In addition to possessing “excellent written and oral communication skills,” every job applicant for professional work claims to be a “team player.” Probably because every job description demands that you be a team player.
Depending on who you talk to, however, the term “team player” means nothing—or everything.
There seem to be two ways to interpret the phrase. The popular, naïve definition seen on forums and blogs boils down to, “someone who gets along with others.” Business writers, on the other hand, define “team player” by listing dozens of skills and behaviors—from taking the initiative, to communicating effectively, to being reliable, a good listener, and a hard worker with a positive attitude. Given that definition, how is a team player different from an effective employee?