Understand what proactivity is and learn how to become a professional with initiative – WAU

Proactivity is the act of acting quickly and strategically, that is, it is “taking situations” for oneself, taking to do and developing attitudes capable of predicting problems and acting before they even happen.

Think of your main characteristics as a marketer. If “proactivity” crossed your mind, you are part of a large group that believes that it carries with it this quality so valued in the job market.

But are you really a proactive person? Of all the times the word was said or heard by you, how many of them were really genuine?

In this post, we will help you understand once and for all what it means to be proactive and the reason why many people get confused in the midst of apparently similar concepts, but with very different meanings.

Come on?

The definition of proactivity

The popularization of the term made it become a practically unanimous characteristic in the personality of any professional, however, in practice, it is very simple to find real proactive people – and several of them would not pass the hypothesis mentioned above.

In a simple and direct way, proactivity is the act of acting quickly in order to avoid future complications.

And also “Taking situations” for yourself, taking to do and developing attitudes capable of predicting problems and acting before they even happen.

When he cannot predict the problem, the proactive moves to bring any possible improvement to the situation instead of complaining while waiting for the solution to fall from the sky.

To exemplify, think of that professional who is constantly in activity, participating in conversations, leading groups and situations – not necessarily in management positions – with the purpose of making the processes proceed smoothly, correctly and without complications.

Proactive people don’t just sit at the table waiting for things to happen: they get up and make it happen.

In addition, the sense of responsibility is developed in a very legal way, since there is no such thing as “the problem is not mine”. Negative issues are seen as the responsibility of the team as a whole, and not as a burden to be exposed in a demotivating way.

What differs productivity proactivity and other concepts

The fact that proactivity has become extremely popular has often made it lose its meaning. It is very common to confuse proactivity with concepts such as productivity and use them as characteristics that encompass a number of other factors outside of what it means to be proactive.

With that in mind, let’s briefly clarify the concepts that are most often confused.


Productivity is a feature of people who can do a good amount of work in the shortest possible time.

It can also be associated when someone produces a greater volume of work by spending less labor or having less loss, for example.

Productive people tend to deliver more than the average, making it easier to deal with deadlines.


Having initiative is “Get it done” and accept demands for oneself easily and frequently. It also means proposing new things, having ideas and, more than that, talking about them and stimulating decision-making

This is a fundamental characteristic of those who are proactive, however, words are not synonymous. Proactivity is the union of several minor attitudes – one of them is, precisely, the initiative, however, it is not possible to summarize the concept in just one “sub-characteristic”.

Let’s think of the initiative as one of several words within a larger umbrella, which is, precisely, proactivity.


Reactive people are those who respond to stimuli almost automatically.

Those with reactive characteristics may not think so much before answering, which is even good in certain situations – such as those in which the professional is under pressure and needs to take quick action – but, in many other cases, it becomes something relatively negative.

The reactive characteristic is easily altered by external stimuli, as there is not much time or space to relativize and think about things better.

Think of this hypothetical, non-generalized example: upon receiving a moody response from the boss on a Monday morning, a reactive person ends up not thinking much about external factors and can respond to the moodiness with even more hostility.

In the case of the proactive person, the external factor will be taken into account, after all, we all have bad days, right?

Furthermore, Mondays can make anyone hot-headed, so how about breathing and understanding if, in fact, that person wanted to cause discomfort with his speech, working on empathy in situations like that?

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The main advantages of being proactive

Now that we talk a little bit about proactivity, its concept and difference from other terms, it’s time to know what are the main advantages of being a more proactive professional.

Will it be possible to predict delicate situations

And act better when they happen! After all, who likes to make decisions under external pressure?

It must be very difficult to find a person who is happy to receive the news that a super-complicated demand will need to be delivered the next morning.

When the proactive trait is developed in a person, these situations will become increasingly rare – really happening only in cases where the external factor was stronger.

I say this for the following (and very simple) reason: being interested in the situation of the team as a whole makes the professional aware of what has been happening in their work environment.

