Much of the literature in the “how to plan your career and reach your goals” genre focuses on how you can promote yourself through individual activities to get noticed and promoted. However, you might find that there is more compensation and return on investment in being a supportive team player.
First, recognize 3 important things about the world of work and where you should direct your focus:
- Making the company money
- Making your boss look good
- Utilizing the advice of your mentors to make items #1 and #2 happen
Second, recognize that collaboration with your colleagues has benefits you may not realize, such as:
- Learning new skills and information
- Learning to effectively navigate corporate culture
- Utilizing your new skills and knowledge to become a leader
Third, do the job you were hired to do, but not just that job:
- Work hard and make sure that your boss knows you are working hard
- Ask for more responsibility as you get acclimated to your position
- Utilize these opportunities to build relationships with your boss and upper level management
These are simple suggestions, but recognize that you must invest time and effort in each suggested activity to gain forward momentum and move ahead. Time and effort are not wasted if you gain new knowledge, updated skills, and the respect of your colleagues.
Every position you accept throughout your career deserves your best in each of these areas. Over the course of your career, being a supportive team player and a recognized leader will be more effective and beneficial than being a self-promoter.