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Career & Job Advice: Notice How Your Team Changes You

Thursday July 14, 2022

I’ve coached job seekers for years, and I see this common mistake again and again: People tend to make their job situation all about their own skill or passion.

Heck, career advice books push this strategy all the time, so it makes sense that this would turn into a huge blind spot!

The truth is, your team will affect you more than you can possibly imagine OR control.

Your team, meaning all the people around you at work, will change you and your job. They will even change your skill level, starting with your own perception of your skill level at work!

This aggregate effect will seem like a hidden force controlling your career, as long as you keep focusing on yourself alone. And if you haven’t changed teams recently, you may have no idea how much you are missing out on: New energy, new productivity, new friendships, and new optimism.

Keep in mind—when you are only noticing, or working on, YOUR skills or on YOUR tasks, you are not focused on your team, by definition. You are letting the control scheme continue unexamined.

So, at the very least:

  • List the ways the people with whom you work seem to affect your personality.
  • List the pros and cons! Get a good long list going with details and examples!
  • Plan to make strategic changes at work.
  • Plan to make strategic changes in how you manage your career based on this knowledge.
  • If you’re in leadership—help people shuffle things up and work in different groups from time to time. Ask what they think about the changes in group & how things went! Help them work with people who can get them feeling more positive and productive!
  • Never blame individuals for problems you observe in team dynamics, unless you have really good reason and some team buy-in. Instead, focus on making your own changes to your career. Always work to change things as soon as you recognize the need, and keep it breezy & cheesy—nothing personal!

In conclusion: Learn to change your team to change your job…or change your job so you can change your team.

Good luck out there everybody!

Filed in: Control /109/ | Careers /39/

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