When is a business just a hobby?

The views and opinions expressed in this essay are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any actual research or study of the literature on jobs vs. hobbies.

Once upon a time, jobs were jobs and hobbies were hobbies. Electrician: job. Salesman: job. Firefighter: job. Making stained glass: hobby. Gardening: hobby. Keeping alpacas: hobby.

But something changed. Our jobs aren’t simply jobs anymore. At least among the “Creative Class,” our jobs are expressions of who we are. Of a true calling. A passion.

While I’m being a bit snide, I am truly glad that personal fulfillment is part of career conversations. Please don’t mistake me.

Here’s my issue. I can’t tell if your <insert one of the following choices, including  but not limited to: microbrewery #20,943, mission-based s-corp, coffee shop, small-batch food manufacturer> is a job, or a just hobby. Dare I call these things … jobbies*?

And why do I take issue with this, you ask, dear reader? It’s an issue for me because I’m trying to figure out what to do with my life. And I can’t tell if these jobbies are viable career options, or engaging pursuits that don’t fund themselves. You know … hobbies.

I’m terrified that “jobby” or “jobbies” has some sort of terrible, offensive connotation, of which, due to my cluessness of pop-culture, I might be unaware. The worst Google and Urban Dictionary uncovered is Scottish slang for a poop. I hope I do not err.

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