14 Traits of an Uncommon Teamworker

Andy's Sign (1)As I waited on my Vanilla Concrete Frozen Custard with Peanut Butter Cup** at the local homegrown ice cream store, I saw it. For those of you living in East Texas, you know that as warmer weather approaches, Andy’s Custard becomes a part of the weekly routine. Not only is the product outstanding, the uniquely friendly service puts Andy’s into a league of its own. And the cars wrapped around the building and smiling faces standing in line are a testimony to that fact.

Summer signals that many high school and college graduates will be securing their first career job and many other young adults will be entering the summer job market as baby sitters, restaurant employees, pizza delivery guys, lifeguards, waitresses, and yard mowers, just to mention a few.

So, what did I see at Andy’s? The Uncommon Employee. You see, in my past life as president/owner of a restaurant chain that employed over 300 employees (most of which were high school age) and living through my own kids’ transitions from their first work experience to career jobs, I’ve been given a unique insight into what traits exemplify that Uncommon Employee or as I like to say, The Uncommon Teamworker.

Whether you’re receiving your first paycheck, landing your career job or leading a major corporation, these fourteen common sense tips will make you an uncommon teamworker.

14 Traits of an Uncommon Teamworker


2. Always be 5 minutes early.

3. Acknowledge your co-workers by name, particularly when you arrive at work.

4. Always do a little more than the job requires without being asked; i.e., straighten up the office common areas, make the coffee, load the paper in the copier, etc.

5. Look people in the eye, shake their hand firmly, and repeat their name. “Glad to meet you, Mr. Jones”.

6. Watch, ask questions, and study how others do their job. This is not only great job security (learning other jobs), but you will be surprised how those additional things you learn will help you later.

7. Ask yourself: “Is there a better way?” to do the assigned job.

8. Be ready all the time for that big opportunity. You never know who you’re going to meet or what experience you’ll have that might influence your life.
9. Be appreciative of the job opportunity you have been given.

10. Never leave your boss or fellow teamworker “hanging”. Always be ready to help those around you.

11. Always know where your moral and ethical compass is pointed; never turn it off, so when situations arise (and they will) you’ll have your thought process in place to react in accordance with what you BELIEVE.

12. Let the “golden rule” guide you with customers, employers and fellow teamworkers.

13. Have fun!

14. And yes, always, always SMILE!

How about we set the “uncommon teamworker” example not just at work, but in our families and personal lives, too? More and more I realize that common sense is the key to not only uncommon wealth, but to an uncommon life.

Forward this to someone who needs a little “uncommon” advice about how to become the Uncommon Teamworker.

Jeff Pinkerton

** For the record, I was picking up the vanilla concrete frozen custard with peanut butter cup for a friend!