Finding Your Niche: Things You Need to Know
For some, to know a little bit about a lot, has been the goal and continues to serve in business depending on the type of business and in what stage a business may be. For start-up or smaller, developing companies, there are times when workers will be expected to wear more than one hat, in hopes of adequately meeting the company’s needs until the company is large enough to spread the work around. Perhaps, this way of thinking has been useful in times past; however, as technology advances and the job market becomes increasingly competitive, individuals have begun to see the value in differentiating themselves in a way that helps them to gain and maintain a competitive advantage---establishing a viable and lasting livelihood.
In my own experience in carving out a niche area, I have found several things helpful in terms of how to go about doing so from the outstart of one’s career pursuit:
1. Watch how you think! Thinking “outside of the box” in terms of how you can pull ALL of your skills and ideas together in a way that provides a service or meets a need for people is the beginning to finding that niche area.
2. Don’t be afraid of collaboration! Talk to others or employers about what they are interested in or looking for, and listen to what’s being done or has been done. You may be able to find a better or different way to do something. Informational interviewing is a great way to get this data!
3. Educate Yourself! There are programs that will help you specialize in areas of business and skill. Don’t reject pursuing dual-degree and hybrid programs that help you to integrate skills on the intersection of various industries. They could give you that edge.
4. Put yourself into it! In your efforts to find out what problems you may be able to solve, make sure that the solution includes what only you could bring to the table. This means leveraging your personality, idiosyncrasies, and unique approaches to create demand for you and what you do.
5. Perfect your craft! If it’s your niche, be great at it! Others will come to you because they know that what you do, you do well.
It’s alright to admire what others do, but if you are looking for real success, it will come from your unique contribution!