If you’ve ever wondered how to find your niche in the business world, you’re not alone: Even the greatest leaders in history often struggled to find a place where their true skills could make a difference. Fortunately, the journey is often worth the struggle; here are just a few great ways to find your true business niche and enjoy yourself in the process.
- Discover Your Passion
If you haven’t already, try taking a few minutes out of your day to write down things in your life that you are truly passionate about. Are there certain work activities you would do even if nobody was paying you to do them? Do you use your free time daydreaming about the pursuit of a particular project or start-up?
If so, you’ll probably want to spend some time thinking about how your passion in life can fit into the trajectory of your business career. For example, some of the greatest start-up companies in history were founded by people who had a passion for a particular subject. Indeed, Bill Gates probably achieved his unprecedented level of success in the computer industry because he was utterly captivated by computer technology from a young age.
- Find a Healthy Work Environment
Have you ever felt serious dread at the prospect of going into work in the morning? Have you ever considered using up a sizable portion of your vacation and sick leave just to get some time away from a horrible manager? If so, you’re like many people who have worked in toxic environments at some point in their careers. In a toxic environment, you’re probably going to be dealing with higher-ups or coworkers who don’t value your work or your well-being.
And in the long-term, that is a recipe for burnout and career dissatisfaction. If you’re unhappy in your current job, don’t feel as though it’s a sin to look towards greener pastures. (A toxic manager will have no qualms about firing you anyway.) To really find your business niche, you’ll need to find a place where your strengths and skills are appreciated and cultivated.
- Get in Touch With Your Values
Getting a sense of our values is in many ways like seeing ourselves as others see us: It certainly isn’t the easiest task in the world, and we might have to use a bit of deductive reasoning to understand how we truly feel about certain moral or ethical quandaries.
For example, let’s say that you value work that gives back to your community. Chances are probably good that a company adept at bending federal pollution guidelines to dump toxins into the local water supply isn’t going to be a place that you’ll be happy working in. If you’re passionate about seeing justice done, moreover, you probably won’t enjoy being a partner at a law firm that gets those kinds of companies off the hook.
However you look at the situation, the truth is that most of us have to live within our own ethical and moral boundaries to be happy. We also have to have some level of passion for the work that we do; we also need to be in healthy work environments to really shine. If we’re compromising our integrity, allowing ourselves to be taken advantage of, or throwing our dreams on the back burner to succeed in a particular line of work, no amount of money is going to make up for our loss of self-esteem and time. That’s a lesson that too many business leaders learn too late in life.