team player

Tips on Becoming a Better Team Player in the Workplace

Becoming a better team player in the workplace is essential to fostering a positive and productive work environment. You need to learn how to communicate in a manner that others understand. You must become a people watcher and learn why they act as they do. Here are some tips to help you improve your teamwork skills:

Communicate Effectively

Good communication is vital for successful teamwork. Be an active listener by truly hearing what others are expressing. Share your ideas clearly to avoid miscommunication. Practice both verbal and written communication skills to ensure your teammates understand your messages.

Collaborate and Share Knowledge

Be open to collaboration and be willing to share your knowledge and expertise with others. Teamwork is only possible when you work well with teammates. Encourage teamwork by offering assistance, seeking feedback, and actively participating in group discussions.

Build Positive Relationships

Develop positive relationships with your colleagues by being friendly, supportive, and respectful. Show appreciation for their contributions and celebrate their successes. A positive work environment leads to better teamwork. Cultivating positivity in the workplace environment can lead to increased productivity.

Be Reliable and Accountable

Demonstrate reliability by fulfilling your commitments and meeting deadlines. Take ownership of your responsibilities and be accountable for your actions. Avoid blaming others and focus on finding solutions to challenges. Taking personal responsibility can change the direction of your professional life in positive ways.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Be adaptable and willing to adjust to changing circumstances. Team dynamics may change, and new projects or challenges may arise. Embrace these changes with a positive attitude and be flexible in your approach. Learning to be flexible can improve your professional life in many ways. That can enhance the way you interact with others.

Practice Empathy

Show empathy toward your teammates by understanding their perspectives, challenges, and feelings. Be supportive and offer help when needed. Recognize and appreciate the diverse strengths and experiences that each team member brings.

Foster a Positive Team Culture

Contribute to creating a positive team culture by promoting a collaborative and inclusive environment. Encourage teamwork, acknowledge contributions, and celebrate team achievements. Respect and value diversity within the team.

Conflict Resolution

Conflicts may arise within a team. In such situations, focus on finding common ground, actively listen to different viewpoints, and work toward a resolution that benefits everyone. Use constructive communication and seek help from a mediator if necessary.

Continuously Improve

Strive for personal and professional growth. Seek feedback from your teammates and supervisors to identify areas for improvement. Actively participate in training programs and learn new skills that enhance your effectiveness as a team player. Live a life that is always on a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement.

Lead by Example

Be a role model for effective teamwork. Demonstrate the qualities you expect from others, such as professionalism, integrity, and a strong work ethic. Your positive behavior can inspire and motivate your teammates.

Remember, becoming a better team player is an ongoing process that requires effort and commitment. It won’t happen overnight. However, you can make progress by making a consistent effort of self-growth each day. By implementing these tips, you can contribute to a more harmonious and successful work environment.

5 Ways to Upskill Yourself on a Tight Budget

As the job market continues to become increasingly competitive, it’s important to enhance your job skills in order to stay relevant and advance your career. Many people are deterred by the high cost of professional development, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are five ways to upskill yourself on a tight budget.

1. Take Advantage of Free Online Resources

An advantage of the internet is the wide variety of free educational resources available at your fingertips. From online courses to webinars and tutorials, there are countless resources you can use to learn new skills without spending a dime.

Some of the most popular online learning platforms include:

  • Coursera and edX: Offer courses from universities and institutions worldwide on a variety of topics. While some courses are paid, many are available for free if you don’t require a certification. How they help: Gain knowledge from top universities and industry leaders.
  • Khan Academy: Known for its comprehensive and easy-to-understand tutorials in mathematics, science, and programming. How they help: Build foundational knowledge in technical subjects.
  • Codecademy and FreeCodeCamp: Ideal for learning coding and web development skills. How they help: Interactive platforms to learn and practice coding.
  • YouTube Educational Channels: Channels like CrashCourse and MIT OpenCourseWare offer free lectures and educational content. You can subscribe to channels that provide free educational videos on various topics or follow influencers in your industry to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. How they help: Access to diverse educational content and expert lectures at no cost.
  • Duolingo: Great for learning new languages, it’s designed to make it fun, accessible and effective. How they help: Enhance language skills through interactive lessons and exercises.
  • LinkedIn Learning Free Courses: Occasionally offers free courses in business, technology, and creative skills. How they help: Learn industry-relevant skills and stay updated with trends.

