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How Engaged Are You?

How Engaged Are You?

I think everyone can attest to the fact that the job-search market is demanding more creativity and engagement than ever before. It is interesting to observe ourselves throughout the day to see what engages us and what makes us check out and go “numb.” I know that folks are tired of searching and not finding, tired of sending resumes and getting no response, and tired of staring at the computer day-in and day-out. So, take a break! All of these activities when overdone create a glazed, automatic routine that does not engage us but numbs us. While you need to continue to post your resume, watch the job boards and be in front of your computer, you do not need to be chained to it.

For example, think of a new activity or hobby you have incorporated into your life. In the beginning, it is fun, exciting and encouraging. Yet, when it becomes just a pattern, rote – old news – our actions become automatic and lose the feeling we once attached to them. So what keeps you engaged in the job search or the current job you have? I find I go “numb” when my energy is drained, when I am not being stimulated and when I feel over-stressed. So for me, doing things that make my body move and give my brain a rest keeps me engaged. Just breathing, standing up and stretching, or taking a 10-minute walk around the block helps me wake up and pay attention. Laughing is another great way to zap the “numb zone.”

If we could look at every action in our job search from a place of discovery, how different would our perspective be? If we take time in our week to meet people for coffee, get away from the computer and build relationships, and to approach these conversations from a place of curiosity and discovery, how different would that exchange be? When we approach our job search and life from a place of no expectations, no preconceived ideas of what we hope will happen, acknowledging any fear and doing it anyway; when we approach the action from a place of curiosity, I believe that keeps us more engaged and alive.

Likewise, when we meet people, are we only focused on giving them our resume and talking about what we want, or are we finding out about them and how we can help them? Approaching the conversation to learn about them, their life and who they genuinely are and taking the focus off of ourselves and our crisis may just lighten up our day and allow us to help others. Then we really feel appreciated and engaged about giving back.  Volunteering is another great way to not get stuck in our own story and our own drama. Even if it is just helping out a friend or family member, something that keeps us giving will always open the door to receiving. And who knows – you might even receive a promotion or a job offer.

Live Well,


  1. Wendy

    It’s amazing how much our lives fall into place when our perspective is fresh and relaxed. Now if only I could get it to be that way more of the time… I think reading your blog is very helpful!

  2. Sam

    I think you have touched on several good points. I have had the good fortune to remain employed at the same company for over 20 years. One of the ways I ‘engage’ myself is to actually pick up the telephone and call a client to respond to their email or voicemail (only because a coffee break is requisite behaviour). This way I may get to find something else out about their needs that may not have come across in print. After a while (in client relationship terms) I find that on many occasions work is the last thing we speak about.
    Thanks for the break. Looking forward to the next blog!

  3. Debra Reynolds
    Debra Reynolds11-13-2009

    Again, very good points about reframing and going about the search differently. Could be used with interviewing…instead of nervousness, fear and intimidation – approach the interview as if you are interviewing the company. Do you want to accept their position or work at their company? Keep the power to make your decision rather than it’s totally up to the perspective company.

    All my best,

  4. Vicki Kinney Petersen
    Vicki Kinney Petersen11-21-2009

    Thanks Katie,
    Your suggestion of coming from a place of curiosity resonates with me deeply. Entering from this place requires trust, openness and a willingness to live with ambiguity at times. Cultivating curiosity creates unexpected conversations and new possibilities. Fresh learning has emerged this past 6 months from simply pausing to notice myself in body, mind and spirit in the midst of a meeting or conversation. Instead of moving, I listen inwardly and outwardly…What shift will I choose now in any of these domains that will allow me to express more curiosity?

    Live expectantly,

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