Being indispensable or becoming indispensable, that is the question. This is one of the featured articles on bSmart guide. Read on for some smart ways on how you can become indispensable to your company.
“No one is indispensable to anyone else. You imagine you're necessary to him or that he will be very unhappy if you leave him, but I'm sure that if you do, within three months he will have fitted another face into your role and you'll see that no one is suffering because of your absence. You must feel free to do whatever feels best to you.
Being someone's nurse is no way to live unless you're unable to do anything else. You have to say something on your own and you ought to be thinking, first and foremost, about that.” ? Françoise Gilot, Life with Picasso.
Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.
Here are bSmart’s five guaranteed ways to make you indispensable at your company:
- Do work you are not asked to do. One way to make yourself indispensable is to do work you are not asked to do. Most people do not want to do this without the guarantee of additional compensation. What you create for yourself, however, is a guarantee of employment. Of course before you take on additional work, be sure to complete all of your required and expected tasks. Going above and beyond what you are asked to do is a sure way to make sure you will be the last person fired and the first compensated.
- Create a function or work flow that only you know how to do. Find something that only you can do or have the time or knowledge to do, and do it routinely. Maybe you have Excel or PowerPoint skills, or maybe you have a background or knowledge that no one else has. Try to integrate into your work a task that only you know how to do. The truth is that someone else will probably know how to do this, but it would be you who would need to train a replacement. So, there isn’t much of a chance of you being replaced without you first teaching someone else how to do what you do.
- Fill the roles of several people so that you become expensive to replace. Again, I know you would rather not do without guaranteed additional compensation, but filling the roles of several people is another certain way to make yourself indispensable. Your boss and co-workers aren’t stupid. They will recognize what and how much you’re doing and realize that replacing you would require them to hire two or even three people. Again, while this might not guarantee additional compensation, it will certainly guarantee continued employment.
- Look for ways to improve or streamline systems and work flows. I’m sure you’ve looked around your work place and observed something that could be made better, faster, or more efficient. Don’t wait for an invitation, go ahead and make the thing better, faster, or more efficient. Do this enough and people will start to refer to you as the “manager” of X. Not a bad reputation to have when it comes time for your annual review.
- Provide value to as many people or departments as possible. Another key to making yourself indispensable is to provide value or services to a variety of people and departments. Take the initiative, ask, offer, or do something for every department in your company. I’m not saying to spread yourself thin. I’m saying to hedge your bets with who might be able to help you rise within your company or how you might be able to get promoted. Maybe you’re a right brain creative person who finds a way to streamline research reports for stock analysts. All of a sudden you have a career in research. Indispensable.
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