Whether you are in job search mode or thinking about your career goals, you need information, inspiration, and ideas. Reading offers all of these. Yet many people have no regular plan to read in ways that support their professional development.

How can you enhance your career growth and development? Some simple ways include reading

  • professional and trade journals in your career field and industry
  • subscribing to clipping services which cover areas of interest
  • local business paper
  • articles recommended by your connections, via LinkedIn or directly
  • books on careers, future work, trends
  • anything that inspires you to look forward and grow

Professional and trade journals exist in profusion. It is easiest to start by looking at those of the professional groups you belong to. But do not limit yourself – learn what else is available and check out a variety of potential resources. If you need ideas, ask a reference librarian at your local library for sources. Ask people in your field what they rely on and find the best information in.

I also find the many free resources which provide a wide range of articles useful. Fast Company offers great weekly and monthly emails on various business, technical, and creative ideas. SmartBrief.com has a huge range of daily emails snipping bits from articles all over on both career topics, workplace issues, and industry-specific options. Quartz.com and Vox.com keep you up on the world. And there are so many more!

Local business papers (or newspaper sections) usually provide real insight into local businesses. They often also list upcoming seminars and events and may cover who is moving into what new job. All useful intelligence for your career.

The most basic book on careers and job search is still Richard Bolles “What Color is Your Parachute.” It is updated annually and gives you a great way to think about possible career choices and how to achieve your goals. After that, there are new books coming out constantly. At least once a year it is smart to read a recent book on what is happening in the work world and one on trends in business. Others depend on your stage in life and career interests but lists of ‘top ten’ business books, career guides, and so on are readily available.

Don’t forget to read things which inspire you. These may be articles by a favored author, blog posts, or books. I like biographies and books about people. You might favor history, leadership, or future-focused books.

Cultivate the habit of reading widely and you will find great support in your personal and professional development.