Pulling More Weight Than your Teammates?

pulling weight

Post #49 Why This Can Be Okay

The sensitive topic of team dynamics was briefly discussed in the last blog (see Post #48).  I’d like to expand on this topic a bit more today for two important reasons.  One, it is a very common occurrence both in college as well as in the workforce.  Two, those of you who may carry more than your fair share of work could end up feeling resentful, stressed or worse.  Read on to understand how pulling more weight than your teammates can work in your favor.

Teamwork

Think of the Bigger Picture

Why are you in college in the first place?  Obviously, to earn your bachelor’s degree in engineering.  Okay, but why?  Because you want to work as an engineer someday.  Fine, but what does that mean to you?  Working as an engineer is going to be a lifelong learning experience.  Do not be fooled into thinking that once you graduate and land your first job you can take it easy.  There will be several things to learn as the days and months go by.  Your college education, and the ways in which you choose to create your habits, are only a steppingstone to your professional career.  It is highly likely your mentality, your work ethic and demeanor today will be on display when you conduct yourself in the workplace.

Do you want to be known as the downer or complainer at your job when things don’t go your way?  Do you want to perform the best work you know how even if you’re pulling more weight than your teammates?  As a current student, you cannot control the way your teammates perform.  As a human being, you cannot control anyone’s actions except your own.  This is and will always be the case.  Sometimes, others won’t pull their own weight, or they will choose to slack off.  You will encounter this now and you will experience similar scenarios in your professional life.  Be prepared to work in many teams throughout your career, some of which may not be ideal.  As an engineering student right now, you can practice understanding human behavior and choose how you want to react.

Value

Your Value will Pay Off

You are eventually going to get paid because of the value you produce.  In theory, earning your engineering degree allows you to produce more value for your future employer.  But why?  Your diploma implies that you have grown as an individual, you are disciplined and you are technically savvy.  Employers like candidates who produce results, not just diplomas.  When you can produce value as a student, this skill will follow you for the rest of your life.  In the short term, it may be tempting to become bitter or angry at teammates if they are lacking.  In the long term, taking the initiative to fill in gaps is a surefire way to increase your value.  If you know that you’re pulling more weight than your teammates, view it as an opportunity to build your future.

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