Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

6 Critical Teamwork Job Skills and How to Develop Them

Teamwork job skills are necessary to getting hired, according to almost 80 percent of employers in the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2012 survey. You need them, whether or not you are a “people person” and regardless of your career choice. The trick is to pick group activities you like with people holding similar interests to you. (Sound familiar? Think of people, leisure interests and work environments associated with your strongest Holland personality types)

So what are Teamwork Skills and how do you develop and use them in your career and job search?

First, read our quick overview of Foundation Skills and understand generally what they all are. You can download a free PDF of the 17 Foundation Skills for non-commercial use.   

In particular, look at the People Skills and the six “Teamwork” skills:
  1. Working cooperatively with others;
  2. Contributing to a group with ideas and effort;
  3. Doing your own share of work;
  4. Encouraging team members;
  5. Resolving differences for the benefit of the team; and
  6. Responsibly challenging existing procedures, policies, or authorities.

What kind of activities could you do to develop teamwork skills? Think about getting involved (if you aren’t already) in the community, a business, or in a school group. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:
  • Business: Organize a small business – it could be baby-sitting, yardwork, or a website selling custom T-shirts.  Working in a business with someone else, no matter how small, requires all the teamwork skills.
  • Church: Participate in a team-oriented volunteer project in the community, help organize and put on holiday events, help supervise a donation drive (toys, food, diapers, etc).
  • Hobbies: If you like building (or the idea of) legos or robots, find a local group – sometimes sponsored by a large local employer, and join in to participate and help with contests and exhibitions, organize a scrapbook accessories exchange at a local scrapbooking store, join another bike fanatic/mechanic to organize a spring "DIY Bike Fix Up" clinic.
  • Sports: Get a group together for a charity run or walk, Serve as a volunteer coach for kids’ sports, help organize meets and games, fundraise for a charity league, participate in a school or master’s level sport.
  • Music: Form a band, organize and give (free, fundraising) concerts or help musicians do so, volunteer for a music therapy program.
  • School: Do a group project - either as a class assignment or create one, get involved in student government, start a new club, participate in service learning or volunteer groups, join a peer mentoring or tutoring group.
  • Obstacle course or Outward Bound-type program.

BONUS: Many of these activities also help you develop other Foundation People Skills like Social, Negotiation, Leadership, and Cultural Diversity skills.

Once you develop teamwork skills, learn how to talk about them in a job or internship interview using the “PAR” method. Practice with another person or in front of a mirror how you would talk about your skills with an interviewer.

For more job skills help at The Career Key website, visit these articles:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Personality-College Major Match Research in NCDA's February Career Convergence

The National Career Development Association (NCDA) looks at "personality-college major match" in the February issue of its web magazine Career Convergence, in the feature article, "Research Reveals that Personality-Major Match Strengthens Students' College Success."  In it, Career Key author Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, NCC describes the impact that personality and Holland's college major environments have on college performance.

The article also refers to two important, free white papers in an e-book format that explain the research and how to apply it to career and education decisions: