“You can’t cross a sea by merely staring into the water.”-Rabindranath Tagore
Have you seen a small child constantly reminded by his/her parents to complete small chores ?
Does your manager have to treat you like a child, or do you take initiative?
Employees who need to be told what to do at work are said to be “reactive”. They attend to their work only after their manager tells them to, or after the need to do something has been pointed out to them.
Employees who do what has to be done and solve problems before they arise are said to be “proactive”
In today’s uncertain economic times, being “proactive” can indeed pay some rich dividends:
1. By taking initiative you’ll gain skills and learn more about your company and the market it serves.
2. You’ll no longer be bored at work because you won’t be stuck in the same old routine any longer.
But before we learn more of the advantages, let’s consider some of the dangers of taking initiative at work.
1. Is the problem within your area of responsibility? Before taking on a task outside your normal area of responsibility you should find out whose responsibility it is and involve that person.
2. If a fellow employee is swamped with work and you are facing a lull in work, ask them if you can help. But don’t assume they will welcome your help.
Despite these dangers, the rewards of taking initiative are great:
– You’ll achieve more independence when you demonstrate that you have the organization’s interests in mind and that they can trust your judgment in solving problems.
– You’ll gain skills and market knowledge that will make you a more valuable commodity in the labor market. Workers who only do their own little job are not aware of opportunities outside their company.
In general terms, taking initiative at work is simply handling duties and responsibilities without having to wait on instructions from others. This is especially important at small businesses, which must be much more agile than large corporations to succeed. Doing so not only helps the performance of the company — it can also help your career.
“You create opportunities by performing, not complaining.” – Muriel Siebert
N.B: This post has been written by Puspanjali Kar. Puspanjali serves as a part of the Human Resources team at Tavisca. You can directly reach Puspanjali at – firstname.lastname@example.org