In the previous post, we talked about the power of finding a specialty or niche within your particular industry, and how it can serve you whether you’re an entrepreneur starting a new business or a professional seeking to get hired at a firm. Not only does this put you in greater demand as one of a select few people that offer that particular skill, but when you choose a niche in line with your passions, it also gives you the opportunity to do more work that you genuinely care about. I’d like to continue this discussion with a story from my personal experience.
More About My Story
I worked as a human resources executive for decades, and I was good at what I did. When a corporate merger made my job redundant, I found myself in the throes of change—the same as many of my clients are today. I decided I didn’t want to seek another job in human resources—I wanted to put those skills to use in a different way.
As someone who enjoys working with people, I decided to become a certified coach. I attended and graduated from the Georgetown University Leadership and Coaching program, became a member of the International Coaching Federation and set up an independent practice as a life coach.
However, I soon began to feel that I might be even more effective as a life coach if I narrowed my scope a bit. I looked at my own recent experience navigating a major life change, and I realized I cared very deeply about helping others make this kind of transition—so I began to focus my practice on helping people through major change in their lives. (Hence my slogan, “Change happens—take control!”)
But then I noticed something interesting that helped me hone my focus even further: Among the clients who were seeking my services, the vast majority were going through exactly the same type of “change” I went through—the change of a job or career. Either they had been laid off and needed to find a new job, or they felt stale in their job and wanted to find their way into something new. This is where the human resources part of my former job came in handy—I understood this space better than most! The answer soon became clear: I needed to focus on career coaching—on helping people navigate the difficult transition between jobs or help people shift into a new career.
The result? GiraffesConsulting. This practice is now my niche! To reflect this specialty, I now refer to myself as a life-career coach. I still offer basic life coaching help to those who want or need it, but now anyone who meets me understands right away that I can specifically help them find their way into a new career—and I have found great joy in helping people do just that.
So…how do you find your own niche? I’ll offer some practical guidance in part 3 of this series.