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Being Proactive

1.   Be Proactive to Avoid Being Passed Over
Author: Arelene Hisiger
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Dec. 13, 2011 p. B5

Employees have a habit of becoming comfortable in their place of work. This often results in:

  • The tendency to stick to a routine
  • Less innovative, proactive behavior
  • Becoming unnoticed

Because favoritism exists in the work place, this can be dangerous to a persons’ career.

When an employee feels unnoticed, their drive and work output decreases. Hisiger reassures that anyone can be proactive and face these kinds of problems head on. The best thing a worker can do is ask their supervisor:

  • To discuss how to improve
  • How to become more involved
  • How to showcase one’s ideas

Hisiger, A. (2011, Dec. 13). Be Proactive to Avoid Being Passed Over. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. P.B5.


2)   Proactive Personality and Career Success
Author Scott E. Seibert, J. Michael Crant & Maria L. Kraimer
Journal of Applied Psychology. 84(3), 416-427

There is a relationship between proactive personalities of employees and their subjective and objective career success.

Several factors significantly influence one’s career success:

  • An individual’s background
  • Human capital such as education, degrees, specialized training, etc.
  • Personal motivation
  • Organizational support

Seibert, Crant, and Kraimer (1999) focused on subjective and objective successes in relation to proactive personalities. The results showed that having a proactive personality in the workplace is positively correlated with salary, number of promotions, and overall career satisfaction. For each one point increase in their proactive personality scale, salary increased by $8,677 yearly.

Ways to be Proactive in the workplace:

  1. Take action

    Take opportunities to contribute towards a solution or improvement in the organizational process.

  2. Influence outcomes

    Be persistent about the changes you wish to see in the workplace by understanding the current work situation and what needs to be improved.

  3. Identify opportunities and act upon them

    Seek and identify opportunities rather than wait for one to be presented. Be continuous in the search for opportunities that influence skill and experience.

  4. Become involved

    Seek and be receptive to constructive feedback. Get involved and become recognized by the organizational community.

Seibert, S. E., Crant, J. M., & Kraimer, M. L. (1999). Research Reports: Proactive Personality and Career Success. Journal of Applied Psychology. 84(3), 416-427.

3.   Don’t Dismiss Office Politics- Teach It
Author: Jeffery Pfeffer
The Wall Street Journal. October 24, 2011

An inability to play the game is too often seen as a badge of honor. It shouldn’t be.

  • Many managers see the lack of playing the political game as proof of their integrity.
  • They think success is based on job performance alone.
  • In fact, research shows that a person’s political skills are “key to building a successful career”.
  • Being politically savvy means building networks – relationships – with people inside and outside your company who can provide useful information and assistance.
  • Being politically savvy means informing others in the company about your contributions and accomplishments, and asking for advice and help, particularly from those senior to you.

Flash Points:

There are two points in an individual’s career where their ability to manage organizational politics is tested.

  • At five to seven years into the job, when people start to depend on other people to succeed in their own roles.
  • At 15 to 20 years into the job, when roles generally start to shift and technical skills are not as important.

Pick Your Battles:

There are trade-offs when working with others. Leaders are able to keep their positions by maintaining support from their employees, customers, and their bosses.
“Do you want to be right, or do you want to be effective?”

Status Signals:

Those who are confident, knowledgeable, aware, and know when to interject are typically viewed as individuals who have power. These individuals are placing themselves in a position where others will think of them as a go-to person.


4.   If You’re An Average Worker, You’re Going Straight to the Bottom
Author: Vivian Giang
Business Insider. Jan. 19, 2012

Businesses are changing the way they function, so employees should be changing their mentality about work at the same pace. Most people are not adapting fast enough, and are being pushed out of their jobs.

Due to the increasing rise in globalization, cheap labor is available, which makes the average worker an expense to employers.

To beat becoming an average worker you must:

  • Show that you are different and unique.
  • Be proactive about getting results you want.
  • Become your own manager

Giang, V. (2012, Jan. 19). If You’re An Average Worker, You’re Going Straight To The Bottom. Business Insider. Retrieved from: