Making yourself indispensable at work has got many obvious and some hidden benefits. It gives you a great boost of confidence and it creates a sense of job security. I was probably never more relevant than now, when the word “uncertainty” perfectly describes the current situation happening at the corporate job market and the work-life balance is so off course for many women.
How about making yourself irreplaceable, or at least tougher to get rid of?
Constantly improve your skills.
Many people learn skills throughout their school, college, university and any other formal training. After graduating, we go to work and we hit that stagnation stage. We get comfortable and somehow we forget about the importance of professional development.
Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal and it’s a part of our human nature, but it’s important to pay attention to your plateau moments and correct them as soon as possible. You can achieve it by having a plan of action, writing it down and sharing with your girlfriends, so they hold you accountable.
Ask yourself “what’s the next step for me?” or “what’s my ultimate goal?” and work backward from that point.
Ask your employer for some formal training to perfect your skills required by your role, or to improve the soft skills that will make you a better employee overall and therefore bring you closer to being indispensable at work.
Don’t stop learning, because that’s when you’ll stop developing.
Aim to achieve the highest standard.
If you’re here, then mediocracy isn’t your kind of thing and you deliver only the best quality. But is it always? How about these boring and less thought-provoking tasks that need to be completed anyway?
You should aim to consistently achieve the highest standard in whatever you put your mind into. It shows that you’re consistent and serious about your job and that you’re not picking the best bits and completing the monotonous task to the average level.
You’ve probably been asked to do the boring task for a reason. Perhaps your employer trusts your competency and they know that you’re going to deliver any project before the deadline and to your highest capacity. Don’t let them think otherwise!
Adapt to changing circumstances.
Change is exciting, but it can also be an intimidating process for some. It’s certain that during your career you’ll go through the process of change. Don’t be afraid of it and instead treat it as an opportunity. Is your boss being replaced by someone else and you’re unsure about their successor? Maybe your job description is going to change and you’re not sure, if you can still do it? Or is your company going through a redundancy process and you may need to adapt to your new circumstances?
There is always a positive side of change, even if it doesn’t look like it at first glance. Learn to embrace change and show others the benefits of moving with the tides.
By staying flexible and presenting your confidence in your own ability to figure things out, you increase your likelihood of being indispensable at work.
Stay positive and offer solutions.
Let’s be honest – your manager doesn’t want you to bring them problems. They want you to solve an issue before it even reaches their inbox. By making effort to ease your manager’s job and taking on additional responsibilities from them allows them to focus on their own duties. It’s very important to have support in your boss, as they’re likely to fight for you, if your position would be ever questioned.
You need to learn how to solve a potential problem no matter how small or big it is. Complaining about challenges isn’t going to solve them. Instead, get involved and show a positive can-do attitude along the way.
This way, you will increase your value in your manager’s eyes and your actions will make them look good by having someone from their team contributing to the business.
Try and find a gap in skills so that there are things you can do that your boss can’t – essentially, you need to make them look good by adding value to the wider team.
Develop relationships with senior managers.
Connecting and building meaningful relationships with decision makers in business matters. It can make you indispensable in your current position and it can become an invaluable asset in building your career. By performing your tasks and volunteering to additional projects you can gain exposure to managers. They will bear you in mind when it comes to promotion or pay rise.
Many improvement projects are likely to give you an opportunity to manifest your expertise to the wider business. It will get you noticed amongst the management team and it will ensure that you are seen as a dedicated go-getter and a valuable member of the team.
Make sure you carry yourself professionally during interactions with senior managers, as you don’t want to come across as desperate.
Master a niche skill.
Make yourself indispensable at work by mastering a skill and becoming the go-to person for this particular expertise. It can very quickly become your USP, if you prove that you’ve got what it takes to complete the task. Not sure what it could be? Try many different things and see what works for you. It can be something specific for your company like specialised software, or tool that not many people can or want to operate. It can also be a soft skill that you can utilise when fulfilling wellbeing advisor’s duties.
Whatever it is, make sure it brings you as much joy as it benefits your company.
While it’s great to position yourself as an expert with specialist knowledge and skills, it’s equally important to make others aware of it. Imagine that you’ve got this brilliant skill, but you decide to keep it to yourself. Waste of time, right? Make sure that everyone knows what you’re good at, share your expertise with your team and add value to the business.
What additional skills do you think are necessary to make yourself indispensable? Have you got any tips that you could share with our tribe?
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