very satisfying and the people have been very nice and very appreciative.
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:28 AM   #8
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I worked as a volunteer for an organization, but got fed up and quit after one year. I don't know why I thought the organizational dynamics would be any different than the corporate world, in my experience they were probably worse. When people are depending on a paycheck, they're more civil? When they're volunteering, maybe not. But I am hopeful I will 'work' again...
I'm on the HOA Board- good people except for one guy who seems to sue people for a hobby and got on the Board only because it was a way to get him to stop his lawsuit alleging that the last Board election was invalid (he'd run as a write-in and lost). I think I'll stick with it- the other 4 of us work well together and can out-vote him- but it's nice to know quitting is an option. At least in retirement you have the luxury of deciding how much BS you'll live with.
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:31 AM   #9
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I enjoy camping so last summer I got a volunteer position as a campground host at a state campground in Maine. The position was not a paid one but they provided me a site with hookups in return for 20 hours of work per week. It was 5 1/2 months of camping in a beautiful lakefront campground and I enjoyed it.

I had to clean restrooms, pick up campsites, do minor maintenance and grounds upkeep but it kept me busy and active. In my off time I could relax at the lake, explore the area, ride my bike, hike and just do whatever I felt like doing.

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Old 07-18-2016, 07:47 AM   #10
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I enjoy camping so last summer I got a volunteer position at a state campground in Maine. The position was not a paid one but they provided me a site with hookups in return for 20 hours of work per week. It was 5 1/2 months of camping in a beautiful lakefront campground and I enjoyed it.

I had to clean restrooms, pick up campsites, do minor maintenance and grounds upkeep but it kept me busy and active. In my off time I could relax at the lake, explore the area, ride my bike, hike and just do whatever I felt like doing.

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I tried the camp host and golf host volunteer job at two different GA state parks. The camp host gig was just OK, but I really enjoyed the golf host job. Nothing like tooling around on a John Deere zero turn diesel mower at breakneck speeds. Free site and free unlimited golf. Fun, fun, fun!
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:08 AM   #11
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I started an ebay business after retiring . I sold mostly cocktail dresses . I could shut down whenever I wanted and with little work I was pulling in five figures a year . After eight years I decided to close the business . It helped me ease into retirement.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:14 AM   #12
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Career was as an engineer. In retirement, I do income tax returns from Jan to April. Pay is a fraction of career jobs, but it gets me out of the house during the dog days of winter. My employer, a lcoal CPA office, knows I don't need the job so minimal hassles. I generally decide when and how much I work, but do keep in mind that I need to be of value to the firm so usually have 50+ hour weeks in late March. Finished my 10 season with the firm this past April.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:34 AM   #13
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A non-paying hobby I got involved with 10 years ago was volunteering at the local university's horticulture center. In addition to helping with the various gardens, I am now "essentially" in charge of the 1.5 acre cucurbit (pumpkin, squash and gourds) patch. About 7 years ago I took an interest in crafting with dried gourds. Currently I give my gourd creations away, but many have told me I should be selling them. I may do that someday, but for now, I get more pleasure out of knowing I am personally creating an item for a specific individual.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:58 AM   #14
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After career in IT, and being laid off, at age 52 started hobby career as long haul truck driver in a tractor trailer. Yes, I actually enjoy it, therefore call it a hobby. Did that for six enjoyable years, full time. At age 58 got out for various reasons, and retired.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:05 AM   #15
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Career was as an engineer. In retirement, I do income tax returns from Jan to April. Pay is a fraction of career jobs, but it gets me out of the house during the dog days of winter.

I've considered that, probably for H&R Block, which I know doesn't pay much to start. I've done our taxes, which are pretty complicated, for years with the help of software.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:13 AM   #16
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I've got one and am trying to develop another. I've been reviewing questions and developing hands-on activities for a national science competition for the last 10 years - started as part of my job when I was with the BigGov organization. It lets me do the fun part of what I liked to do while teaching, create challenging activities for bright students and stay engaged with modern science, while avoiding what I disliked - interacting with teenagers 180 days each year. I have a 3 day commitment to be on-site for the competition (just the right dose of teenagers) but other than that I schedule my own time - no more than 200 hours per year, mostly in the winter when it's less pleasant.

I'm trying to develop some regular gigs as a musician, but 3 or 4 per year would be plenty. I want just enough to keep me engaged with the musical community and to keep my motivation up for practicing. Some hobbies are just more fun when you do them well and/or alongside others that do them well.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:21 AM   #17
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Nothing for pay. And retired from my larger volunteer commitments concurrent with retirement.

But I've started taking classes at the community college for fun. 3 semesters of Italian under my belt so far. I plan to sign up for an online accounting class this term. (The 4th semester of Italian isn't offered till spring.) I like numbers/money... so I'm a weirdo that will enjoy learning accounting principles.

I looked at doing taxes but the pay vs hassle didn't make sense to me.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:24 AM   #18
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Our church essentially has their own in house part time construction company. We usually will rebuild a needy person's house in Sept-Oct. We have framers, union electricians, electrical engineer, architects and a bunch of ER laborers.

We've built 3 houses and given them away to tornado victims and completely rebuilt a flood house.

What's incredible is that we'll build a house from scratch and have the furniture in it in less than 3 weeks. The Amish from Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan are the only ones that are in our class doing construction, and they're great.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:33 AM   #19
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It's still in future but I would like to consult in the areas of my job I really enjoy of which I am very good at. I would make a few bucks and stay out of trouble. Also, have considered getting a job at a local college teaching a course or two in my area of expertise.

One guy I know volunteers at a local golf course. That might be fun too as a way of getting some free golf if nothing else.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:36 AM   #20
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Yes, took up a creative hobby with laser cutting & engraving, which has now grown into a small business.

Proves to be a very enjoyable & lucrative pastime blasting away with a high powered laser
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