Companies are always inclined to hiring professionals who demonstrate an intrinsic motivation and drive. Rica Bhattacharyya talks to HR experts about how to be a self-starter at work.
Be a Goal-Getter
An employee or a manager should create a vision for themselves and work towards a set goal. “Consistently meeting and exceeding standards set for an individual goes a long way in creating a positive perception about the employee being a selfstarter,” said James Agrawal, managing director,-BTI Executive Search. “A real goal-getter has to work towards achieving the goal. Sometimes it may be unrealistic to accomplish that particular goal in one year, but taking small steps towards it, can reap rewards,” said Sudhir Dhar, director – human resources at Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
Create & Innovate
Employees who are self-starters are not afraid to create and innovate. “Taking initiative to implement cutting-edge practices will label you as a self-starter,” said Dhar. “Intrapreneurs are usually highly self-motivated, proactive and action-oriented people who are comfortable with taking the initiative, even within the boundaries of an organization,” he added. Initiate problem solving and accept challenges, added Agrawal. “People who jump in and solve problems, even if they are not asked, are often considered a self-starter,” Agrawal added.
“Thinking outside of the box and proposing new ideas that have not been tried before is always well appreciated by corporate leaders,” said Agrawal. Managers and leaders often gravitate to those team members who they believe are the ones bringing something new and different. “Self-starters take calculated risks after analyzing available information. Such employees can be seen consistently trying than settling for complacency,” he said.
A self-starter is one who seizes new window of opportunities to promote oneself. “Polish your reputation, as it’s your best asset. Speak with energy and benchmark yourself with your work,” said Dhar. Subject matter expertise enables one to be a self-starter, feels Aditya Narayan Mishra, chief executive officer, Ciel HR Services. “When someone knows the job deeply, others at the workplace look up to the person for guidance and inspiration. It boosts the confidence and self-esteem of the person and pushes him or her to take the first step,” said Mishra.
The culture at workplace is crucial in encouraging as well as enabling a person to take the first step. Some managers reprimand their team members when mistakes happen, push their teams to strictly follow the set processes and stay within safe limits while carrying out their day-to-day responsibilities. These kinds of workplaces do not help innovation, exploration and experimentation, said Mishra. “Teams do not see any incentive to take initiative and make the first move. They wait for instructions rather than start themselves,” he said. “To be a self-starter, one has to chat with one’s manager and set expectations mutually,” Mishra said.