Every day at work, no matter what we do, things don’t totally get accomplished and there’s always a never-ending stream of things to do- which is actually good. Otherwise, you will no longer be needed and you will not be able to keep your job. Be grateful that you’re constantly doing and redoing things in your workplace. In order to improve ourselves, as employees, we always need to come up with initiatives. What is Initiative?

It’s the ability to assess and do things on your own without making people tell you. Even if you’re already doing all the necessary work duties that you signed up for, you could always find a way to improve and introduce better ways of accomplishing work in your current organization.

Why do we need to show more ‘Initiative’?

Initiative allows us to stretch our abilities and learn new things along the way- that we never even knew existed. Even if our efforts are sometimes not recognized, it all boils down to building character and skills that we could use for self-improvement.

Here’s what people with a lot initiative do in order to stay on top of their game:

  1. Adding that extra 1%. For as little as one percent, adding new things in your usual routine can make a lot of difference eventually. For example, if you’re caught up with filing paperwork between 4-5pm, by tomorrow you can do your usual paperwork filing only until 4.30pm and use that extra 30 minutes to learn using a new software to help you with your usual tasks. You’ll be surprised to find out that there are many new technology innovations that can boost your productivity in the office. A few days after you might be already be able to use that software to help you accomplish your tasks.
  2. They don’t easily lose momentum. Stopping to rest is a good thing, but if you stop for more than what is the required the resting period, you may accidentally let the weeds grow in your garden. Don’t stop performing continuously do things that will help you accomplish your work for the organization.
  3. Loves following the path of successful people. Following the steps of great people will help you create your own path in the workplace. Follow their guiding principles, admire their accomplishments and embody all the good things that they aspired to become which is initiative in its own right for you to become a better leader someday.
  4. They work with teams. It’s nice to do your own thing but you also need to learn how to become a productive member of a team. As the old African proverb goes “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together”. Your career is a constant journey. You need people to work with you if you want to go far.
  5. Not afraid to speak up. It will not be taken against you if you have an idea that could potentially help your organization. If you have ideas, don’t keep it for yourself. Let your immediate superior know what you’re thinking especially if it’s going to be beneficial for everyone.
  6. Always prepared. We all heard it before, “Always Be prepared”. It wouldn’t hurt to continue to live the motto of our Boy and Girl Scouts. There’s a reason why there are some people who gets overwhelmed with work and there’s a reason why some can easily cope with work pressure. And this is precisely because of their level of preparedness.
  7. Embraces opportunities to improve. Whatever it is, if it’s going to improve your skills and knowledge, be open and willing to accept it. Being conscious about improving yourself can easily foster initiative in you.
  8. More on showing it than telling it. We often hear about people who loves to plan their next move but who also rarely accomplishes it. It’s better to do rather than just talk about your plans. Practice doing and finishing what you started and you’ll notice a big difference on how you act and how people perceive you.
  9. Awareness of their limitations. There are things that we as employees cannot do alone, but there are also things that we can do on our own especially when we utilize our skills and abilities.
  10. Completion of unfinished projects. There are projects at work that some of your colleagues may have left undone. Projects or tasks that were left hanging that no one would do but still needs completion. If you don’t have special access to accomplish such tasks, it’s better to ask your immediate superior first what their plans are for the unfinished work. Once you get their approval to take over the project, then you can freely step in to finally complete the task.

We hope that we were able to share with you the importance of having Initiative to improve yourself as an individual and as an Employee. For more career articles, please visit out Jobseeker and Employee sections.

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