Being a Team Player in the Professional World

All throughout our schooling experience, we were put through the dreaded group work situations. Completing projects or assignments with a group of students brought with it headache and stress that independent work did not. Through grade school, high school and college, working in a team environment was less than desirable.

Group of Multiethnic People Studying About Teamwork

Photo courtesy of The Odyssey Online

And, not so surprisingly, these group work situations don’t end in the professional world. Especially in the PR or advertising industries. However, in the professional world, not only do you complete certain projects in teams, but you work every day along side multiple people who you can accurately describe as your teammates. And I’m here to tell you, it’s so much better than those dreaded group assignments were in school.

Being on a team in the professional world means getting to work with people whose strengths can contribute leaps and bounds to projects in areas you may not be so strong in. Per my experience so far, in the professional world every person on your team is as dedicated as you to make the work you’re producing the best it can be, and it can take a lot of pressure off of you as an individual to be the person solely responsible for its success. Most importantly, these team environments give you a chance to continue learning outside of the classroom you’ve been stuck in for the last 16-ish years, from people who have tons of real life experience in your field.

Although these new team environments can add so much to your professional life, the transition into being a great team player in an already-established team can be difficult. So it’s important to keep these things in mind:

Consider and acknowledge all of your teammates’ points of view.

Sometimes it’s difficult to see things from many different perspectives, but doing your best to see where your teammates are coming from will only further the project you are working on. Listen when they give input or ideas, and do your best to consider them fully before moving forward with your suggestions.

Do your part and do it well.

Because you’re new to the team, your part of the project may not be the most important. But, the focus and attention you give to it will show the team what you are capable of, and that you are dedicated to the organization’s goal as a whole.

Understand you have a lot to learn from the people on your team.

Many of us coming out of college were used to being near the top of the chain in school. Many of us served as account supervisors or project managers at student run firms or organizations. However, in the professional world, you are no longer the expert and it is important to keep that in mind and take in what your teammates are doing or saying so that you can grow as a professional.

Jasmine Arant


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3 Responses to Being a Team Player in the Professional World

  1. pdxsx says:

    Great tips, Jasmine! I particularly enjoyed consider and acknowledge all of your teammates points of view! So important!

  2. Megan Moran says:

    What’s funny is that I usually enjoyed group projects growing up, (as long as everyone did their fair share and did it well.) I like being able to bounce ideas off each other and collaborating. However, I do see where you’re coming from and you’re right, group projects are far from over! I really liked what you said about “Do your part and do it well.” As an intern, we usually aren’t given the most critical part of the project, but we still need to work just as hard to prove our capabilities. These were super helpful tips, thanks!

  3. Great post, Jasmine! I definitely agree with you on dreading group projects in school. It was hard to work in a group when we received grades as individuals! I also have to agree that group work is SO much better in the professional world – especially the part about having a lot to learn from the people you work with. Working as a team for a common goal is really rewarding with the right attitude, something I think you accurately addressed in your tips!

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