Dictionary.com defines a self-starter as “a person who begins work or undertakes a project on his or her own initiative without needing to be told or encouraged to do so.” A self-starter is able to perform his duties effectively without supervision. To be a self-starter requires one to be sufficiently motivated, passionate about his job, creative and responsible.
Seize new learning opportunities that will help you know more about the operations of your organization. Visit other departments to learn how they operate; seek out opportunities for job rotation. Enroll for further studies such as an MBA or postgraduate diploma. This demonstrates your willingness and ability to grow your career as well as contribute to the growth of the organization.
Anticipate the needs and demands of your clients and coworkers, i.e., be proactive. If the manager requires a weekly report every Friday, have it at his desk before it's due. Being proactive also entails being creative. Identify new ways of doing things. Rather than deliver a hard-copy weekly report to the manager send the report via email and outline to him the benefits of paperless communication.
Create schedules for your daily activities. This entails preparing a list of all the tasks you intend to perform in a day. Mark off the tasks as you accomplish them. This helps you to keep track of your progress towards achieving your daily objectives. In case you are called off to an impromptu meeting or assigned an urgent task, you will know where to pick up from. A schedule of your daily activities also ensures that you are aware of any looming deadlines.
Generate a sense of ownership and responsibility for all duties assigned to you. A self-starter is proud and passionate about what he does. Showing ownership and responsibility demonstrates that you are aware that the way you perform your duties affects clients and the operations of the organization.
Accomplish all your tasks before their due dates. Prioritize your work such that the very important tasks are completed first. Avoid procrastination and piling up work to be completed at the last minute. Strive to stay ahead of deadlines, as this enables you to perform a task comfortably and completely with minimal stress.