One aspect of a candidate that many employers look for is adaptability and being able to complete goals without having to be told what to do. Initiative and creative thinking have become important within the work force. I know when I always start a new job I wait to do what I’m told. I never want to get in the way or create unnecessary work for anyone, so I don’t often try to do things on my own at first. I wait till I’m comfortable and know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve come to realize that’s not always what employers want. I think most employers want to see bravery and action. I think if you can find something that needs to be done on your own, do it and see what happens. Maybe you do it wrong or it wasn’t yours to do in the first place, but I think it’s more likely that your employer will be impressed not upset.

“It was in Wilmington, N.C. The managing editor of the newspaper picked me up at the airport and after a quick lunch, he dropped me off on Front Street, the historic main thoroughfare along the banks of the Cape Fear River. He told me to go find a story.” Jeff Selingo, a reporter fresh out of college, said as he shares his story of learning that it’s not always about doing the job perfect, but being brave and creative, and doing the best with what you’re given.

I know personally if on my first day my boss dropped me off in a foreign place and gave me no instruction I would probably panic, I think that’s most of us. I encourage as you enter a new job to be on the lookout for ways to think abstractly. Do more than just what you’re told and take risks. It can be scary, because your job is your livelihood and you don’t want to jeopardize it by doing something wrong, but I think you’ll find more reward will come if you’re taking the initiative and stepping outside the box.