Build Your Career With Better Vocabulary

by Belle

Reading newspapers can help improve your vocabulary

Reading newspapers can help improve your vocabulary

A good vocabulary is essential for career success whether you’re just entering the workforce, or hoping to move forward in your career. Many professionals are very skilled in their chosen field but have inadequate communication skills, and this often prevents their advancement to higher positions. Your chances of snagging the job you want are much improved if you improve your vocabulary with a regular study program.

If the words "study program" bring to mind something that’s difficult and time-consuming, remember that vocabulary improvement actually isn’t hard to do. Think of it as a kind of hobby you can do during your leisure time. If you can find 15 free minutes in your day, you can set up a regular study routine.

How To Improve Vocabulary

There are many ways to improve your vocabulary. One way is to spend a lot of time reading. This does not only include reading books; it also means reading magazines, newspapers, blogs and even the reports you get from work colleagues. The more you take time to read, the more opportunity you’ll have to pick up words that you were not familiar with before. Reading a wide range of materials will ensure that you’re exposed to the widest possible range of vocabulary words.

While overall vocabulary improvement is important, you also need to focus on vocabulary words that you can use on the job. Start reading professional magazines and books related to your current field, or if you’re looking for a new career, target texts in that area. For example, if you are in the field of finance (banking, accounting, portfolio management, etc.), read financial books, follow blogs written by people in the financial business, and search the newspaper and e-mail newsletters for current events related to the financial industry. No matter what field you’re in, the business section of your local newspaper will usually have at least one article of value to you. You can guarantee receipt of the news you need by looking for e-mail mailing lists you can sign up for. These mailing lists will also often lead you to more business contacts.

You need to practice using the words you learn in order to get comfortable with them, and to help you remember them for later use. Start conversations with people who are in the same field as you are. Talk to your colleagues or former classmates and have a conversation about your shared field of expertise. You can also try joining online forums on related topics. There are many groups that meet regularly on the internet, and it’s usually free and easy to join in. Conversing with people, even through writing and chatting, helps enrich your vocabulary. One benefit of online communication is that it also helps you improve your spelling.

Vocabulary Improvement Software

There are many software and online applications that you can use to improve your vocabulary. If you use software that you can install on your laptop or notebook computer, you can take that learning tool with you wherever you go. There will be many occasions where you’ll have to spend time waiting for a meeting or conference to start - that’s the perfect time to review the vocabulary you’ll need to know to get the most out of a seminar, or to make valuable contributions to a company meeting. You can pick software that provides general vocabulary, or choose one that focuses on professional or executive vocabulary. If possible, find a product that has both standard English vocabulary modules and business-specific vocabulary modules and you’ll get the best of both worlds.

The best vocabulary software products use key vocabulary-building techniques, including elaboration, visualization, and repetition. Elaboration helps you to add more depth to your understanding of the word by incorporating synonyms, antonyms, and other related words. Having this knowledge allows you to incorporate the words in your conversations and be confident in the knowledge that you are using them correctly. Visualization tools help improve retention. Memorizing business-related words can be tedious, especially if you’re dealing with long lists of similar words. Images such as photos or drawings can help you identify the meaning of the words faster, and a good vocabulary software system will include those visual elements wherever possible. Of course, you’ll have to practice the word using repetition, and you’ll want to look for a software product that provides exercises at various skill levels, and a way to track your progress.

If you have a smartphone, you can look for and download applications designed to help you increase your vocabulary, practice a "word of the day," or just play vocabulary-building games. You can also use your web-enabled phone to access an online dictionary if you need to quickly look something up.

No matter what approach you take to vocabulary improvement, make sure you take it seriously and devote time to your study every day. Vocabulary building will give you confidence in your communication skills, and you’ll find that leads to increasing success at work.

** This article is courtesy of Belle from

To learn more about memory techniques in general, visit our pages on Repetition and Visualization techniques.

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