Being proactive

Being proactive can make a great impression and help you get noticed in your new career. Actively offering help to learn more can help you settle in and make your colleagues feel more comfortable.

Quick win checklist  

When entering a new role, look for some early but easy “wins”. Find some simple tasks where you can show that you can deliver. The organisation will likely recognise your proactivity and it will help in giving a great first impression.  

Below are some quick techniques to seize initiative when entering a new role or joining a new team.  

  • Set up quick catch ups with colleagues. Talk to as many people as possible from different departments. This will help improve your understanding of the organisation and build an impression on your colleagues. Be mindful of the pressures that other colleagues may be under though so keep your catch ups quick and at a time that suits whoever you are meeting with.  

  • Take on some small “Side of Desk” work. This could be a report, or a small task that is not within your normal workload. It helps build trust with your colleagues and shows to them that you care and are willing to help  

  • Focus on Self-development. Many roles can take a bit of time to get going, if you have some spare time at work, complete a LinkedIn learning course or an open online course on something that could be relevant to the role.  

  • Take minutes in a meeting. This can be a great way to make an impression as your minutes will be give an example of your work that will be sent to all meeting attendees. Look at our resource below to find out how to write great minutes. 

How to take minutes of a meeting (University of Edinburgh login required)

“Being Proactive- A professional behaviours discussion” 

Additional Resources  

 Below are some resources that you can explore further on being proactive (University of Edinburgh login required - If you are experiencing difficulty with logging in please contact

Stepping out your comfort zone

Taking advantage of being new to the office

Play honesty as one of your strengths when joining work