How Being Proactive At Work Can Help Your Career

How Being Proactive At Work Can Help Your Career

Check out how to stand out in your field of expertise by being proactive.

Are you looking to invest in your own career? If your answer is yes, being proactive at work might be the key to taking the leap you’ve always wanted to!

With the increasingly competitive job market and smaller teams, professionals have resorted to different ways to stand out from the rest, either in the organization where they already work or as entrepreneurs who wish to boost their business.

But, how can proactivity help you stand out?

In this post, we’ll cover the importance of being proactive and how this attitude can positively influence your career and/or your business. Keep reading to learn more!

What is proactivity?

The first thing we need to address is the difference between a proactive and a reactive person.

While a reactive person responds to stimulus, be it a manager’s request or a problem that has arisen, proactive people think and act ahead of the requests

Proactivity goes beyond the anticipation of problems. It has to do with the planning and execution of tasks without a superior having to request such actions.

In other words, proactivity is the ability of acting, of taking on responsibility and of planning decision-making so as to achieve a previously established goal.

Characteristics of a proactive professional

Confusing proactivity with competitiveness is common. In order to try to solve this debate, we’ve listed 7 characteristics of a proactive professional. Check them out below:

1. Self-initiative

Proactive professionals don’t wait for opportunities; they create them. They are, in their majority, at the forefront of projects because at the slightest sign of a challenge, they enter the discussion and expose their view and how they can add to the project.

2. Think forward

Proactive people think long-term. They focus on the current scenario, yet thinking about how the project can add to the organization’s future.

Every action is taken aimed at a goal that was outlined at the beginning of planning.

3. Analytical ability

These professionals have the ability to untangle a process or situation and explain it in a simple and objective manner. This characteristic makes them see the entire scope of the project with more clarity and allows the assertive planning of the next steps.

4. Determination

Rocky GIF

Proactive people are not easily shaken or intimidated by little things. Because they already have well-defined expected results for each project, they’ll do anything in their power – and beyond – to achieve the expected results.

5. Focus

Proactive professionals concentrate their energy on the crucial issues of each project. They usually strive to solve what is within their reach without letting factors that don’t depend solely on them, to get in their way.

6. Seek continuous improvement

Proactive people don’t get too comfortable; they’re always studying, searching for new sources of knowledge, and improving acquired skills. One thing is certain, you’ll never see a proactive person standing still.

7. Knowledge of the company culture

Proactive people know what is expected of them. They deeply understand the organizational culture, the company’s mission, and vision and use this knowledge to guide their decision-making process, without needing to wait until the order comes from a superior.

What are the advantages of being proactive at work?

The first thing that being proactive at work will help in your career is the clarity of goals and expected results. With this information at hands, professionals remain productive by being able to plan and execute tasks, while guiding the decision-making process with a focus on results.

The ability to plan and anticipate possible interferences allows better organization and execution of the proposed tasks.

In addition, proactivity encourages people to leave their comfort zone, which might be well received within the organization where you work.

How to be more proactive?

If you got this far and feel that you’re not proactive at all, we have great news for you. As with any other skill, proactivity can be developed. All you need is dedication to do so!

Below, we’ve listed a few tips to help you stay proactive:

Self-awareness

self-awareness

Knowing how to identify your strengths is important in order to use them in your favor. Understand which skills you can put into practice to help you develop a project.

Also, don’t forget to identify the points you need to improve. As we’ve mentioned, searching for new skills and constant improvement is key for a proactive professional.

Plan

Always plan. Make a list of your daily tasks and those that a particular project might require. Analyze how much time on average you’ll take to carry out each one of these tasks and specify deadlines.

Planning will help you have a clearer picture of a project’s scope, in addition to helping you achieve the expected results.

Decision-making

Decision-making is part of every professional’s daily activities. The difference is that a proactive professional is better prepared to reach successful outcomes.

But how do you ensure that you are doing everything in your power to make the right decision? Study.

Keep in mind that being proactive is only one of the things that can help you boost your career. It’s also essential to know how to manage your own time and organize yourself so as not to leave tasks and decisions for later. Be sure to check out our article with the best tips and apps to increase productivity.


This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated with more complete and relevant information with the help of Marcos Pereira.

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