Collaboration as a career strategy

By Steve Broe

Stay connected. The people in your world can make a difference as you seek an intentional career transition. While you should hold people in high regard as individuals, never forget that your network represents a form of interpersonal capital. The connected links between friends, colleagues and decision-makers can help you launch a business or find a better job.


Now choose an attitude. Are you going to collaborate or compete with the people that you know? The collaborator strengthens the people in his or her network, leaving a positive impression that resonates among extended connections. Collaborators can simply go farther by leveraging the talents of their network.


One attitude embraces the power of the team; the other promotes the rugged individualist.  The competitive career transitioner seeks to be a hero in the game of life. The collaborator earns less specific acclaim, yet ends up at the finish line regularly with other achievers.


Collaboration creates synergy. Synergy is a condition of enhanced productivity. The participants on a project encourage higher performance, typically be focusing on personal areas of strength. When collaborating, members notice each other’s work, pay attention to it, and appreciate the contributions.  Synergy creates a condition where all players raise their performance energy.


The competitive career strategy is one of admirable self-reliance. Many organizations, especially sales-oriented organizations, encourage competitive work. The top sales professional is a hard-working superstar, and often very competitive.


Collaborative sales work is also a success strategy. Decisions that depend on long-term sales relationships, or complex decisions, are enhanced with collaborative work practices. Teams of colleagues, all supporting the same goal, can serve a business sales’ efforts, especially if long term, sustained, performance is important.


The collaborative choice helps one keep going, even when one is not feeling up. A network of colleagues can provide the inspiration or resources to get over a hump. Collaboration creates a community, and serving the community gives a person an extra reason to meet goals. Try collaboration with people you can trust, or can learn to trust.


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