How to be a team player at work
It’s important to show that you’re ambitious and capable individually when you’re looking for a job – but it’s increasingly becoming essential to be able to demonstrate that you can work as a team member too.
Once, a lot of work was routine, but it’s now about innovation, adaptation and change and as such, many businesses are now using a collaborative approach for clients and everyday operations. Today, they want someone to be able to work just as well with others as they can alone.
You’ll up your chances of landing your dream job if you can show you are a valuable team member, plus it’ll also help you build strong relationships with your co-workers once you’ve secured your space within the company.
Here are some tips on how to boost – and show off – your teamworking credentials, both while jobseeking and afterwards.
It’s essential for people to be able to count on you if you’re working as a group, so show them that they can by always turning up punctually, meeting your deadlines every time and doing what you say you will, rather than admitting you put off your designated task to binge-watch Game of Thrones.
Provide constructive criticism
There will always be people you don’t agree with in any team, but criticising their ideas won’t curry you any favour and can make you appear petty. If someone pitches in with something you think just won’t work, be constructively critical. Say you can understand why they might think X, but how about trying Y instead and going back to X if that doesn’t work? Don’t be afraid to make a point, but do it respectfully and kindly.
Pitch in and help others
Even if you’re not working on a group task at present, there might be other jobs that your colleagues need help with. Pitch in, even though you will have your own work to do. For example, try offering to help brainstorm ideas for a notoriously tricky client, or do group sessions where you evaluate each other’s previous work and come up with suggestions about what might be good next.
Join in with the smaller things
The workplace shouldn’t all be about work, so be a team player with smaller things as well. For example, refill the fruit bowl every so often and don’t assume someone else will change the printer paper. Attend social gatherings sometimes, even if you’re shy or they aren’t your scene, and pitch in to cover someone if they need to attend a dental appointment or a child’s nativity play. If you’re jobseeking, showing how you helped to organise the company bake-off can prove your team credentials.
Be prepared to share
Team players should share with their colleagues, whether it’s information about the latest project or snippets of knowledge that could help the less experienced. If you spot a piece of research that’s relevant to your company, share it with everyone as an email attachment. And always make sure everyone knows the aims and goals of a group project after a meeting – don’t assume they have all understood or concluded the same thing. Share your notes and plans and encourage colleagues to do the same.
Teamwork is vital in the 21st century and you could ensure you are a valuable asset by deonstrating you’re good at it.