We will teach you how to be indispensable at work if you want, but you must realize that being indispensable is a mixed bag. There are good and bad aspects to it!
In our company here, we get calls from indispensable people all the time. It isn’t a bed of roses.
When you are indispensable to an organization’s success, that doesn’t mean they will lavish praise on you and throw money at you and send people into your office to ply you with grapes and accord you applauses over your head.
In reality, when someone is indispensable they pay you what they need to pay you to keep you there, but they also resent your indispensability. Who can blame them? No one wants to have the success or even the survival of a company or a department riding on one person. No good manager would let that happen so if they did allow you to become indispensable that was a leadership mistake. Don’t quote me there.
In another light of the matter, everyone wants to be the ‘go to’ person in their field at work; it’s great for your confidence, managers rely on you and you should feel a great sense of job security. Being indispensable at work means making yourself irreplaceable.
So here are our seven tips to make yourself indispensable at work:
1. Be seriously reliable
Reliability isn’t just about showing up on time to meetings. It’s about being efficient and cooperative when things get tough and being the person that people in your team turn to when they need to get something done well and quickly. Being reliable should never make you feel that you are being taken advantage of so make sure your manager knows who you’re helping and on what projects.
2. Make your manager’s job easier
If you’re making your manager’s job easier or taking responsibilities off them that allows them to concentrate on their managerial duties, then they’re likely to fight to keep you if it was ever in debate. Having someone influential on your side at work is very important. 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.
3. Volunteer yourself for key projects
Focus on and priorities work that is most important and timely, not the work that is easiest or quickest to do. Key projects are likely to give you exposure to the wider business and volunteering, when other employees don’t, will ensure that you are seen as a dedicated go-getter and a valuable member of the team.
4. Be the expert…
Become the go-to person for your area and try to monopolise a particular skill. When there is a task that needs to get done and no one is properly equipped to take it on, learn the skills required and become the person who knows how to do it best. Having a USP, as well as expanding your skills, will guarantee that you are indispensable at work.
5. … and share your knowledge
While it’s great to position yourself as an expert with specialist knowledge and skills, it’s also important to share your expertise with your team and add value to the wider department and business. Be willing to educate others and gain yourself a status as an invaluable training asset.
6. Build relationships with senior managers
Being connected and building relationships with people who matter in the business can not only make you indispensable in your current role, but can take you a long way in your career. If you have exposure to managers on a daily basis, then you might be top of mind when it comes to promotion time.
7. Offer solutions
Managers don’t want problems – they want solutions. So if you want to become indispensable at work, you need to find ways to solve problems faced by the business. When you overhear your colleagues complaining about something that isn’t working, figure out how to fix it and you’ll increase your value to your manager and to the company as a whole.
When you’ve made yourself indispensable at work, start to position yourself for your next promotion. Find out how to move into a management role.