In a recovering economy, businesses today are very careful with their biggest expense: people.
Job security is virtually nonexistent for most employees, but in any workplace there are people who are indispensable. Productivity would grind to a crawl if they were no longer doing their job. An indispensable employee has supervisors who greatly depend on them. They have unique skills, knowledge, or a special position. They are considered important to the smooth functioning and overall success of the company. These employees are the go-to person that can be counted on to get things done and are sought out for their opinions. They can be in any department, at any level. How can you become one of those employees?
Be the first to ask what work that is important to the success of the company. When you know what parts of the business are prioritized, you’ll know your own priorities. Let your boss know of your goals and that you are willing to do the hard tasks. Let them know that they can depend on you and that you are committed and willing to go the extra mile. You might help with the contact and relationship building with a large customer, or you could volunteer to head up the next big project.
Having a reliable team member goes a long way for managers. Be trustworthy and reliable. Your job is to make your supervisor's job easier and that begins with trust. Show initiative by always improving your own skills as well. It could be by getting an online MS in project management, or even brushing up on industry-related information. When you show yourself willing to improve, you’ll be relied on even more.
Prove yourself to your co-workers as well as your boss. Stepping forward and offering help when problems arise within your team will make your co-workers see you as a colleague, a mentor, and a leader. Have a good attitude and make the office a pleasant place to work. Try to see the bright side of any situation and find new solutions to problems you all face.
To become more valuable, you need to know the industry. While taking responsibilities that will make work projects run smoother and your supervisor's job easier, stay current with industry trends and company technology. Offer thoughtful solutions based on what you’ve seen elsewhere in your field. Work carefully to achieve accurate results and you will find others will count on you even more.
Learn to write a great report and how speak in front of a large group. Learn a unique skill that the company needs and become the only one who knows it. If another employee knows the skill, wait until they are out of the office and volunteer to step in. Master a foreign language that is sometimes used in the company. If your supervisor knows you can communicate well and can specialize in different areas, it will reinforce the need for your skills.
Remember that no one is truly indispensable. The down side of indispensability is high expectations, which can cause high pressure to perform. People are counting on you and you don't want to let them down. Use the knowledge and skills you have from your job now to improve and make yourself an integral part of the company.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.