How to Be a Vital Part of Your Work Team
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How to Be a Vital Part of Your Work Team

Take a look at any organisation; from a small corner shop to a multi-million international mega-corporation and you will find the main core of the team is made up of a small handful of characters that play an essential role within their company. Their job title may be anything from product-buyer or sales manager, to receptionist or warehouse operative. Occasionally it may of course be the managing director or a personal assistant. However, one thing remains constant with each of them: Without their particular skills, the company would not flow as well as it does with them on the home team.

So what makes these individuals so important to their companies that they may even be deemed as indispensable and how can you learn to be as central to your company as they are to theirs?

Office Neutral

The first, key step is to ensure you are office neutral. Office politics may carry favour for a short run, but will eventually switch unwritten code and leave you floundering. Keeping office neutral will bring you respect from all parts of the office as long as you do not bring arrogance or lack of toleration with it. After all, being a vital part of your work team involves being approachable by all other members of the team.

Knowledge

Next comes the power of knowledge. There is a vast wealth of information available to you about your company and its place in the market no matter what it does. For example: A small convenience store in one of the next villages to mine is family owned and has very close links to the local community. It stores locally produced meats, milks, and cheeses; local bakery produced breads and cakes; and local photographer’s greetings cards, calendars, and postcards. It also supplies affordable toys and games for children, as well as hobby items for scrapbooking and art. Towards the rear of the shop there is a post office area which was incorporated several years ago when the post office in the high street was shut down. The local bank was also shut down and as such, the shop introduced a cash machine. Someone who was indispensable to this company would be an individual with great knowledge about the local area and its changing needs. They would be friendly with the customers, most likely knowing many of them by name. They would have an understanding of the postal service run from the shop and be able to advise people of when the postal area would be open and basics such as the price of postage stamps and envelopes, what time the first and last collection is on each day, which courier services are available such as Parcelforce 24, etc. The person would know where items are in the shop, whether a customer is looking for locally produced goat cheese, Bernard Matthew’s Turkey Drummers, or Ashton & Parsons Infants’ Powders. They would know where to locate items quickly and when stock is due to come in if there is none available at that time. They would be knowledgeable on tobacco, alcohol, substance, and weapon laws, as well as the related laws of the establishment, and remain calm when faced with a negative situation arising from a member of the public unable to purchase these items due to these laws and policies (such as an under 16 year old trying to purchase a set of kitchen knives or cigarettes). They would be trained for both till use and stock replenishment duties, and do both with enthusiasm and efficiency.

A team member that utilises all this knowledge correctly will naturally be seen as a source of information by others and this leads to dependability.

Dependable

Being dependable means ensuring that you can be relied on by those around you to complete your duties to a satisfactory standard and in a timely manner. For example: A graphics company would expect a graphics designer working on an advertisement campaign, to have their ideas finished and well presented for the client to view with enough time to approve or request changes prior to the campaign being launched. Not only this, but to pre-empt some of the possible changes that a client may request and have those ideas also ready and on stand-by for the client to view if that be the case. They would also have to be entirely focussed on the message that the company wants to submit and ensure that their propositions represent that company in the manner that the organisation wants to portray. It would be pointless making an advertorial aimed at the teens and young adults market for a product such as a menopause supplement for example, and would reveal your lack of understanding for the company, its product, and its market. This partly comes down to the aforementioned knowledge, but timeliness and reliability are a major contributing factor to who is deemed a vital part of your work team.

Responsible

A worthy team member is a responsible team member. Being able to respond appropriately in any given situation and get on with the job in hand, being punctual, and accepting when something goes wrong, all works towards making you a responsible individual. Acting in a professional manner is also being responsible.

Recognition

Gaining recognition for all the above is often enough, but in the world of international or specialist companies it is not. Here, a combination of qualifications and who you know is a recipe for promotion or headhunting. Often in the course of earning qualifications you will quickly discover who to know, whether it is someone who is extremely successful in a similar role to that you seek for, or someone who is rising quickly through the ranks. However, do NOT under any circumstances use that person to catapult yourself upwards. Instead, observe them, learn from their example and apply it to your own situation and you will see results. Never ride someone else’s coattails or cheat, this will only ruin your reputation and get you nowhere.

Good luck.

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