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What extracurricular activities give you the skills to advance in your career

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It’s funny, most people haven’t heard the term ‘extracurricular’ since being at school, yet most of us live lives that still incorporate a lot of the same activities we used to take part in to make a college or university application look good. Vincenzo Ferrara discovers why starting a new hobby could get you a well-deserved raise.

Many of us like to keep our hobbies and work separate. It’s actually beneficial to your health if you separate your social life and your work life to create a better work-life balance. But, what happens when skills learned from your hobby could be the thing that gets you noticed at work.

We take a look at the top activities and the skills they build that could get you a promotion:


Yoga Class

The benefits of taking part in a sport/sports are universally known and accepted. It’s great for your health, encourages discipline and takes real dedication to keep up an activity especially after a hard day at work.

It really doesn’t matter if it’s football on a Sunday morning or rollerblading in the park. It all counts as long as you are consistent and have fun whilst you do it.

The most participated sporting activity that most of us take part in is simply going to the gym. I know that most of the time, it feels like more of a chore. However, stick with it, as going to the gym will make you feel better and can raise your confidence.

Skills it demonstrates: team work, dedication, fitness, competitiveness, reliability and confidence.

Music, drama & theatre


Did the dream of becoming a rock star not work out? Was the Oscar that you dreamt about since the year five Christmas play never really pursued?

For a lot of us, life takes over. It’s often not your fault, reality kicks in and making money becomes a priority. It happens to nearly everyone. It doesn’t mean that you should give up the band or stop appearing on stage completely though.

Most of us live in areas with budding amateur dramatics societies or stay in contact with the friends we were once in a band with. So why not just give it another go!

It might benefit your career if you did. The skills that it takes to perform on stage mirror those that it takes to give a great presentation at work. The team-work involved in collaboration alongside the creativity and detail used to develop a song or a play, carry across to the office seamlessly.

Skills it demonstrates: confidence, self-presentation, collaboration, attention to detail, creativity.

Volunteering & fundraising

Two people taking a selfie with volunteer tshirts on

Volunteering and fundraising are activities you’ve taken part in since that first bake sale at school. This often involves getting a community of people behind a project that will help others.

A lot of companies now encourage staff to take part in voluntary projects as part of work. From schemes that include building a school in a foreign country, to taking part in a marathon, are becoming more commonly offered by employers to develop staff morale and to show that both the company and staff want to better the world.

So even if you aren’t the world’s most kind-hearted person, you can still make a change to people’s lives, whilst making yourself look good for a pay rise.

Skills it demonstrates: leadership, ingenuity, commitment, entrepreneurship, proactivity

Foreign languages

Learn a language

You may have loved learning a language at school, then again you may have not. However, in an international business world, it’s always useful to have a team of people that can speak more than just English. It can make setting up and doing business in foreign markets a lot easier.

With a tonne of great courses and classes, teaching you everything from the basics to the very advanced in business talk around the world, is it time you broaden your horizons and start speaking a new language today?

Skills it demonstrates: lateral thinking, dedication, willingness to learn, problem-solving, patience.

If you take part in a hobby or activity that benefits your career that we’ve missed, please email Vincenzo Ferrara with your suggestions.