Career

Focus on yourself, and find your specialization

Christian Perez | 12.07.2014

Growing up I always wanted to only be good at one thing. Whether that be sports, art, or even music. I always wanted that ‘ONE’ special ability that I just worked on all my life. I would hear the stories of how great athletes, artists, and musicians started at a very young age, perfecting their craft as they grew. I wanted this. However, most of us don’t have this. Most of us aren’t Michael Jordan, or Picasso, or Mozart, who all had extraordinary talents that were defined early on. Most of us are given a set of smaller talents, that aren’t inherently clear, and it’s up to us to find out what they are and where they are best used for. It is up to us to find our specialization.

Specializing

About 5 months ago, I finished my “last” client job, or so I thought. I was at a place where I needed to redefine myself and focus my skills. At the time, I thought that meant ending client work all together, and focusing on other ventures. I created this blog, HelloMrPerez, and focused on my brand. When I did this, more client inquiries came in. By me focusing on my brand and developing my skills further, and not worrying about clients, more clients came.

One of the biggest breakthroughs I had by focusing on my brand, was finding where I wanted to specialize in within my field. This is incredibly important. The only way to achieve great work, is to focus, Apple can back me up on this.

When we specialize, we are focusing our skill to one particular area. These skills are refined and optimized to solve the problems within that space. We become familiar with common pitfalls, and learn how to work through them. By spending all of our time in this one area, we are able to become better at it than anyone else.

People who specialize are able to charge more. This isn’t arbitrary, the reason that they are able to do so is because they know more. A photographer who soley shoots weddings is going to have more experience in that field than one who does weddings, portraits, cars, animals, babies, events, etc. The wedding photographer will know what to do in certain situations because they’ve already been there. By focusing their time, they’ve learned how to handle the many situations that occur during a wedding. They have specialized, and that has allowed them to become the best at what they do.

Finding our specialization

I always knew I should specialize, however I never knew how I could go about doing so. I had no idea what I wanted to specialize in. This is okay, most of us don’t. Only by removing all the outside noise and reflecting are we able to truly find that.

What I did when I stopped doing client work, was I focused on what I personally liked and didn’t like about my work. From there I identified what things I was better at than others. I reflected on my work and thought about what projects were more enjoyable and which had the most success. From there, I proceeded to focus solely on that and fine tune my specialization.

Finding my specialization was very much like finding my passion. For me, I had to put in years of work, and take on a wide array of different projects in order to drill down and find what I wanted to pursue. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes people find what they like early on, and stick to it. They become the leaders within that field and see relatively quick success. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for me. I’ve been a designer since 2009, and was always the “one stop shop” for design projects. Now I’ve honed into “Content Strategy.” I’ve found that both my passion and my skill sets are in understanding the needs of a business, taking complex ideas, and conveying them as simple as possible. With a focus on content managed websites I help strategize the content, design intuitive layouts, & develop the platform.

  • What does your current work situation look like?
  • Are you specializing, or trying to do everything?
  • If you took out the time to focus, what do you think you’d learn from yourself?
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