When looking for a new role or career path, we often intuitively focus on our ‘Zone of Genius’ - that space where our unique skills, talents and qualities come into their own and help us feel capable and qualified.
Doing this work is invaluable and I spend focused time with my clients digging into their personal toolbox of experience to help them identify their unique ‘super-powers’.
But there is another ‘zone’ that is often overlooked or de-prioritised...
Your 'Zone of Joy'...
Your happy place
Your driving force
Your passion point
Your burning desires
Your ‘Zone of Joy’ is so vital to consider when you are designing the vision for your future life and career. Because if the work doesn’t excite you or make you tick, your ultimate reality is unlikely to feel fully aligned with who you are.
And when your work takes up a significant chunk of your time or headspace – isn’t it worth doing something that’s going to light you up rather than it simply being a ‘means to an end’?
After having my kids, I knew I needed to make a change in my life professionally and my automatic reflex was to let my ‘Zone of Genius’ lead the way.
As I looked at job descriptions, I knew I was qualified to do the jobs I was seeing. But every time I imagined myself sitting in an interview for another marketing role, I felt zero energy, enthusiasm or joy to sell myself in. My heart wasn’t in it, and after months (if not years!) of feeling stuck and unfulfilled at work, the idea of faking it felt utterly exhausting and unappealing.
My intuition was screaming at me to think outside the box and to consider not just what I could do but what I would enjoy. And that’s when everything changed for me – personally and professionally – and when my work life transformed from being a ‘should’ to being a joyful and rewarding part of my identity.
I fundamentally believe that choosing joy is the secret ingredient to living a purposeful existence and will keep you springing out of bed, morning after morning, with an infectious enthusiasm to take on the day.
It will fill your tummy with gorgeously excited butterflies and fill your heart with a desire to tell anyone who will listen about what you do.
It will ignite your mind with endless ideas, inspiration and energy, and bring you peace that you’re whole-heartedly doing yourself justice.
You may not know what your ‘Zone of Joy’ is (yet) or feel like you’ve lost touch with it since having kids. But rest assured it is there, bubbling away below the surface, waiting to be unearthed.
If you’d like some help connecting with your ‘Zone of Joy’, have a go at reflecting on the following questions:
What does the concept of ‘JOY’ mean to you?
What makes you feel most alive, energised or in flow?
Think about your career or life highlights: what made those experiences great? What role did you play?
What’s getting in the way of you feeling joy in your life or work right now?
Digging into these questions will provide you with some powerful clues about your ‘Zone of Joy’ and empower you to make some appealing and motivating career moves alongside your ‘Zone of Genius’.
And if you’d like some deeper support figuring out how to build a joyful and fulfilling life and career that feels beautifully you-shaped and works in harmony with parenthood, then don’t hesitate to reach out.
This article was written by career coach, Tamsin Williamson.