While personal talents and individual contribution are important in the new economy, the ability to engage collaboratively on a team and contribute to a successful team outcome is equally, if not more, important.

In today’s economy sharing information in a team setting is vital to generating new ideas and solving complex problems. Organizations want to make the best use of their resources and so they are asking employees to not only do their individual jobs effectively but also to join together to determine new ways to effectively use resources and to efficiently solve problems.

As you go about your day, look for opportunities to actively team up with others, watch how you interact in the team and when possible push yourself to develop and broaden your team skills. If you typically wait for others to get things started, challenge yourself to speak first. If you always speak first, hold back and allow others to contribute their thoughts before adding your own. Notice how you show up in the team and what your relationship is with the other team members – observe yourself in action and then pause and ask yourself, “is what I’m doing, or about to do, in the best interest of the team?”

Remember, if you want to succeed and get recognized for your contributions to your organization, or if you are considering a move to a new position in another organization, you will undoubtedly need to demonstrate times when you contributed to the success of a team effort. Taking the time now to understand and hone your ability to work on a team will serve you tremendously in the new economy.