9 Ways to Take More Initiative at Work

Feeling like a laggard at work? Are you always the last to volunteer, or the last to be consulted when exigencies crop up? You may wish to raise your hand and start getting noticed if you’re looking to secure your job and create a favourable impression with your employers. These 9 inventive ways of taking more initiative at work will serve you well.

  1. Stay up to Date on Work Matters – it’s futile taking the initiative if you don’t know what you’re doing. According to Louis Pasteur, the French microbiologist, ‘Chance favours the prepared mind.’ In other words, soak up as much information as possible at work so that you can make a meaningful contribution when your supervisor or boss requests your assistance. When you know what’s going on, you’re better poised to take the lead.
  1. Stay Busy All the Time – ever heard the expression, ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person.’ This is true for every vocation, task, or activity. Busy people are already in the swing of things – so they don’t need any warming up, cajoling, or enticing. When you’re busy, you’re on the ball and that means you’re getting things done. If you’re looking to take more initiative at work, it’s time to get busy.
  1. Look the Part – we live in a superficial society where nothing is what it appears to be. Unfortunately, many of us are judged according to these precepts. Why not take advantage of societal norms and dress sharp, feel good about yourself, and present yourself appropriately at work.

If there’s ever any doubt about how important looks are, consider the following: Would you trust a person dressed in bedraggled clothing and dishevelled hair with a $1 million investment, or would you trust a snappy dresser with a suit and tie? It’s a no-brainer.

  1. Get in the Zone – our minds and bodies need to be prepared for the transition from backseat participant to a leadership role. Your mind and body need to be synced to achieve higher level objectives. Taking the initiative is about taking charge – that means you’re probably going to be tasked with leading people, making important decisions, and being accountable. You will want to get into the right frame of mind for this task. One of the ways you can do this is brain training exercises.

Clear your mind of all the gobbledygook and focus on a simple task. Many entrepreneurs practice strategy-based games such as Hay Match. Why? This puzzle-style game requires you to match identical items, to clear them from the board. Every time a level has been cleared, 3 stars are awarded. With some 100+ levels to play, this game gets you into the zone where you are focused and ready to lead from the front.

  1. Raise Your Hand – you’re more likely to get noticed at work if you draw attention to yourself. Employees are integral components of companies, since their efforts are needed to achieve organizational objectives. If you share your opinion on work-related issues, you will get noticed. This is one of the most effective ways of taking the initiative at work.
  1. Service above Self – when you put the interests of the company first, you get noticed first. Bosses watch employees who punch out early and do the bare minimum. Your goal is to make a lasting impression on your employer by going above and beyond. Take one for the team – take the initiative – do what is necessary to achieve the organizational objectives. This is what it’s all about.
  1. Persistence Pays Off – it’s not easy being the #1 guy or gal in the office. It takes tremendous fortitude, discipline, and resilience. Work hard, work smart, and work to achieve organizational goals. Giving up is easy – it’s staying the course that requires courage.
  1. Shoulder More Responsibilities – Communicate with your manager, or direct supervisor about what is expected of you, and get things done. Be proactive in your dealings with colleagues and co-workers. While you’re at it, assume additional responsibilities to help you become an even more valuable member of the team. The more you can do, the more favourably the company will see you.
  1. Appreciate your Colleagues – while everyone appreciates a workhorse, no one appreciates a glory hound. Give credit where credit is due, be humble in success and gracious with the constructive criticism you receive.

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