Teamwork x you

University of Manchester Cheerleaders at Future Cheer, Bath 2014

Whilst scrolling through photos on my laptop I came across various examples of teamwork from the past two years. From competing in my first ever cheer competition to co-hosting Christmas dinners with friends. In essence, teamwork is a relatively straightforward concept – the concept of discussing and exchanging ideas to ultimately achieve a better outcome. We come across several people a day, and in my opinion teamwork is one of the more exciting aspects that we encounter during the day.

When in sports teams it is often hard to explain just how much individual effort is put into every training session. My mum often said I would be a good sportsman in a sport like tennis, and my dad often says I should play golf (I have little knowledge if this sport but it does seem very isolated). However, I have always preferred activities where being a team player is key – netball, rounders, cheerleading, running as part of a run club, going to the gym with a partner, double badminton, co-hosting a radio show etc. This has always seemed natural because the feeling of success can be shared – which I love. I’ve always pictured myself in a career where a daily part of the job is discussing and interpreting ideas as part of a group.

This may appear strange because the degree I did was rather singular (Politics and History BA). With most of my academic timetable consisting of 8 contact hours a week maximum – it is odd now why I chose a degree where most academic time was spent alone in the library reading through countless journals, with practically no group projects. In my last year I feel my studying approach was the most successful but this was also because I knew my habits, strengths and weaknesses. As well as when to prioritise social life and down time. Reflecting on one final year module in particular where I would often work with a friend and we would discuss our ideas – splitting the reading up and making notes for each other – this contributed hugely to our success and enjoyment of the whole module. This friend remains a motivational and positive aspect in my life – that period in particular we shared articles, educational YouTube clips and graduate job opportunities – the team work of life.

Just give it a quick Google and you’ll see that in interviews employers will always be interested in the actions YOU took, and better yet how YOU specifically contributed to the success of the whole team. Being a team player is all well and good but ultimately it is you who forms your own destiny. Never underestimate your contribution to the team.