New research carried out by Europe’s number one sports retailer Decathlon has revealed half of people wish they could pursue their hobby as a full-time job. This reveals a lot about the new generation of workers and highlights that we can expect this trend to continue as the next wave of pupils enter the workplace. After questioning 1,000 people, the top ten hobbies employees would consider taking up as a career were revealed. These included caring for animals, sports such as tennis and rugby as well crafting. 23% are more passionate about their hobby than their current profession.

The majority of people (30%) would want to turn their passion of caring for animals or children into a paying career. Sports is another popular choice with 27% wanting to pursue a career in an outdoor pursuit like camping, 25% a team sport like football, cricket or rugby and 24% an individual sport like tennis, golf, cycling or swimming. 

Crafts like knitting, sewing or card-making (19%) and indoor pursuits like writing or computer games (17%) are also desired hobby careers.

However, despite many Brits longing to turn a hobby into a career, only 3% have actually gone on to do so. 

The main reason (39%) holding people back from pursuing a hobby as a job is that they simply would not know where to start. Financial implications are another concern, with 37% worried they would not earn enough money to support their lifestyle and 26% scared it would cost too much money.

Just over a fifth (21%) felt too settled in their existing career to make the change to another industry and 16% think that changing career would be too difficult.

But those that have taken the plunge to make their hobby a career have seemingly reaped the rewards, with almost three quarters (70%) of people saying it has made them happier than before and 60% stating that their hobby job is fulfilling and rewarding. Only 10% said it has been stressful.

While turning a hobby into a career may be a pipe dream for some, just under a third (29%) of people would want their current job to include some elements of their favourite hobby to make them happier.

Thibault Peeters, CEO at Decathlon, said:

“They say that if you do what you love and follow your passion you will not have to work a single day in your life. And that sentiment may explain why so many people wish they could take up their favourite hobby as a career.

“But as we can see from the findings not many people actually go on to do so, for various reasons from financial concerns or fear of failure. While there may not be ample opportunities for converting a hobby into a career, there are ways to incorporate elements of your favourite hobby into your job or access jobs which boast similarities to your favourite pastime.

“And it’s great to see that so many people are passionate about sports. At Decathlon, our goal is to make the pleasure and benefits of sport accessible to all. We provide enthusiastic sports people with the opportunity to be in-store experts, so they can use this passion to help customers get started and grow into that sport. Our team mates are encouraged to run their own department and have the opportunity to shape product development, connect with people and groups playing that sport in their area and also work at stores nationwide to pursue that passion in different parts of the world. By giving people the chance to accommodate their favourite activity into their working life has resulted in an engaged and happy workforce.”

Top hobbies Brits’ would consider taking up as a career

1.     Caring for animals or children (30%)

2.     An outdoor pursuit like camping (27%)

3.     A team sport like football, cricket or rugby (25%)

4.     An individual sport like tennis, golf, cycling or swimming (24%)

5.     A craft like knitting, sewing or card-making (19%)

6.     An indoor pursuit like writing or computer games (17%)

7.     Something home-based, like gardening, housework or interiors (16%)

8.     An extreme sport like surfing, skiing or mountain-climbing (16%)

9.     Something musical, like singing or playing an instrument (14%)

10.  Something in the arts, like films or acting (13%)


About Decathlon: Founded in 1976 in Lille, France, with Decathlon UK being launched in 1999. It sells a range of sporting equipment from bikes to running shoes, ideal for those who would like to try a new sport or excel their performance. Decathlon prides itself on making sport accessible to as many people as possible, by being able to help, inspire and guide people through their sports experiences. With the main philosophy of being active and discovering new sports every day is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

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