How Can Reading Help Your Professional Career
It is a well-established fact that reading books makes you smarter. By reading a lot, you constantly improve your vocabulary, creativity, personality and overall intelligence. Books let you take a peek into universes other than your own, which greatly expands your horizons. Whether you are aware of it or not, your brain evolves with every single book you read.
But can reading help your professional career as well? It most certainly can, and it will. Career development is closely intertwined with your personal development. By reading books and articles, you are consistently evolving, which will turn out to be beneficial for your professional life in the long term. Let’s take a closer look at the ways in which this will happen:
- Reading improves your vocabulary. With each text, you will introduce at least a couple of new words into your personal glossary, on an almost subconscious level. Before you even realize it, you will start using these words in conversations or e-mails. This will improve your professional communication skills and facilitate success during negotiations, meetings or interviews.
- Reading enhances creativity. When you read, your mind draws landscapes, and sometimes entire worlds, in your head. We know that the mind is very much like a muscle – the more you train it, the stronger it becomes. The same goes for creativity – if you use it on a daily basis while reading, it will most likely start to shine in a workplace context as well.
- Reading trains your memory. You cannot finish most books in a single reading session. This means that your mind has to memorize the plot, characters and all the important details, from one day (or week) to the next. Hence, the more you read, the better does your memory expand and improve. Plus, when you decide to take it to the next level, you can try reading several books simultaneously, to give your memory something to really work on. Needless to say, your well-exercised memory will prove invaluable for your job performance and, ultimately, your career advancement.
- Reading increases your crystallised intelligence. Crystallised intelligence, as opposed to fluid intelligence, consists of all the knowledge currently stored in your brain. It is the type of intelligence that determines how well you know the world around you, and consequently how good you are at navigating it. This is why most IQ tests include questions related to your vocabulary, which help determine just how clever you are. The rule that highly intelligent people tend to have successful careers, is pretty much self-explanatory.
- Reading teaches you to stay focused and to concentrate on your target. In many ways, starting a new book is similar to performing a task or undertaking a new project. To read a book properly, you need to keep doing it at the same pace and with the same regularity. This helps you get used to having a consistent performance, establishing and respecting deadlines, and to maintain your workflow rhythm at all times.
- Most research is done by reading. Whether you are performing a new task or hunting for a new job opportunity on Jooble, you need to do your research, before anything else. And that always implies a lot of reading. For example, before applying for a job, you need to make sure that you clearly understand what will be required of you, which benefits you might expect, as well as the inevitable downsides of the position you are considering. This usually entails hours upon hours on online research, reading up on the employer’s brand, vision and history, looking up similar job descriptions, understanding the skills required, reading feedback from people previously employed at the same company etc. Now, if you are used to reading a lot, this will enable you to read “diagonally” and save you a huge amount of time, to the same (or greater) effect.
- Reading trains your social skills. Although considered the favorite pastime of introverts, reading can actually be helpful at preparing you for social interaction. First of all, a lot of great reading material contains dialogue that can teach you some very useful conversation skills and techniques, by the power of example. Second, there are literally thousands of useful books about self-development and improving your social acumen. And last, but not least, reading greatly enhances your empathy. When you read a good book, especially if it is written from the first-person perspective, you always put yourself in the character’s shoes. When transposed into the real world, that same skill helps you build strong, engaging relationships with your colleagues and peers, while certainly empowering your career development.
There are very few other pastimes as useful as reading. It will always broaden your horizons and help you become a better individual. It will consistently train your mind to stay young, witty and sharp. It will also free your imagination and make you more interesting for the people around you. Given time, all of these factors will surely help your career reach unprecedented heights. To quote Oscar Wilde, “It is what you read when you don’t have to, that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
Author: Teodor Birsa