IT can be a bit of an “individual sport,” and if you cruise through an IT department on any given day, you’re likely to find people staring intently at their screens with earbuds in rather than talking to one another. However, teamwork has never been more important in technology, and no IT pro truly works in a bubble. If you want to get more from your current job and ultimately advance your career, it’s time to embrace teamwork. Follow these simple strategies to become the ultimate team player in your IT department.
Hit Your Deadlines Every Time
If you want to earn clout on your team, build a reputation as a person who completes their work on time, every time. No one likes the co-worker who constantly holds them up or who needs to be asked where their work is. Make a commitment to getting your work done and submitted on time, or even early, and letting your team know immediately if you hit a snag that might impact your deadline.
Complaining about co-workers can be very tempting, but gossip reflects poorly on you and impedes productivity. And don’t think that your fellow trash-talkers leave you out of their conversations. When you aren’t around, they are giving you the same treatment. Instead of wasting time focusing on and spreading negativity, treat others with respect and avoid getting sucked into unproductive gossip. It’s better to have a reputation as a hard worker who rises above office politics than to be known as a gossip and a toxic co-worker.
Celebrate Other People
The hallmark of a team player is the ability to give credit where credit is due. Never miss an opportunity to thank someone for going above and beyond to help you, and go out of your way to congratulate people when they experience success. Putting others first can be difficult, but it will pay dividends as your team builds respect for you.
It would be nice if every IT project went smoothly, but the truth is, every project will hit snags and you will experience challenges almost every day. If you want to be a better team player, you’ve got to learn to be flexible and adapt to changes quickly. Avoid the temptation to dwell on what went wrong or toss blame on other people. Learn to assess the situation and take action to get back on track as quickly as possible.