Everywhere in the world, no matter what you are doing, you will always hear about how it is important to step up, to take initiative and to make things happen for yourself. While there is a difference between being too aggressive and taking initiative, understanding that fine line can help make all the difference in your life. What better time to start than now?
As we enter April, many graduating seniors will begin their journey through interviews and going to different companies to try to market themselves to a potential employer and set up a career for the rest of their lives. Around this time also comes a lot of anxiety, nerves, second-guessing and, worst of all, giving up. Everyone has been there. Everyone has felt that way one time or another, but I am here to enlighten all seniors and tell them to not be afraid of taking that extra step.
At my current place of employment through my internship, I faced the same issues. I was afraid to take a step and ask the boss about possible employment, as I saw myself as just the intern and someone who had no business to overstep boundaries like that. I looked up things online, talked to friends, even some other interns and co-workers—until I realized something.
I realized that us interns, we are more important than we may think. We are the very future of these companies. Sure, right now we are just learning the ropes, but we are the ones who will take the reins years from now, when the older generation retires, and then we must come up with our experience and make sense of everything in front of it. And how on earth can one get experience, without the vital experience of taking initiative? I took a deep breath and thought, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
I entered my boss’s office and asked if I could speak with him. I sat down and told him that I was here to inquire about future employment for after I graduate college. His face lit up instantly. “Absolutely!” he exclaimed. He was so happy that I had asked and immediately began rifling through his desk to find some papers. He explained to me how he was so delighted I came in and asked him, as that is what he looks for in interns. He never hires an intern who doesn’t ask.
How on earth, he explained, should he expect someone who doesn’t take initiative now to take initiative later? When I heard that, I realized that was some of the best advice anyone could give. Initiative is something that doesn’t just help in the working world. It helps in all aspects of life.
Initiative is something that, when understood and used properly, can make a world of difference. I was no longer scared when I saw my boss walking around; I would wave to him, say hello and we even sometimes chat now in between free time. I have a completely different outlook now, and every time I come into work, I have a whole different attitude because of the fact that I no longer feel scared of anxious or out of place—all because of my decision to take initiative.
My advice to all graduating college seniors soon to enter the working world is this: Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid of rejection, messing up or hearing something you don’t want to hear. No matter what, take the initiative and keep moving forward, because at the end of the day, initiative is what keeps the world turning, keeps new ideas flowing and new futures unfolding.
Alex Libutti is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at AL803657@wcupa.edu.