This is the seventh article in our twenty-part series on how to accelerate your career in your twenties and it's all about playing well in a team. In past posts we’ve covered networking, thought leadership and the importance of good planning, but none of this matters if you don’t have the collaborative mindset to work well in a group.
Teamwork is a two-way street
It mind seem counterintuitive to give lots of advice about ‘standing out’ and then talk about teamwork, but even in a competitive environment it’s the ability to work well together that drives the business - and its staff - forward to great things. If you’re chasing success you need to learn how to work well with others. Afterall, nobody likes a maverick. Part of this is learning about your own strengths and weaknesses. We can’t all be great at everything we do and we all need support now and then, so it makes sense to lean on each other and work together. That doesn’t mean you can’t still use teamwork to your advantage though. By letting someone whose talents are better suited take over a task, or by going to them for help, you’re showing a willingness to accept help in pursuit of an overall goal. You’re also likely to go up in a lot of people’s estimations too, and next time they need help with something you’re good at, you can almost guarantee they’ll come to you.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
Teamwork isn’t just about all being in the same room, hashing out a project. It’s about reaching out to your peers when you have questions and helping out wherever you can when they have questions of their own. By adopting this mindset you’re likely learn more about the business and people in it, and if you prove you’re easy to work with and willing to both help and learn you’re more likely to be invited to work on other key projects. So, in a way, leaning on others and letting them lean on you can in itself be a great way to stand out and get noticed. Consider it a form of networking.
What this also does is solidify your reputation as someone that people can trust. In a crisis, they’re more likely to turn to you for help which will give you ample opportunity to put out fires and prove yourself. These moments are a great time to exercise leadership and troubleshooting skills, and will stand you in good stead for any upcoming promotions.