Becoming indispensable

Let’s find how how you can become invaluable to the organization while also creating the job of your dreams.

Even if you are employed in an organization, you will always be somehow self-employed and that is because the fate of your career it’s still in your hands. Once you land a job, you cannot just be there, exist, do the same thing day in and day out and expect everything to be ok. You still need to grow your skills, your network, your personal portfolio of accomplishments and look out for yourself: it’s a tough world out there, no matter if you work for yourself or for others. You need to safeguard your current position but also, work on how to move forward, and then up.

How can you accomplish this? By becoming indispensable for your employer:

  • be the one that goes the extra step. Get your job done on time and well, hence completing the basics, and then offer a helping hand wherever needed. Get things done but make the person you helped look good ( spoiler: bosses love this! ). Take initiative but not control. Offer your services, assistance and support when no one is asking. Take that step first and people will notice
  • work against loss of productive time. In every organization, no one is working the whole time and at all times, but often, there is too much wasted time in a day. Make sure you don’t take part of this and also push your colleagues to do the same
  • help your organization achieve its key goals even if they don’t directly relate to your actual job – this is called taking initiative, seeing the bigger picture, contribution, and shows your commitment to the overall vision of the company. Everyone appreciates someone that looks outside their own books searching for ways to improve as a whole
  • if you feel that a part of the company or your job is in danger of becoming obsolete, don’t wait and do something about it – speaking up about potential threats is a good way to put you in the good books. The management may already know about it, but the fact that you are bringing it up, shows others your dedication and commitment

Another way to stand out is to do something no one asked you to do…not by talking about it, but by doing it. “Take the initiative to jump right in and demonstrate the value that you could bring to the company, if it worked”. For example, and I will related to my field of work, let’s say that a promotion you rolled out in one of the restaurants is not working. You do some research and you come up with a great idea to tweak it around for the better as you have a feeling that it might work. And you do it. And it works. This is a very simplified example but I hope you get the picture.

The only potential downside to becoming to good and indispensable, is that you will get more and more projects and responsibilities thrown your way, with the expectation that you will outdo yourself each and every time. Hence, be sure to complete your own stuff first before taking on more than you can chew, risking compromising everything that you worked to hard to accomplish.

The reality is simple: bosses ( most, at least! ) love someone who doesn’t come up with problems, but with solutions; someone who helps them look good; someone who shows interest and goes the extra mile; someone who does things without being told; someone with initiative that can get things done; someone who takes issues and problems off their plate so they can concentrate on other things; someone who has the answers before the question is asked; someone to rely upon in time of need. I have witnessed this time and time again, and all of these actions will put you in “the radar” as someone reliable, trustworthy and indispensable. And when you get to this level, it will be harder for them to live without you. No one wants to lose such an important employee who makes their life easier. And the additional responsibilities gives you growth, gives you status and the opportunity of moving up. The “regular employee” who just does his expected work and hours, that doesn’t contribute or shows additional interest, usually doesn’t get very far in the career ladder.

So don’t be scared to rise and shine, speak up, do the unexpected extra, and you will get a win-win scenario.

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