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May 10, 2021
222: Taking initiative at work

In today’s episode of Design Life we talk about something every designer needs to do in order to progress in their career - take initiative. The further you want to get, the more initiative you need to show. Taking initiative might sound like working harder, but really it means working smarter and coming up with better solutions to the problems you are presented with.

key takeaways

Taking initiative can be difficult at the beginning of your career, but the more experience you have the more confidence you will feel when taking initiative and coming up with the best solution to the problem at hand.

One way to take initiative is to ask for the type of work you want to be doing. Communicate clearly with your manager. Another way to take initiative is to find better solutions to the problem at hand other than the one you might be presented with, like Charli’s example of being asked to make an image for social media and suggesting a gif instead.

You have to keep your eyes open for opportunities where design is needed but it's not being asked for. If someone suggests sending a word document or standard PDF, can you apply your design skills to enhance the project.

As you progress in your career you will realise that your value as a designer lies in more than just pixel pushing. Can you show initiative in other areas of responsibility? Taking initiative is doing anything that involves not waiting for things to happen, you’re looking for the ways you can be the most effective with your work.

show timestamps

01.10 – Check in

04.26 – Taking initiative

10.30 – Working within parameters

16.04 – Realising your value as a designer

18.42 – How to start taking initiative

23.32 – Going above and beyond

show links