Thus, when a negative atmosphere begins to appear in the air – be it a complicated customer, difficulty in performing tasks on time, lack of budget to put projects into practice – the proactive will already be prepared to act.

Knowledge grows every day

I don’t know how to feel better professionally than feeling smart and useful. Frustration – and phenomena such as Burnout and Impostor Syndrome – can be further aggravated when there is a time-consuming atmosphere in everyday life.

The feeling of being stagnant and unable to learn more makes self-sabotaging thoughts gain space in one’s own mind.

Learning never hurts, and in a job market that is experiencing challenging times, you must be the best possible professional version of yourself.

I know, you know, and probably everyone who has worked at least once in their lives has in mind that there comes a time when it is difficult to think about studying and expanding the range of knowledge.

The work routine becomes tiring and, in fact, imagining a “bigger workload” can be lazy just thinking.

Proactive professionals, however, will not think about the drawbacks of studying, taking a course or reading an article daily. The characteristic of making things happen and not standing still (increases a lot!) The range of knowledge.

This, in turn, is a highly valued feature in the market and can bring numerous benefits in the short, medium or long term.

Time management improves

Think of that person who is always on the run: late demands, a thousand meetings, external factors that end up compromising deliveries and, amid other negative characteristics, hamper that professional’s routine.

Procrastinating – or “putting it off” – affects more people than you think. At first, perhaps, it is possible to go over the situation and give that way of delivering, but know that, most likely, you will always be running.

Proactive people can manage your time much better, since they deal with demands in a practical and agile way: new task arrived? Let’s try to do it, after all, leaving it for later will only compromise the entire delivery process!

Not leaving deliveries to the last minute even contributes to the process of dealing with goals and achieving them better.

3 ways to become more proactive

Have you ever understood that proactivity may be what was needed to further boost your career?

If so (or if you still need a little more push), I will show you 3 simple and applicable ways in everyday life to become someone more proactive.

Don’t complain, bring solutions!

A characteristic that has been dying along with the old habits of the job market is the famous complaint. Dealing with someone who complains frequently has been much more tolerable in the past. Now, that feature is abhorrent!

Of course, not everything – or every day – is a flower. Complaints do exist, and when they are well founded, they should not be kept to yourself.

How about, however, changing your mindset a little, that is, the way you see them? Think about the following: whenever you have any complaints to make, first think about how constructive it is.

Is it worth calling a coworker or even your superior to talk about it? If not, keep it to yourself or talk to someone outside of work. Do not contaminate the team with complaints for no reason!

If it’s worth it, cultivate the habit of, for each complaint, have a proposal for improvement.

Never (only when there is really no way) arrive with the complaint alone. After analyzing the situation and identifying the problem, do you see a positive possibility of dealing with it? What can be done?

Ask yourself

Self-knowledge is a great way to achieve proactivity. It is important to ask yourself at all times: how do you see yourself professionally? Where do you want to go in the next few months? What characteristics do you think you need to improve? Which ones should be valued?

When we become more questioning professionals about our own work, we know exactly what should be valued and what should be thrown away.

That question of complaining all the time, as well as other not very positive attitudes in the job market, are being eliminated as important positions take place and proactivity is developed.

Get organized and get your hands dirty!

You can’t be proactive in the midst of a messy, perspectiveless work routine. After organizing your own demands and having a broad view of your work routine, you will be able to understand key issues such as the feasibility of the tasks.

Is the current time enough to do everything that is assigned to you?

Among the organization, have a spirit of leadership and take responsibility for your actions. What can you do to improve your work routine? How can you turn deadlines into something more attainable – always with quality?

After “sweeping the house” and understanding the work situation, it’s time to get your hands dirty and become much more than an executor. Propose improvements, be present and show that you see beyond what has been designated.

Believe me: the job market places a high value on those people who think beyond their assigned roles!

If you liked this content and believe that proactivity is essential for any professional, learn to improve your leadership characteristics and stand out even more in the job market!