When you’re looking through job ads and position descriptions, have you noticed how some requirements feature in the selection criteria for almost every job? The ability to work as part of a team, and the capability to work independently, are frequently listed – sometimes together.
At first glance, this can seem contradictory. After all – if you’ll be working independently – will you really be part of a team? But when you think about it, these requirements relate to separate skill sets.
To work autonomously, you’ll need strong time management skills and the ability to prioritise tasks. You’ll probably need a good understanding of the work involved, as there may be fewer opportunities to ask for help. You might work in a different location to your colleagues, your role might not intersect with anyone else’s, or you might work independently for only some of the time.
But, as long as there’s one other person in your organisation, you’re always going to be part of at least one team, working towards the same overarching goals relating to growth and profitability. In fact, a large organisation might be structured in a way that puts you into several teams: national, local and project.
However it’s set up, recruiters understand how your ability to support the rest of your team, and work well with them, can affect the success of the entire organisation.
The great news is that while you’re studying, you complete some assignments in a group, and some on your own. You’re gaining practical experience in teamwork and working independently, which is fantastic preparation for the workplace.
But, without an understanding of why some collaborations end well and others end poorly, group assignments can sometimes feel like a challenge. If you’re studying online and you never meet the other members of your team in person, this can be especially tricky.
Luckily, you can remedy this by attending our Teamwork workshop or by completing the online Curtin Challenge module. So, sign up or log in to improve your performance, and understand more about the common challenges of teamwork, how we form teams and how they function, and the importance of communication, motivation, norms, goals and role allocation.