Learn the importance of demonstrating initiative at work. Jodi Glickman gives tips for how to show initiative everyday. She also reiterates the point that no one cares about your career as much as you do.
- Initiative. Pretty obvious. You wouldn't be here today with me if you weren't a person who took a ton of initiative. You're sitting here going through this course learning how to make people love you at work. And whatever you're doing today, it took a ton of initiative to get to where you are. Were you just sitting home one day and the phone rang and you got a job offer? You didn't apply, you didn't have to go to college, you didn't have to learn the skills you have. You understand initiative intuitively, but here's the thing about initiative within the context of gift.
It takes a herculean amount of initiative for you to make me love you. For you to be successful and get ahead and make your boss and clients and colleagues love you, you have to always be thinking about what can you do next, right? You've got to raise your hand and ask for opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to you. When someone asks you to do something that you don't know how to do, your natural reaction is to say great, thanks, I'm on it, right, and then go off on your merry way and google business plan or whatever I asked you to do.
But someone who takes initiative sits down with your boss and says thanks, that sounds like a great opportunity. Let's talk about how I can set myself up for success. Do you have an example I can take a look at? Do you have a recommendation of someone I should speak with? Do you have an outline or a template in mind? Someone who takes initiative asks for the resources you need so that you can be successful in whatever you do. Don't just go off on your merry way, pretend that you understand what to do, and then come back two days later with a deliverable that doesn't look like what I wanted to see.
Someone who takes initiative, you don't wait for the year end performance review to find out how you're doing. You ask for feedback proactively, you get it up front. You pull your mentor or manager aside and let them know that you'd love to find out how you're doing. You plant a seed. Let me tell you about my friend Josh. Josh came to interview for a summer internship on Wall Street, and while he was in route to New York City, the airline lost his luggage.
So there Josh is, shows up for his interview at Goldman Sachs in sweatpants. And he goes through a day of interviewing wearing sweats amidst a sea of other candidates all lined up and wearing pin striped suits. And Josh goes through that super day of interviews, and against all odds he gets the offer. Josh gets an offer to go to Goldman Sachs for the summer wearing sweatpants. So he shows up at work for his summer internship and Josh is great.
Everyone really loved him, he was a good guy, he was a good cultural fit for the organization, he was a hard worker, he had a great attitude. And Josh went through his summer and did a great job. But at the end of the summer as we sat around in the conference room going through the internships and figuring out who would get a full time offer and who wouldn't, Josh's name came up. And one by one they went around the room, and everyone had the same analysis. Josh was a great guy but no one knew if he could do the work.
And unfortunately for Josh, and sadly for Goldman, Josh didn't get the offer. We lost out on an awesome candidate and he lost out on a great opportunity because Josh didn't know that he needed to and that he could have taken the initiative to raise his hand and say hey guys, I love Goldman Sachs, this is where I want to work full time, you need to give me something challenging to work on, or I'm really enjoying all of my teams, I love what I'm doing with you guys, but I'd really like an opportunity to work on a valuation model or to work on a live deal or to challenge myself.
Is there something I could do that's a little bit more difficult so that I can prove myself to you this summer? Josh didn't ask those questions, and while we should have been thinking, as an organization, right, someone should have been looking out for Josh and making sure he had challenging work, whether it was his mentor or his buddy or his manager, no one cares more about your career than you. You have to raise your hand, take the initiative, and ask for what you want or what you need because no one else will do it for you.
- Exploring the benefits of working for people you love
- Reaping the benefits of making people love you
- Incorporating generosity into your everyday life
- Demonstrating initiative at work
- Maintaining forward momentum
- Remaining transparent even when things go wrong