Do you ever feel like you’re just sitting around at work, waiting for something to happen? Perhaps you get given your work for the day or week, and you do it to the specifications you’re given. But you feel like you could be doing something bigger if only you had the chance. However, if you want something better to happen, you can’t just wait for it to happen. Showing some initiative and taking action is much better than waiting for someone to hand you an opportunity. If you want to prove yourself and perhaps advance your career, it’s up to you to take control. Start taking the initiative at work by using some of these top methods.
Create Work for Yourself
Do you sometimes find that you finish your work and have nothing to do? Or perhaps you stretch out the work you do have so that its lasts until the end of the day. Instead of sitting there twiddling your thumbs, why not think about what else you can do? You don’t have to wait for someone to hand you your work on a plate. You can make work for yourself and go above and beyond what’s expected of you. Don’t just stop at the minimum requirements for your job description. Your superiors will appreciate it if you’re willing to go further and do more.
Speak Up In and Out of Meetings
Making your voice heard is an important part of taking the initiative at work. If you have ideas or thoughts to share, don’t be afraid to share them. Speak up when you have the opportunity, such as when you’re in a meeting. However, don’t shy away from creating opportunities to share your opinion too. You don’t have to wait until a meeting has been arranged to get your thoughts out there. If you have an idea, decide who it’s best to share it with. You might mention it to your boss or to a colleague. Make sure you take credit for your own ideas too. Don’t let anyone else get away with stealing your voice.
Volunteer for Things
As well as speaking up, it’s a great idea to put yourself forwards in other ways. You should try to volunteer for things that will help you develop your career. It might be something that’s directly related to your role. Perhaps you can volunteer to take the lead on a project or to carry out a particular task. However, it could be something that isn’t directly to do with your job description. Maybe you can volunteer to help out with a fundraising event or a social group. You could be the person in the office that helps to arrange birthday cards and collections. You could get involved with a scheme to support women in the workplace.
Arrange Extra Training
Ongoing training can be excellent for your career, but you don’t have to wait until it’s offered to you. You can arrange it yourself to help give you the skills and knowledge you need. If you want help with funding it or getting time to do it, you could approach your employer about it. You might choose to boost your technical skills or build on communication or management. One of the best things to do is take an online course. For example, there’s the one at https://www.simplilearn.com/project-management/devops-foundation-certification-training. The project management course has weekend online classes so you can study in your spare time. There are hundreds of other courses like this in a huge variety of skills.
Look for Opportunities
It’s excellent practice to always look for opportunities for your personal growth and the growth of the company. Whenever you’re working, you can ask yourself how you might be able to make positive changes. Even when something goes wrong, you might be able to identify an opportunity for growth. If you want to show off your creative thinking and problem-solving skills, this is an excellent way to do it. You might start working on something off your own initiative. Or you might approach someone with an idea. Maybe you’ll end up with your own project that you get to take control of and see through to the end.
Being able to solve a problem is a great way that you can show initiative, especially if you do it without asking. Problem solving starts at a personal level, though. Before you can go off and solve problems elsewhere, make sure you address any of your own. For example, you might have received a criticism or a performance review. Showing that you can improve in these areas is essential. Even better, there’s no need to wait for someone to remark on your performance. Asking for comments from someone shows that you’re ready and willing to improve. Of course, you can address problems elsewhere too. You might be able to make a significant contribution to the company by solving a problem.
If you want to be able to take the initiative at work, it’s a good idea to get to know more about how things work. Don’t just stick to your role and everything directly related to it. Allow yourself to be curious about other things and ask questions too. You can get a better understanding of how your role fits into the company as a whole. How does other people’s work inform yours and vice versa? By asking the right questions, you can show that you’re interested in contributing to the company. It can help you identify the ways you can make a difference.
Get Other People Involved
Taking the initiative at work doesn’t have to mean doing it on your own. Another idea you could try is to get a group of people together. There could be several different purposes for your group. You could be brainstorming ideas to help everyone work better and think more creatively. However, you might also have another purpose for your group. Maybe you want to work on a project on the side. You could even get a group together to do something that’s not directly related to work. For example, you could start a running group for after work. Or you could set up a committee to achieve some charitable efforts. Try learning how to create a networking group at https://www.fastcompany.com/3033662/hit-the-ground-running/how-to-start-a-networking-group-that-will-actually-work.
Don’t Put Off Decisions
Sometimes, making decisions at work can be difficult. You might put them off or try to avoid doing it so that someone else has to be the decision maker. But if you want to get somewhere with your career, you have to be able to take control of a situation. You should be able to analyze a problem or a question and find the answer to it. You won’t always get things entirely right, but it’s better than not making any moves at all. Just make sure that any decisions you make are informed and well thought through.
Take Care of the Small Things
Is there something you or others have been putting off for a long time? It could be anything, from discussing an important matter to tidying your desk. Sometimes, there are things that aren’t pressing issues that we can keep ignoring. Nothing gets worse if we don’t take care of them, but it also means some things won’t get better. It might not be a particularly significant issue, but taking care of it can be a great way to show initiative. Everyone might appreciate that you create a rota for cleaning the break room. Or maybe you can tackle the problem of pens going missing.
Offer Help to Others
Being willing to lend a hand to someone else always makes you look good. However, it’s even better if you don’t wait for them to ask. Offering your help without being asked is a great way to take the initiative at work. If you see that someone is struggling and you have some time on your hands, you could help them out of a hole. It will help you to build relationships, and you’ll look good to your boss. Just be careful that you aren’t helping any one person out too much, though. You don’t want to end up doing their job for them or make it look like they’re incapable. Offer help when it’s really needed but don’t get trapped into holding someone else up.
Build Your Confidence
If you want to take the initiative at work, it can require a lot of confidence. You need to be able to speak up and put yourself forwards for lots of things. If you feel like you’re not confident enough, you should take the time to build your confidence. You can do this partly by doing some of the things above, which will help you to grow. Practice makes perfect, so sometimes you just have to go for it. However, you might also find it useful to do some other confidence-building exercises outside of work.
If you want your boss to notice you, don’t be afraid to show initiative at work. There are lots of ways you can do it, and it can help you get the attention you need.