Are You in the Right Niche in Work

Nancy Anderson
8 min readFeb 13, 2024

Interest + Talent + Positioning+ Satisfied Customers

Do you remember when you wanted to buy something and you noticed it everywhere? You drove down the street, opened a magazine or overheard a conversation and there it was, the object of your desire.

Once the mind focuses you activate the law of interest. This “law” attracts information and people, just as it screens out what and who do not interest you.

For example, advertisers target people who want to buy what they sell. They spend a great deal of time surveying the market in order to get ahead of trends.

The best marketers have a sixth sense about their field, intuition that tunes in to what is coming before it becomes mainstream. They create what people want before they know they want it.

The segment of the population advertisers target will notice their ads because they are already interested. Many respond and buy the product or service. The rest of the population does not see the ads; if they do they skim over them.

Similarly, when you are in the right niche in work you attract those who are interested in what you do. It may take several tries before you are where you belong. But along the way you make the changes in yourself that eventually land you in the right niche.

Your task, then, is to know yourself and what differentiates you from others in the marketplace. Then you will attract the clients, customers or employers whose problems you can solve easily and well.

As an example, let’s say you currently work in an organization with a team or partners. You do well, but you will not reach your full potential until you work alone. In your case, you need to change the form in which you work, not the work itself.

Solo work can be scary when you are used to having partners, a boss and the structure of an organization. But once you master the basics of what you do, the more decisions you make on your own, the more you come up with original ideas.

Conversely, to attract the right people you may need to work with partners or a group. Being part of a team brings out the best in you, especially if you are an extrovert.

How Well Do You Know Yourself

As you can see, accurate positioning in the marketplace depends on how well you know what you need to do your best work. Others can give you feedback but only you can define who you are and what you need.

Oh well, that’s easy, you say, I know myself — let’s move on to finding the right niche in work, writing a dynamite resume and LinkedIn profile, and meeting the right people.

Surprisingly, few people, even highly paid professionals, know themselves. Most people I have met over the years are so overextended they do not know what they feel, much less what they want to accomplish with their lives.

Over extension reinforces a false sense of self, the persona you developed to fit in with the group, the first group being your family. You may succeed by external standards, but internally you feel at odds with yourself.

To compensate for your frustration you may be overeating, overworking, over drinking, over spending, playing video games, watching social media and TV, or getting entangled in endless family dramas.

Opening up some room in your life will help you to know what you feel as well as what you think. Unlike thinking, which is quick, feelings need time to make themselves known. As an example, do you recall a time when it took you weeks (sometimes years!) to know how you truly felt about someone, or an event?

Feeling is not the same as being emotional, nor is it abdication of thinking. On the contrary, when you are in touch with your feelings you have good judgment. You sense what is safe and what is unsafe, who to trust, and who not to trust. You don’t allow the thinking mind to check your instincts.

By contrast, those whose minds ignore, dismiss or override the instincts get ensnared in unsafe relationships, pie-in-the-sky schemes, and saving others from the consequences of their poor choices.

As you probably know, you can lie to your mind, but not to the body. It will tell you the truth about your choices.

As an example, you worry because you believe worrying is doing something about your problems. Then the body reacts with anxiety. When you are able to flow along with what is happening, the body relaxes.

Taking inventory of your body’s reactions throughout the day reveals what annoys or angers you, and what excites and fascinates you. Then you see what you are willing to spend a great deal of time mastering (passion clue).

You may decide to go to school to get more training in your field of interest. Or you work with someone to help you figure out who you are beneath the layers of fears and family conditioning.

In time, you realize you do not need to change drastically, drop out or get fired to create the results you want. All you needed to do was to become more aware.

The Right Niche is Profitable

So what are the characteristics of a right niche? First, it makes the best use of your strengths and temperament. And, you make money.

It is hard to make money when you do not value what you do. You may be judging yourself by a parent’s criticism of you. Or you feel inferior to others because of your background or education. You may take your skills for granted, thinking everyone can do what you do.

If you do not value what you have to offer the market reflects that negative belief back to you. Self-doubt causes you to settle for less than what you can actually do.

