How Proactive Thinking Can Activate Your Career

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In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Steven Covey lists being proactive as habit number 1.   Covey explains that your life doesn’t just happen.  You design your own life, make your own choices, and have the opportunity to do things differently if you so choose. Proactive thinking can activate your career.

Being proactive, according to Covey, means taking responsibility for your life instead of blaming things on external sources.

Do you spend your days making new things happen and initiating change, or are you constantly reacting, thinking you have no choice, and blaming things like the weather?  In other words, are you a proactive or reactive thinker?

Maybe you’re a little of both.  But if you want to activate your career goals in the new year, consider a proactive mindset.

Proactive People Initiate Change

Covey states, “I am not a product of my circumstances.  I am a product of my decisions.”  If life is really a series of infinite decisions, then we do have quite a bit of control over its outcome.  To take this one step further, people can make decisions for their life ahead of time and put in the work toward their goals.

A proactive person will figure out what decisions will need to be made to achieve an end goal.  What step by step tasks will you be personally responsible for in order to make your end goal achievable?

Covey explains that it is more than just initiating change, but it is also about being responsible for our role in any situation.

This lies in contrast to reactive responses, where someone feels that they “can’t help but” react in a certain way.  For example, a reactive person might believe that they are a certain way because it’s just in their DNA.  Or, a reactive person might just accept a bad situation, feeling trapped and bitter.

Being proactive is about empowering yourself to believe that you can initiate and respond to any situation however you individually choose.  Knowing this about yourself comes with incredible freedom.

Proactive People are Forward Thinking

Proactive people will say things to move life forward instead of wasting too much time reacting to things out of their control.

For example, someone may currently spend half of his day answering a commonly asked customer concern.  A reactive person may complain and accept this part of the job.  A proactive person may think of a better way to address the problem.  Perhaps this means explaining something in a different way on the website or streamlining the response to customers.

As a whole, a business that is proactive will focus on strategic planning to anticipate problems and make future projections.

Be Proactive With Your Own Career

If you take on a proactive mindset as far as your career, think about your plan for the next five years.  What individual things need to happen to get to your goal?  What tiny decisions will you be making?  Will you have to decide whether or not to get an MBA or further your education in another way?   Will you need to relocate?  Reconnect with people in your network?  Will you merely need to advocate for yourself within your current company?

Does being proactive mean making a job change in 2019?  If so, what steps will you need to take to get the job you desire? Change means risk. Whether or not now is the right time for you to consider a career change, perhaps it is the time to step back and evaluate your career values. Are you brave enough to make a career change? 

Building a relationship with a recruiting firm and having conversations around your goals can be a first step.

At Artemis Consultants, we work with job seekers who want to make changes right now as well as job seekers who may not be in an immediate hurry.  Be proactive to make 2019 successful for you.  Please visit our website to set up a consultation with one of our recruiters.

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