Developing the skills graduate employers really want – Teamwork

  January 11, 2017

Ever been part of a sporting team, university society, or even a project team for an assignment at uni? Excellent, then you can already demonstrate experience of being part of a team.

That being said, just because someone's been part of a team, doesn't necessarily mean they have good team-working skills. To roughly assess your team-working skills, think back to an example when you were part of a team and consider the following questions:

When you were part of a team did you contribute fairly, or did you go off and do your own thing, or perhaps leave the bulk of the work for others to do?

Did you all agree a common goal to work towards, and create a plan to achieve this (and then stick to it)?

Did you consider other people's points of view and try and incorporate those into the plan?

Did you only worry about what you needed to do or achieve?

Working in a team is actually really difficult, and people hate to admit it. They think that as long as the team isn't shouting at each other, then they are working well as a team, but there's a lot more to it, and you will definitely learn this as you enjoy life after uni. Team work is actually about coming together for a common goal, and everyone doing their bit, using their skills to the benefit of the whole team. It is certainly not about one person trying to everything for the glory, so if that's your plan to impress at work, we'd recommending you reconsider.

The simplest way to think about successful teamwork is to consider a world-class sporting team. Take the All Black rugby team, or Germany's football team for example; everyone in the team has their special skill to contribute and everyone knows what they are doing. When a player has the ball, they know what they need to do to move it forward; the rest of the team are there to support, but they trust that individual to make the right move when it's time, and for the next person in the chain to step up too. Very rarely will one person just charge ahead (unlike some other football teams who shall remain nameless **cough** England **cough**), because everyone on the team knows it works better when each person does their bit. That is teamwork, and it is hard, and it's why footballers and rugby players practice together for hours on end, and why practising and developing teamwork skills is important in the workplace. But if you can remember what the ultimate goal is, develop confidence in your own abilities, and communicate well with your team members (more on this next time), then it doesn't matter what team you become a part of, you will be able to demonstrate excellent team-working skills (even if other members of your team cannot).

Let employers know about your excellent team-working skills today by completing your HappyWork profile, and find the right job for you.