Engagement is important for any generation. Gen Y has a real opportunity to make engagement sing a new song of purpose. It is more than just civic, charitable, or political engagement though. While each is important, there may be an added view or, at least, multiple layers to engage.

Consider these four engagement levels:

Levels of Engagement - Gen YSelf Engagement:

Self engagement means learning. It means knowing oneself. It is about defining purpose and then living it, leading with it.

Take note from Danny Rubin: “Treat every day of your life as a master’s degree.”

Work Engagement:

Work engagement means understanding the industry, knowing the organization, finding your mentors, and making your work shine. It is that simple. It won’t just happen though. You need to put in the time and effort to learn, embrace, and become recognized for the work you do. It is also important to be recognized for how you work with others, too.

Take note from Luke Roland: “I should have found out their story instead of telling mine, I should have spent time with them in other contexts, I should had given to them without expecting something in return….”

Community Engagement:

Community engagement means making a difference where you live or in places where you wouldn’t necessarily want to live. Community starts nearby but it can extend beyond your immediate borders. Extending is good. Don’t lose sight of people in your sight.

Take note from Megan Emme: “The earlier you start to look for things to get involved with, the more time you allow yourself to grow.”

Future Engagement:

Future engagement means doing something today that will be felt 10 or 20 years from now. It is about making choices and taking actions that ripple forward into the future.

Take note from Kelly Silay: “Now is the time to brush up on our understanding of child development and uncover best practices in working with children and youth by utilizing current research.”

Engagement translates to promise.

Engagement is a formal promise. It is how the word began. It is a correct way to consider it.

Engagement is a promise to do something as well as a commitment to follow through. Engagement cannot happen at one level only. It is too limiting in nature. Our nature is multidimensional, as should be our engagement practices.

And that is the point. Engagement needs to be, well, engaged at many levels. Without engagement at multiple levels, we become flimsy in developing and making an impact. We need to fire on all cylinders. Effective leading and living requires firing on all levels to power engagement to really make a difference.

Raise your engagement levels up to include self, work, community, and future. Each level will deliver greater purpose in all that you do.

Where should engagement take place? What levels would you add?