When you think about your absolute favorite things to do in the world, job searching probably doesn't top the list. It likely isn't even on there at all.

Most people actually delay the process, opting to stay in a job that's just not the right fit, because tackling a new job search feels too overwhelming.

Part of the reason this process is so anxiety-inducing is because it comes along with a lot of questions you might not know the answer to, such as:

  • What are you best at?

  • What's your vision for your career

  • What do you really want?

And yes, as a career strategist who helps executives reach their full potential, I can tell you that you need to be able to answer these questions before you start your job search. But here's the good news: There's one step you can take that will get you a whole lot closer. It's not always easy, but it can make your job search much more clear--and it can even be fun.  

This step is figuring out what your Zone of Genius is.

Why? Because your Zone of Genius provides two important data points that are critical for great performance at work--your Genius and your Purpose.

Your Genius checks the box on what kind of thinking or problem-solving you're best at. Knowing your Genius allows you to more easily and authoritatively know the kind of work you're best suited for. This guarantees you can be engaged with work and is a game-changer for navigating an interview. (Take this test to see if you're operating in your Zone of Genius).

Your Purpose is linked to the impact that is most fulfilling to you. Finding your purpose is like winning the lottery because you have the key to accessing intrinsic motivation, which is essentially, endless energy for the work that you're doing. People often think that they can somehow motivate others, but you can't. You can only inspire others to find their Purpose so they can tap into the energy that is within themselves. Knowing your Purpose is super helpful when it comes to the job search because you can easily see if the work you're seeking will allow you to have the impact that is most meaningful to you. (Try these two steps to hone in on your Purpose).

Once you know your Zone of Genius, the job search can be more like putting together a puzzle. You have the pieces, you just need to find the right place for them. Navigating a job search knowing what it is that you can bring to the table and what kind of work will challenge and fulfill you makes interviewing more enjoyable. You're no longer trying to be someone you're not. You're not hoping they will like you and taking any job you can get. You are being clear, confident and interviewing prospective opportunities to see if they are the right fit for you.

Knowing your Zone of Genius takes all the guesswork out of the job search and puts the power in your hands. Sounds fun, right? It certainly is.

Published on: Jun 5, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.