Do you have a colleague who got promoted faster than you did? There’s always one in every organization. And that employee is almost always proactive and has initiative. Companies always prefer workers who show initiative. It’s because these people perform better and are more innovative.

What does it mean to take initiative? The dictionary defines initiative as the ability to assess and start things on your own. Someone with initiative will act or take charge of a situation before others do.

An employee who with initiative will do things without prompting. They will find out what they need to know to get something done. They will also keep working even when the situation is tough. They know how to spot an opportunity and take advantage of it.

There’s a good chance you have seen someone take initiative, especially in the workplace. For example, one team member proposed a way to improve a plan to their manager. The Japanese picking up trash in a stadium after a soccer game is another example.

Taking initiative is very important in the workplace today. Companies want proactive workers. These are individuals who will do the job even without their managers telling them to do so. This is a trait that will help you fulfill your career aspirations. Here’s how you can take initiative at work.

Expect What Needs Doing

Managers are always on the lookout for a proactive employee. Many people think being proactive and taking the initiative are the same. They are alike in the sense that you’re taking it upon yourself to act. Someone with initiative will assess a situation and take advantage of it. But a proactive person will create said opportunity. They will also take control of a situation.

You can be proactive at work by thinking ahead. You predict what needs doing and forge ahead. Don’t rush in though. You have to use your knowledge of the job to decide on the next step. You’ll know if you’re competent enough to decide on your own. If not, you know you should tell a supervisor of your plan before proceeding.

Look for Ways to Improve Conditions

You can also show initiative by looking for ways to improve your company. Let’s say your job allows you to interact with clients. You can get feedback from them on what they like about your company. Clients will also have good insights on what areas need improvement. You can use their feedback to show the weak points in your company’s current policies. You can also push for positive changes based on the clients’ suggestions.

You don’t even have to make major improvements. Even something as simple as finding ways to help out when your supervisor is away is good. You can do a task that can move a project forward. Your supervisor will appreciate it, especially if you do it without prompting. It will do wonders for your career path.

Prepare for Meetings

Many employees attend meetings because they’re directed to. Most are there to get information and instructions. You can do more than bring a pen and paper to a meeting. You can go there armed with suggestions for improvements. You can also come up with questions that will help clarify certain information or issues.

You might have to do a bit of legwork though. Let’s say you’re going to suggest a new software. You should do some research about its benefits and cost. You can even do a risk analysis to support your idea.

Taking the initiative to ask questions or give suggestions is always a positive. It shows that you’re organized and willing to work hard. It also demonstrates that you have confidence in your abilities. You’re also showing a growth mindset.

Drive Your Business Forward

When you want the best, then you need NW Recruiting Partners. We’re the premier full-service recruiting company in Washington. We specialize in finding the best professionals for companies on the West Coast. We also recruit for industries in Colorado, California, and the Pacific Northwest. We have a pool of professionals who can take on executive to mid-level roles. We focus on industries like construction, manufacturing, and real estate. We also look for people who will fit in HR, sales, and marketing.  Why not give us a call at 206-343-8732? You can also reach us at