2. Put Your Library Card to Good Use

Utilizing the public library to enhance your job skills is a smart and cost-effective strategy. Here’s how you can make the most of this valuable resource:

  • Access to a Wide Range of Books: Libraries offer a plethora of books and e-books covering various fields and skills. Whether you’re looking to improve your technical knowledge, leadership skills, or learn about new industries, you’ll find relevant books.
  • Online Resources and Databases: Many libraries provide access to specialized online databases, journals, and e-learning platforms that might otherwise be expensive. These resources can be particularly valuable for staying up-to-date with the latest trends and research in your field.
  • Library Workshops and Seminars: Check out the library’s events calendar. Libraries often host workshops, seminars, and talks by industry experts and professionals. These events are great opportunities to learn new skills and network with others.
  • Learn New Technologies: Public libraries often have access to various software and technologies. This can be especially beneficial if you need to familiarize yourself with certain tools for your job but don’t have access to them otherwise.
  • Career Counseling Services: Some libraries offer career counseling services, résumé workshops, and interview preparation help.

3. Attend Free Webinars and Events

Webinars and events have become indispensable tools for upskilling in today’s fast-paced professional landscape.

One of the key advantages of webinars is their accessibility. Unlike traditional in-person seminars, webinars can be attended from anywhere in the world, eliminating geographical barriers. This means you have the ability to learn from experts and industry leaders that you may not have otherwise had access to. Webinars offer a fantastic opportunity to learn from the pros without having to leave your home

Many organizations and companies offer these webinars at a minimal cost–or even free. They may cover a variety of topics, from entrepreneurship and career development to digital literacy and social media basics. These can provide valuable insights and strategies to help you improve your skills and knowledge.

Events may offer the same type of industry expert advice and upskilling capabilities as webinars. But beyond the educational aspect, events also offer networking opportunities. You’ll hear from and converse with successful business leaders and entrepreneurs, which can help you gain insights and advice that can help you take your career to the next level. Plus, the networking aspect of these events will help you make connections that could lead to future job opportunities.

4. Volunteer for Skills-Based Projects

Volunteering for skills-based projects can be a win-win situation for both you and the organization you’re volunteering for. You can gain valuable experience and develop new skills while also making a positive impact in your community. The benefits include:

  • Practical Experience: Skills-based volunteering allows you to apply your knowledge in real-world settings, and helps you understand the practical applications of your skills while deepening your expertise.
  • Learning New Skills: When volunteering, you often encounter tasks or challenges outside your usual skill set, thus pushing you to learn and adapt.
  • Networking Opportunities: Volunteering connects you with professionals and organizations in your field of interest, which can be beneficial for future job opportunities, mentorship, or collaborative projects.
  • Enhancing Your Résumé: Involvement in volunteer projects demonstrates initiative and a commitment to personal growth and community service. This can be appealing to potential employers, as it showcases your ability to take on new challenges and your dedication to continuous learning.
  • Personal Development: Beyond professional skills, volunteering helps in developing soft skills like teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and leadership. These skills are crucial in any professional setting and can greatly enhance your employability and effectiveness in your role.
  • Exposure to Diverse Perspectives: Working on volunteer projects often brings you into contact with people from various backgrounds and with different skill sets. This exposure can provide new insights, foster creativity, and enhance your ability to work in diverse teams.

Look for volunteer opportunities that align with your interests and skills. For example, if you’re interested in marketing, look for opportunities to help a local nonprofit with its social media or advertising campaigns.

