Happy Wednesday everyone! We hope your week is running smoothly and that you’re thriving, happy and remembering to gift yourself with 10 minutes a day for a little bit of practical – and thought provoking – career development. We like to think that we’re spreading a bit of Step Up love, so consider this newsletter your timeout from the daily grind. 

You know us; we like to have a theme to our thoughts, and this week we’re musing on work relationships. Why this, now? Well, earlier this week we did a photo shoot at Alice’s house. Photo shoots sound incredibly glamourous, but when you’re leaning awkwardly against a wall, they don’t half focus the mind on your faults – wonky teeth, wrinkles, grey hairs blowing in the wind. In the 3 hours in front of the camera, we definitely covered every base on the insecurity front. But despite all of this, it was a hoot!  

Afterwards, as we shovelled omelettes into our mouths at a local café, we considered why. And the answer was simple: we were with the right people.

An old friend did our make-up; a new one was clicking behind the camera and a brilliant Step Up contact sorted us out with a blow dry. The house was buzzing with amazing women who were all on our side; we cranked the music up, they danced in the background as we posed for the camera and all of us were in fits of laughter before 10am.  

This is an extreme situation, we admit. It isn’t everyday that you get music and giggles (not to mention blow dries and bronzer) as part of your Monday morning. But the essence of the story is pertinent to us all. As we always say, it isn’t computers or iPhones that make the world go round, it’s people. And when it comes to our careers, surrounding yourself with the right team/partner/colleagues isn’t just preferable it’s absolutely imperative. 

Here are our Top Five Tips on Getting Your Career Gang In Order

1.The Power of The People: We often find with the women that we work with that they’re on the cusp of considering a complete career change because they aren’t happy in their day job. When we drill down into why this is, more often than not it’s about the people they’re working with – they just don’t fit. So word of warning: stop and consider before you leap towards change. If you’re unhappy at work and what to make the big move, first think about your working environment. Look at the people around you and properly consider how they make you feel. Perhaps it’s just the wrong fit and you need to move teams rather than profession. 

2.Complement Thyself: There’s absolutely no point working with people who are mirrors of yourself. Not only does it limit your team’s ability to get the job done, you’re more likely to generate a competitive dynamic that is negative to everyone involved. Rather, look to surround – or move yourself towards – a smorgasbord of a team that complements your skill set rather than competes with it. 

3. Avoid The Zappers: You know the person; he or she sits there and emits pessimism. Unconstructive doesn’t do them justice – if they were a colour they’d be red, if they were a shape it would be prickly… we think you get the picture. These zappers are in everyone’s midst and the harm they do is exponential. Our advice: move away from the zapper. Zap the zapper, if you want the technical term. We are all in control of our own destinies, you do not need to put up with prickly over there in the corner. Be bold at work and make sure your team is a motivational bolster. 

4. Meet The Team: When you move jobs, ask to meet your new team before you sign on the dotted line. It might sound petty and time wasting, but ensuring that you’ll fit in is paramount to career success and happiness. You don’t need to make it formal, but suggest you pop in for a team coffee, or drop by at the end of the day and do a quick round before your potential new team goes home. Because when you’re going for a new job, you’re as much interviewing them as they are you. 

5. Go With Your Gut: Here’s the thing, a CV can only take you so far. Whether you’re looking to fill a position in your team, or hiring your first intern your gut will tell you as much as their black and white career accomplishments. If your heart is telling you something – a big fat YES, a worrisome NO – then listen to what it says. Remember, this person is potentially going to be sitting next to you on a daily basis – their energy needs to fit yours, and vice versa.