I recently watched a webinar (on the APG/ Association of Professional Genealogists website) about the importance of "choosing your niche" as a genealogist. I guess that holds true for any career - being a specialist in one particular area makes you unique and more valuable to others. For example, as a photographer, I specialize in homes and fine art photography.
In the field of genealogy I feel the strongest connection to my own past. Having grown up in Maine I am very familiar with the local geography, history, surnames, etc. It's "home". Even though I don't live there anymore, it's very much a part of me and I would love to specialize in all things Maine. (I would also love to have yet another reason to visit- ha!!) I think it's said that a third of the population of Maine has French heritage (be it Acadian or Quebecois). Other heritage is Puritan from Massachusetts/ Boston area. Of course we also have the original population (native American). My grandmother's side is originally English/Scottish from New Brunswick/ PEI/Nova Scotia. I have ancestors from all of the above. (Maine also has a large population of Irish, Italian, German and Scandinavian, as well as many newcomers in the last 50 years) I want to help people looking for their Maine heritage.
In this seminar the speaker mentioned that genealogists can also expand their niche by giving seminars, teaching, legal matters, adoptee requests, etc.
I gave this some more thought. For me- I want to focus on education- making people more aware of the importance of knowing their past. Not boring education - l want to bring this concept to life! I want children to know where they came from. I want them to feel connected to history. The world has become so homogenized... kids, people live in nameless suburbs and are surrounded by materialism and shopping malls. There is so much more to your life than that. Our ancestors had struggles, strengths and values to which they clung. They had cultural heritage. Songs and stories. Skills. Achievements. Its all a part of who we are - and we must not forget or overlook where and who we come from.
I hope that's not too long-winded.. but I wanted to share how this seminar made me determine where I want to go with genealogy- and life :-)