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How to make yourself an indispensable employee

Published on December 28, 2017 8:00 AM EST
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Tips for Making Yourself an Indispensable Employee


It makes no difference if the economy or the company you work for is doing well, it’s best to always act as if you can lose your job at any moment. Should positions ever be on the chopping block, proving yourself to be a valuable and indispensable employee is a surefire way to have a better chance of keeping your job and possibly even earn a raise or promotion at the same time.

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Do What Matters Rather Than What’s Simple


It’s understandable that you’d rather take up projects that are simple, but those easy jobs won’t do your job security any good. Instead, you’re much better off taking on jobs that are essential to the company, it’s mission statement and its overall success. Not only will you become a valuable employee, you’ll also be that much better educated about the inner mechanics of your company, and that’s knowledge you might not find in an employee handbook.

Know Your Strengths


While you know your position at work, it’s more important that you know what your strengths are in that specific position. This is an especially good awareness to have if you work on a specific team at work, mainly because you’ll know what aspect of the project to take on to better flex your professional muscle and deliver a better final product. While trying out new things is all well and good, make sure that journey you take is one that naturally branches off from the path you’re currently on. Realize the fact that playing to your strengths brings out the best in you rather than frustration, and your best self is sure to shine through to managers, supervisors and owners.

Take Initiative


Say you wake up in the morning to find a fresh pot of hot coffee waiting for you without you having to do a thing. Or maybe you step out into a frigid morning and slide behind the wheel of a warm car and a full tank of gas. The same principle applies to being an indispensable employee. Rather than wait to be told to do something you know you should do anyway, or something your boss is more than likely to leave in your hands, you’re better off taking the initiative and diving right in without being told. Not only are you showing yourself to be of value, you can also save yourself some time that can be devoted to other tasks, tasks that can further prove your professional worth.

Monopolize a Specific Skill


Is there a process or job at work that only you can do? If there isn’t, maybe there’s a process or job that only someone else at your company can do. Either way, find a way to make it so you’re the only person in the entire company who can carry out that job or process, or learn about it from the person who does know. Even if that job or process doesn’t exist now, it might pop up in the future, so keep your eyes peeled and pounce on the opportunity when it presents itself.

Don’t Forget About Complementary Skills


Once you’ve zeroed in on your strengths, branch out on them and develop complementary skills. For instance, if you’re a software developer, knowing how to communicate your ideas and manage all necessary components is just as essential as knowing programming languages and techniques. Just as learning new skills can complement your natural strengths, your natural strengths can maximize your complementary skills. This creates a sort of snowball effect that can open new doors and opportunities in your career and within your company.

Focus on the Root Rather Than the Fruit


Whenever something goes wrong in the workplace, it makes perfect sense to do what you can to clean up the fallout and salvage the situation as much as possible. That being said, a valuable employee seeks to understand what triggered the problem in the first place and fix it so there’s less chance of it happening again. Remember, prevention is always better and preferable to developing a cure. Think of it like taking steps to keep yourself from getting sick so you don’t have to risk making up any work you might miss.

Even if you’ve just been hired for a new job, it’s never too early to show the company can’t function without you. Use the above tips to lock down your job security.

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