Let me make a bold assertion: Reading is one of the best ways to advance your career. With a simple trip to your local library or a swift ‘buy now’ via Amazon, individuals can find information about just about any topic. Conventional wisdom is that reading makes you smarter, but the benefits expand beyond IQ – reading can reduce stress, improve verbal and nonverbal communication, and much more. Harry Truman famously said ‘Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.’ The attributes we value in leadership, we can cultivate through reading.

You may not have a say in who your boss is, when you’ll attain your next promotion, or how much you like your coworkers. But, reading can give you perspective on each of these topics, expand your analytical skills, and show you how others have navigated similarly challenging situations in their workplace.

Because we value your career at ClearanceJobs, we want to make it even easier for you to access great books – including those by our bench of incredibly talented contributors. Starting this month, we’ll be hosting a virtual book club. The first title we’ll tackle is ‘Why We Write: Craft Essays on Writing War.’ The book includes a range of military voices including veterans, journalists and civilians covering national security topics.

Why Read ‘Why We Write’?

Leaders are readers, but they’re also writers. It may not look like a poetry or an essay, but effective communication is what culls the leaders from the crowd. Yes, that includes tasks as simple as how you respond to email. The essays included in ‘Why We Write’ offer varied perspectives on how writing helps service members (and anyone else) tell their story, voice their opinion, become a change agent, or build social capital – yes, it’s a book about writing, but it’s a book any cleared professional could apply to their career development.

The book was edited by Randy Brown and Steve Leonard (Leonard is a regular ClearanceJobs contributor), and is an anthology born out of the Military Writers Guild, an international membership organization bringing together military and national security writers from a variety of backgrounds.

I want to read with you: What’s Next!

Join us in reading ‘Why We Write,’ and tune in at the end of March for a Facebook Live chat about the book – what were the big takeaways, what essays best applied to career development, and what better (or any) writing may do for your career.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.