BUSINESSES today are run at a pace that does not allow new employees to have their hands held by supervisors and be guided every step of the way. Usually, a rookie is expected to know exactly what to do.

Newcomers are expected to be self-driven, self-motivated and self-sustaining. They are expected to set their own career paths in the organisation and synchronise their personal vision and values with that of the organisation.

Here are nine strategies to help you think more proactively and become a valuable asset to your organisation:

1. Plan and prepare

Thomas Edison said: "If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail." When you plan, you internalise the events and have a better idea of how you should go about your duties.

Apart from planning, you also have to prepare. Start by being clear about your roles and responsibilities and keeping abreast of the changes occurring around you.

2. Be resourceful

One of the qualities that all organisations clamour for in their people is resourcefulness. Being resourceful requires you to develop the ability to look at challenges objectively and come up with strategies to resolve them.

A fundamental quality of resourceful people is the innate ability to leverage on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.

The ability to tap on the capabilities of others is also important. This means outsourcing what you cannot do well yourself to others to maximise your core skills.

3. Hone your skills

Improve on your organisational skills by first being clear about the real nature of your job and what the organisation expects of you.

To be proactive, you need to use your initiative to find out the best way to complete tasks and achieve the results your bosses expect.

By meeting organisational goals, you also develop your own career goals as the management begins to take notice of your skills and give you more responsibilities.

4. Be objective

The key to thriving in the organisation is having the right attitude towards your work. Learn to see things objectively and positively. Analyse your personality and natural ability - your aptitude - and strive to develop these to their fullest potential.

Having the right attitude also means that you see failure as an opportunity to find new ways to solve the problems that confront you.

5. Collaborate

The proactive person is the ultimate collaborator. When you develop the ability to collaborate with others in your organisation, you will be able to build rapport.

This is crucial because you need to get things done with the help and support of other people. In today's workplace, your reputation as a team player will stand you in good stead.

Building strong networks with your communication skills will give you an edge as you move up the corporate ladder.

6. Set targets

This activity helps you to have a clear picture of where you are heading and how you are going to get there. Targets help you to stay focused and effective - you do the right thing rather than do things right.

7. Free your mind

Having an independent mind allows you to view situations objectively. You weigh the options and consequences available rationally and come up with workable solutions.

Do not allow yourself to be swayed easily by what others think.

8. Stay vigilant

Be alert to changes taking place around you. One way to become more vigilant is to record in a notebook your thoughts and feelings about certain incidents and carry it around with you.

Note down the times when your gut feeling or intuition turned out to be correct or when you made a false assumption.

If you do this regularly, over time, you can become very good at spotting trends and taking a proactive approach to address the situation.

9. Be effective

Efficacy is about producing a desired result. This involves doing something efficiently and effectively.

Efficiency means doing something well; effectiveness is doing the right thing properly. There are many people who are highly efficient but totally ineffective.

This is primarily because they have not figured out what their priorities are. Instead, they focus on tasks that are not important while the real problems remain unresolved.

If you have to choose between efficiency and effectiveness, you are probably better off striving for the latter.