5. Network with Other Professionals

Networking with other professionals in your field can be a powerful way to upskill yourself and stay up to date with the latest trends and best practices. A few ideas for networking:

  • Join Online Forums and Social Media Groups: Look for industry-specific opportunities on LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook, and X that allow you to connect with peers and experts.
  • Alumni Networks: Leverage your alumni network for connections and mentorship opportunities.
  • Start a Professional Blog or Podcast: Share your knowledge and insights in your field to attract a network of professionals with similar interests.
  • Join Professional Associations: Many professional groups offer free or discounted memberships for students or young professionals.
  • Engage in Local Community Groups or Clubs: These can offer unexpected networking opportunities in a more relaxed setting.

Each of these methods can help you build a professional network, learn from others, and find opportunities for collaboration and growth, all while keeping expenses minimal.


Upskilling yourself on a tight budget is not only possible but can also be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. By taking advantage of online and community resources, attending webinars and events, volunteering, and networking, you can inexpensively better your skillsets and set yourself up for professional success.

What’s the Best Way to Find a Career Mentor?

Mentoring is a proven way to improve your skills at work. What’s more, having a mentor can increase your chances of getting a promotion or a pay raise. Some companies actively run mentoring programs; some encourage mentoring but don’t require it; many will leave it up to the employee to make their own arrangements. Whether your company expects you to have a mentor or it’s something you’ve decided to do for yourself, finding the right person can be a challenge.

Mentoring should grow out of an existing relationship.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has described situations where she’s been approached by people she doesn’t know and asked to mentor them. A good mentor relationship likely won’t work if you’re just abruptly asking strangers at a conference. You might have admired them for years, but if they don’t know you, there’s no way that they can sincerely agree to mentor you.

Your mentor can be your boss, but it’s usually best if they’re not.

In some companies with a flattened hierarchy, the relationship between you and your boss might be closer to mentoring than to oversight and management. That can be a positive thing, but the fact that your boss can be like a mentor doesn’t mean that he or she is the right person to ask. It’s much better to ask someone who knows you and understands your work situation but isn’t the person you’re directly responsible to.

Networking is one of the best ways to build up a mentoring relationship.

Remember, you’re not going to ask someone who doesn’t know you, and you’re going to find someone who understands your situation but doesn’t directly manage you. Of course, there are online networks such as LinkedIn, but they tend to suffer from too much noise and not enough genuine connections. Events and professional conferences are great places to form relationships, but don’t go with the sole purpose of finding a mentor. (That would be like going to a friend’s birthday party just to find a date.) Instead, build up a range of relationships with people. Find someone who can answer your questions but who will also listen to your suggestions. When you can have conversations with someone that both challenge and affirm you, keep building that relationship.

Have a career plan in place before finding a mentor.

Mentoring without a career plan is like trying to use your car’s navigational system without putting in a destination. Mentoring might help you reevaluate your plans — it can certainly help to increase your self-confidence and ambition — but it won’t provide you with a direction if you have no idea where you’re headed. Identify your areas for development. Which skills do you lack? What kind of situations do you avoid? Who do you find it hard to work with? Try to find a mentor who will challenge your deficits as well as build up your strengths.

Having a mentor at work can open doors to better job prospects and a more fulfilling career. A mentor needs to be someone who knows you well enough to see your potential and understands your situation so they can appreciate your problems. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and use networking opportunities to create a range of different relationships. When you develop a relationship that challenges you and builds you up, then consider asking about mentoring.

How to Prepare for an Interview 

Interviewing is a vulnerable experience. Interviewers will judge your employability after a short conversation, placing pressure on you to portray yourself as articulate, knowledgeable, and personable. But you can ease some of that pressure by putting in some time to prepare. Below are four preparation tips with specific examples of ways to get ready for an interview.

1. Research the company.

An easy first step to preparing for an interview is to perform company research. Part of this step means exploring the company website, browsing their social media channels, and looking for any recent news or press releases on Google. You should also keep an eye out for things that describe the company’s values. Not only will this help tailor responses to interview questions so they align with what the company is looking for, but it provides insight into the stated character of the company. If you and the company have a difference in values, it may not be an ideal fit. It’s also important to research and understand the product, service, or mission the company operates around. This will help you articulate educated and pointed questions during the interview, in addition to helping respond to questions with the proper context.

