I thought I would write this article based on the way my career has progressed as well as based on the careers of my comrades (the ones in the picture above).
Extra-curricular activities in today’s world have certainly advanced. They would include sports, music, drama, debates, photography, arts & crafts, dance, stand-up comedy, creative writing, and bodybuilding. People get into these activities as early as kindergarten, and do these activities stop? Well, to be honest, sometimes these activities just don’t stop!
The following are a few characteristics that extra-curricular activities bring to the table:
- Passion and Dedication:
Have you ever wondered, “How is his guitar solo so good?” or “How is he able to clear the long boundary with ease?” While music and sports are fun, a lot of practice, effort, and hard work go in, which is often unseen. A good college rock band practices a song at least 12 times. The factors which make these things happen are “Passion” and “Dedication”, factors needed for performing well at your job.
Are creativity and imagination needed to paint something beautiful, create a good joke, write a catchy song, and hold an audience at a show? Well, I will let you answer that. Creativity allows you to “think outside of the box” and stand out from the crowd. You would certainly have a competitive advantage if your products and services were different from the others available.
- Ability to move out of one’s comfort zone:
Most extra-curricular activities are displayed at competitions and events during one’s time at either school or college. The level of competition is certainly very high, and if one has to win a solo or group event, he needs to move out of his comfort zone. For example: If your band is performing at an event that favours Tamil music, you ensure that the band perfects a Tamil song for the event in order to win.
Professionals who have been successful in their college basketball team, debate club, dance crew and drama club do have one thing in common. They are “team players.” Most of their teams have been successful because of the “synergy” they possess along with their ability to complement and support one another. All businesses require their teams to leverage their strengths.
Teams which take part in extra-curricular activities face similar challenges to teams working in companies. Strategy and its execution, mentoring, motivation, recruitment, and even budgeting are often dealt with by captains, vice-captains, prefects, and presidents of respective clubs.
- The ability to face failure:
This ability is very important. Let us face it; we are not going to win every single event in life. Competitions teach you to face failure and know that it is OK to fail. There are going to be other chances. Every match cannot be won, and every audience is not going to like your show. This teaches one to pick himself/herself up when they fall and get back on track stronger.
Ever wondered “How does everybody know this comedian?” or “How does this dancer get so many likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter?” Well, most humans enjoy sports, the arts, and music. In today’s work environment, one has to deal with different kinds of people. This allows the person to build bridges, grow networks and create an identity for himself. This can result in new clients, customers, and opportunities within and outside an organization.
- Developing a positive attitude:
Jobs do involve stress as it is “work” (a physics pun which relates force, pressure, stress, and work done). Professionals who have been involved in extra-curricular activities have an outlet to deal with stress. These habits help with reducing stress and maintaining a healthy mind and attitude.
Professionals who have been involved in extra-curricular activities would bring the above traits to your organization and make it a more productive and progressively competitive environment.
Now, won’t you want that to happen?