How to Find a Niche in Your City : Under30CEO How to Find a Niche in Your City : Under30CEO
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How to Find a Niche in Your City

| August 11, 2009 | 13 Comments

missing pieceYou’re taking that first step. The step out of the moving van from childhood to young adult, with a diploma in one hand and a big bag of fear in the other. You’re starting your new career at J.P Morgan/G.E./MetLife/Big Scary Corporation and all you can think is:

“Where do I go, who can help me through this, where do I start?”

Making the transition from College Graduate to Young Professional can be daunting and sometimes beyond overwhelming. Beginning on a new journey of life comes with many questions and few solid answers.

My name is Jessica and, I’ll take you on a tour through the net and local business’ that can assist a person such as yourself to finding the right footing. In my many years in the hospitality management industry I’ve discovered a lot on my way up the ladder. Who to talk to, who not to talk to, and where to go to find the answers to some very important questions.

Major cities like New York, Chicago, Miami, all have local scenes that include music, food and young entrepreneurs with upcoming projects on the rise. Being a “Hungry Hustler” of the Gen Y era, you want to be a part of this crowd. But, how do you meet them in this new strange city of yours?

First things first, unpack! Get your home base straight and ready for possible contacts to come and talk shop. Make sure you provide comfortable working space for not only solo time, but also for possible think-tanks and brainstorming sessions. I like to say “Fake it til’ you make it” believe in your capabilities, highlight your strengths, and portray an image that you yourself would want to do business with. Be aware of your surroundings, your body language, your facial expressions. Nobody wants to collaborate with a non-smiling wall-flower. Making yourself available to be approached is half the battle.

Next, you need to situate yourself in a networking scene of peers in your city. Whatever your new area code is, get on the web and type it in with the address “” after it; for example if you were in NYC you would type in ( site gives accurate and current suggestions for nightlife, restaurants, and entertainment in your area that have all been reviewed and commented on by “hustlers” like yourself.

Try everything, go everywhere, say hello to anyone within earshot. Don’t be afraid to be the new kid in town. Use your lack of knowledge to your advantage and have the LOCALS show you the ropes.  You’ll eventually find like-minded “hustlers” that you vibe with, and can start that first step a little more confident, informed, and enlightened for conquering whatever world you want.

Write in and let me know of any helpful “hustler” tips you pick up during journey, and I’ll be continuing to find the newest, the best, and the most useful tools and hot spots for all of you hungry newbies out there!

phpkFVTHwPMJessica Gonzmart is our lifestyle writer and is a Tampa, Florida native.  Follower her on Twitter @TampaChica


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  • MattWilsontv

    Jessica, thanks for your input. I think we need to figure out what problems people are going through adjusting from “college student” to “young professional”.

    So many of my friends who are stuck in a city they took a job in or back at home are having terrible times away from their friends, away from a support system, away from everything they knew for the past 4 years. Making new friends, finding new hobbies and getting involved in stuff other than work are their biggest troubles!

  • Jessica Gonzmart

    Hey Matty!
    Yeah I completely agree! I have so many friends that went away for college and within a year they were back home with their security net….I'm thinking maybe a play on “Preventative Maintenance”. Something about making moves in your new city before you get there…i.e. joining online chat groups in that city, subscribing to local online blogs/magazines, and making friends and visiting before you get there. Kind of like when you need to tamper a wrong egg slowly so it doesnt scramble:) Thoughts?

  • JohnExley

    This is good stuff Jessica! Welcome to the team, I'm glad to see you contributing to the great Under30CEO community.

    I love your line “Hungry Hustler of the Gen Y era”! I agree that it is very important to express yourself as an approachable person and smiling can be key. Jared O'Toole and I had this discussion on a previous post. Be passionate and focus on how you can help others and soon enough you will have found your niche in your new city!

    I'm halfway through my college experience, entering my junior year, so I'm really interested in learning about how you have successfully navigated your way along the transition of College Graduate to Young Professional. Looking forward to your next post!

  • MattWilsontv

    What to do before you move. What to know before you go…I like this a lot. I think this would be a killer next article. How to assimilate before you get there. That'd be awesome. You could also do them specifically for some of our top cities

  • MattWilsontv

    Exley, you are a stud, of course you are going to be a hungry hustler as soon as you graduate.

  • Drew Peneton

    Jessica –

    Great article with a valuable personal position many soon-to-be young professionals can relate to! It truly is an important life skill one needs to learn before embarking on a career in an unfamiliar place away from the support system they have relied on for the past 4+ years. The end of the summer is approaching and there are likely many recent graduates who may have wished they knew this a month ago!

    As a home-based supervisor in the Operations and Community Management division for one of your so-called Big Scary Corporations the past 2 and a half years, I spend a few weeks in a new city all year with a fresh set of faces each with a different personality, life story and way to contribute; from Houston and Puerto Rico to Seattle and San Francisco there are always new people to network with, new food to taste, unique events to experience and opportunities to actively engage in the buzz of a community. Most recently I have learned a few successful techniques to leverage social media to making the most out of these trips and would love to share them. They could be valuable tools for those embracing your “temper the egg” philosophy.

    I agree with Matt's POV about his friends' experiences; going from “Hungry” to “Hustler” doesn't happen overnight, most certainly not without putting in the right groundwork!

  • Jared O'Toole

    Thats awesome you get to spend time in all kinds of cities. There are so many cool things to do and experience in all of them. My problem is definitely easily figuring out what to do and where to go. I sure dont want to spend lots of time researching what to do in different towns.

    Looking forward to future posts from Jessica on how we can continue to discover the secrets of other cities!

  • MattWilsontv

    Hey Drew, sounds like you have a pretty good gig as a home based supervisor. Pretty cool that it gives you the flexibility to travel and enjoy new things.

    How'd you like to write about some of these experiences for Under30CEO?

  • Jessica Gonzmart

    I like it…as I tend to do with so many of your ideas:) I'll get to work on a mock-up…I have some contacts out of L.A., NYC, and Chi-town…if you think of other cities you want showcased let me know. Id like to hear from other “hungry” people out there and their own personal questions, and confusing issues. Maybe I could shed a little light:)

  • Jessica Gonzmart

    Exley…you are a stud! Youre going to light the world on fire!

  • MattWilsontv

    Hey very cool Jessica, let me know about NY and Chi-town, I have some experience living the dream in both those locations!!

  • MattWilsontv

    Hey very cool Jessica, let me know about NY and Chi-town, I have some experience living the dream in both those locations!!

  • MattWilsontv

    Hey very cool Jessica, let me know about NY and Chi-town, I have some experience living the dream in both those locations!!