Folks! Why aren’t we reading more? Too many of us know too little about our professional field. Things are changing weekly, if not daily. Degrees have coaxed us into superficial slumbers and we need to wake up. There are new terms being introduced into jargon with every article written. New best practices are being developed and we need to know what works best for our fields. Being great at what you do isn’t always about coming up with a new way to do it. Sometimes it’s about finding the way someone else did it and improving upon their methods. Easiest way to find their methods? Reading. Plus reading helps you become a better writer. Too many of us mis-punctuate sentences, misspell words, and misuse terms because we don’t have a solid understanding of them. You’ll gain a better understanding by seeing more words. Plus you’ll feel more comfortable using them in conversation. And you’ll have an easier time impressing your supervisor/peers when they ask for input or (better yet) impressing the interviewer when you’re trying to get a job. If you don’t have time to read, while you’re at work pounding away at the keyboard, find a podcast or e-book that that will enhance your knowledge of the field.
Though books are the greatest invention since heated food (if you ask me), if you’re not big on heavy reads, at least set a goal to read one article related to your profession every day of the work week. It’ll give you something to talk about. Easiest way to find them? Set up a Google Alert or follow a Twitter account related to your profession. But don’t stop learning. The conferring of degrees doesn’t mean the completion of learning. It only means now your learning ought to be self-guided for the most part. This isn’t 1847. This is the day and age where knowledge really is power. How strong do you want to be?
Make professional development a priority.