The most popular advice when starting out as an entrepreneur or podcaster, etc. is to pick a niche.
That is great advice to a huge degree because you do not want to spread yourself out too thin.
It is also true to a large degree that it will be hard for you to gain clients if you do not specialize in one particular subject.
For example, if you are a travel writer, you are in competition with a lot of people who are vying to make a living sharing their experiences through the written word.
The same goes for a person who are financial experts.
They specialized in a particular niche in the financial industry to set themselves apart from the others in the market.
Like Dave Ramsey.
Mr. Ramsey’s niche is on helping people to get out of debt.
With that being said, sometimes the advice on picking a niche could get outdated in the long run.
Many college students have been specializing in a major which they believe will allow them to get a quicker path to getting the job of their dreams.
At first, it works out to a degree because they land a great job with an awesome starting salary.
When that skill is shipped off overseas, they are in trouble because they only are good in that particular skill.
One of the things a person can do when they are about to get laid off because of their department getting shut down is to reinvent themselves and learn new skills.
The reason being is that they will avoid being caught off guard when that layoff occurs.
They will be in a fantastic position to be at the right place at the right time when the company posts a job opportunity that they are qualified for.
Like Carlos Gil and Hank Blank.
Mr. Gil was working as a banker before he unexpectedly got laid off from his job.
He took great advice from his mother and set up an account on LinkedIn and connected with important people which allowed him to become a thought leader, speaker, and also landing a job in St. Louis.
Unfortunately, he got laid off again earlier this year in St. Louis.
Though he was surprised, he did not panic because he already had a strong social media presence and had established himself as a thought leader which led him to his current job as a Senior Social Marketing Manager at the very place which help him to reinvent his skills, LinkedIn.
As for Mr. Blank, he also is a strong advocate for reinventing your skills because he has been reinventing himself for over a decade as a self-employed consultant.
Before that he was working in advertising for about 25 years before he was unexpectedly fired from the agency where he was partner in 2001 over the phone.
Undaunted, Mr. Blank created his own business cards and launched his consulting practice.
He has leveraged LinkedIn and has built a solid reputation as a consultant.
Even though it is important to have a niche, it is always important to go outside of that niche and learn a new skill because when times get tough and you are looking for something new, you will be ready for the “hard times.”
Now, I want to share about another person who has reinvented their skills: myself .
I consider myself a sports writer because I have spent over two years freelancing for a daily newspaper in Huntsville, Texas.
Thought it was great and I loved the fact that I could cover sporting events and share stories of athletes who have succeeded, I was “trapped” because the sporting events happened during the fall and spring seasons.
So in the summer times, I was out of work.
I was over-specialized in one skill, which was covering sports and I could not continue to freelance for the paper during the summer times.
That was when I learned the importance of being knowledgable in other subjects in addition to sports.
That way, I would be able to better my chances at gaining other gigs which could supplement the “dry” months while waiting for sporting events to happen.
Now, I can say that I am learning other subjects like social media and I am a contributing blogger to Millennial CEO, which deals with social media, business and leadership.
So you see why it is important not to overspecialize in one skill.
Though it is important to have a strong expertise in one skill, it is always important to reinvent yourself and learn new skills everyday even if it is outside your comfort zone.
When you reinvent yourself, you will be in a much better position when the company decides to cut your department.
The post first appeared on Vallano Media.