The other night I was talking with a girl at a party and she mentioned that she was an aspiring fashion designer. I asked her what her focus or niche market was. Her response was “everything, I didn’t know you needed to have one.” Everything? I don’t know much about the fashion industry, any little knowledge I have comes from watching project runway. So really that’s basically nothing. She was trying to tell me her potential brand was going to design shoes, underwear, and dresses? Even if I don’t know much about the fashion business I know from my own business that not having a target seems silly.
From my experience in the motion graphics industry I know that at times being a generalist can be an asset. You can work on a lot of different projects and fix any issues that might come up. You’ll get a good amount of work because you have a lot of skills. But it seems that to really excel you need a focus; if that’s 2D, 3D, matte painting, editing or composting. You might not have as much work sometimes but when you do you’re able to charge more for it. Some day you’ll want to be paid as an expert in one area not just known as the person who knows a little about it all. I know a lot of generalist who are busy but I know more specialized people that are busy and they are creating amazing work.
Maybe motion graphics is a bad example compared to a fashion designer. But no matter what field you’re in, having a focus is going to get you further. Don’t try and do it all right away instead expand your field as you grow and learn.