Looking up reviews from current or former employees could also provide some personal and often honest opinions that are helpful when evaluating the job.

2. Prepare your background story.

Most interviews start with you being asked to talk a little bit about yourself. This answer should be kept short and no more than a minute long. It’s an opportunity to set the tone and provide personal touches that may not have been present in your job application. A common mistake in this part of the interview is simply reciting your resume. Time is wasted going over information that is already known by the interviewer. You should touch on the “why” behind jobs you’ve taken as well as what prompted you to look for a new one. It’s also helpful to include personal information such as interests outside of work or a reference to where you grew up. This helps introduce you as a person outside of the confines of a resume or cover letter.

3. Create responses to interview questions.

A starting point for preparing responses to a variety of questions is to recall and list notable situations that have occurred, preferably in a workplace setting. Interviewers often ask for examples that were challenging, required teamwork, disagreement, or were under a tight deadline. By familiarizing with a couple of significant examples, they can often be applied to a variety of interview questions. For example, a story about how a teammate quit right before a deadline could be shaped to highlight skills related to teamwork, overcoming a challenge, or operating under time pressure.

A common mistake in this portion of the interview is to speak in vague or theoretical generalities. Interviewers want specifics, and without them, it portrays either a lack of attention to detail or preparation. You should thoroughly read over the job description and try to put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. If roles reversed and you were asking the questions, what would you want to know?

4. Compile a list of questions.

Interviews typically end with an opportunity for you to ask questions. This is a critical part of the process, as it provides the chance to properly vet whether the job is a good fit, and it shows preparation and engagement. Ending an interview with no questions to ask gives the impression of a lack of interest.

You can use the job description as a starting point. If details about the responsibilities are unclear, this part of the interview is the time to ask. This is also the time to use background research. Asking questions related to recent developments or news shows curiosity. Questions about the products or services of the company show a serious consideration of the job. Additionally, since the interviewer works at the company, they should be used as a resource. Ask about what they like and don’t like about the company, the culture, or the challenges they faced when they were a new employee.

Taking a focused approach in preparing for an interview not only increases the likelihood of having a quality interview but will also decrease the anticipatory stress. By following the aforementioned steps, you can set yourself up for success on the big day.

How to Ask For a Raise

Are you feeling undervalued and underpaid at work? Are you ready to make a case for a salary increase but unsure of how to go about it? Asking for a raise can be a nerve-wracking prospect, but by following a few key steps, you can increase your chances of getting the salary you deserve. In this article, we’ll provide insight on when to ask for a raise, the best way to plan for it, and how to present your case.

Is the timing right?

Knowing when to ask for a raise is an important factor in the success of your request. Generally speaking, these scenarios are ideal:

  • You’ve made significant contributions to the company.
  • You’ve taken on new responsibilities.
  • You’ve received a glowing performance review.
  • You’ve been with the company for a certain amount of time. (At least 6 months; it takes time for a company to get to know you and understand your value.)
  • You’ve received a better offer from another company.

If one of these applies to you and you’re ready to move forward, make sure you step back and take a pulse on things first. Is your boss especially stressed right now? Is the company in the middle of a new business deal? Is it the holiday season? There will be times when delaying your request is in your best interest.

How to prepare.

In order to make a compelling pitch for a raise you’ll need to arm yourself with information that demonstrates the value you have added to the company. This could include performance reviews, letters of recommendation, customer compliments, before-and-after metrics such as sales figures, and other quantifiable statistics on the success of your work. Gather evidence of your achievements and successes, and be prepared to show how they benefited the company.

Employers typically have their own ideas about how much their employees should earn, so you’ll also want to conduct research on salary trends in your industry. Utilize published salary data and reports from resources such as,, and LinkedIn. When comparing industry data, make sure you consider factors that may influence the numbers — such as location, education level, and experience. (For example, salaries for a similar job may be higher in a city with a higher cost of living than yours.) Taking the time to research salary trends will give you a better understanding of the current market rate so you can make a more convincing argument when asking for a raise.

