In the second part of the three-part article, Bangalore-based HR professional, Preeyan, tells us about the importance of being a team player where the team comes first. Staying focussed and importance of your focus on helping you build your career. Here are the details, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
We have seen in the previous week’s column on how you create an identity for yourself in the team. This week, I would want you to understand the importance of being a team player where the team comes first. Staying focussed and importance of your focus on helping you build your career.
What I am trying to do here is to help you realise what you already know and not teach.
Be a Team Player
You are fresh, new in the team and you may not be given a lot of work, which may be very important, initially. You may get things that others don’t want to do. You will feel left out and dejected when this happens. Use this time in a positive way like learning, adapting and understanding. This will help you till the time your team is ready to accept you as an integral part.
What do you learn? Learn what you need to do and do it right, always be available to help others in getting certain things done. This does not mean that you do the work of others but there will be times when the team may need an additional hand and you need to keep yourself available to give that. Learn all the tools you use in office, hardware, and software. It is at work where you get to learn a lot of that.
Be flexible and adapt to situations. Always be prepared to burn the midnight oil. Because that’s the difference you can bring to the table as most people don’t want to do this by choice. Those who do are forced into it.
You should know all the processes and requirements of your team and intern for the organisation, if you restrict yourself only to your job you may be regarded as a good employee but may not be considered for growth. You have to learn to be flexible. This is true for any profession not just a desk job or a client servicing job. As juniors, you need to ensure that we get exposure to every possible aspect of your team. You can look at specialisation once you reach a higher level. For now, you need this job and you need to be part of the team.
Be approachable and be communicative, you need to feel comfortable and let other be comfortable with you. It is good to befriend a colleague and create a hinge to hold on to the team. I repeat myself when I say that you need to leave your selfishness, arrogance, status and ego out of everything. An introvert can be a good team player, it’s just how you behave as part of a team. In public, you can be yourself but at work you need to be yourself and more.
Once the team is comfortable with you, they will start getting you involved with everything including the planning phase. This is where you want to be and this is what you need to set your goal for the initial phase of your career.
You may have given a fancy response to a question in your interview which goes like this “where do you see yourself five years from now?”, always keep that response in mind and focus on where you want to be. Your initial experience is critical and is going to set up your career for you.
At your level, there are a lot of distractions. A cricket match on TV, a discussion among colleagues on the Friday night party, an attractive person in an office, who gets drooled at by all your colleagues and so do you, personal issues like an argument you had with your parents or loved one.
Let these distractions sink in. Remember, your job should be treated as your penance, to keep your mind away from all those distractions. Once you learn to do this, you start to get focused on your goal that focus will bring about a clarity in the way you perform. All other things are part of life, but your goal should get that focus. You need to look at the growth of yourself and the organisation.
My way of coping with stress is by physical exercise. Start your day early and workout, you can choose what you want to do like running, walking, skipping, skating, gym workouts, dancing, aerobics, martial arts and various others. If you like music, listening to music helps relax the stress, but music could become a distraction because you will be more with your eaearphonesnd may miss doing something important. Every individual is different but the two common things that help remove stress and increase focus are physical activities and recreational activities.
Your focus should be such that when you are at work, forget everything else and focus on work only.
Cultivate habits that will keep your focus in check. Maintain a ‘to-do’ list. Write down every task that needs to be accomplished in a day. Let the list be exhaustive. Strikeout all that you close in a day and move the rest to the to-do list for the following day. This is something that almost every professional will tell you to do. Some companies will have this as part of their work process that you do a daily report, but in certain organisations the tasks given can be completely unpredictable and hence the to-do list becomes that much more important.
Take a Break
Take breaks, every professional needs a break, take breaks as per what the organisation rules say. But do take it, because you don’t want to do too much and burn out too soon. Helps you focus better.
There is a very thin line between being focused and a workaholic. Being workaholic is like any other addiction. You need to learn to balance this and work towards your goal.
There is more to come,
(To be continued)
Photos from the internet.
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