How to complete the Niche Interest Action Plan


International relations is such a large field that knowing where to specialise in can quickly become overwhelming. Chapter Two of the Diplomatic Planner shares insights into potential subject areas you can specialise in with various mind maps to complete. We have prepared an additional worksheet called the “Niche Interest Action Plan” to help you brainstorm potential career which can be downloaded from the Grassroot Diplomat Online Academy. Here is a step-by-step guide to helping you figure out your specialist subject area.

STEP ONE: What subjects are you interested in?

If you turn to page 84 of the Diplomatic Planner, you will be presented with a long list of subject areas that are broken into specialist areas commonly found in international relations. Referring back to this list, decide on three subjects that you find interesting and would like potentially like to work in.


STEP TWO: Explore your subject areas further

Now that you have identified your subject areas, be specific about areas within that subject that you want to explore further. Page 84-87 provides a list of specialist areas per subject to help you identify this next step. Choose your top three interests per subject and jot it in the empty box.


STEP THREE: Shortlist geographical areas you are interested in

After selecting more niche areas of interest per subject, you can start to consider geographical areas to look into. Even after shortlisting a subject area, it will still be very difficult to learn and develop your skills without focusing your attention further. The world is a big place so think about what local, regional or international areas you would like to work in or focus your research on.


STEP FOUR: Combine subject areas to geography for potential career groupings

Shortlisting subject areas and geography should give you some ideas on various subjects you can consider specialising in. By knowing what topics to focus on and the type of stakeholders you want to work with, learning and networking should get easier. In the final column, examine your answers from the “geographical interest per subject” and start to combine potential careers areas that could be a good fit for you. This is particularly useful if you are looking for research areas for your degree or PhD.