Survey Invitation for Hobby-Jobs


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Dec 9, 2007
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Hello -

My colleagues and I at the University of Houston (Department of Psychology) have developed a study that applies to many of you who have made your hobby of photography into a some form of business or job. This study aims to find out more about people who make their hobbies into any job - whether it is part-time, full-time, or free-lance. We hope the results will enable us to make recommendations to those who have taken "doing what you love" to a whole new level so that they may continue doing so!

We have posted a short anonymous survey - it takes about 10-15 minutes to complete - at the following link:

You can respond anytime until Friday, Dec 14th.

If you have any questions, please send me a message. We will share the results of the study on this forum after we close the survey.

Thanks in advance!
Sara J. Perry
Industrial/Organizational Psychology
University of Houston
[email protected]

This study has been approved by the University of Houston Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (1-713-743-9204).
Hi all -

Thanks again for your participation in our survey. The number of responses has been exciting, and we really appreciate your time in contributing to this study! The survey will remain open until at least January 8th, because we have other groups still participating. So if you have not responded and still want to, you may do so anytime until January 8th.

However, because we set the deadline as last Friday, we wanted to give you an update on when you'll see the results. This week we will analyze the responses we have received so far. We will share those results the first week of January here on this forum. These results will also go into a short conference paper we are writing.

After January 8th we will download the rest of the survey responses and write up our final results for a longer journal article. These final results should be ready by the end of January; we will also share these with you on this forum.

Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks again for participating! We hope we can provide some valuable recommendations to help you in your hobby-jobs.

The preliminary results are in! As survey respondents learned at the end of the survey, we were primarily interested in what factors lead to burnout when people turn a hobby into some type of job. Our interest in this topic came from direct observation of a number of people who had experienced burnout in a job that came from a hobby, so much so that they also quit the hobby. We hope these results will help prevent that particular outcome for others.

These preliminary results include 269 complete responses to our online survey. We do not claim these results are entirely representative of every person, hobby, or hobby-job. However, respondents represented 22 categories of hobby-jobs and 16 categories of hobbies, so we feel the results are reliable and potentially helpful to any person with a hobby-job.
We will share the final results at the end of January, with more respondents and more complex statistical analyses. Meanwhile, we hope the 2 lists below are helpful as you evaluate yourself and your current level of burnout. Very encouraging, the overall average burnout level was only ‘2’ on a scale of 1 – 7 (where ‘7’ reflects highest level of burnout).
Thank you again for your time! Please direct any questions to [email protected].
Factors that ARE related to burnout
  • 1) Personality: You are less likely to become burned out if you are:
    • a. Emotionally Stable
      b. Conscientious
      c. Extraverted
      d. Agreeable
      e. Less Spontaneous or Reckless
    2) Job Characteristics: You are less likely to become burned out if your job has:
    • a. More Clarity (you know when, what, and how to do your job)
      b. More Autonomy (more independence in your job)
      c. More Variety (less monotony or repetition)
      d. More Similarity to your hobby
      e. Less Constraints (such as those that limit your ability do your job, like time, resources, coworkers, or supervisors)
      f. Less Difficulty in earning pay (less competition, less time required to earn money)
      g. Met your Expectations
      h. More Benefits (other than pay)
    3) Attitudes: You are less likely to be burned out if you are…
    • a. More satisfied with your pay, work, and boss
      b. Not thinking about quitting your hobby-job within the next 12 months.
      c. Less stressed about life in general.
    4) Values: Your are less likely to be burned out if you feel…
    • a. Your values are compatible with those of others in your hobby-job profession.
Contrary to our expectations, there were a number of factors NOT related to burnout in hobby-jobs. They are:
  • 1) Intrinsic Motivation (internal reasons for doing the job, as compared to external reasons like pay or fringe benefits).
    2) Intentions to Quit your Hobby within the next 12 months
    3) Time spent on Hobby and Hobby-Job:
    • a. Time spent on hobby before taking hobby-job compared to time spent on hobby after taking hobby-job
      b. Time spent on hobby after taking hobby-job compared to time spent on hobby-job
      c. Number of hours spent on hobby-job
    4) Demographics:
    • a. Age
      b. Gender
      c. Ethnicity
      d. Breadwinner characteristics:
      • i. What percentage of your household income comes from your hobby-job
        ii. Gross income from hobby-job
        iii. Number of dependents
        iv. Whether hobby-job is your primary job
        v. Whether you are the primary breadwinner in your household
      e. How many years you have been doing the hobby
      f. How many years you have been doing the hobby-job

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