I’m participating in Reena’s Soft Skills Vocational training workshops run by our Channels job coach team. I’ve learned the importance of soft skills in both the job search and when I’ll be working at the workplace. The one skill that I struggle with the most is “teamwork”. How can I improve this skill?
Signed: Striving Team Player
You may have already gained teamwork skills without even realizing it. For example, you are attending the Reena community participation program Channels is an important group experience which simulates a workplace team. Here are some recommendations on how to develop (or improve) your team work skills suggested by Tamara, Reena’s lead job coach, as well as Palazan’s (2023) article https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/interviews-and-assessment-centres/how-tackle-teamwork-interview-questions-and-improve-your-teamworking-skills. Also, you will want to prepare examples of your team work skills when you are asked this question at the job interview.
- Group projects. If you are asked to complete a group project as part of your program, it’s a great way to try out working in a team. Be aware, though, that ‘the group project completed on my course’ has become a clichéd answer to teamworking interview questions, so it might be best to provide other examples if you want to stand out.
- Joining groups, clubs and/or training courses. Participate in as many group experiences that offer team activities that you are interested in. This includes in-person, and/or virtual, through social media sites and even after school and/or community centre programs. Enrolling in different courses and classes of interest can help as well. Sports , drama clubs and choirs, for example, can provide similar opportunities to work with others.
- Volunteering. This is another excellent way to develop teamwork skills along with valuable work experience. If you volunteer for a community organization, for example, you will often be paired with others to reach a common goal.
- Join a committee. Sitting on a board or committee of an organization requires participating in meetings to share ideas and organize events. Similar to volunteering in #3, these are great ways to develop team work and leadership skills.
- Internships or part-time job. If you can secure a co-op/internship placement through school, or a training program and/or a part-time job, these are ideal ways of improving your teamwork skills as you will be able to demonstrate to employers how you improved your teamworking abilities within a professional environment. You can also practise working in teams through your vocational training program with Reena’s Channels by attending any mock job interview skills practice sessions.
There are lots of other ideas on how to work on your team work skills presented on social media career sites. In the meantime, discuss the above suggestions with your job coach and see what works best for you and your goals.
To submit your challenges, concerns, questions and comments regarding this column and/or your job search IN CONFIDENCE, please email Joanna Samuels, Employment Resource Supervisor, Reena – firstname.lastname@example.org