One of the questions I hear interviewers ask is, “How do you (candidate, applicant, potential employee) keep current in your field?”
Over the years, I have kept current in human resources. I joined organizations, paid dues, attended conferences, read relevant magazines, followed the right bloggers, listened to lawyers – you name it, I did it. I did the right stuff and talked the right stuff and read the right things and by gosh, I was staying current.
And I was bored out of my mind.
During the last several years, I changed course. I keep current with laws and changes while at work (the necessary stuff) and what I changed was staying current outside of work. I widely expanded my reading list and the Kindle helped. I listen to great speakers: many on TED, several on DVDs, and some in person.
I changed my definition of staying current at work to staying current in life.
Most recently, I heard one of the best speakers in a long time, a speaker who articulated it far better than I could in a talk that left me feeling far more current than any conference or magazine.
Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest who works in Los Angeles, spoke on his work with gang members. He spoke warmly about the ‘packaging’ his people come in. Despite the colorful and sometimes distracting packaging, he spoke about the worth and value of each person.
It was a compelling and beautiful talk, a gentle reminder to disregard everything that really isn’t important. To find the real value. To look deeply into people. To look for the best and not the worst. What stayed with me the longest was this: “No kinship. No peace.”
I love my work. But there is so much more to life than work. I used to think that work gave my life meaning but now I know better.
Life gives my work meaning.
Picture by Deirdre Honner