Now that you have all the data and information, it’s time to practice. Develop a practice guide using these tips:

  • Create an outline of your pitch and memorize it.
  • Go through the motions of what you’re going to say and present.
  • Take notes along the way so that you can edit and improve on the fly.
  • Record your practice run to ensure that you aren’t coming off too aggressive or entitled.
  • Make sure you have a clear idea of what you’re willing to accept.
  • Be ready to negotiate; practice negotiating skills with friends or family.

Make your case.

You’ve done all the prep work and now it’s time to make your case. A few quick pointers for your delivery:

  • Make sure your tone is respectful and positive from the start.
  • When presenting your accomplishments it’s critical that you explain how they have benefited the company.
  • State why you feel like you are underpaid, and what you feel a reasonable salary increase would be.
  • Try to anticipate any questions or objections your boss might have.
  • End on a positive note: thank them for their time, and tell them you’re looking forward to their response.

Making your case in this manner will demonstrate your professionalism, show that you’re confident in what you’re saying, and give you the best chance of success.

If they say no.

If, after you’ve made your case, your employer still says no, the best thing you can do is stay positive and remain professional. Even if you don’t get the raise you were asking for, it doesn’t have to be seen as a failure. It’s important to understand that it takes time and effort to gain the trust of your employer and that a successful negotiation requires both parties to come away feeling satisfied.

As such, it’s important to graciously thank your employer for their time and for listening to your proposal. This shows that you understand their perspective and that you’re willing to continue the conversation in the future. It’s a good idea to ask if there is any specific feedback you can use to improve your case next time. If they’re willing to discuss, take notes and ask specific questions to ensure you have a clear understanding of their feedback. In the end, it’s all part of the process. Your employer wants to ensure that the salary increase you are asking for is fair and equitable, and that it’s in the best interests of the company.

Top Executives Wish They Had Known This When They Were Younger

Everyone experiences the ups and downs of life as they grow older. Perhaps you’ve been through some hard times recently, or maybe it’s been a while since you’ve felt any major lows. As we age, many things in our lives slow down or shift to a new stage that requires us to make adjustments.

You may have found yourself wondering what you could have done differently as an adult if you had the chance to redo your twenty’s all over again. Here are a few lesser-known secrets from top CEOs; things that they wish they had known when they were younger:

How to work with people better.

It’s no secret that people are important to the success of any business. And as we age, we usually find out that some people can be a lot harder to work with than others. Many execs believe that learning how to better work with people would have made things easier in the early days of their careers.

Having confidence to fail.

If you’ve ever lost, failed, or even been in a situation where you felt like you didn’t know what to do, it may have been difficult for you. The thing is, many top executives wish they had more confidence in failure as a younger adult. They wish they had embraced their failures as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than internalizing them.

How to build teams and manage employees.

Building a team and managing employees is an important part of being a leader, and many execs wish they had known how to do this sooner. For example, when working with people who are in their twenties, some CEOs may find themselves getting frustrated because they don’t understand the way these younger employees process information or communicate with one another. To avoid this frustration, it would have been helpful to understand the basics of team building and staff management earlier in their careers.

How to deal with rejection.

When you’re young, it’s easy to think that you can change the world. But that means there will be a lot of people who don’t want to work with you. Even if you get lucky and land your dream job, there are going to be plenty of people who don’t want to make room for you on their team. Many top execs wish they had learned how to cope with rejection sooner.

How to negotiate.

Some executives wished they had known more about negotiation tactics when they were younger. Negotiation is an important skill that top executives need in order to maintain a healthy relationship with their co-workers and bosses.

The importance of personal development.

Many adults in the workforce struggle with this. It’s especially true for executives who may feel a lot of pressure to be successful at work and provide for their family. For example, you’re expected to deliver results or people will wonder if you’re capable of that. People can become too focused on their current state, which often leads to them neglecting personal development efforts. When you neglect personal development, you run the risk of becoming an ineffective leader as time goes by. If this sounds familiar, it might be worth considering taking some time off work and focusing on yourself before your next job interview or promotion attempt. It’s never too late for personal development!