Focus is seen as the mark of people going places. But increasingly employees are being valued more for their ability to work with and through others than as even excellent lone rangers. So if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been too tuned into Ã¢â‚¬ËœWhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s In It For MeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ (WIIFM) mentality, it might be time to lower the dial. Here are some suggestions;
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get too careerist: When you look at everything through a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcareer promotionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ lens youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re on slippery ground because todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s workplace prefers team players, so climb your career ladder on the back of valuable contributions to the organisations and teams you work with.
Embrace collectivism: Collectivism means believing that thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a purpose bigger than yourself, that when you work together with others you achieve more than you would alone. To be Ã¢â‚¬ËœcollectiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ minded youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to tame your need to be noticed or to be validated all the time.
Look at the big picture: Whatever your goals, they cannot be achieved in isolation. Think back to any interview you have attended and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll remember the questions had more to do with what you could and bring to the organisation rather than what the job or organisation will do for your career. Know what your role is and how it fits with othersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ so that your performance connects with those of others.
Drop a transactional mindset: If you work for a good employer, there are probably a lot of Ã¢â‚¬ËœgoodiesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ you can negotiate Ã¢â‚¬â€œ interesting assignments, mentoring, flexi-working; and be grateful for such. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make work interactions too transactional; have clear boundaries of give and take where necessary but making everything quid pro quo sounds more like a marketplace philosophy.
Be a contribution driven: I love the quote Ã¢â‚¬ËœitÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s amazing what we can achieve if we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care who gets the creditÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Of course, you should get the credit if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve deserve it. The point however is that if making a difference is more important to you than looking to Ã¢â‚¬ËœshineÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, you will reap benefits; you become better, you grow, you break new ground, you are a sought-after team player!
Recognise you need others: Imagine what would happen if everyone did something only if they could see a benefit for themselves? The workplace would probably feel like a kindergarten or a lions den- everyone out for him/herself. But thankfully the modern workplace demands collaboration. So, if you value your future hone your joint working skills and give more than is expected of you.
Accept that individualism is waning: Ã¢â‚¬ËœBelieving in yourselfÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ should be non-negotiable and so should Ã¢â‚¬Ëœworking with othersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and embracing interdependence. Tune in to these and your career will be the better for it. Demonstrate your individual excellence regularly but do so in the context of making your team glow rather than to shine the torchlight on yourself.
Now take action : WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be your free gift to your workplace this week?