By Kate Thora

During my time as a fresh graduate, on occasion I struggled with the idea that there is so much expected of me as a potential employee, and seemingly so little time to acquire the knowledge. But by making the time to do some extra reading from expert books on the side, I found the process becomes a lot easier. Here are some of the benefits I discovered.

1. Allows You to Learn from the Masters

The most obvious reason to read expert books is because the people who have written them have invested a great deal of time and effort to become an expert. What they have to say is of importance to the topic we are studying.

When you take up an expert book in your hands you can instantly access the best and brightest minds in your area of interest, without geographical limits. This is an invaluable experience which can give you an edge in a recruitment process.

2. Hones Your Argument Building Skills

One of the areas that most job searchers struggle with when it comes to preparing for an interview is how to build a convincing argument and sustain it throughout the paper. This is also quite a tricky skill to learn, but when you read books written by those who have learned how to argue their point cogently over time you find structuring arguments becomes easier.

Knowing how to explain yourself in such a way that others agree with you is a hugely beneficial life skill – and it can come from reading.

3. Makes it Easier to Decide What’s Relevant

In the beginning, it can be hard to work your way through all of the text you’re supposed to read. But when you read expert books widely, with practice, you will come to recognize a good, useful text almost instantly. The same is true of the less relevant or well-written articles. The faster you get at reading the easier you will find it to scan texts for relevant information.

The more you read, the better informed you will be about writers you like, so you can revisit them time & again to see what they have to say about a topic. This makes beginning your research easier as you have an instant first port of call.

4. Gives You the Confidence to Question

When we meet new material it seems reasonable to take what is being said as fact. The written material on most subjects, however, is comprised of a great deal of personal opinion. Experts have of course carried out extensive research in order to arrive at the opinion expressed, but if you are only aware of one point of view on a matter then you don’t have the opportunity to make up your own mind.

Reading a number of expert opinions on a topic gives you the freedom to decide which argument is most convincing to you. This helps you to develop the confidence to question material as you read, which in turn develops your critical thinking abilities.

5. Reveals Different Approaches

We all view the world differently and have unique perspectives. Every topic can be approached in a different way. If you were to read all of the books written on one topic you would find that they all approach the discussion in distinct ways. There is no one correct way to write a journal or a book.

When you read from expert books on a particular matter it’s clear how each writer has their own way of exploring the question. This helps us to become more fluid in our thinking, we see that there are plenty of ways to solve a problem.

Although reading a wide variety of material when we already have a set of interviews to prepare for may seem impossible, the benefits that we acquire from doing so really can offset the effort involved. And remember that the more we read the faster we become and the easier it gets, so why not set yourself a reading challenge today? And don’t forget to expand your horizons also in other areas, such as looking for new places to apply. Good luck!