14th Jun 2019 by Cam Brierley
Updated 14th Jun 2019
Searching for Niche Jobs: How to Succeed
More and more niche industries are professionalizing and producing jobs, and we have some advice to share about securing a niche job.
When it comes to dream jobs, a lot of people dare to think outside the box. Ask a room full of children what they dream of doing for a living and you’ll probably hear all sorts of outlandish ideas. You’ll meet aspiring astronauts, future football players, and too many firemen to count.
We all dream about careers that make waking up on a Monday morning a pleasure, not a chore, and that give us the ability to shape something we believe in.
As a jobs website operating in esports - an industry built on dreams by the talented people who pushed for the realm of competitive gaming to be professionalized many years ago - we know all about dream careers. That’s why we believe we have some useful information to pass on for anyone looking for niche jobs.
No matter how unusual your ideal career is, we’re here to help you find how to make it a reality.
What is a Niche job?
Niche jobs are the careers that exist in small, lesser-known industries. They typically require quite specialist knowledge of the area you’re working in, as niche communities tend to produce very engaged and passionate followers.
The job itself could take on any form. Most, if not all, niche industries still need people who can sell products, develop ideas, work with customers, and manage employees.
For this reason, niche jobs exist in many of the same sectors you’ll find in traditional industries such as marketing or accountancy. The difference is the backdrop to where this work takes place.
Take us for example. On HitmarkerJobs.com, we post jobs in all of the traditional sectors, but they have an underlying theme of being in the competitive gaming industry. All of the jobs on our site, in some way, are to do with the industry of professional gamers competing against each other for prize pools in the hundreds of thousands, and sometimes even millions.
A list of our most unusual jobs
The beauty of niche jobs is that, since they are usually in very unique industries, they’re often quite strange. Well, we say that as they could be considered strange jobs, although we’d lovingly refer to them as “quirky”!
We’ll give you some examples.
Here are just a few of the most ludicrously awesome and obscure jobs that have emerged from our niche in the first half of 2019 alone:
- Vancouver Titans is a professional gaming team competing in a game called Overwatch. Their roster was entirely Korean when they posted this job, hence the Korean specialism they ask for. They have a particularly stunning team house in Los Angeles, too.
- Here’s one of the coolest niche vacancies we’ve had, as it invited someone to work it from the comfort of their own home. Night Media was hiring for a person who understood the business side of YouTube, as well as how to use the platform as a creator.
- Mavs Gaming is a team competing in the NBA 2K League, and is owned by the Dallas Mavericks. Here they were hiring for someone skilled at NBA 2K to play with their team to help them practise. How great is that?
- Esports is an industry that lives on Twitter, as well as having a strong presence on the other top social platforms. Fnatic, one of the top organizations in the industry, was hiring a social media lead to keep their social game ahead of the curve.
- Esports and gaming isn’t always the unhealthy scene you might think it is! The University of California, Irvine proved that when they were looking for someone to take care of high school gamers, and the ones in their collegiate esports division.
- In a world of millions of gamers, how do the squads that aspire to be the best of the best find the next elite players? Grizz Gaming - the NBA 2K League team of the Memphis Grizzlies - had the answer of using a part time scout!
- Just like there is in any high-level competition, there needs to be someone to make important rulings in competitive matches in esports. This job was looking for a head referee for the LCS, one of the premier leagues in the game League of Legends.
How to get a niche job:
Besides the stunningly obvious advice of apply, apply and apply, we have some pointers for you that can increase your chances of finding a niche job.
1. Maintain an active presence in your industry
As we mentioned earlier, niche jobs typically require someone familiar with the industry they’re based in. Getting yourself on Twitter, LinkedIn and wherever else the industry that you’re looking to work in is generally based to share your opinions and viewpoints is key.
You’ll be able to engage with like-minded people in the industry, and sometimes even forge relationships that can directly lead to employment opportunities; we’ve certainly seen it happen in esports on more than one occasion!
2. Adjust your resume to fit the niche
As you probably noticed from some of the most niche jobs that we’ve posted lately, they can be really unique in what they require from a candidate. You probably wouldn’t have much luck applying for the YouTube Creative Director / Channel Manager role with a resume that’s all business and would look more at home in the finance sector.
