NSFW hobbies & how to talk about them

A lot of my so-called hobbies could be perceived as weird in the workplace. They are not all “traditional hobbies”. However, not talking about any hobbies can make you seem dull and boring or very private. You want a happy medium that you can use when people ask you questions and when networking.

First –  identify why you consider that the hobby is NSFW. Is it weird, embarrassing, private, personal or you would simply rather not talk about it.

Secondly identify what elements you can talk about or feel comfortable talking about and which might spark further conversation. You can also consider at the same time what you are not comfortable talking about (or what does not inspire further conversation easily) so you are clear about what you want to take off the table.

Finally, identify alternative things that you are both comfortable talking about and can easily talk about.

Here are a few examples:

  • I enjoy collecting things. I enjoy collecting stamps and collecting and writing postcards. It doesn’t always inspire further conversation beyond a few polite questions, but I am comfortable with people knowing this “fact” about me. It helps build up a picture of who I am and means that people give me interesting stamps for my collection that they might otherwise chuck giving them an easy way to be generous.
  • Using the example of stamp and postcard collecting to demonstrate how you can make it more interesting if you happen upon it in conversation. I might talk about the following with the intention of sparking further more inclusive conversation…
    • I collect postcards. I prefer scenic views as they always give me interesting ideas for holidays, taking pictures, are calm and relaxing….
    • The Royal Mail have chosen to feature X on their upcoming collection of stamps – I think this is a great choice because….
  • As well as collecting I enjoy movies and often do to the cinema. However, I am a bit of a geek, but want to tone down that element (although my colleagues insist that being a geek is cool these days) so I focus on my enjoyment of movies instead as a topic of conversation. For example “I went to see X movie in the cinema last week, have you seen it?” “What movies have you seen recently?” “I have never watched X before, I watched it for the first time recently…” or “I really recommend that you watch X if you enjoyed X movie”. The same can be done with TV programmes.

Simply put you can make you NSFW (or really boring) hobby safe for work by identifying what you can or want to talk about or picking a secondary hobby to bring to the forefront.