Are you someone who’s known for showing initiative? If not, you may be negatively impacting your ability to be promoted or secure a new position. Initiative is, “the ability to assess and initiate things independently” (OxfordDictionaries.com).

Stand Out From Your Peers

Applicants for new positions are commonly asked to describe an example of a time when they took the initiative in the workplace. Interviewers are interested in an applicants’ ability to demonstrate that they took initiative and how it impacted the organization. Money saved or made increases the impact of the examples provided. Equally important in today’s globally dispersed technology-driven work environments is the ability to work on multi-cultural and multi-generational teams. Taking the initiative to increase the cohesiveness of teams and get work done gets noticed. Taking the initiative can help make you the obvious choice for new opportunities.

Take the Initiative in Your Workplace

Goals and strategy often dictate resource allocation. Many organizations suffer in some way from a lack of resources to adequately support their undertaking everything that they’d prefer to do. This can mean that less desirable and often riskier initiatives go unfunded.

Understand the expectations for taking the initiative in your workplace. Speak with your leadership if you’re uncertain of how taking initiative in your workplace will be viewed. Be creative and consider the ways in which you can save or make the organization money once you understand what’s acceptable in your organization. Then draft a plan and discuss it with your leadership. Yes, this may involve taking on projects or assignments in addition to your regular workload. If taking on additional work isn’t an option for you consider the ways in which you can take the initiative with your current workload. For example, you may be able to recruit others to help your team perhaps form a temporary work group to decrease timelines or share resources among departments. Numerous options exist once you understand your organization’s tolerance and support for employees taking initiative.

Consider if the following can work for you in your workplace:

  1. Identify how you can add value.
  2. Volunteer to take on a challenging situation that’s lacked resources or support in the past.
  3. Get approval, input and support to move forward.
  4. Do the work necessary to advance your organization while making or saving them money if at all possible – strive for measurable results.

 

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