Hello and Interesting Survey


Confused about dryer sheets
Dec 9, 2007
Hi all!

I am a PhD student at University of Houston, and my colleagues and I are doing a study that pertains to many of you in early retirement!

This study aims to find out more about people who make their hobbies into any job - whether it is part-time, full-time, or freelance. We hope the results will enable us to make recommendations to those who have taken "doing what you love" to a whole new level so that they may continue doing so!

We have posted a short anonymous survey - it takes about 10-15 minutes to complete - at the following link:

When Your Hobby Becomes Your Job

You can respond anytime until Friday, Dec 14th.

If you have any questions, please send me a message. We will share the results of the study on this forum after we close the survey.

Thanks in advance!
Sara J. Perry
Industrial/Organizational Psychology
University of Houston

This study has been approved by the University of Houston Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (1-713-743-9204).
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I started taking the survey, but as I got further into it, the questions became less applicable to my situation so I did not complete it.

I took on a part time "hobby job" for 10 years in addition to my full time job in a minimally related area. The hobby job eventually ruined my interest in the hobby. I grew bored so I quit both the hobby and the hobby job.
Thanks for your replies thus far. And I see you found my wedding announcement from last year!

To answer one of your questions, I am pursuing another degree because psychology is a passion of mine...hence another personal motivation for the study. As for when we want to retire early, that is still probably at least a couple of decades out, but we have been planning for an early retirement by starting early. I think that's the only way unless we strike the luck some other way. :) But an advanced degree is a great way to have more opportunity to be your own boss.

As for the applicability of the questions, they are assessing a lot of various factors that we believe might lead to certain outcomes when people pursue their hobbies as jobs. One such outcome we are trying to better understand is what "Template" posted, in fact! The last page of the survey has a lot more specific questions about the hobby-job itself, but all questions are important to helping us further understand factors that relate to this type of career transition. So I encourage you, if you have the time, to complete the survey and I promise, I will share the results here!

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Take good care,
I'll complete a survey for you sometime this week. I just wanted to let you know that I saw it and planned to complete it.
The survey will remain open until January 8th at least, so if anyone wants to respond later, that is fine too. We plan to pull down the responses we have by mid next week to write up the results from those for a short conference paper, and to share them with the various groups that have participated. So we hope to post those results by the first week of January.

But if anyone wants to reply later than the deadline I originally posted, that is fine too. Those responses will get included in the full write-up we do on this study, which will also be shared with the groups who participated.

Thanks again for all the responses thus far!

And I see you found my wedding announcement from last year!

Sara, you are completely welcome here. You may be that tall drink of water that we were discussing (and longing for) on another thread. :)

Update on survey

Hi all -

Thanks again for your participation in our survey. The number of responses has been exciting, and we really appreciate your time in contributing to this study! The survey will remain open until at least January 8th, because we have other groups still participating. So if you have not responded and still want to, you may do so anytime until January 8th.

However, because we set the deadline as last Friday, we wanted to give you an update on when you'll see the results. This week we will analyze the responses we have received so far. We will share those results the first week of January here on this forum. These results will also go into a short conference paper we are writing.

After January 8th we will download the rest of the survey responses and write up our final results for a longer journal article. These final results should be ready by the end of January; we will also share these with you on this forum.

Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks again for participating! We hope we can provide some valuable recommendations to help you in your hobby-jobs.

The Preliminary Results are In!

As survey respondents learned at the end of the survey, we were primarily interested in what factors lead to burnout when people turn a hobby into some type of job. Our interest in this topic came from direct observation of a number of people who had experienced burnout in a job that came from a hobby, so much so that they also quit the hobby. We hope these results will help prevent that particular outcome for others.

These preliminary results include 269 complete responses to our online survey. We do not claim these results are entirely representative of every person, hobby, or hobby-job. However, respondents represented 22 categories of hobby-jobs and 16 categories of hobbies, so we feel the results are reliable and potentially helpful to any person with a hobby-job.

We will share the final results at the end of January, with more respondents and more complex statistical analyses. Meanwhile, we hope the 2 lists below are helpful as you evaluate yourself and your current level of burnout. Very encouraging, the overall average burnout level was only ‘2’ on a scale of 1 – 7 (where ‘7’ reflects highest level of burnout).

Thank you again for your time! Please direct any questions to skjansen@uh.edu.

Factors that ARE related to burnout
  • 1) Personality: You are less likely to become burned out if you are:
    • a. Emotionally Stable
      b. Conscientious
      c. Extraverted
      d. Agreeable
      e. Less Spontaneous or Reckless
    2) Job Characteristics: You are less likely to become burned out if your job has:
    • a. More Clarity (you know when, what, and how to do your job)
      b. More Autonomy (more independence in your job)
      c. More Variety (less monotony or repetition)
      d. More Similarity to your hobby
      e. Less Constraints (such as those that limit your ability do your job, like time, resources, coworkers, or supervisors)
      f. Less Difficulty in earning pay (less competition, less time required to earn money)
      g. Met your Expectations
      h. More Benefits (other than pay)
    3) Attitudes: You are less likely to be burned out if you are…
    • a. More satisfied with your pay, work, and boss
      b. Not thinking about quitting your hobby-job within the next 12 months.
      c. Less stressed about life in general.
    4) Values: Your are less likely to be burned out if you feel…
    • a. Your values are compatible with those of others in your hobby-job profession.
Contrary to our expectations, there were a number of factors NOT related to burnout in hobby-jobs. They are:
  • 1) Intrinsic Motivation (internal reasons for doing the job, as compared to external reasons like pay or fringe benefits).
    2) Intentions to Quit your Hobby within the next 12 months
    3) Time spent on Hobby and Hobby-Job:
    • a. Time spent on hobby before taking hobby-job compared to time spent on hobby after taking hobby-job
      b. Time spent on hobby after taking hobby-job compared to time spent on hobby-job
      c. Number of hours spent on hobby-job
    4) Demographics:
    • a. Age
      b. Gender
      c. Ethnicity
      d. Breadwinner characteristics:
      • i. What percentage of your household income comes from your hobby-job
        ii. Gross income from hobby-job
        iii. Number of dependents
        iv. Whether hobby-job is your primary job
        v. Whether you are the primary breadwinner in your household
      e. How many years you have been doing the hobby
      f. How many years you have been doing the hobby-job
LOL - how many of us are burnouts!?? Count me in! Wow - according to the first section, I am just a fruit basket! Dang!

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