World Book Day is a reminder to all of us, not just children, that books are a powerful and accessible source of knowledge, growth, inspiration, stress relief and confidence… they can be a great tonic to Imposter Syndrome too! Let’s see what a pro-active attitude to learning can do for your career and take a look at some recommendations.
It’s too easy as an adult to forget how amazing it can be to engage with a whole book. With so much information available as headlines, 100 character posts or short video clips, the unique benefits of digging into a subject or a story in real detail can be pushed aside.
World Book Day is usually focused on children and engaging them in the benefits and opportunities to be found through exploring books. As a lover of all things literary, I wholeheartedly support this idea but I would also like to extend the invite to adults. I think it’s a great chance to promote the learning, questioning, self-advancement and development that we can all find through the channel of books (in whatever form they may take).
It’s too easy as an adult to forget how amazing it can be to engage with a whole book. With so much information available as headlines, 100 character posts or short video clips, the unique benefits of digging into a subject or a story in real detail can be pushed to one side. Quite aside from the mental health rewards of concentrating on a book in a quiet environment for a period of time (of which there are many!), we learn about things in so much more depth. By actively engaging in some detailed content and really absorbing it, it is then easier to put that information to good use. And putting new knowledge into practice helps us to open new doors or push our boundaries. There really is no downside!
L of H.E.A.L.T.H.Y. Career is Learn
Take this into a career or work setting and there’s a good reason why ‘Learn’ is the L in our H.E.A.L.T.H.Y. Career framework. Each one of us is unique, with our own set of experiences, education, upbringing, skills and knowledge so that means that there’s always something new to be learnt from someone – even on a topic you believe you know a lot about. No one knows everything but everyone knows something, so being curious can uncover some wonderful insights. Then, if those insights catch your imagination, books are a wonderful way to dive into the topic in more depth. .
Books as one solution to Imposter Syndrome
When it comes to starting a new career or a new role, the fear of the unknown can often make us anxious, sometimes to the point of extreme stress and imposter syndrome. Books are one way to combat this. Reading about something takes it out of the ‘unknown’ category and puts it in the ‘known’ category. Even if you have only scratched the surface, that knowledge reduces the fear and puts you in a stronger position.
Use knowledge to build confidence
In my book ADAPT, GROW, THRIVE; How to supercharge your career, I often refer knowledge and learning as a key way to build confidence and help you feel on solid ground when going into new work scenarios or when stretching your comfort zones. Throughout March I’ll be posting some of the top tips from my book to give you a flavour of the learnings that others have found helpful and will hopefully serve you too.
It’s also often helpful at work to be an expert (or at least the most informed in the room) about a particular topic related to your job. No one can be an expert on everything, but by choosing your subject area carefully and keeping yourself up to date with your knowledge, you will guarantee yourself a place at the table for the conversations that matter to you.
In the spirit of #WorldBookDay, here are some other recommendations of recent books that I have enjoyed and which have expanded my knowledge and curiosity in one way or another.
- The Midnight Library – Matt Haig (fiction) – for when your brain needs a break!
- The Coaching Habit – Michael Bungay Stanier (non-fiction)
- Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert (non-fiction)
- Start Where You Are – Meera Lee Patel (non-fiction)
So, what topic would it help you to know more about? There’s a book for that!