Hello, lovely reader! How’s your week progressing? Getting through your to do list at a pleasing pace, I hope?
“Team work” is one of those phrases that fills us with dread and fear. This is because we secretly think that “team work” means “unable to think for yourself”, “willing to let others do your work” or, horror of horrors, “always up for those God-awful trust exercises that supposedly break the ice, but actually make everyone feel cripplingly embarrassed”.
What you discover very quickly in working world (particularly when you work in the arts) is that when it actually happens, team work is flipping brilliant. Of course we should all have independent approaches, unique ideas and confidence in what we bring to the job as individuals, but we should also enjoy the many advantages that proper team work offers.
As you might remember from previous posts, I am currently working in a front of house team on a large-scale kids’ show in London. The job is difficult and the show is not really aimed at my demographic, but the experience is ace. As they say in The Lego Movie song, everything is cool when you’re part of a team. Here are a few lovely things about team work that might dispel some of those trust exercise (shudder) memories:
In jokes – weeks, months and even years after the event, in jokes can help a team to feel connected to one another. In jokes are also a good way to just have a bit of fun at work when the chips are down.
People understand why you’re stressed – if you turn to a colleague and go “aaaargh” (or something slightly more articulate), nine times out of ten they will get what you’re on about. Not having to explain your stress and still managing to get sympathy is pretty darn efficient.
The play’s the thing – working with a whole bunch of people who care about the same project you do is brilliant, because you are constantly reminded that you are all working towards something bigger than any of you. This can be scary and inspirational in equal measure, but it is always a motivator.
Down time – it is so nice to unwind in the company of people whose day you’ve shared. There’s a sense of mutual achievement and good humour when my colleagues and I get the train home from work together, even though most of us have at least an hour’s commute ahead of us. Stopping at the amazing frozen yoghurt place on our way from work to the station helps, too.
Going crazy – work can sometimes take over our lives a bit, and when it does it’s nice to know that the people you work with are going crazy at exactly the same rate, in pretty much the same way and for precisely the same reason. For instance, the kids’ show I’m working includes some very distinctive music. Surprisingly, it’s actually very cheering to hear my colleagues humming it all day long, because it means that I’m not alone. The one time that it’s good to crazy is when you’re in great company.
Have a delightful Friday.