If your niche job is a creative one, be sure your resume reflects that. If it demands a love for animals, be sure that’s jumping off the page in the opening sentence of your introductory paragraph to let the hiring manager know they’ve got a good one.
Take some time to think about what a niche job requires from a candidate and, should your skills align with that, make sure this is clearly evident from the very beginning of your resume.
3. Attending industry events
This is a big one. Niche industries are likely to be a lot more communal than others. If you’re in the UK and looking to get into a fairly small industry, then it’s not unlikely that you’ll see the same faces at many UK events in that niche. Make sure that your face is one people see time and time again.
Industry events also offer a fantastic opportunity to network. In our niche, this is referring to the offline, stadium-like events that herald the conclusion of a tournament. In other industries it could be a fashion expo, a pet show, or a trade conference.
When we speak to hiring managers and established professionals in the esports industry, they almost always recommend getting to events and networking.
4. Passion projects
Want to really make an impact when applying for niche jobs? This next tip is a way you can do just that, but you’ll have to be prepared to go above and beyond.
You can get ahead of other applicants by showing your passion for an industry by producing a project related to it on your own time (and dime!)
What we mean by this is that if you’re a writer, why not start a blog about your niche? If you like to create videos, share them on YouTube so you have a library to show a prospective employer. If you’re a marketer or business professional that isn’t camera shy, get your thoughts and opinions out there by sharing videos of you speaking about your industry on social media.
After all, you’re never sure who could be watching!
5. Connect with relevant companies in your area
When it comes to working in a niche, there is the added benefit of companies in that space generally being quite approachable by candidates looking to work in the area. We can certainly attest to that in esports and gaming, and know that friendliness isn’t exclusive to our industry.
Approaching employees of companies you’d like to work for build connections, but also might help you to pick up work experience and sometimes even fully-fledged jobs. Do some research into your local area, and what companies exist that are in or around your niche. Reach out to some people who work for them, either through email or over LinkedIn, and begin to establish a relationship.
From this, you might yield the opportunity to volunteer for them to earn some experience, or work in a part time or freelance role, or even to get given a pathway to come on with them full time in a position you’d love.
We understand this point isn’t relevant to those of you who live in more remote areas (speaking from experience here!), but for those that are located near major cities it’s certainly worth looking into.
Finding niche jobs
Now, if the niche you want to work in is esports and gaming, we’d say we have you covered here. All you need is Hitmarker, as we do all of the hard work of finding opportunities for you!
But, we’ll assume that things won’t be quite that easy for you if you’re interested in another niche market.
When it comes to jobs in these industries, you sometimes need to be inventive with where you look.
Step one on your hit list should be seeing if there’s a niche jobs board in the area you’re interested. Ideally you want one that functions like we do, in featuring an extensive list of careers in a certain industry from a multitude of different sources.
Failing this, head over to the more traditional (and largest) job websites that you know of or can find with a quick search. Once you’re on their sites, use their search functionality to find roles related to the niche you want to work in. This should indeed return a list of jobs that mention your keywords.
Aside from the traditional jobs board route, you might be surprised to hear that you can also scour social media for job opportunities. Looking for relevant hashtags as well as following any job-centric accounts in your niche may point you towards exciting opportunities from time to time.
Generally, the deeper your knowledge of an industry, the easier you’ll find it to locate the jobs in it. With familiarity comes the knowledge to find the most bountiful career sources, but we think this should give you the information you need to get started.
Niche jobs you can work from home
Esports is an industry ahead of its time, and is becoming more and more embracing of work from home jobs. You can check this link at any time to see what paid, remote jobs we have available.
As for the types of jobs you can expect to find in a work from home capacity, the following sectors tend to be the most active when it comes to these opportunities:
That said, in niche industries you’ll find all manner of jobs opening on a remote basis, from common positions like marketing to the most obscure roles possible. With startups and new companies being created all of the time, there’s never been a better time to pick up a career that you can embark on from inside your own four walls.
Now that we’ve covered just exactly what niche jobs are, spoken about some of the weird and wonderful opportunities they can take the form of, told you where you can find them and given you some advice you can use to help make them yours, we’re hopeful that you’re feeling confident in your pursuit of picking one up in your specific industry.
There truly is no feeling like working in the area you’re passionate about. We wish you the best of luck in your search and send you all of our positive energy. We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but we hope to see you in your dream role soon!
Image credit: DreamHack // Jennika Ojala
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