“Literature is unbelievably helpful, because no matter what business you are in, you are dealing with interpersonal relationships. It gives you an appreciation of what makes people tick.”
- Michael Eisner, Former Walt Disney Company CEO
Literature is ingrained in almost every aspect of our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. The way we understand ourselves and the world around us is deeply literary in itself. Even though studying literature might not seem feasible in the beginning, you’ll soon realize that it is indispensable. Here is how literature arms you with some of the most wanted soft and hybrid skills.
What About Bookworms?
There is a myth that majoring in liberal arts is just for the prestigious as it serves no purpose other than ennobling and refining your mind. But many liberal arts majors are found to be the best employees in various positions.
For their meticulous analytical observations, excellent communications skills, creativity, and emotional intelligence, they rank the highest when it comes to success in marketing, journalism, social media managing – something you might not tie them with at first.
Even those that want to stick to their profession and work alone might find it easy navigating through modern media and marketing strategies when starting a blog. It is not just the interesting and relevant content that delivers success, but the way they promote it. If you need additional advice on this, get more on this site.
Hidden Importance Of Soft Skills
The question is, do we even comprehend emotions without first forming a coherent narrative? In other words, can we understand relevant emotional experience without first creating a story? Psychologists would argue that no, we understand as much as we can tell a story of our experience.
On the other hand, ever since Plato and Aristotle, we are aware that stories induce emotions. Some movies or novels might have touched you more than actual people. Stories carry vicarious experiences. Aristotle would argue that this way you gain insight into human behavior, and scientists today know that literature helps shape your brain circuits for empathy.
This probably comes as no surprise. Reading makes you more creative. Even Nikola Tesla, the greatest minds of all time, didn’t come to ideas out of thin air but got inspired by many literary works, most notably, Goethe’s Faust.
There is a myth about creativity T.S. Eliot rebuked a century ago. There is no sudden flash of inspiration through some unknown source. True creativity lies in tradition, in the vast corpus of texts we inherited, and the way we modify and make new creations out of old pieces to suit new contexts.
Along with emotional intelligence, creativity is one of the most sought-after soft skills. It is the ability to conceive new solutions, which is always in demand in our ever-changing environment.
This is something you won’t hear elsewhere, but this is probably the most noteworthy skill you’ll have, all from marketing, to screenwriting, copywriting, journalism and so on. Whether you write a commercial or a political campaign or the news, you have to know how to tell a story. Good stories sell, not good products, and every company knows this.
Journalists not only tell stories but recognize and deconstruct such stories as well. It goes along with being inquisitive, analytical, resourceful, it is an overarching skill.
Sometimes simply reading experience is enough. But Literature majors know all narrative mechanisms, how stories are formed and manipulated. They are also aware of the significant role of intertextuality, which is the most dominant and most perfidious way we tell stories today.
Excellent Communication Skills
This might be obvious, but reading improves your communication skills, by broadening your vocabulary, promoting language learning and forming new sentence structures. Also, the way you speak transforms the way you think. Thus, sophisticated communication comes with complex thought patterns.
No doubt literature majors read more than the average reader, but they also read texts of different genres, complexity, language, in multiple translations and so on. They are also more efficient in memorizing and categorizing information gained through text which makes them great researchers and fast learners.
This being said, it is time to rethink humanities studies such as these as they may be more relevant than is admitted today. Maybe we’ll soon witness the revival of liberal arts in general that will once again regain their importance in the society like they used to, but that is a topic for another time.