On Sunday, I was watching Meet the Press – as a political junkie, I like to catch it. One of the guests was Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts. David Gregory asked for predictions for 2010 regarding the job market. I loved Governor Patrick’s answer, and I think I will make it one of my mantras…
To paraphrase: Expanding cooperation and teamwork is how to compete in a global economy. (You can watch the clip HERE – scroll to the last video.)
I couldn’t have said it better myself. What are employers looking for? Someone who can come in and FIT in. Someone willing to roll up their proverbial sleeves and get the work done.
This isn’t necessarily a new thing. In fact, looking back, in two jobs that I landed, my colleagues later shared that my strong collaborative abilities (demonstrated to them via my attitude and references) were key factors in hiring me. I’ll never forget my colleague Mindy telling me that she had felt I would really pitch in and help out in different areas in the department and that was a main reason that she preferred me over the others.
I imagine the other candidates for the jobs I took were probably pretty qualified. Somehow, I was able get across something more important than basic qualifications to get the job.Ã‚Â In a nutshell – it’s those oh-so-important “soft skills,” AKA “emotional intelligence” that will make the difference between getting the job and being capable of the job.
I have written about this before. In his book,Ã‚Â Never Eat Alone,Ã‚Â Keith Ferrazzi says, “…Community and alliances will rule in the twenty-first century…[success is] dependent on whom you know and how you work with them (291).” He asserts that living a truly connected life is a prerequisite to success.
Could it be that all we really need to know are the lessons we learn in the sandbox? Is the poem “All I Ever Really Need To Know, I Learned in Kindergarten” turning out to be really true? If so, how can you respond? What is the best way to stand out to compete in this “global economy” (forgive me for the cliche – I am sure this phrase is on some “I never want to hear this again” lists!)
My reply? Another old standby for me – “Show, don’t tell.” It is tough to convince someone that you are a team player unless you really are one! BE the person who is willing to go the extra mile. Maybe that means you hold the door for somebody behind you on the way to the interview. Or, that you let someone take the parking space you both were eyeing. Who knows – you might have been angling your potential new boss out of her space!
Obviously, there’s much more to this than simply being courteous, but it is a start. Look at your network. Do you have one? Are you a connector? Do you try to put people in touch with each other, just for the sake of doing it? If so, you are SHOWING that you care about people – that you are a team player.
What would your boss or colleagues say about you? Do they think only about your competence, or will they comment on your great attitude, how you lead by example and show everyone the same respect? Are you the one who pitches in and stays until the end, or are you running out to handle personal matters? Everything adds up, and how you behave will shape how people see you.
Think about it – do you have the necessary skills to fit in and get the job done? Do you agree that cooperation and teamwork are crucial for success in the next decade? Share in the comments!
I can help with every part of your job hunt! Need a great resume? Tips to use social networking? Interview coaching? Ã‚Â If you need help mobilizing your networks and your job search plans,Ã‚Â learn more about how I can help you! While you’re at it, don’t forget those social networks! Be sure to become aÃ‚Â fan of Keppie Careers on Facebook…I’d be thrilled to have you as part of the community! Since we’re on the subject of doing something new…Are you on Twitter? Jump on and touch base with meÃ‚Â @keppie_careers.
photo by valilouve