• Michael Weinstock

The Career Canvas (3 - Team or Solo player)

Do you think you are someone who would prefer to work in a team, or to work solo?

Team Player

In my mind, a Team Player is someone who feels that they are more productive when working with others, as opposed to when they are working alone. Team Players, for various reason, like working closely together with others.

For example, it is possible to work in teams that are diverse. One perk of being on such a team is that the team can create output that is greater than the sum of its parts. As a simple example, imagine writing a research paper in a team of three. The first person specialises in writing texts, the second person specialises in diagrams and statistics, and the third person specialises in typography and graphic design. Together, chances are that these three people can create a product that is of significantly higher quality than what they each could produce on their own. Another significant perk of having a diverse team is that it tends to make for better innovation. When people with different backgrounds and experiences come together, they stand a greater chance of creating solutions with greater innovative height.

A third major perk of working in a diverse team, is that if managed correctly, a team will, over time, become more efficient. By getting to know each other and by creating an environment where the members can rely on each other, they can become a dream team; similar to a well-oiled machine, in how they collaborate and in how they successfully deliver time and again.

Solo Player

A Solo Player, conversely, is in my mind someone who fells that they are more productive when working alone than when working with others. For example, a Solo Player might prefer to take all of the responsibility for a project delivery upon themselves, since they feel that if too many people are involved in a task or activity, it will not be done well, or might lack cohesion. It might be someone who feels that working alone will save a lot of time. For example, they might feel that solo work is advantageous since someone working alone doesn't have to spend time in meetings, doesn't have to spend time solving team conflicts, and doesn't risk getting side-tracked due to team miscommunication. Therefor, Solo Players sometime communicate things along the line of that "they alone can do in 2 months what 4 people can do in one month".

Take 5 minutes and write down some lines! Do you think that your preference would be to work in a team or to work solo? Try to paint a picture by deep-diving a bit into your preferences. If you think you want to work in a team, how big do you feel that team should be? 5 people? or closer to 50? If you want to work Solo, how often would you prefer to submit your deliveries, and to what extent would you feel comfortable to report on your progress?

Example texts:

-“I prefer working with others to working by myself. Being in a team with about 3-5 people should be optimal for me since we will be able to keep things efficient.“

- “I like to work by myself, that’s when I can really focus and get into a flow state. I like to keep the meetings to a minimum.”
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