These days, when organizations are downsizing in an effort to "right size," it's more important than ever not to melt into the crowd at work.
Whether your goal is to keep the paychecks coming at a steady rate or to advance your career, you'll have a better chance of being successful if you're viewed as indispensable.
This article explores 14 ways to ensure your organization can't live without you.
1. Be noticeable
Introduce yourself to others, say hello and ask how co-workers are doing, and never pass up the opportunity to get to know someone on a deeper level.
You're dispensable when people don't know who you are.
2. Be a team player
No matter how vulnerable you are feeling, sabotaging others to make yourself look better never pays off.
If you are not able to bring out the best in others (and
ultimately in the organization) your boss may decide to replace you
with someone who can.
3. Develop a unique knowledge base or skill
Excel in areas where others in your department are weak. Make
note of these areas and develop additional skills and knowledge.
Filling an important gap will ensure that others see you as invaluable.
4. Be positive
When things aren't going well for you or for the company, instead of
focusing on the negative, turn your energy toward something positive.
Fear of failure -- whether it's your own failure, the failure of
your department or team, or of the organization as a whole -- can
become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Negativity is tough to be around, even more so in tough times,
and your boss may decide your company is better off without you.
5. Cultivate a life outside of work
Indulge in your interests, hobbies, and passions. People with
many interests -- even when those interests aren't related to work --
are typically perceived as having more to bring to the table than those
who are one-dimensional.
For example, a person who has earned accolades for competing in
sports may be viewed as someone who could bring that same competitive
nature to the business.
6. Learn more
Take as many training and development courses as possible.
There's always more to learn. The more you keep up and
work toward advancing your knowledge and skill set, the more valuable
7. Pay attention to the decisions you make
Get in the habit of making decisions based on the bigger picture.
Instead of making decisions based on what's best for you personally,
make them based on what's best for the organization. This will be
8. Take responsibility for your mistakes...
... and come up with ways to fix them. Everyone makes mistakes; it' how you handle them that really counts.
If you show that you recognize your mistakes, are learning from
them, and are willing to do what it takes to clean them up, you'll be
way more valuable than the person who denies their mistakes, or tries
to pawn them off on someone else.
9. Rewrite your job description
Notice any responsibilities that are slipping through the
cracks, and ask your boss for the challenge of taking on these
additional duties that you see are being neglected.
Join one or two online social networks, become active in
professional organizations, and make a list of people you want to
connect with and keep in touch with.
Networking ensures that you stay in the loop and are visible, and this will make you more memorable and valuable.
11. Share your knowledge and experience
If you are perceived as a person who contributes to the growth of others, you'll be viewed as indispensable.
Offer to hold a roundtable, seminar, or workshop in an area of
expertise to help others get up to speed, and never pass up the daily
opportunities to share what you know.
12. Stick it out when the going gets tough
Lots of people give up, become negative, or quit during tough
times. If you aren't one of them, you'll stand out. Remember the
saying, "The last mile on the road to success is never crowded."
13. Say "yes" to opportunities that come your way
Not only will this open a wider variety of doors for you to
walk through in the future, you'll be seen as someone who is always
willing to take on a challenge.
14. Always do your best, no matter what the task
It's inevitable that, at some point, we face tasks that are boring, or that seem meaningless or tedious.
However, don't forget that even the smallest of tasks have an impact on the big picture.
In addition, putting your best self forward will make you feel
positive and proud of yourself, and that's something your boss is sure
Super performance, super employee
The key to being invaluable at work lies in boosting your performance and your profile.
Follow the 14 tips in this article, and you’re sure to go from being invisible, to being indispensable.