Not Sure How to Show Initiative at Work? We Asked a Pro at Google for Tips

Contrary to what years of schooling would have us believe, the secret to building a successful career is a lot different than achieving an A in class. Instead of completing an assignment according to the instructions, often quietly and with our heads down, the honors track of the corporate ladder requires more initiative. There are the obvious ways to do this, of course—often by going beyond the job description and working cooperatively—but recent popular career advice can also make this interpretation feel too simple for today's 9-to-5. After all, initiative can mean to lean in, disrupt, and ask for what we deserve, too.

It's overwhelming to consider all of these definitions. That's why we turned to Angela Kinsella, a senior account strategist for Google Marketing Solutions, to share her personal experiences with showing initiative at work. "I would define initiative as leaving your comfort zone and taking risks to explore opportunities that you have never endeavored to explore in the past," Angela says. Angela has spent the last 12 years in digital marketing, and she's recently transitioned from the publisher's side of the business to the buyer's side, thanks to her current position at Google.

Although every career is different, Angela's perspective on practicing initiative can provide an insider's look at how one woman built the career she wanted. Read on to learn her approach to newcomer or veteran positions, as well as how she manages to impress a boss while keeping her co-workers happy. Who knows? Angela's sound advice may be what you need to carve your own worthwhile route in the workforce.