Imagine you share an apartment with roommates and the dirty dishes are piling up in the kitchen. With every additional plate, empty space in the kitchen disappears. Eventually, the filth tolerance level of one of the roommates is surpassed and this poor person starts doing the dishes. Often this initiative encourages roommates to follow the good example. Everybody likes having such leaders as roommates, and human resource departments have a strong interest in recruiting these personalities as well.
In fact life itself responds to people who possess this quality.
“Folks who never do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do” ― Elbert Hubbard
Ashley Lauren Perez, Sourcing Specialist at Wilson HCG noticed that whenever she gives advice for people to take initiative at work, many people respond with
“Why would I put in all this time and effort if I’m not getting compensated for it? Most of the time it goes unnoticed so what’s the point?”
She continued, regardless if those things seem to initially be true, you must remember to take a step back and see the big picture. Taking initiative doesn’t just help you potentially get a raise or promotion, it helps you grow. You will gain new skills, learn how to overcome challenges more effectively, and really get an idea of what you are passionate about and good at. Bob Nelson, author of 1001 ways to Take Initiative at Work says
“The biggest mistake you make in life is to think you work for someone else.”
A recent poll of executives asked, “What do you feel is the single best way for employees to earn a promotion and/or raise?” Topping the list for 82% of the respondents was “Ask for more work and responsibility.” It is not only the work or responsibility that matters, getting results does too. Taking initiative helps you get results faster, and opens up more room for you to hone your skills, perfect your craft and offer more value. The marketplace responds well to people that take initiative.