How To Make Yourself Indispensable At Work | Fusion - WeRIndia

How To Make Yourself Indispensable At Work

How To Make Yourself Indispensable At Work

Being indispensable in the workplace is the career sweet spot. It means the wheels can’t turn without you, the bottom would fall out if you left.

In today’s work environment, the truly indispensable employee is becoming increasingly rare.

Across organizations of all sizes, skills, knowledge, and relationships are more distributed than ever.

When you couple this trend with the strong sense of entitlement that many modern employees show, it becomes easy to understand how team members be replaceable.

Here are few points to make yourself indispensable:

Identify your strengths

First and foremost, you must possess the self-awareness to know your strengths and play to them accordingly. Too often people try to force themselves down a path that is not right for their skills or interests. Early in my career, I fell victim to this behaviour and tried to force myself down a path that simply wasn’t right for me.

I began my career in consulting because I thought that was simply what you did when you graduated from a program. I focused on business valuation and financial reporting, diving headfirst into the world of financial modelling.

It was a great learning experience, but I was never the best analyst at the firm. Technical finance wasn’t something I naturally excelled at, and certainly wasn’t something I was passionate about.

Develop complementary skills

Once you identify your strengths, the next step is to develop skills that complement those strengths and help you extract the most value from them. Too often, employees focus far too narrowly on the skills that are core to their position.

For example, software developers tend to spend the bulk of their time learning new techniques and programming languages, rather than developing the skills that help them communicate effectively and manage internal constituents.

While working on the strategy team at my former firm, I found that thinking through complex opportunities and various strategies came easily.

However, I realized that if I couldn’t get executives to buy into the vision, nothing would come of my hard work. Focusing on growing my communication skills was the next clear step to becoming an indispensable part of the organization. Employees become indispensable when they focus on their natural talents and master the skills that help them make the most of their strengths.

Say “Yes” to new opportunities

Successful people don’t shy from opportunities, they pursue them. So say “yes” when your boss asks if you have the bandwidth to take on something new, whether that’s leading a new project you’ve never handled before or pitching a big idea in a meeting.

Most importantly, be thankful for the opportunity in the first place. After all, if you do a good job, you stand to become a trusted delegate for your boss. The more he or she trusts you to execute projects well, the more valuable an employee you become. And the more value you bring to your company, the rosier your career prospects.

Hard work above all else

Perhaps the most important step an employee can take towards becoming indispensable is to outwork those around them. It sounds obvious, but when employees take ownership of tasks and puts forth their full effort, leadership takes note. Indispensable employees don’t have to be asked to work late, or come in early. They simply do what needs to be done to drive their projects toward success.

In my book, attitude and behaviour matter far more than natural ability. I’d rather have an earnest, hard-working employee who can take ownership of things and communicate with the team than someone who is just naturally brilliant.

This hard work, coupled with the ability to recognize one’s strengths and the drive to develop complementary skills makes for an employee who is central to the operations of the company. These people not only have long-term job security; they can chart their own course.


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