Today India has 864 universities and nearly 51000 institutions of higher education, yet a mounting challenge that our country continues to face is sheer dearth of employable skills in most of our youths. According to reports and data about 15 per cent of Indian graduates are armed with requisite professional expertise. Education primarily aims at equipping our youth with employable and entrepreneurial skills and at creating assets in the form of knowledge and skills which is known as human capital. Youngsters must acquire the necessary skills to gain and maintain gainful employment. While technical/vocational skills are known to be the most critical ones to improve employability, better communication, problem-solving, enterprising and being proactive are now increasingly being deemed as extremely valuable skills.
In this article we will discuss how being enterprising and willing to take initiative can help you improve your employability factor –
What is initiative?
- going the extra mile
- the ability to notice something that needs to be done
- It is doing more than your normal work duties
What taking Initiative is all about?
- Tackling challenges
- Solving problems
- Helping others
- Willingness to roll up your sleeves and do what it takes
- Being creative
- Inventing unique solutions to problems
- Being a fast learner and training others
- Thinking ahead, anticipating and preventing problems
Benefits of taking initiative
- gives you visibility at work
- improves your potential for growth
- processes are improved.
- relationships become stronger
- It creates independence, high morale, motivation
- critical thinking skills & problem solving skills enhanced
- personal happiness and job satisfaction
Barriers of taking initiative
- Consent of colleagues: Missing
- Bad experience of a previous boss
- Extra time
- No immediate monetary rewards
What organisations want?
People to rise above the day to day working to understand the larger function of the business – the BIG picture – Individuals must take initiative to understand this. They must show the understanding at work in their actions.
12 ways to take more initiative
- Ask questions
- Make a list of things & get them done
Recognize your mistakes
- Own those mistakes
- Let your voice be heard
- Set Goals
- Actively Participate
- Embrace new opportunity
- Follow your values
- Inform yourself
- Ask an expert
- Make a plan
- Ask for more responsibilities
- Lead meetings
- Support your supervisor
- Brainstorm ideas about improvement
- Do things and projects that others avoid
- Step in when someone is unavailable or absent.
While being enthusiastic about taking initiative you have to be careful not to go overboard. First ensure that you complete your normal tasks satisfactorily before taking on extra work. It is important to know the limits of your authority, hence, before taking initiative on matters in a critical area, consult appropriate seniors.
It is also extremely essential to assess your risk tolerance and to know that there is a potential to make mistakes and fail. Don’t overpromise and under deliver as it affects your credibility. Own up and admit your mistakes when you fail. Have a good attitude, don’t try to do everything alone. Feel comfortable in asking for help when you need it.
Also, control your ego when you encounter rejection of your ideas. Don’t take it personally. Keep your cool. Don’t appear as a know it all – be a sponge, absorb, learn and soak up knowledge. Lastly, at all times, take care of yourself, be well rested, take time to do a job well rather than hurrying up to finish the work. Be open to other people’s viewpoints, be humble, and respect yourself and others.
What you need to do in an organization
- You need adapt to the values listed and follow them every day
- Each business lists the qualities they want in the people they hire
- When you get hired, there is already some match of these qualities
- You need to work and showcase them further in your attitude and work
- Be the role model of the values by showing them in your behaviour
- When that happens, you are recognized for your excellent attitude and supported for more things
How to maintain your enterprising spirit at Work -Show it, say it & then do it!
- Talk to colleagues and cultivate healthy work relationships
- Attend industry events and conferences
- Interact with customers
- Read about and learn new skills
- Seek feedback & set mini challenges for yourself
- Organize and decorate your work area
- Read motivational quotes
- Listen to inspirational music
- Watch inspiring videos
- Compliment and recognize others when they do well
Remember, from ideas to action – till you take action, all you initiative and enterprising are mere words. It is only your actions that will determine your success.
To start with make a written plan. Make the basic plan the very first day, then work on it and amend it as and when needed. Save dates that are mentioned as milestones on your diary /calendar. Make a team and communicate with them quickly. Give follow up responsibilities to a strong team member.
Try developing your enterprising skills and build your willingness to be proactive in taking initiatives right from today. This will go a long way in attaining your professional goals.