We started this series by talking about how having a niche within your skill set can put you in greater demand, whether as a prospective employee or when starting your own business. Then I shared a bit of my personal journey to explain how I found my own niche as a life-career coach. That said, finding your own niche isn’t always an easy process. It often requires patience along with a bit of trial-and-error until you figure out the right combination of ingredients for yourself. So let’s wrap up our discussion on this topic by offering some tips for how you can find your own niche within your career.
Every Profession Has Specialties
First of all, you need to recognize that almost every type of job, profession, business and industry has specialties (read: niches) within that profession, job description, etc. They aren’t always easy to spot—because if they were, they wouldn’t be “specialties!” But they are there if you look for them. A financial advisor might specialize in helping elderly people qualify for Medicaid for their end-of-life care, for example. A carpenter might specialize in renovating living spaces in upscale neighborhoods. A plumber might specialize in repairing or replacing pipes in historic homes. And of course, there are almost more specialties in law and healthcare than we can count. Take a look within your own profession or skillset and look for some possible specialties—ways you might narrow down your scope or focus. Jot a few of them down and keep them in mind, realizing these might not be things you would specialize in—but that you could if you wanted to.
Revisit Your Passions
A few weeks ago on this blog, I talked about ways to find your true passion so that it can inform your career decisions. Take another look at that exercise to see what you came up with, then look at your list of possible niches and see if there are any specialties that resonate with your own passions. If nothing comes to mind, try it the other direction: Try to verbalize the things you’re passionate about and see whether you can imagine a specialty within your profession that lines up with those passions. (If you simply can’t find anything after extensive thought—you might be in the wrong profession, and you might want to rethink your overall direction.)
Look at What’s Needed
Can you identify any unmet needs within your general profession or business? What problems do customers or clients have within your line of work—gaps in service that are not being filled? What do customers wish could be improved or innovated? What frustrations could you alleviate? Many times, identifying current unmet needs in your vertical can lead you to a very profitable niche.
Above all, exercise patience in this process. You may start identifying a niche for yourself, only to find in a few months it’s not what you really wanted or what people need, and you’ll have to adapt and make a few adjustments. But when you hit the “sweet spot,” so to speak, your niche can become a place of both great profitability and personal fulfillment.
If you’re uncertain about your professional future, I’m here to help! For a free initial 30-minute consultation, call GiraffesConsulting today at 646-320-1126.