There are those who can’t put a book down and those who have a hard time getting through an article, let alone a novel.  However, the benefits of developing a strong habit of reading are too numerous to ignore. Many of the skills that improve through reading can help you improve and possibly advance your career.

Reading Makes you a Better Leader – Empathy is the skill of understanding and recognizing others’ feelings and perspectives. As a successful leader, this skill is extremely important to possess. It is difficult to effectively lead someone you don’t understand. Studies have shown that individuals who read for only thirty minutes a week reported a stronger sense of empathy which is a trait shared with the best leaders.

Reading Reduces Stress – Studies have shown that reducing stress can help you physically and mentally. With work stress being one of the highest reported types of stress, it is important to find ways to alleviate the tension that goes along with it. While listening to music, taking a walk, or enjoying a relaxing cup of coffee can help reduce stress, research shows that just six minutes of sustained reading can reduce stress by 68 percent. Reduced stress leads to a clearer mind, allowing you to be more productive and efficient.

Enhances Analytical Skills – While reading, you are constantly noting details that are provided so you can better understand the plot of the story. Making inferences and using deductive reasoning is necessary when reading text that gives implied information. These same skills come in handy at the workplace when completing tasks that require even the smallest amount of problem solving. Critical thinking skills help to improve decision making skills, enhance communication skills and gives you an appreciation of differing worldviews.

Improved Communication Skills – Expanding  your vocabulary is vital when sounding professional or during job interviews and one of the best ways to improve your vocabulary is by reading. All types of literature expose you to different ideas and new words, which can be very useful in professional settings.

Reading often and reading a variety of material can help improve your career in ways you didn’t know were possible. Whether expanding your vocabulary, improving your leadership skills or reducing daily stress, finding time in your day to open a book, magazine, or newspaper is worth the time you spend doing it.