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How Reading Can Improve Your Image in Professional Environments

–     By:  Stephanie Wimmer

When preparing for a career, individuals have to possess the ability to present themselves in a manner that is attractive to their audience. Whether than is a potential employer, a professor, or a group of peers, we would love to see our professional careers run as smoothly as in the movies.  What better way to prepare for a career than to put yourself in the story line.  Reading, yes for fun, not textbooks for class, assists in developing our cognitive complexity by having our minds race with imagination and by exposing us to vocabulary we might not have been exposed to if we didn’t pick up those “ancient” chapter books. This increased vocabulary will encourage not just how you think, but how you speak, and being well spoken while others are evaluating you is extremely important.   

Self-confidence is essential to developing a positive relationship with employers, especially when conducting an initial interview.  Reading is an active mental process than increases your attentiveness and temperament, while increasing your self-confidence and creativity.  Self-confidence leads to successful leadership and being able to embrace your “A-game” throughout interaction with career professionals, professors, and amongst other peers, is definitely a positive attribute. Individuals who read on a regular basis have the ability to adapt to different conversational styles and find it easier to develop small talk or continue conversations in a professional manner. A confident candidate will portray themselves as a more suitable candidate for the job, a more suitable person to lead a class project, or even a more approachable person in which to develop a friendship. 

Everyday life can be hectic, especially in the lives of college students, and we are constantly seeking ways to relieve stress or avoid it all together.  Next time, instead of going for a run or taking a nap, try picking up a book!  While reading, the reader more frequently than not, is inspired to put themselves into the story, making the story come alive.  What better way to escape the cram studying, work overload, and other pressures of college life than by temporarily forgetting it all.  Give it a try, next time you can’t fall asleep at night or just need a break from studying, instead of reaching for the remote, grab a good book, and instead of getting behind, you will be setting yourself up for future success!

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