As specialist IT recruiters, we work hard to find you the perfect IT job. But getting your IT job is not the end of our efforts into helping you get the foundations of an IT career. This is where we work together to help you become a proactive and productive candidate. Speech Inspired take the wisdom of Stephen Covey in his book “The 7 habits of highly effective people” to bring you the best advice for you to become a highly effective person, and with your IT career in mind.

Be proactive


The first steps to being a proactive person is to become aware of your responsibilities. There are three key things that you should be asking yourself when approaching any task proactively. What is needed from me? How am I going to approach this task? How can I do this in the most effective way? When you correctly identify what you are doing, and how you can do this in the most effective way, you will have the tools to take on your tasks without fear. If you are not quite confident yet in your new role, we can best advice you to ask someone to guide you through these questions. This will show your willingness to learn, and in turn, will make you a more proactive person. Being proactive does not mean knowing anything, but taking the right steps to getting things done.

Begin with an end in mind

Planning where you want to be at the end of the day, week, month, year, will allow you to actively and constantly be striving towards your goals. Plans, whether big or small, help you create a structure. In order to become proactive in your role, planning ahead should be well implemented in your routine.

Put first things first

In accordance with planning, how should you be planning in order to achieve your goals? A good way to look at it is to remember what your priorities are. What are the most important things that you want to achieve, and what steps need to be taken in order to do them effectively. Always put first things first. Don’t procrastinate on the things that need to be done in order for you to achieve your goal. Procrastination is the enemy of productivity.


Think win-win

You will encounter working with people everywhere you go and in every aspect of life. In a professional setting especially, it is important to understand your co-worker’s priorities, ways of working, and how you can synergise in order to come to a win-win situation. It is human nature to seek the benefits to yourself in certain situations, but learning teamwork and being able to understand others and be understood is essential. This will make you and your team more productive.

Seek first to understand, and then be understood

Understanding others is a step forward to others understanding you. This process is enabled through different types of communications skills for example;

Listening skills. Make sure that you don’t just hear what someone is saying, but listen to what they are saying.

Interpersonal skills. Sometimes it is not enough to simply take instruction and carry out your task. To fully understand someone and what they want to convey, you will need to seek to understand why, when, how. This way you will get a full understanding, and in turn will make sure that you are on the same page and ensure you can get a “win-win” situation.

Open mindedness. Entering a conversation or discussion with an agenda may possibly harm the outcome, as you will be set on a particular thought or idea which you want to impose on the conversation. Being open to the ideas of others shows respect, empathy, and appreciation. This will allow you to build strong relationships, be able to understand your co-worker further, and in turn be understood the same way.


Synergising is the notion that “our” way, is better than “your way or my way.” Everything that you have learned throughout your life about teamwork is what allows you to come to a place where you are able to understand and work with the people around you to find an outcome that you are both happy with. Not only does this result in a “win-win” situation, but it will create more productiveness within your team. “Synergising is better than my way or your way. It’s our way.”- Stephen Covey

Sharpen the saw

What Covey explains is that it is very beneficial to take time out from our professional and social lives to build up our personal skills, whether physical skills or mental. By working on self development you will see a change in your confidence in every aspect of your life, whether work or personal. If you are looking for more resources for self development, you can head over to our advice section where you will find the tools to sharpen personal skills needed for work.

Do you want a new opportunity where you can put all of these habits into practice? You can find all of our job opportunities on our job listing page. Don’t forget that Speech Inspired are dedicated to building up your skill set to get you into the perfect IT job for you.

You can watch this article in video form on the Speech Inspired YouTube Channel, where where you can find a range of advice from IT recruiter and Speech Inspired founder, Leon Jackson.