The threat to jobs that has intensified over the past 4 – 5 years still continues. Today I want to show you 4 Things you can do to start taking initiative at work, which can help you keep your job, get a raise, or get promotion.
I know I have consistently advocated for the need to find something doing that is outside the “JOB” cycle. I haven’t changed my mind on that, but I also know that a “Job” is a great start out option for many of us and many people find fulfillment in their jobs, and some people can’t take the risks associated with starting out on their own.
In this current climate, taking initiatives at work is not just a task for the ambitious or hardworking employee, it is very important if you don’t want to lose your job. Companies will be reluctant to let go of employees that consistently add value to the organisation. If there is one secret thing you can start doing now, it is to start taking initiative at work. If you do, don’t be surprised that promotion will come and even in the downturn you can be getting salary increase.
How can I start taking initiative at work?
Let’s run through some things you can start doing NOW!
1.) Act without being told – If you know something needs to be done at work, do it. E.g. you see a product carelessly dropped in the wrong product section, do you just walk past and leave it (rest assured that it’s not part of your job description) or do you pick it up and take it to the right section so that customers are not misled. When you see a need at work, or something to be done, step up to it if you can do it. The point is to be sensitive and be proactive.
Be careful – Consider your company policy on doing things that are not part of your job description, and also you don’t want to start creating the feeling of “seeking promotion by doing every other person’s job”
2.) Do it right – Learn to do the job right. It does not have to be perfect. Part of doing the job right is by taking the initiative to learn how to do it right. For example you are part of a workflow and you depend on data from someone else. You can ask the appropriate authority on how to generate the data yourself so that the work can be done faster and smoother and you don’t have to rely on the person formally generating the data.
Be careful – If it will threaten someone else’s job, then don’t do it. Or find a less intrusive way and a more positive reason why you want to learn it.
3.) Ask necessary questions – In my language, there is an adage that says “the person that asks for direction does not miss the way”. Asking questions is a great way to show that you are taking initiative by wanting to “know”. In an environment with good culture, superiors are very responsive to answer good questions. If you don’t know something, don’t assume it is easy. I used to work in a fast food joint, and that is when I realised that the mustard shot that goes on the bun is measured (Imagine that).
Be Careful – Don’t ask random questions that portrays you as dumb rather than intelligent. Ask questions to know, and make sure you remember the answers.
4.) You can just point it out, you don’t have to do it – I need you to understand that taking initiative sometimes can be as simple as “Sir, I think there is a better way to do this job, if we can re-arrange the room”. Your boss would have seen that you are thinking on progress and taking initiative. There are instances that due to political reasons that are beyond what you can understand or control, some initiatives will never be implemented. But you can still get the points by showing that you thought about it.
A subscriber who has been following this series was slightly discouraged that her Initiative proposal to improve things at work was not favoured, so she contacted me for how she can get it implemented. After listening carefully to the dynamics. I knew it was time for her to STOP PUSHING!
Be Careful – when you sense a lot of politics involved, don’t push further. I suggested a solution to my boss on how to stop one of our company properties from getting flooded. He looked at it, commended my effort then told me I shouldn’t bother about it anymore. He said “We know what we want to do there”. I got the message instantly and never pushed for it again, but I scored the points for taking initiative.
When you take initiative, the rewards are great:
1.) Job Satisfaction
2.) Increase in Pay
4.) Get a corner office
5.) Increase in allowance
6.) Awards and recognition
7.) In this current economic climate, you may just get to keep your job.
Where can you take initiative right now? Leave a comment
Do you have initiative Ideas you want to suggest, but not sure whether it will fly, or you simply want extra eyes and ears, drop me a mail or leave a comment on the website.