The Importance of Using Initiative in the Workplace

Using initiative in the workplace is an effective way to get ahead.
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Using initiative in the workplace isn't just a way to help your company be more successful, it's also a way to get your employer to recognize you as a key asset. Regardless of your industry or position, showing initiative will help you stand out from your co-workers who are more comfortable just taking orders. Proper initiative in the workplace can help employers see you as management material.

Prevent Obstacles

    When you use initiative in the workplace, it can prevent obstacles from arising during certain projects, reports Careerealism. When you think ahead about a problem that might occur, you or your manager can address the problem before it becomes an obstacle. For example, if you review a company dress code memo and catch an unclear sentence, clarifying the point before sending out the memo will prevent employees from being confused.


    Whether you use initiative to catch a problem in a product or think of a way to market something for better results, workplace initiative is important because it results in improvements in the product or service that your business delivers. The "Inc." magazine website reports that one of the best ways you can show initiative in the workplace is to always be thinking about how to improve how the organization runs.

Proactive vs. Reactive

    Using initiative at work can make you stand out from your co-workers for the right reasons. Managers appreciate it when you are proactive, rather than reactive. In other words, thinking about an situation and foreseeing problems or ways to improve it is better than just reacting once the problem occurs. The career advancement firm Eat Your Career says that proactive employees cause change, instead of react when change happens.


    Improving your ability to show initiative in the workplace is as simple as looking at how you work and asking yourself a few key questions, according to British Columbia's Job Search Online website. Do you make suggestions at meetings? Have you asked for extra assignments? Have you tried to fix problems before taking them to your supervisor, or have you started new assignments before you're told? Are you any good at communicating openly with your supervisor? Managers often notice employees who exhibit these traits. "Inc." reported on a poll that found that executives are more likely to promote employees who ask for more responsibility.

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