THE INITIATIVE BEGINS WITH YOU
It is not enough for employees to merely react to problems and adapt to changes; rather, they need to plan ahead and take creative initiatives to build a constructive environment. In line with these developments, many organizations have been creating passion within their workforce by providing a key value of developing their employees’ skills and knowledge, also called the proactive approach. Research shows that being proactive at work not only boosts your confidence and performance, but also your career path and goals. The essence of being a proactive worker is to seek out opportunities to accomplish duties, gain knowledge and enhance skills, whether or not it was asked of you. It is the ability and willingness to see beyond the boundaries of the position to identify novel, creative ways of performing the work. So let’s take a closer look at what it means to be proactive:
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
A proactive worker chooses to perform more than what is expected of them. They are self-initiated, change-oriented, and future forward thinkers. They are committed to their dreams within the organization and constantly offer solutions to problems, implement new strategies for improvements, and take initiatives to enhance the entire workforce to pledge a well-rounded, balanced service. As George Bernard Shaw, Co-founder of the London School of Economics once said:
“People are always blaming their circumstances for
what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The
people who get on in this world are the people who
get up and look for the circumstances they want, and
if they can’t find them, make them.“
Going beyond your job description and participating in organizational improvement initiatives is another sign of a proactive employee. Approaching your supervisor, sending feedback about the current performance, and providing an additional value are all not part of a mundane job description, but rather solid evidence that you are actively trying to shape the workforce and organization to excel in the market. You shouldn’t wait for your boss to assign you a particular project, but take the wheel and lead.
A proactive worker uses his own personal judgment when deciding how and when to complete work as well as the appropriate and convenient time to ensure that all objectives are met. For instance, if a current project is facing challenges that you can no longer handle or aren’t able to meet requirements, you can share the problem with other parties within the organization so that everything runs smoothly and effectively.
The proactive approach does not merely foster personal career goals over the well-being of the workforce environment, but also seeks the well-being and success of the entire team. For example, you are working in a PR agency and you are among several other editors assigned to work on different publications. You complete all your work, but find your colleagues trying hard to meet their deadlines, too. This is the time to offer help. In this case, you not only help your colleagues, but also cultivate a work environment that encourages engagement, team collaboration, and productivity.
They say “like attracts like”. The same goes for your mental state. Having a positive attitude allows you to turn any negative situation into a constructive one. You are resilient and your positive energy inspires people around you to strive for excellence at work. A proactive, positive person sees the glass as half full and acts in line with their core values. They contribute to their overall work environment with honesty, integrity, and positivity.
Taking the initiative of self development displays a willingness to face new challenges, as well as highlights a strong sense of responsibility - both qualities that are sure to impress your manager. And since you are aware that it is in your best interest to grow professionally, adapting to the new technological advancements and learning new soft skills through seminars, and workshops becomes an undeniable necessity. In doing so you open doors to new skills, and get to experiment with novel approaches that enhance your ability to succeed. Leaders value inventiveness, positive spirit, and drive, and will likely reward said behavior with a raise, promotion, new job title, or a better office. Who wouldn’t like that?
IT IS TIME TO BE PROACTIVE AT WORK!
Being proactive at work not only boosts your confidence and performance, but also your career path and goals. When you are a proactive employee, you seek to predict problems before they even arise or exist. Being proactive is not prohibited to serving oneself, but also others, to create a well-rounded environment that pretty much excels in every aspect. The proactive approach is also infectious, if one person is proactive, others want to follow the lead! It might mean having to step out of your comfort zone at times to keep up with the same performance or the courage to try something new, but it is all worth it in the end as it helps to take you up another rung in the ladder of success.