You may avoid the risks that will make you grow, such as asking experts you respect to critique your work and self-presentation.

Those who make money doing what they have the talent to do are invaluable resources. When in doubt, seek them out; pay for their time. It may be scary to hear what they say, but their insight will save you time, money and grief.

Two such experts are Mark Helow and Jim Schleckser, respectively the founder of 10Xceo and the president of the CEO Project. They say a good business has three elements.

1. Demand exists — or you can create demand — that consistently exceeds supply. It helps to have a product or service that people love, has recurring revenue and is a non-discretionary purchase.

2. You have a sustainable advantage that is difficult to duplicate. With this advantage often comes unique vertical knowledge, which deepens over time (my italics).

3. The economic characteristics (gross margin, return on invested capital, etc.) are favorable.

Helow and Schleckser and their advisors coach chief executive officers to help them grow their businesses. Both men say that the following CEO actions separate the winners from the losers:

· Picking the right business/profit model

· Putting “A” players in key positions

· Implementing “A” processes in customer service and sales

According to Helow and Schleckser, “A” players regularly excel and go beyond expectations. They reinvent and improve existing situations, and they are a shining example for others.

Corporations have a hard time holding on to “A” players, unless the organization can create a startup situation that satisfies their need for autonomy and creativity. Some leave for better options, others start their own enterprises.

To me, everyone in the right niche in work is an “A” player, regardless of what the work is called. The personable clerk in the grocery store is just as successful as the capable president of a company or the owner of a small business or private practice.

As Helow and Schleckser say, success depends on you choosing the right work, meaning the activity you have the talent and skills to do. Interest alone is not enough. When you are in this work frustrating days are still frustrating, but they bring forth inner resources you did not know you had.

Working within the structure that gives you what you need to grow changes you into a finer expression of who you are. The more you do the work the more effective you become.

A word of caution: it takes courage to do what you are designed to do, since success can stir up guilt in you, and envy in others, often from those who are closest to you. On the other hand, many will admire and emulate your example.

Doing the work that fits you like a tailored suit is the best gift you can give to your children, grandchildren and the world at large. Your life proves that following your instincts works.

Imagine the Place Where You Will Exceed Expectations

To help you imagine the place where you will exceed your expectations, try this exercise. First, get into a comfortable position, close your eyes, and breathe deeply.

In your mind’s eye, envision a flight of stairs that leads down to a beautiful and safe path in the woods. Go down each step slowly, taking time to adapt to your surroundings.

When you reach the bottom, walk down the path until you see a door. On this door is a silver plaque with your name on it and a description of your right niche in work: what you do that benefits you and those you serve.

Open the door and walk in. Where are you? Are you indoors or outdoors? What are you wearing? Are you alone or are there others there? Is your workplace a home office, a conventional office, a stage or conference room, a television or podcast setting, or a building site?

What do you do in this place, and who pays you to do it? Are these people clients, customers or employers? Notice the view and the surroundings. How long do you spend in this place each day, are you out and about some of the time? If so, where do you go?

Memorize this place. Enjoy the feeling of being at home. Now turn and go back through the door. Before you walk through look up over the door. There you will see the amount of money you make each year.

Close the door behind you; then walk slowly back down the path and up the stairs. When you open your eyes notice how you feel. Describe what you feel about what you saw. Were you surprised?

If you want to edit your niche, go back down the stairs and repeat the process, adding or subtracting until the picture feels complete. However, trust your first impressions; they are usually the most accurate.

It may take time for this niche to materialize. Or perhaps you are already there and did not know it. If not, leave how-to-make-it-happen up to your subconscious, which prefers to work quietly and in private.

Be assured, now that your mind is focused on what you want, the law of interest will bring what you need into your life. It will also eliminate everything that does not fit this picture. This includes habits and ways of relating to yourself and others that keep you stuck in a self-defeating loop.

Be patient with the transformative process, slow and steady wins the day. Just as it took time to get where you are today, it will take time to create the niche that matches the real you. Once you are there, you will see the process of getting there was as important as the destination.

For more about me and my work, please visit my website:



Nancy Anderson

Career and life consultant, author of Work with Passion and Work with Passion in Midlife and Beyond.