Initiative: How to Develop this Desirable Skill

If you’ve been job-hunting, you may have realized that one big thing employers look for in their employees is initiative. Initiative is the ability to take charge and complete your tasks independently, to be a “self-starter”.
While the definition is helpful, it doesn’t exactly clarify what a self-starter looks like. The Economic Times recently published a list of qualities of a self-starter, and here at NLG, we think they are worth looking into.
A self-starter is someone who….
1) Shows drive.
If you are genuinely interested in your work, or in working in general, your drive will come across. “Companies are always inclined to hiring professionals who demonstrate an intrinsic motivation and drive” according to the Economic Times.
2) Is a Goal-Getter
Setting concrete, attainable goals with realistic timelines gives you a purpose and vision at work. This allows you to work toward something.
“Consistently meeting and exceeding standards set for an individual goes a long way in creating a positive perception about the employee being a self-starter,” said James Arawak, managing director, BTI Executive Search.
3) Is Creative and Innovative
Finding new solutions to problems or implementing new practices into your work shows you have a keen interest and desire to improve. These are things a self-starter does as they tackled challenges presented to them
4) Takes Risks
Appropriate risks go a long way. Thinking outside the box, trying to reach a new market, or learning a new skill are examples of calculated risks someone may take in their place of employment. These show that the employee is up for challenges and wants to see their company and themselves living up to their full potential. Risks like this demonstrate initiative and are far better than constant, inefficient complacency.
5) Promotes Themselves
According to the Economic Times:
“A self-starter is one who seizes new window of opportunities to promote oneself. “Polish your reputation, as it’s your best asset. Speak with energy and benchmark yourself with your work,” said Dhar. Subject matter expertise enables one to be a self-starter, feels Aditya Narayan Mishra, chief executive officer, Ciel HR Services.”
Do not be afraid to talk about yourself and celebrate your achievements. Of course, humility is something we all strive to practice, but there is a time and a place. Confidence in your abilities during a job interview showcases that you know your worth and that you will continue to live up to it as an employee.
Know your abilities, and use them to help meet the needs of your team. Focus on reaching your potential, and you will find yourself living and working as a self-starter, a valuable member of a team, who will surely help take their company to the Next Level!

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