George Bernard Shaw once said, “Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby.” Pastime pursuits can educate and enlighten us while boosting important skills that can ultimately advance our chosen career paths. Depending on your targeted self-improvement and performance goals, several hobbies are worth a try – and may just land you that dream position.

Benefit #1: Networking

One of the best ways to build your professional circles is through hobbies. Attending aerobics classes, taking a ceramics class or joining book clubs can allow you to meet other professionals who share your interests, and you can talk with them on a level that’s more personable. Even if you don’t meet them in the actual setting, many times potential employers will relate to your hobbies in the job interview setting.

Hobbies to try: Golf, exercise classes and community theater

Benefit #2: Confidence

In the workforce, you need confidence to move forward, and many hobbies can help boost your self-esteem. Tackling a challenging hobby like completing a grueling marathon is a guaranteed way to impress yourself with talents and capabilities you never knew you had, and it shows through in how you present yourself in the workplace. In addition, learning new skills required to face the challenge takes patience and dedication.

Hobbies to try: Horseback riding, martial arts and skiing

Benefit #3: Creativity

No matter what field you’re in, creativity is an asset, and hobbies that foster artistic pursuits are wonderful ways of stimulating creative thought in your brain. Whether you join a class, scour Pinterest ideas or paint plates in the privacy of your home, you’re bound to open up channels of inspiration that will positively affect your brainstorming abilities at work.

Hobbies to try: Painting, photography and writing

Benefit #4: Organization Skills

Organizational habits not only improve your work performance overall, but they also make your life easier in general. Many hobbies can boost your ability to organize, and they’re especially helpful for those who struggle with messy desks and sloppy calendars. Collecting stamps, coins or any other rare items is a great place to start.

Hobbies to try: Collecting antiques, sewing and knitting

Benefit #5: Multitasking

Multitasking is a skill people long to master, and certain hobbies truly give you an experience in juggling responsibilities. If you want to speed up your performance across different work areas, seeking a hobby that keeps you on your toes can produce results.

Hobbies to try: Cooking, rock climbing and geocaching

Benefit #6: Critical Thinking

Education doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Learning any kind of new hobby is going to broaden your mind, and certain activities demand problem-solving skills and intense focus. Whether you’re looking to improve your performance at work, educate yourself on certain subject matters or simply increase your sharpness or memory, hobbies like Sudoku and puzzles can have a major impact on your smarts.

Hobbies to try: Chess, watch repairing and poker

Benefit #7: Passion

You have to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything. Hobbies often show who we are inside, and nothing is more inspiring than passion for what you’re doing. From volunteering at the animal shelter, raising funds for a nonprofit organization or offering tutoring services after hours, passionate pursuits boost your self-fulfillment and provide great outlets for meeting others with similar interests. If you’re very lucky, you may even be able to turn your passion into your main occupation.

Hobbies to try: Volunteerism, teaching classes and social activism

No matter if you’re looking to get a promotion, adopt a more intense schedule, take on more responsibilities, demonstrate leadership skills or delve into an entirely new field altogether, hobbies can enhance what you bring to the table as an employee. Having a passion that you pursue outside of work shows drive, time-management skills and initiative – all of which are appealing to hiring managers worldwide.