What is the distinction between these two characteristics? The main distinction, in fact, is results and the most precious and costly commodity involved is ‘time’.
A proactive person goes out and ‘makes things happen’, whereas a reactive person waits ‘for things to happen’ to them.
I am confident you have heard the expression ‘timing is everything’ within the corporate world, and this could not be more apt. That is why it is imperative to take on a proactive, professional approach in your career direction, and ‘create’ things happening to fully realize the necessary momentum for your chosen career.
Most corporations will encourage and embrace active involvement within the firm, and employees who show initiative, and a sincere interest in their roles. Employees illustrating these traits avail themselves more readily to the potential career opportunities their firm has to offer. Actually, these types of individual’s will even ‘create’ the roles that they want. How do they do this? By creating the ‘need’ for the new role’ existence, and demonstrating the values it would bring their division or the firm overall.
By contrast, reactive employees will wait until an opportunity comes up and likely waver on the entire process because the result is unknown, and unfamiliar territory. These groups of employees are stuck in their ‘comfort zones’, and are afraid to reveal themselves to the potential opportunities that await them if suitable and proper actions are taken.
If you are presently in a role that you simply feel is not aligned with your true capabilities and desires, then my first question to you would be, ‘what are you doing about it?’ I would then go on to raise questions such as, what actions have you taken to change or expand your role responsibilities, and how many career opportunities have you explored within your firm, or have simply let pass by.
In Part II, we will explore the attitude shift from a reactive to a proactive employee, and the small steps to begin on this important growth journey.
You are already securely in place, a contributing employee to your firm. We will build on that, and discuss how you are able to take the necessary actions to draw the role you want with the practical skills and talents you know you already have.