Working for a Staffing Agency in the Property Management industry, I’m constantly asking Managers for feedback on what they look for in their employees. One common comment is that they like people who take the initiative. Since we do a lot of temporary placements, this comment extends to people who are working at a property even for a day. Managers take notice of individuals who don’t “act like a temp,” meaning they don’t just sit at a desk (if it’s a leasing position) all day and act like they don’t know anything. They want the person to ask questions of the staff, maybe ask to take a tour of the property, get up when people walk in the door and try to help them, and not be afraid to say they don’t know the answer but will get the answer for them. The best way to keep a position right out of the gate is to show how you fit in with the team, that you are there to work and that you are serious about working there.
Another way to show initiative is to take notes. I have heard comments from managers that an employee did something wrong or failed to complete all of the tasks given to them, and that the manager felt the reason for the short-coming is that the person didn’t take notes as the manager was explaining things to them. Taking notes shows the manager that you are serious about the job, that you are doing whatever you can to make sure you do it right, and that if you forget something, you will have your notes to refer to and won’t have to ask questions that would have been answered in the notes.
In these days of it being an “employers market” where the competition for available jobs is tough, one must find a way to stand out in the crowd and to prove they are the best person for the job. The ugly truth is that if an employer is not impressed with someone within the first few days, many of them will cut the ties and give someone else a try. If you don’t want this to happen to you, I suggest putting your best foot forward and taking the initiative!