Finding your true calling in life is not always easy to do, and often gets overshadowed by having to get an education, find a job and then get on with paying bills and living your life. A lot of people will get a degree, certificate, diploma or other evidence of having completed some form of education and hopefully it will be in a field they are interested in. However, a few years on and I very often hear that people are either bored in their current job, realized they aren’t as interested in what they studied as they thought they’d be, or just doing something completely different.
Often, we don’t know exactly what we will be doing for the rest of our working life. I know, I certainly didn’t. I genuinely believe finding your niche and nurturing it will be a possible career path, and below I give 10 tips to doing just that.
1. What do you Love Doing?
Simple question, hard to answer in detail. To be truly happy doing a particular task, you need to love doing it. Especially if you are going to be doing it for years. It is up to you to identify in as much detail as you can, what it is you love doing. No one else will know to the same degree.
It might be really simple for you to identify, or it might not. Sometimes what we love doing the most we don’t associate with anything we can make a career out of. However, it is precisely why you should. Doing what you love will get you over the hiccups and humps.
2. Consistency is Key
A niche is a comfortable place and once you find yours, it is all about making it yours going forward. Constantly making yourself known within your field is an important part of building a career, but it is also something that you are in for the long run, and it requires consistency. Writing an article, creating a project, talking to potential clients, nurturing existing customers or however else you do your work, needs to be regular and consistent. By being consistent you are letting everyone know you are dependable and up to date.
3. Be Loud and Proud
Make sure to share your successes. I am not saying you should be boastful, but if you don’t tell the right audience about your achievements, then how can you share the knowledge you have? This is as much about creating awareness around you and the niche you are in, as it is about making sure the right information is available to the people that need it.
There is a fine line between being proud, helpful and modest, to being mocking and arrogant. Don’t be that last part. There is nothing wrong with enthusiasm and sharing your work, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of other equally good output from others.
4. Stay Focused
Once you get some traction and you start seeing a result of your effort from the first three points above, it is likely that the opportunities will come knocking on your front door. However, as you get more and more offers of collaboration, work and the like, it is very easy to just say yes to everything. I know, because I used to do that. I felt to privileged that these people approached me and almost felt obliged to help them, as I was considered the expert in the transaction.
However, don’t get distracted by opportunities that don’t fit into your niche. As you become more and more prolific in your niche, you will have to stay focused on just that. You will likely also have some personal and business goals, and opportunities that you take on should align with these goals.
5. Adapt to Industry Changes
Chances are that your niche, especially if it is in technology, will change frequently. As your industry change, you must adapt and understand the changes. If you get left behind, it will take a lot longer to catch up.
Obviously, it is unlikely that you can be across everything in detail, but you should understand what is happening in the industry of which your niche is part of. Getting behind is likely to undo all your hard work from the above points.
6. Create Your Own Market
The market that your niche is in might not even exist, or it might be different from what you would like it to be. Part of making your niche your career is that are to some extend in control of what your customers want from you. Because you are the expert you can steer the demand in a certain direction. If you get it wrong it will auto-correct itself pretty quickly. However, your expertise will inform the next step in the process of a project or task, and have a positive impact on the decisions of your clients.
Some of the most influential people I know have all seen an opportunity for opening a market or directing the current market in a certain direction. Often, people don’t know exactly what they want, and this is your chance to take charge and steer the conversation to everyone’s advantage.
7. Don’t Quit
Building your own niche is not something is easy. It requires hard work, vision, knowledge of your market and tenacity. The easiest thing you can do is to quit. Don’t. There is real value and pride in getting to do what you love and making a career of it. You will most likely have to adjust your course over time, but this is completely normal.
If you have any other tips for doing what you love and making a career out of it, let me know in the comments below.