When we use our initiative, we think for ourselves and tend to take action before anyone else does. 

It's all about: Taking charge, being resourceful, self-motivation, taking responsibility, independent thinking, decision making, risk-taking, courage

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Your initiative skill

There may have been times when you’ve used your initiative to take on extra tasks at work, college, school or even at home without being told to first. 

For example: if you’re going on holiday, you may think ahead and develop an itinerary of what you want to do. By planning your holiday in advance, you’ll be prepared to handle any changes or problems throughout your trip. 

Initiative is about being independent - trusting your own decisions and abilities without influence from others.  

Top tips on developing your initiative skill

Throughout life, you’ll use your initiative skills every day.  

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In general

Tidying up in the kitchen after cooking without being asked. 

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In school

Thinking ahead and bringing items you need to class, such as a ruler, pencil, jotter and calculator.  

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In work

Checking if there are meeting rooms available at the start of a project in case you need space to work with others at short notice. 

Describing your initiative skill to employers

Employers want to know that you can work well on your own, even if a manager is not watching you. This means putting your best into something because you want to, not just because someone told you to or influenced you to.  

Think of different examples of when you: 

  • acted in the moment to find a solution 
  • trusted your abilities and worked well on your own without supervision 
  • predicted the outcome of a situation and took action in advance 

Other skills that help you manage change




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