Reading is good for your career. Don’t believe me? Think of all the successful people who make reading a priority – Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Cuban, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerburg, to name a few. And they aren’t just reading Facebook updates, emails and tweets. They are committing time to reading actual books.
Why does reading a book matter? The benefits are plentiful and aren’t just limited to reading non-fiction. One important way reading helps your career is by helping you develop empathy. When you connect with a character and begin to understand their feelings and emotions, you are increasing your empathy. You gain valuable exposure to other perspectives, which can help you better relate to your coworkers and clients.
Some of the other ways reading can support professional development include:
Reading helps you develop and improve your written and verbal communication skills through exposure to other writers’ styles, voice and sentence structure.
As you encounter new words in context, you learn how to use those words effectively.
When you focus on what you’re reading instead of that overwhelming to do list or busy season workload, you distract yourself from everything that is causing stress. Managing your stress helps you be less reactive – which supports better decision making.
Reading strengthens your ability to focus, a skill we all need to develop in a highly distracting world.
Successful readers learn to persevere all the way through until the end of a book.
Depending on the genre, you’ll likely need to use your imagination to picture characters and settings.
Exposure to Leadership
Reading biographies or autobiographies can provide insights into leaders and the challenges they encountered on the road to success.
Ready to start your professional reading program? Here are a few great places to look for suggestions:
Get recommendations from real people on everything from science fiction to mystery to non-fiction and everything in between. Try looking for a book you enjoyed in the past and see what other books people who liked that title recommend.
This is a great resource for literary fiction to strengthen and build your empathy.
Check out Bill Gates for his personal reviews of the non-fiction titles he has read recently.
Jennifer Gardner, Manager--Communications and Social Strategy, Member Learning and Competency, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants