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Chronicles of a Graduate: Teamwork!

By Patty Marra, Series Guest Blogger 

It’s the inevitable question topic that the employer throws out there in an interview: do you prefer to work in teams or by yourself?  How do you approach teamwork?  Do you enjoy teamwork?

I have to be honest, I don’t have an issue with teamwork as a concept.  In fact, I really enjoy the opportunity to work with other people and learn from their experiences.  It’s also nice to have someone with whom to split the workload.

Now, while all of that is true, there are teammates who make teamwork an extremely arduous undertaking. We all know them.  Maybe you have even worked with them before. 

  1. The person who needs to know. RIGHT NOW.  I don’t particularly care that you are right in the middle of a phone call or resolving an issue.  I need an answer, or I need to tell you something relatively unimportant, and it cannot wait.
  2. Are we there yet?  This person comes to check-in with you on the project about every 10 minutes or so.  It doesn’t particularly matter that you just spoke with the team, divided up responsibilities, and laid out a plan of action that involves not meeting again for another week.
  3. The Freeloader.  Sure, they are a part of the team on paper, but you have yet to see them at a meeting or receive an actual contribution to the project.  In fact, sometimes you wonder if they still work at the company.  However, you have to put their name on the final product for some reason, so they get the credit anyway.

These are only three examples, I’m sure there are many more types out there floating in the workplace or on the internet.  However, these are all types that we need to learn to navigate, and the earlier we begin to learn to handle these situations with grace and success, the better our end product will be.  I think my goal for the next week will be to exercise extreme patience, and hopefully some of my own teamwork will be the better for it!

About the Author

Patty MarraPatty Marra is a freshly graduated alumna of Marquette University, who is working on answering the question, “…what next?”  She is navigating the ever-evolving hiring maze of today’s business environment, and sharing the pieces of knowledge she learns along the way.  She loves social media, but appreciates a good face-to-face conversation.  Long-term, she is looking to establish a career in marketing project management, and help everyone she can along the way.  You can get in touch with her by email, or you can find more of her thoughts via herblogTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Does this sound familiar? Are you in the same situation?  Have you been here before -- what's your advice for Patty? Please comment below.

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