Taking Initiative

Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 17, 2020

Change is inevitable in all aspects of life. You can either wait for it to happen, or you can adapt it to your will. By taking initiative, you can take proactive steps to meet your goals. Take charge of what you want to accomplish and ensure your voice is heard. Embrace change but do it your way.

You also need to learn how to take criticism. Call it constructive because your work will impact others. You need to learn how to make all parties content. This means you need to step outside your comfort zone. How will you be one step ahead otherwise?

So what does taking initiative involve?

It simply means to take control of the decision-making process. You have to go to great lengths to complete a task before you are compelled to. This requires intuition. You need the foresight to anticipate conflicting demands. Also, be open to the idea of learning new skills.

You are equipping yourself with the necessary ammunition for success. In the long run, this will enhance your personal life and refine your professional one. It establishes you as a dependable character at home and a valuable team member at work.

Taking initiative also means demonstrating confidence. You need to exude this aura to show you can get things done and commandeer a team when needed. Learn how to put together the right team to tackle an unconventional problem. This shows that you can get the job done by any means necessary.

How can this help you in your professional life?

Let’s look at this from an employer’s perspective. Would you hire someone who gets the job done properly only when they’re told how to do it? Or would you want someone who can understand the situation and act accordingly? Someone who doesn’t need any prompting?

You’ll undoubtedly opt for the latter. Employees want to hire instinctive people—someone who understands the wider purpose of their role and looks at the bigger picture. Taking initiative can make up for the lack of experience. By showcasing your innate skills, you can stand out.

So how do you demonstrate this? Simply stating, “I take initiatives,” won’t do. Subtly incorporate stories where you did showcase initiation. If they pick this up in your application, there’s a high possibility of them bringing it up in the interview. Don’t force this in a conversation, though. Do so only when it’s natural to.

When should you take initiative?

Everyone has goals- personal or professional. Let’s look at some instances where you can take initiative for the betterment of yourself and others.

Personal Objectives

Sometimes, spending time with your family improves your health. Professional life often hinders you from doing so. You simply need to plan. Try to do things you enjoy more. Pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read for a while. Go visit your grandparents over the weekend. These simple things go a long way.

Implant the idea in your head and make it happen. Write down your goals in a journal and give yourself a deadline to complete them. Following this will boost your confidence. You can take on more challenging tasks over time. Maybe you’ll learn a new language or even save up to get a new car.

Professional Goals

Taking initiative can enhance your work experience and fast-track your career. It shows you have a strong work ethic and the skills to handle difficult projects. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas. Showcase your potential by taking strenuous tasks. Make use of constructive feedback to improve your work.

Does this mean you should always take initiative, though? There’s a fine line between taking the lead and being taken advantage of. You don’t want to carry the brunt of the work all the time. Don’t be a pushover. Taking over won’t help. Offer your expertise by guiding others.

You might think it’ll be quicker if you do it. That may be true, but do you always want to be the responsible one? Map out the tasks you expect the others in your team to do. Don’t lower your standards. Aim for the best outcome by taking advantage of the skillsets in your organization!

How can you take initiative without being intrusive?

Taking initiative in any setting means more work and responsibilities. You might not be the only one who wants the same development. Get to know the people you’re working with. Become familiar with your workplace. Listen to what the others have to say. Assess their strengths and weaknesses.

Be empathic, but also speak up when you see a problem. You don’t want a minor problem to affect the overall outcome. Don’t succumb to the fear of being ostracized. All of you are driven by the same goals. Offer assistance and solutions without being asked.

Final Thoughts

It’s okay wanting to be a dependable person. Just don’t let others exploit you. Work with your personal and organizational goals in your mind. It’s not a single individual’s show. Be open to suggestions. They aren’t questioning your capabilities, so don’t take them personally.

Listen to the discussions around you to learn about opportunities. Aim to improve yourself continually. Take initiative, become proactive, and foresee potential obstructions before they show up.

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