How to Drive Your Career and Deliver Greater Value by Being a Team Player
Have you ever worked for a company where all the employees were territorial about their skillset?
The environment was probably competitive, with each individual fending for themselves. Everybody was expected to develop new skills on their own, leveraging them sometimes at the expense of teammates.
How do you learn in an environment like that?
The short answer is you don’t.
What’s worse, not only can this kind of territorialism hurt your career, it can hurt the value you deliver clients.
Are You Sabotaging Your Career and the Value Delivered to Clients?
One of the primary reasons to consider a future in consulting is it can help you drive your career.
Many organizations require you to work for a specific department, focusing on only one skillset. Others have certain expectations, such as requiring you to work for them for three years before you can learn something new.
Neither of these models drive your career. They assume you’re working on a product to produce a specific solution around a specific pain point. Perhaps the project calls for a Business Analyst, so a group confers to determine a blueprint of the enterprise that provides a common framework for documenting how the organization is structured, what it does and what it needs to do to meet its goal. The result can be a shared vision for a client where there had been no vision before. This is a good thing for the organization, but it’s not a complete picture.
For a complete picture, the organization would need a model that integrates Software Engineers and Architects, Project Managers and information management experts to put into motion the proven processes needed for the blueprint to deliver value. This could even involve learning and adapting new systems and tools.
In these instances, you are working with practitioners who all have a baseline of similar skills, but specialize in one specific area. By bringing these practitioners together, you can handle several different kinds of projects.
It’s this kind of collaborative environment — in which everyone is willing to teach and share knowledge — that truly supports career progression development. If you want to drive your career, if you want to own your destiny, this is the kind of environment you want.
But how do you know what to look for?
Four Traits to Look for in an Organization that Will Drive Your Career
- You feel a sense of protection. An employee who feels dispensable will be less willing to share their knowledge. True collaboration begins when everybody feels they are indispensable.
- The organization has a flexible model. The larger the corporation, it often seems, the more specialized their processes are. A set of employees is siloed in the technology department, while another set is charged with strategy, but the two don’t understand the dependencies between each other. A flexible model (i.e. a holistic view of the enterprise’s processes) — from blueprint to solution — produces a better outcome.
- The organization has strong leadership. The leaders at your organization should lead by example, emulating the kind of behavior they’d like to see across the enterprise.
- The organization has instituted quality growth measurements. A mid-year review is a good opportunity to set goals and determine areas for improvement. However, if the measurements centered around the review are based solely on individual performance, it won’t act as an incentive to be a team player. Most organizations say they encourage teamwork, but their measurements suggest otherwise.
Of course, while these are traits to consider in your organization, you’ll need to take an honest look at yourself. Do you make your teammates feel indispensable? Do you understand the dependencies between the departments you work with?
This is at the heart of Daugherty’s recruiting process. We’re not just looking for talented individuals; we’re looking for right fits. Our history of large-scale, successful projects is due to our taking this seriously. Not only will you have the opportunity to participate in mission-critical projects that have high visibility and are challenging and exciting, we will also support and encourage your career progression. Join Team Daugherty today.