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3 ways to be a team player at work

February 24, 2015, 7:00 PM UTC
Photograph by Brian Smale

MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: What is one piece of advice all millennials should take before entering the workforce? is written by Julie Larson-Green, CXO of applications and services group at Microsoft.

In my experience, helping any new hire (including millennials) to succeed requires clear expectation setting and continuous open communication. Here are a few ways millennials can thrive as individuals in the workforce and successfully contribute to a larger team:

Keep your promise. Being on a team is helpful, but it’s also a commitment. Understand why your team members depend on you. It’s important to deliver what you’ve committed to and understand how your work fits into a certain project. And make sure you don’t over-promise, which is easy to do when you’re enthusiastic and excited about a project. Be reliable.

Ask for feedback. It’s one of the best ways to continually check in with your collegues, get reassurance, and grow. Embrace critical feedback —it can sting—but it’s essential when first entering the workforce. Recognize your strengths, areas that need investment, and where to change your behavior to be more effective.

Invest in your company. Have a clear understanding of your customers needs and what drives business. Be proactive; take advantage of your leaders and managers. And more importantly, when you feel that you don’t have the information you need, don’t be afraid to reach out.

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