Staying Current

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

About the Author

Deirdre Honner

Deirdre Honner is a human resources professional working in higher education. She has a master's degree and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. Deirdre is a social media junkie and has presented locally, regionally and nationally on job-hunting strategies, social media and networking tools and the integration of both. Deirdre blogs about work at The HR Maven and you can connect with her on Twitter as @theHRmaven.



Laura, thanks for posting – if you can believe this, just last week a colleague referred me to Cold Tangerines. Haven’t read it yet, it’s in my cue. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by!


I am absolutely so encouraged by this piece. Thank you for sharing, Deirdre. I love your perspective on staying current. Have you read any of Shauna Niequist’s books? Think you would enjoy them if you like Willow Creek’s messages. Also, check out the podcast for Reality SF. So fantastic.

Kathryn Aldred


Thank you for this.

I listended to a speaker yesterday talk about a group of young men she was working with. They’d grown up in a gang culture and many of the ex-gang are now in prison for serious crimes. Each one of her group, with her help, had turned their lives around and are at Universities in the UK studying law, medicine and pharmacy to name a few. She said she’d asked one why he’d chosen the medicine route and he said he wanted to save peoples lives – pretty awesome stuff from someone who grew up wanting to kill people.


Lyn, isn’t that a wonderful concept? I think about that frequently, especially with our world in such turmoil.

Kate, you are right. I know that I am doing the wrong stuff when I am bored or grouchy. 🙂 It’s an attitude adjustment.

Thank you both for the comments.

Women Startups

You know this really works in all aspects of life. I think if we mix it up a little and maybe not change the end goal, but change our approach we can continue with a better attitude. I want to make sure I’m always enjoying what I’m doing so I have a life worth living! Thanks for this post!

Lyn Hoyt

“No kinship. No peace.” That is a wonderful phrase. Getting to know someone, even in the smallest way, at work or in other worlds colliding elsewhere can bring appreciation and “kinship.” And I’d say social media as a vehicle for creating peace and kinship is pretty cutting edge. Thanks for post!


Good for you Michelle! When I need added inspiration, I pick up my camera. The picture with this post is a picture of my silly dog, Samson.

I love Joni’s comment – ‘great businesses are the sum of the beautiful parts’ and that’s so true. Keep at it. 🙂


Thank you for this perspective and wisdom. I hadn’t thought if this before, but have added a few new hobbies into my personal life lately, and they have greatly enriched the skills and social circles of my work.

I’m looking forward to watching the TED Talk – thank you for posting the link.


Joni Thomas Doolin

Deirdre this post is beautiful – and really smart. It doesn’t matter what our functional specialties are at work – great businesses are the sum of the beautiful parts – the people who work there. I am going to add “no kinship, no peace” to my list of favorite quotations. Joni


Thanks all for your comments. Steve, you couldn’t be more right – winter doldrums are kicking here, we have 15+ inches of snow and it’s still coming down.

KC, I would be happy to share. I have a lot of Willow Creek DVDs- they are a large church in Chicago and host an annual conference – they bring in amazing speakers. We also have incredible speakers come to our campus (I work at a college). If you send me an email, I would be happy to share more including my TED favs.

Robin, thanks for the nice words.


Thanks for this! I would love to know what TED talks you listened to… as well as the names of any others and DVD’s you plugged into. Love this. Thank you!

Steve Browne

Deirdre – Thanks for this. With winter doldrums dragging at everybody’s daily routine, this is a fabulous reminder of an absolute truth !! Life is not defined by work, but by the amazing people in our lives !!


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