“The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.” – Stephen Cove
Taking initiative at work does not mean being obnoxious or aggressive, but rather recognizing your responsibility to do something that needs to be done. Showing initiative is a must-do in demonstrating your work value. It correlates strongly with professional development and personal achievement.
People who have initiative and make things happen are highly valued in the workplace. Everyone wants to be viewed as capable and trustworthy. But how can you develop it? Well, consider the following ways I listed below for lighting the fire of initiative in your daily work.
1. Set your goals.
“Setting your goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
Set small goals in order to achieve some quick wins. Make plans before taking an action, so you’ll see a better outcome. Also, focus on your strengths and build them to realize your goals. Then, regularly review your progress on your objectives, and adjust your course as required.
2. Build self-confidence.
Self-confidence is one of the most powerful characteristics of successful people. It takes courage and self-belief to show initiative in the workplace, especially if you’re afraid of rejections. Some people are scared of taking any action that’s not yet authorized by the boss, because they fear that people may disagree with their actions.
Your confidence has a crucial role on your way up the career ladder, so you better develop it and overcome your weakness. It will also help you build the courage to accomplish bigger tasks.
3. Always be alert.
Always be alert for ways to make something work better. Proactively suggest those improvement ideas and be the example for implementing that process. You have to be willing to work hard and stay attentive so your boss will notice all your ability to develop as a leader.
4. Always be prepared.
Always think ahead and tackle new skills all the time. It is better to be prepared though there is no opportunity yet than to have an opportunity yet you’re not prepared. That is why you should aim high and constantly grow both as a person and a professional. Research the subject matter in advance, dig in and immerse yourself in the topic at hand. As soon as you see a chance to use the acquired competence, go ahead and do that.
5. Show up on time.
The earlier you show up, the more initiative you show. By doing this, you are already proving that you are a responsible employee because you no longer have to wait for the time when your boss will tell you to arrive early.
6. Do more than what is required for you.
Take it upon yourself to do more than what is required for you. Don’t settle for what you have always been done and get the same results all over again. You need to be creative in order to stand out, search for new solutions, and more effective approaches. Also, try to do something extra all the time and just concentrate on the areas where you can generate the most visible and remarkable results.
7. Share ideas.
Participate and make your presence known by taking part in any discussions or activities. If you have a good idea don’t be afraid to speak up, you have a great chance to see them being realized in the future. You can become the person your boss counts on if you show cooperation and involve yourself in whatever discussions you have in the workplace.
8. Consider every opportunity.
“There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity.”– Douglas MacArthur
Opportunities are hidden everywhere. It is always something interesting to think about. Taking time to properly consider every opportunity is something that can bring clarity to life. You may discover a possibility to take up a perspective project, which will open new career horizons or you may see a chance to show your unique professional abilities. Whatever it is, all you need to do is analyze and act.
9. Ask questions.
To take initiative, you should know how things work and how you can develop them. Be curious and ask questions. Try to analyze each situation, this will give birth to new ideas and ways you can contribute to the growth of your company.
10. Be optimistic.
Always look at the bigger picture. Smile at people, greet them, and spread the positive vibes rather than ignoring them. Take initiative to encourage folks in your workplace to be optimistic all the time. And if you encounter problems in your office, bring solutions instead of worrying about it. Learn also to present your ideas and plans in a positive and effective manner to others.
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” Prof. Michael Porter
You alone are responsible for how your life turns out, because you can always decide how you will respond to it. You can choose to give up and let go of things or get up when the life pushes you on your knees. You can choose to keep moving forward, never lose hope, and keep fighting no matter how hard your situation is. Same as when to take initiative in the workplace, it is your choice if you just want to sit there and wait for someone to instruct you or you’ll just take the initiative to find something that needs to be done.