Want to get ahead in your career? Read more fiction

It also builds empathy and fine tunes your social skills. So click off email and pick up a book.

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Read more fiction.

As it turns out, I’m not biased. Well, maybe a little. In the November issue of “Scientific American,” author and researcher Keith Oatley describes what reading fiction does for our minds and souls:

You can’t read Oatley’s entire article unless you subscribe, but that’s the gist of what he says.

I run a PR firm, so it makes sense for to require my team to read everything from news and blogs to fiction and poetry. During interviews, we ask job applicants what they read.

We learn a lot about people when we find out what kinds of books they read (Steven King or Ayn Rand?). We learn a lot about what kind of person they are, and even better, what kind of writing they’ll do for us.

You don’t have to work in a creative field for reading fiction to make business sense.

During the past decade or so, Oatley and other academic researchers showed how reading fiction helps a person better understand human emotion, which improves social skills.

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