In most situations, success depends on your own desire and self-motivation. People who are proactive in pursuing their dreams – who can come up with their own ideas and stay driven towards achieving their goals – will find success more readily than those who are content with sitting back and waiting for things to happen.

Read on to find out why initiators are the ones who have the edge in the workplace.


Are you an initiator or a reactor?

In the workplace, an initiator is someone who:

  • Does not need to be motivated by others to complete their work
  • Is always exploring new ideas and ways to improve their work or the work of the team
  • Is willing to take on extra responsibility
  • Is eager to propose new ideas or projects
  • Is enthusiastic about their work
  • Is proactive in achieving career goals
  • Realises the rewards of hard work
  • Seeks to avoid potential problems before they arise

The defining feature of an initiator is that they are proactive. In other words, they are able to create or take control of a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened.


On the other hand, a reactor is someone who:

  • Prefers to wait for a problem to arise before taking action
  • Generally waits to be told what to do at work
  • Tends to avoid change unless it is absolutely necessary
  • May not be good at anticipating major developments
  • May prefer to stay in a comfort zone
  • May not be intent on actively seeking opportunities for career growth

It is sometimes essential to be a reactor in the face of unexpected problems, but in general, it is initiators (ideally with some reactive abilities) who find the most success in their careers.


Here are the reasons why you should strive to be an initiator in the workplace

  • The fast pace of change demands, more than ever, that employees are able to think on their feet and be adaptable. Employees who don’t upskill or initiate action will be left behind sooner or later.
  • Being an initiator shows that you are self-motivated. Your manager won’t feel like they need to spend time continually motivating you to do your work.
  • In the competitive workplace, “ideas people” are highly valued. Employers place huge value on people who can present creative but workable ideas.
  • You will be seen as more eligible for promotion. By showing that you are willing to take action and improve your skills, your company will be more likely to notice you and reward you for your efforts.
  • You are better prepared for changing circumstances. Since they are self-motivated and driven, initiators are better than reactors at adapting to changing circumstance and finding ways to deal with them.
  • By showing some initiative, you’re better placed to anticipate problems and develop solutions to them. Reactive people may have ignored danger signs and allowed problems to get to a stage where they are difficult to solve.
  • You can take charge of your career. Since you aren’t letting outside circumstances determine how you feel and what actions you take, you have full control of how you want to approach your career.

Avoid the temptation to sit back and wait for the stars to align for you. Be a proactive and positive initiator, striving to be the star of your own story!


Show your initiative for self-improvement by taking a distance learning course with Oxbridge Academy. Choose from a wide range of national qualifications, short learning programmes and online courses.