Office of Continuing Education

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April 10th, 2019

Diversity is a highly valued characteristic for today’s companies, but diversity doesn’t just mean different genders or races. Diversity in the workplace includes diversity of experiences as well. In fact, it is the different experiences of diverse individuals that lead to diverse perspectives, which make companies more innovative and able to come up with new ideas that make them more money.

While many continuing education courses focus on career-related skills, courses based around recreational interests outside of work also have a positive impact on employees’ careers. Taking recreational courses makes people more creative, gives them a break from work demands, and can even stave off burnout. Additionally, taking classes that may be outside your career scope broadens your experiences, and businesses benefit when their employees demonstrate diversity in their non-work interests.

Recreational Interests Help Job Seekers

For job seekers, being able to show that you have interests outside your career can be a definite plus and set you apart from the crowd. Asking about outside interests is one way hiring managers can gauge cultural fit–that is, whether the candidate will fit in with their other employees. It can also help seekers find areas of commonality and connect during the interview.

While one focus of interviewers can be on charities the candidate has supported, other recreational interests looked on favorably include health- and exercise-related pursuits and studies in a different area from your position, such as literature. If you want to show an interviewer that you are well-rounded and not hyperfocused on your job, taking courses in your recreational interests can accomplish that goal.

Smiling woman.

Taking a literature or history class can show that you have interests outside of work.

How Recreational Interests Lead to Diversity

As this previous CCSU post indicates, another important result of recreational continuing education courses is that it can help employees gain a different perspective at work by broadening their life experiences. Employees often make connections between the recreational activity and their career, which can help them do their jobs more effectively.

These different experiences can enhance the diversity of your workplace when employees bring their differing perspectives to their jobs. Not only can the experiences help your functioning at work, but they also provide opportunities to socialize with all different kinds of people and increase their experience with diversity outside the workplace.

The greater the variety of experiences you can have, the more comfortable with diversity you will become. This increased comfort can translate to better relationships in a diverse workplace or with companies hiring more diverse workers because they see how well others respond to them.

CCSU is one place to take classes exploring your recreational interests. If you don’t think you have any interests outside of work,  view our open courses to see what might interest you and give a course a try.