First Grownup Job Guide: Being a Team Player

By June 5, 2018For Talent

In your first grownup job, of course you want to stand out and get ahead. To do so, making connections and being assertive are essential- however it’s important to remember it’s about the team too, not just about yourself.

Teamwork is required to succeed in any industry. Businesses aren’t run by individuals, it takes collaborative efforts and hierarchies of responsibility. The essentiality of working together need not conflict with your own ambition

Let’s take a look at how you can shine within a team, how you can balance competition with collaboration, and ensure you don’t get stuck with grunt tasks while still pulling your weight.

Commitment and Flexibility

For things to work smoothly, your team need to know you’re all committed to the same cause. Incorporate the work you do for the company into your own personal brand, and become an advocate for the great work being done there. Commit in terms of hours as well, by being focused for the entirety of your workday. Be as flexible as you possibly can by helping out coworkers, covering shifts and remaining casually contactable and open to socialising after hours. 


Have an idea you think the CEO would love? Ask one of your coworkers to collaborate! Not only can they help out the project with their contribution, but working together could also boost morale and improve your working relationship. Even if you’re unsure if your coworkers would be interested, ask anyway! You reaching out may be enough to encourage them to get involved. They’ll feel as though you value their ideas and work as much as your own.


Your team must be able to depend upon your consistency and input. Being a reliable contributor takes time, dedication and focus. Monitor your performance and critique yourself, be punctual and time efficient. Stay motivated for your team’s sake by taking simple steps to avoid burnout. Knowing there’s someone you can rely on at work can make all the difference.

Listen and Respect

There might be someone on the team who gets on your nerves occasionally, or that you feel doesn’t work hard enough. However, for the sake of team morale, it’s important that you still listen and respect their presence and input. Try to remain objective and separate your personal feelings from your professional relationship. Conflict can drain energy in the office and lead to toxic or hostile work environments.


You may find yourself frustrated and disillusioned, feeling as though your personal input isn’t valued as much as you deserve. If you’re putting in more hours than teammates, or coming up with much more innovative concepts, being left with the thankless tasks can be frustrating. This is where your communication skills are required. Chat to your team and explain the areas where you feel as though someone needs to pull their weight a little more. It could really clear the air and will show how productivity is your ultimate goal.

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Author Jack Maguire

Jack Maguire is a recent English Studies graduate, content writer for the Jobbio blog, freelance journalist and podcast creator.

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