Working on your own can be a daunting responsibility but there are ways to build your confidence and tackle any task all on your own.
We had previously looked at the importance and skills required to be a successful team player in the professional world. We’ll now look at another skill that all employers value in a candidate; the ability to work independently.
It might seem like a bit of a contradiction that employers want someone who can work with other as well as on their own. But if you think about it, such an employee would feel comfortable in any work situation, so it’s obvious why they would be so valued.
As with just about any skill, there are those to whom independent work comes easy and those who struggle. It can be comforting to have a team to bounce ideas off and share the work with, but that’s just not always going to be the case. So if you want to become a more independent worker, here are some key things you need to remember.
Working with a team can be great but it can also be a safety net for some people. One of the reasons some avoid independent work is due to a lack of confidence in their own work. They feel unsure about their ideas and the quality of what they are producing. But knowledge is always the best confidence booster. Put some extra time into researching and exploring topics and areas you’re working on. Become an expert and stay current with industry news. If you are comfortable enough with the work, you’ll start believing that you can accomplish this on your own.
Control the small things.
Even with confidence in your abilities, independent work can be daunting for the simple fact that all the responsibility lies with you. The workload is not shared and sometimes the amount of work can cause stress which leads to people avoiding such tasks. At times like these, it’s helpful to reaffirm your control over the work. Start with some of the small things. Organize your thoughts, do the necessary prep work. Once you beginning checking off some of those things and get your feet plated, the whole thing can seem much more manageable. The stress will dissipate and you can tackle the rest of the work effectively.
Take on more.
If you struggle with working independently, it’s likely that the last thing your want to do is voluntarily take on that type of work. However, as we all know, the way in which we improve is by practicing and gaining more experience. Seek out opportunities to work independently. Do the research to show you can successfully get the work done. Begin requesting solo work assignments while still maintaining your dedication to collaborative work as well. Again, it might be daunting at first, but it time you’ll become more confident.
Don’t be afraid to take your time.
When you’re working on your own, sometimes you can feel like the clock is racing against you. This can cause you to second guess your methods and look for short-cuts. However, we all know that faster work certainly does not always mean better quality work. Don’t feel rushed to skip over important parts of the work. Take your time to get things right and produce the best quality work you can. Deadlines still matter but so does doing the job the right way.