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How to become indispensable at work
Living without job security can be extremely stressful. According to some studies, the fear of losing your job can be more harmful to your health than actually losing it. Simple things like being positive and polite, taking feedback when it’s given and being reliable are all great ways to stay employed, even when your company is letting people go.
Being indispensable means making it incredibly difficult for your bosses to replace you. Here are our top tips on how to make yourself indispensable at work.
Be extremely reliable
Reliability isn’t just about showing up on time. It’s about being there when things get tough, so helping out in a difficult situation will show that you’re more reliable than the average employee. That said, you shouldn’t feel that you are being taken advantage of so select opportunities to shine when it really counts.
Make your boss’ job easier
If you’re making your boss' job easier, 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. If they see you as a person who makes their job easier and makes their team look good, they’ll be on your side. Try and find a gap in skills so that there are things you can do that your boss can’t. The more heavily your boss relies on you, the more indispensable you become.
Work on key projects
Focus on and prioritise work that is most important, not the work that is easiest to do. This will help build your profile within the business. Volunteering for projects that other employees don’t want to do will ensure that you are seen as a dedicated go-getter and a valuable member of the team.
Be the expert
Become the go-to person for your area. Monopolise a particular skill. Find some task that needs to get done and make sure that you are the person who knows how to do it best. Having a unique selling point, as well as expanding your skills, will guarantee that you are indispensable at work. Get training to hone in on your abilities and boost your skills.
While it’s worth positioning yourself as an expert with niche knowledge and skills, it’s also important you can share your expertise with your team and add value to the wider department. Be willing to educate others and gain yourself a status as an invaluable training asset.
Build relationships with key decision makers
It’s both what you know and who you know when it comes to safeguarding yourself at work. 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.
Managers don’t want problems. They want solutions. So if you want to be indispensable, 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.
For more advice on how to grow your career, go to our Career Centre.