It is no secret that reading boasts a myriad of personal benefits, and is often credited as one of the main hobbies of a wide range of people. But did you know that the more you read, the more attractive you look to potential employers?
That’s not to say that all you need to do to bag a top job is read a book every now and then, however, regular and varied reading can make you a better potential employee, and here’s how:
1. You’re more empathetic
Studies by various institutions, including Kingston University in London, show that reading — particularly reading literary fiction — can make readers more empathetic. By reading, appreciating and understanding the complex emotions of others, you will be better able to appreciate the emotions of others and be more considerate and tactful. This is a highly attractive quality in a potential employee and one that we at Athena Tuition take very seriously when recruiting new tutors for young students.
What book do we recommend? ‘Never Let Me Go’ – Kazuo Ishiguro. A quietly devastating dystopian fiction following the lives of three best friends.
2. Your vocabulary is richer
This may be taken for granted, but if you read regularly and read a wide variety of styles, you will learn new words and you will have the confidence to use them. Again, strong communication skills and the ability to voice your thoughts in an effective way is a crucial tool for any potential employee to have under their belt.
What book do we recommend? ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ – Anne Bronte. Classic fiction that feels current and as important as ever, the novel traces the story of Helen Huntingdon (the titular tenant) and is as heartbreaking as it is empowering.
3. You understand that patience is a virtue
Reading can be work. Particularly if you’re out of practice, picking up a book and making it to the end is like exercising an underused muscle. Even for regular readers, sometimes slow-burners can take motivation and perseverance to finish; and what employer wouldn’t want these qualities in their employees!?
What book do we recommend? ‘Moby Dick’ – Herman Melville. Sure, most people will recognise the famous first line of “Call me Ishmael”, but what of the rest? Whilst not an easy read, if you finish you will be rewarded with a beautiful story.
4. You become calmer
Focusing on a book and the methodical turning of pages helps you to switch off from the stresses of daily life. It is proven that reading makes you calmer, and potential employees will, therefore, have an outlet for office anxiety.
What book do we recommend? ‘The Versions of Us’ – Laura Barnett. A beautifully written, well-researched and thoughtful look at a relationship and what could have been.
5. You sleep better
It has been repeatedly proven in studies that reading a few chapters of a book is a far better way for your mind to relax and for you to unwind and feel ready for sleep than watching a film or flicking through your phone. Neuroscientist Dr. David Lewis from the University of Sussex found reading can reduce stress levels by as much as 68%. Well-rested employees are more productive, happier and can focus on the task at hand.
What book do we recommend? ‘The Outrun’ – Amy Liptrot. This autobiographical account of the relationship between healing and nature set in Orkney is wonderfully written and informative.
6. You’ll have stronger critical thinking skills
Not all books ask you to switch off and sit calmly in the passenger seat! Often, reading will ask you to question and to think logically, to analyse and balance information. An employer will want people on their team who are able to think logically and to review information and situations calmly and methodically.
What book do we recommend? ‘His Bloody Project’ – Graeme Macrae Burnett. An excellently thought-provoking and original novel that will ask you to put yourself in the mindset of a murderer, a witness, a judge, a psychiatrist, a lawyer and a blood-thirsty member of the public.
7. Your writing skills will improve
Not only will you be able to speak more confidently and fluently, but your writing skills will improve too. You’ll have a better understanding of good sentence structure and the rhythm of words. You’ll have a clearer idea of how to write persuasively, and how to get your point across. Employers will look for employees who can both speak and write effectively because you will be representing their brand.
What book do we recommend? ‘Macbeth’ – William Shakespeare. For tips on how to write effectively and how to be persuasive and convincing, look no further than Shakespeare’s tale of murder, greed, guilt and fate.
8. You’ll be more creative
It sounds obvious, but if you read then you are becoming a more creative person. You are encouraging your brain to imagine the unimaginable. Have you ever had a chat with a friend about how each of you pictured a character in a book and been shocked by the wildly different pictures? Creative employees are highly coveted by employers because they can think outside of the box, and inject passion and excitement into otherwise mundane tasks.
What book do we recommend? ‘Harry Potter’ – J.K Rowling. For an insight into the wonders of creativity and imagination, pick up any book from the Harry Potter series and immerse yourself in the wizarding world.
9. Your memory gets a boost
Reading stretches and exercises your memory, a Yale professor told Oprah.com. You’re asked to remember dates, names, key events, and tiny details. Employees who can keep track of the minute details and ensure that things are kept on track are extremely attractive to employers because they don’t drop the ball and they help things run seamlessly.
What book do we recommend? ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ – Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A cyclical narrative of Colombian life that will keep you on your toes whilst encouraging you to lose yourself.
10. You’ll be a more well-rounded person
By reading regularly, you are constantly learning about people and places. You find yourself jumping out of your comfort zone. Well-rounded employees are more comfortable turning their hand to any number of things, can look at things with different perspectives, and are also more interesting to talk to!
What book do we recommend? ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Focusing on the Biafran War, this novel’s three narrators detail Nigerian life before, during and after the war.
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