The 1 Thing to Change to Become a Real-Life Superhero
We don’t wait for an accident to happen before we put on the seatbelt, we don’t get the flu and then have the flu shot; in both these cases we don’t wait for problems to happen - we take actions before they become problems.
Being proactive lessens stress, impresses the boss(es), and makes your coworkers like you more.
By definition being proactive is “controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened”. You have the ability to control an issue before it happens and not be reactive. Having control can decrease the amount of stress you put on yourself later. If you can predict future needs, you’re able to manage them before they happen.
For example, we know that when there is a 90% chance of rain, we can avoid getting wet by bringing an umbrella. By having the umbrella, you avoid ruining your hair, your outfit, and anything else you might be carrying. This greatly decreases the chances of stressing out during your meeting to find all your work has been soiled by the rain.
Impress the Boss
No one likes a showoff, but you have to get your boss’ attention somehow. Instead of one-upping your cubicle-mate at a meeting, impress the boss by being a proactive employee. Get to the meeting early and make sure that the AV equipment is set and ready for your presentation. Sometimes an HDMI cable isn’t available and you can avoid looking like a fool trying to connect a VGA cord. No one wants to be fumbling over technology like that!
Pay attention to certain things your boss likes/dislikes and act on them. Perhaps there’s a special project he/she is interested in, do some research and offer your services. Be helpful. When your boss asks a question, volunteer an answer. Be the first to accept a difficult task and work hard on it.
Coworkers Like You More
Being proactive extends beyond impressing your boss and even beyond yourself. Life is easier when you have help and when you help others. If you imagine work to be a relay race - the first person has to complete their person before the next and so forth. Likewise, our jobs are intertwined with one another. If a report is due, but it’s the work of many and one person has not completed theirs, the report as a whole is not done. Helping someone else complete tasks in an effort to finish their portion of their report means the report will be done on time.
When a colleague is struggling to get something done, it might benefit you down the road to help them out now.
Being proactive means controlling a situation rather than responding to it after it’s been done. It’s almost like seeing the future and being able to change it. Who doesn't like being a real life superhero?