Mary Kay Ash said that there are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. All the three types exist in most organizations but it is only the people in the first group who advance farthest in their careers and makes more money while all the rest lag behind.
Organizations treasure employees who take initiative and make things happen rather than those who wait to be shepherded all the time. As we moved into the electronic age many companies began shaking free of the bureaucratic red tape that had hitherto defined corporations. Management realized the need for speed and agility in a fast-changing business environment occasioned by rapid technological advances. Consequently, organizations are now placing greater emphasis on pro-activity on the part of employees as opposed to rigid chains of command. An employee who shows greater initiative and self direction therefore has better chances of moving upwards.
According to Tim Nelson MAP Houston, initiative is a skill that anyone can develop and reap handsomely from. The benefits of taking initiative are manifold. To start with, initiative gets you noticed. If you are at the forefront of making things happen you will naturally stand out from the crowd. This can be quite important if you are working in a crowded workplace. Tim Nelson MAP Houston suggests that you can exercise initiative and get noticed by volunteering for tasks that others shy away from. If you show the willingness to go an extra mile your bosses will certainly take notice and thus hold you in higher esteem than everyone else.
Secondly, your initiative will gift you better and more varied skills. Each time you extend yourself beyond what is expected of you, you will find yourself putting in additional hours of practice to master a particular skill. This way you will end up with a better mastery of important skills and competencies as compared to your workmates who only put in the bare minimum. Further, you can engage in activities that require a new set of skills and which will broaden your overall repertoire of skills and competencies. For instance, if you volunteer to lead a project you will also be building your leadership skills even as you work on the specifics of the project at hand. If an opening for promotion becomes available you will be among the leading contenders for the position thanks to your extensive portfolio of skills.
As a proactive employee, opportunities will rarely pass you by. Tim Nelson MAP Houston adds that action-oriented employees actually create their own opportunities when none seem to be forthcoming. There is always something that needs improvement in your company and any boss worthy of his position will appreciate well thought out solutions. Tim Nelson MAP Houston also notes that taking initiative boosts self confidence and self esteem and which in turn improves your chances of advancing farther in your career. When you take calculated risks you are able to push your limits outwards and to explore greater possibilities.
All in all, we can safely say that being proactive and taking initiative is a sure way to advance in one's career no matter how tough the competition may seem.