Making a career out of a hobby?
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  1. #1
    Member Addictedtowatches's Avatar
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    Making a career out of a hobby?

    Ok so im sure you guys think you have heard every watch related question but i think i got a new one.
    I am a junior in highschooll and i want to obtain a job that i will enjoy for the rest of my life. I would(like most of us would) like to have a career or job in the watch industry. So i was wondering what jobs there are and how would i go about researching them? Now i know that it is not likely that i will get a job very easily but i feel that i should keep it as an option. So what do you think?

  2. #2
    Member Spit161's Avatar
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    Re: Making a career out of a hobby?

    Watchmaker, and then the retail side of it (AD shop floor kind of job).
    However, if you make a hobby into a career, you could start to loose the enjoyment factor, and it may become too job like, so just be careful.

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  3. #3
    Member mike120's Avatar
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    Re: Making a career out of a hobby?

    I have to say, I envy you! Being willing to go into watchmaking is a decision that I wish I had the balls to make. I think that retail would be a good place to start, then learn a TON and off to watchmaking school!
    Cheers,
    Mike

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  5. #4
    Member do335's Avatar
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    Re: Making a career out of a hobby?

    I'll echo Spit161 a little bit. It takes a special person to take a hobby, turn it into a job, and still love it as much as you did to begin with. Do some soul searching, you're the person who knows you best and begin laying down the foundation of your chosen profession. It certainly wouldn't hurt to get a summer job at a jeweler/retailer to get a basic understanding of the field or to speak with individuals in the industry.

    It is a good thing you're considering this at your age, many get through college and still don't know what they want to grow up to be.

  6. #5
    Member CitizenM's Avatar
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    Re: Making a career out of a hobby?

    I wonder if any of these giant watch making companies need business people in other countries. I imagine they must. That could be an opportunity too.

    In general, I think the best way to stay close to a hobby is to get a job, any job. that makes quite a bit of money and do it in your spare time.

  7. #6
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    Re: Making a career out of a hobby?

    On a local level most jobs will be in retail selling watches, or in the back shop doing repairs and other technical work on watches.

    On a larger scale you have options like national level sales, design, manufacturing and so on, but those will be a lot harder to get into without a lot of groundwork.

    Horology in general I would expect to be a hard industry to become established in, being very established and also a luxury market - so unlike days gone past when mechanical watches were the standard, and well cared for, today I see them being a lot more high end and specialised luxury items, so things like watch repair is going to be much more of a niche market. I guess the best advice would be to learn everything you can now, get as much experience as you can and see where it leads - learning basic watch maintenance for example would be a great precursor to looking into an apprenticeship in watch repair, and any work in the field such as part time jobs in relevant shops (even if it is the more unexciting high street store rather than the fine boutique) would be helpful and give you an idea what you are in for.

  8. #7
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Making a career out of a hobby?


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  9. #8
    Member Addictedtowatches's Avatar
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    Re: Making a career out of a hobby?

    Wow thanks Ray a lot of info i wish i had known about this ^^ before. Thanks for the other comments as well.
    My main goal was to go to college(maybe under ROTC if available) and get a doctorate for orthodontics witch i am slightly interested in but mainly because they make a lot of money. I know its terrible to get a job for money but i cant help it. So i figure why not find a job that i love that also makes a lot of money.

  10. #9
    Member Sea-Wolf's Avatar
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    Re: Making a career out of a hobby?

    Addicted, firstly, congratulations on thinking about what it is you'd like to do for a career whilst still in high school--as others have said, many go on to college only to graduate and then try and figure it out. Good for you!

    I echo many of the comments here, there being many good ones when it comes to hobbies vs. career, though I am not one necessarily to subscribe to that view. One of my siblings who was into cars, an amateur race driver, went into the retail side of the business and cars became a thing, a product, thus killing the hobby side if you will, but then, that's retail. One of my aunt's however turned her love of fashion, art and design into a small string of boutique shops catering to affluent women, and she loved what she did thoroughly. Some customers are terrific, others not so much. Like all things--and every career--it depends. Apart from retail, there's also the business and design side, as CitizenM says. Every business-whether they make watches, automobiles, sound recordings or widgets--needs i.e. HR professionals, engineers and designers, marketing and advertisers, business managers and lawyers. But if you want to be a bit more "hands on" and/or have the desire to be a bit independent even, having an entrepreneurial spirit so to speak, with the desire to "roll up your sleeves" and work on actual watches, then going to watchmaking school so as to become a watchmaker might be something you would enjoy. (Starting out perhaps with a brand or as a watchmaker's apprentice, learning the ropes and gaining the experience, then moving on to your own shop down the road: hey, why not!).

    Curiously, there is a very old and well regarded school in Quebec which teaches the watchmaker's art, and it was about to close its doors on account of the fact there simply wasn't much work after the quartz crisis for watchmakers; they held on, however, having a hard time attracting students (see, for e.g., Welcome to the school of watchmaking | Macleans.ca - Education - PostSecondary ). However, there is renewed interest and therefore demand in the marketplace for good watchmakers, in turn meaning you should have no trouble finding good, steady work if you decide to go this route, with the possibility of being able to open your own repair shop down the road (hey, the sky is the limit at your age: enjoy it!).

    Might want to speak about all of this with your high school guidance counselor (they give career advice, etc., at least, they used to), and of course your parents, but as you can see, there are a great many roads which leads to you being able to make a living out of your hobby, depending only on which angle you which to approach it by. Oh, so many doors by which you can travel through, ... how very exciting, and good for you!

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Sea-Wolf; December 6th, 2011 at 02:48.
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  11. #10
    Member Blue bird's Avatar
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    Re: Making a career out of a hobby?

    If it's something you really want, then go for it!
    I would say at your age it would be best to try and find a PT retail job now in an AD.
    There will be /is a big demand for Watch Makers even with the big companies like Swatch.

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