We live in an uncertain world right now and that’s just as true for the world of work.
Good workers are always in demand. But it’s also not enough. Each new wave are making themselves more and more disposable. So it’s your job to make sure you’re too valuable to lose.
One of the most important things you should be aiming for in your career is to make yourself indispensable. What does this mean? It’s simple - it means building up a strong reputation for yourself to show that provide a positive impact to your work environment.
You become so good at what you do that there is no one who could replace you.
Being indispensable at work definitely benefits the company you’re working for. But it also benefits you in a massive way. Not only does it give you better chances of getting a promotion and avoiding redundancies (if they were to happen) - it gives you great pride and satisfaction that you’re doing so well in your career.
This is what I strive to do every single day in my current role. So here are 17 of the best ways you can be totally indispensable in your workplace. Let’s go.
#1 | EMBRACE CHANGE
There’s a saying that goes like this: if you do what you’ve always done, then you’ll get what you’ve always got. Some situations will crop up in your company that require change and adjustment. A lot of people won’t like this. You’ve got to be the one to embrace it.
See change as a positive and always look for ways it can benefit your team and your workplace as a whole. The mindset you want to have is that change doesn’t mean things have to come to a standstill. It means there’s room for more opportunity.
#2 | DON’T BE AFRAID
If someone tells you they want you to be indispensable, they want you to rise to a challenge and push through your fear.
If there’s a project coming up that you want to manage or there’s room for a new team leader within a certain department, don’t be afraid to put yourself forward. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get to do it. People will notice your bravery and they’d be a fool not to give you a chance next time.
#3 | GO THE EXTRA MILE
I used to hate this phrase because I never knew what it meant. Now I know that it completely depends on your job role.
There’s a great quote I heard once that says, "the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is 'extra’." In a nutshell, going the extra mile means you want to do more than what’s in your job description.
When you’re given a task to do, ask yourself, how can I do this better? How can I outperform what’s been asked of me? As some small business owners I admire say online: under-promise and over-deliver.
#4 | KNOW THE COMPANY’S VALUES
The reason a teamwork question is asked at almost every single interview you’ll have is because you need to be a team player to progress. You can’t just be looking out for yourself. Everything you do has got to relate back to the company.
This starts by knowing the values and beliefs of the place you work for. If you can tune into these, you’ll see how you can provide even more value using your own knowledge and skills.
#5 | OFFER SOLUTIONS
Don’t shy away from a problem. If your team come across a brick wall, push yourself to be the one to find a solution. When it works, you’ll always be remembered for that.
#6 | YOUR BOSS IS KEY
Your boss or line manager is the most important person in your whole place of work. Not the CEO or the company director. The main person who is responsible for you and who you report to.
Why? If you help your boss to reach their goals, then you’ll progress further as those goals are met. Simple.
#7 | PRIORITISE WHAT’S IMPORTANT
Now I’ve had my fair share of experience in the working world, I’ve come to realise something. There’s work you can do that just helps the company plod along. Or there’s work you can do that actually makes a difference. You want to focus on the latter - what matters the most.
Let’s take scheduling social media posts, for example, which I do every single day. I could do them in the same way every single day - that would just help to keep the wheels spinning. Or, I could switch it up, test things out and constantly push myself to learn more. That’s concentrating on what’s going to make a difference and leave an impression.
#8 | AIM FOR THE BEST
I’ve never handed in a piece of work that I thought was just OK. Just like I’ve never published a blog post that I didn’t think was my best work. Strive for excellence. Put your best into everything and do every task using all the ability you have.
#9 | HONE IN ON YOUR SKILLS
Being indispensable at work DOESN’T mean being the jack of all trades.
You know how people come to your blog for a certain reason? It's exactly the same at work. Your colleagues need to know you for some specific skills. Then they can come to you purely for those skills. My colleagues have come to know me for my knowledge of social media, so that's what I always get asked to do tasks on.
#10 | KEEP YOUR PROMISES
Basically, if you say you're going to do something at work, you do it. Don't commit to something with doubt that you might have to back out.
#11 | NETWORK
There are opportunities to network everywhere. Whether you work in a team that's made up of 10 or 100, you'll meet so many different people who'll have so many different connections. You never know who you might come across if you keep yourself open to opportunities.
#12 | BE A THOUGHT LEADER
This is a phrase I learnt during a business class I took during my masters course. Here's what it means:
Thought leaders are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality, and know and show how to replicate their success.
Essentially, you want to apply yourself in a way that provides new and valuable ways of thinking for your company. Don't do what's been done before. How can you stand out?
#13 | DON’T GET DISTRACTED
Multitasking is no way for you to move forward. You won't progress that way. Focus on your tasks and your team’s priorities. That's how you'll move your company forward.
#14 | USE YOUR INITIATIVE
In other words, don't wait to be told to do something. This is harder when you first start out, but gets easier as you stay in a job for longer and learn to understand what your role involves. If you know something needs to be done that hasn't been started, do it.
#15 | SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE
You were hired for a reason. Because you know what you're talking about. You can do what's been asked of you. If you have things to share that would be valuable to your team, teach them. Just don't give away all your secrets 😉
#16 | GET TO KNOW YOUR BOSS
It's all well and good helping your boss reach their goals. But you've got to get to know them as a person too and understand their needs. Anticipate their reactions. Anticipate what they'll ask you to do. Be one step ahead.
#17 | STAY POSITIVE
A positive attitude is everything. It will take you further than knowledge or skills ever will.
Do you strive to make yourself indispensable at work? What else would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!