I’m trying to find my ‘thing’ while working a 9-5. How do I find my niche?

The short answer is you have to try lots of stuff to figure it out.

And there is no “one” thing.
It changes a lot over time.

I was a product designer,
then an architect then a web designer
then a marketing expert
then an SEO then a combination of those
now an educator then a writer.
I still create, design, and build things so I’m still some of those things.

It wasn’t a straight path.
There were a lot of mistakes and changes, and random curveballs along the way
The choice of careers now must be overwhelming.
New jobs appear every day. Social tells us we should know exactly where we’re headed.
So everyone is seeking their “Ikagi” or perfect purpose.
Certainly working on something you enjoy and love is much more rewarding.
But you won’t love it all the time. Life isn’t so neat. Every vocation has paperwork, admin, and bad sides.
When I was growing Design Hero I constantly got told to pick x1 niche and focus on social media.
I never did either.
I had clients from multiple niches who wanted to work with me.
Your niche doesn’t have to be a service, it could be an audience
or a problem you can solve with the skills you have.
Start writing content around the problem your skill solves and publish online to build your authority.
Reading gives you new perspectives and new thinking. Writing reinforces your thinking.

Last year I was interviewed by the BBC about my career, and I told them what helped me navigate my big shift:

I found it difficult to choose the right path, you never know what career you’ll be doing in 5 years..
There are so many options.
I imagine that’s even worse now and the choice can be overwhelming…

🔑 Pursue your hobbies.

No one enjoys every minute of their job, but it’s much easier to stick out the hard bits and be successful if you enjoy what you do.

🔑 Be curious

There are jobs today that didn’t even exist 5 years ago. Just because they don’t teach it in school doesn’t mean you can’t learn it yourself.
You won’t have the time later in life to dedicate so many hours to playing and exploring, so use that time wisely.

🔑 Don’t worry about the “right path”

You aren’t going to know what the right thing is until you’ve tried the wrong thing. Even the big decisions are reversible. You can always change careers, I did this very late on the game myself
These were the key things that helped me transition careers.
Follow your interests.
Curiosity is the only thing that will keep you motivated on the dark days so don’t pick things just because you think they’ll make money

Your thing will naturally emerge over time

Doing is the most important bit.
Set aside time to think about your life and what you want, yes…
But don’t just think, you have to take action to figure it out.

Picture of Nicholas Robb

Nicholas Robb

Founder, Design Hero
Author of Life by Design

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