“Finding a niche” is sort of a “holy grail” that a senior researcher would mentor a young researcher. Many professors believed that being able to find their niche led to their success. But they forgot that that probably held decades ago, and in the modern information time, a “niche” doesn’t exist in Geoscience and should not exist. Anyone can and should be able to build on top of other’s work. Open-science told us this trend lead to the fastest acceleration of science. Twitter (a pioneer to completely open their development platform at the development stage) demonstrated it with how it becomes a giant today.
I was mentored by professors I truly trusted, respected, and appreciated that I should find my niche and I wrote this short blog because I heard people telling others “you should find your niche” or “we should find our niche” a few times recently. I know they are sharing their precious experience and out of the most sincereness, but useful experience has an expiration date. Trying to find a niche, one may go to an extreme of doing things others won’t, invest in the opposite side of open-science, or simply be discouraged and loses the motivation.
Better ways — I just draw from what I saw and want to say to myself– don’t be afraid to choose a very hot topic, sit down but heads up, keep eyes open and keep moving on, surpass the years-long hard-works from others and let others does it in return.