Absolutely! Thatís actually how I chose my career... Iíve always been interested in language and languages and in computers and (to a degree) other machines. Iíve also enjoyed good prose ever since I learned to read. So, naturally, I tend to end up in jobs where Iím paid to do linguistic research, teach a language, develop or test software, or write and copy-edit documentation and other non-fiction.
The downside is, of course, that itís sometimes hard for me to tell whether Iím reading a particular book or attending a particular class because of personal or professional reasons... But on the other hand, I usually find a professional application for most things I learn ‘just for myself’ eventually, and a private-life application for most things I learn in a professional context.