CHOOSING A CAREER / JUL. 22, 2014
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Finding Your Niche

I have talked about the philosophy of success in a previous article. One thing that the philosophy does not go into in great detail is the idea of finding your specific niche. Success comes from doing your best every day, but what if your best isn’t good enough compared to others? You need to find that one thing, the thing that makes you truly unique, to become noticed. Following, I’ll give some advice, as well as a personal example, on how to find that niche and how to harness it for the betterment of your future.

What is a Niche in Business?

You don’t often hear about finding a niche in business. Instead, you hear a great deal of buzzwords about best practices and upward mobility and promotions from within. I truly believe, based on personal experience, that once you find your true skill, the one no one else can come close to competing against you with, you will find much more growth in your life.

If you are a follower of my articles (if not, why?) you will know that I was a retail manager before I turned to freelance work. I wasn’t a retail manager because I was great at organization, paperwork, or store management (something my supervisors from the time will attest to). I was a retail manager because I found my niche. Actually, I found one, and I learned and implemented someone else’s.

My niche was sales. I don’t know how good of a salesperson I would be in a high pressure environment, but in my retail setting I was a record setter. I am trying to be humble here, I was only average at most requirements, but I could sell like no other. In fact, I sold so well that I leap frogged over other managers that were slightly, or significantly, better at the actual management part of store management. I also learned a great deal about leadership. I harnessed those ideas to train others to sell like crazy. Before being promoted, I would travel from store to store to train those with higher management rankings how they should increase sales.

The fact that I stood out, based on something not directly related to store management, made my managers take notice. They saw that I could handle the paperwork and organization of the store, again at a passable level, and they knew that I could bring in numbers. They also saw that I could teach others, or inspire others while I was around, to do the same. Did this make me the right choice for store management at the time? I’m not sure. I did well enough when it came to sales numbers, and I was passable in the other areas, but I probably gained more praise because I could bring money to the company.

Selling products, add-ons and crushing sales goals was my niche. In a retail environment I knew, better than my competition, how to stand out. That is what you need to find in yourself.

How Do You Find Your Niche?

How to find your niche is the million dollar question. I stumbled upon my own. I was good at sales and I ran with it. Hopefully, you already know what sets you apart from others in your environment, but if not, it may be worth asking for feedback from your managers. Look at your yearly review, or talk to those you know will be honest with you. Find out what makes you a valuable part of the team, that one thing, and focus on increasing that skill. Use that skill to your advantage and make sure you are at least “good enough” at the other stuff. Success will come. Move forward.

Image Source: hblabhull

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