Work environments are not always one-size fits all. Rather, they are a rich blend of opportunity—to work independently or as part of a team. When you enter a new work environment, you need to be able to navigate between the two. What are the best practices that can help manage this dynamic, and what could lead someone to be unable to balance the work environment?
It is common to gravitate toward working as part of a team or on your own. Which environment do you prefer? You may feel more comfortable working as a part of a team, which means you like to collaborate. Team members compensate for each other’s weaknesses, are able to share broad perspectives, increase efficiency, and overall share the workload.
Or you may feel more comfortable working independently. You really enjoy heads down work and not having to consult others for help or ideas.
Whether you prefer working as a team or independently, you will need to learn how to be successful at both in a corporate environment. Below are best practices that you can use in these dynamics:
Set goals and track your success! As a team, you all are working toward a shared goal. Your supervisor or team lead will lay out the goals for the team. When you work independently, it’s important that you create and track your goals on your own. While your supervisor may assign tasks and projects, you still need to manage your approach to the work flow. Determine weekly, monthly and annual goals or milestones you want to achieve. By creating and tracking these, you will know that you are successfully adding value to your organization while working as part of a team and independently.
Be self-aware—internally and externally. Internal self-awareness is your knowledge and understanding of yourself. This includes your emotions, interests, assumptions, abilities, biases, etc. External self-awareness is how other people view you in those same categories. Both are necessary before entering a new work environment.
If you are not measuring your success, clearly defining your goals and being self-aware, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Keeping yourself structured and aware when working as part of a team and working independently are just a few things to think about when entering a new environment. There will be other practices you figure out along the way or maybe ones that work better for you.
Moral of the story – Spend time figuring out how to balance your work culture. If you don’t, you may never be fully successful working as part of a team or independently.
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