Source 1-9: Jeff Davidson, Breathing Space Institute
Think about how businesses market products and services, by creating niches. . . that’s how you should think about your work. While no one is truly indispensable, if you create a niche for yourself at your workplace – and especially with the boss – you will become as indispensable as possible. Once you become an essential employee, you deal from a position of strength in terms of promotions, raises, flexible hours and other much sought-after workplace rewards. So now the obvious question: How do you become the kind of employee that companies can not live without• Here are 10 things you can do right away to make you an indispensable employee in the eyes of your supervisors:
1.) Be the best at something no one else is.
Develop your own niche at work by picking up a skill or knowledge that is vital to your job, yet relatively hard to learn. Maybe it’s becoming familiar with catering or marketing strategy. Be the best at something no one else is, and you will dramatically raise your level of importance to your employer.
2.) Give everything you’ve got . . . and then some.
If you want to advance in your company, take on more work than you are expected to accomplish. Volunteer to help on a project that is running over deadline and make yourself available for extra projects. You will be noticed. Frequently, companies need assistance with rush jobs like proposals. On jobs like these, quick turnaround is important and higher-ups always appreciate employees who pitch in and volunteer to be on the team. Do the little things that make a difference. Go the extra mile on every task you undertake and the rewards will follow. In the first few months, it makes all the difference!
3.) Work even harder when the boss is not around.
Managers report less work is done when they are not around. That is why working, even at your normal pace, when they are away will impress your supervisors. The best strategy, however, is to work extra hard. To be recognized, when supervisors are away, try to complete jobs they assigned before they left. There is nothing a boss appreciates more after a trip than hearing “Here’s the job you wanted. It’s done.”
4.) Get recognition for your staff.
Those who stand out as excellent employees are the people who are able to motivate others to do their best and to work well in group situations. What are you really saying when you say, “My staff did a great job”? Your supervisor will know that when a group does well, it’s at least partly because someone exhibited leadership.
5.) Make your boss look good.
Similar to the concept of getting credit for the group of people you work with or manage, making your boss look good can only reflect favorably on you. Both your boss and his or her supervisors will appreciate this. The best way to make your boss look good is to handle your work efficiently and thoroughly. If your boss is fair, he or she will give you credit for the work, increasing your chances of promotion. Work with the waitstaff or you team side by side.
6.) Develop good businesslike relationships with your boss.
If you have done your job well and have proven time and again that you are a professional upon whom your supervisor can rely, your relationship with the supervisor, in part, becomes one of your employer’s important assets. Wherever you work, a good relationship with your supervisor will surely vault you to the head of the class.
7.) Serve as a mentor.
You are never too young to share your experience with junior members of your organization. This can be accomplished on an informal, ad hoc basis, and you can literally choose the amount of energy you’re willing to commit. Helping junior members always looks good to those above you, especially at performance time.
8.) Praise your boss if it is deserved.
Everyone likes to be praised . . . yet, how often do we praise our bosses? They are people, too. If your boss has been extra supportive of you, tell him or her that you appreciate it. Remember to praise your boss to your coworkers and other supervisors. Be honest. A phony attempt can be detected immediately. Everyone has some good points that can be praised.
9.) Keep on top of your job.
Do not forget the basics. One way to become truly indispensable is to be on top of your job, your job’s goals, and your team’s objectives. This three-way strategy includes reviewing your job description, understanding what goals are expected of you, and determining your employer’s objective. First, knowing your job description and following it, or amending it if necessary, will protect you from any misunderstandings. Second, be sure to learn and understand the goals of your part of the team. Knowing your team’s goals will help you to set priorities for your own work and to make intelligent decisions concerning how jobs should be done. Finally, be aware of your employer’s objective. Every employer has an objective. It might be to make sure a can-do attitude is a priority at the worksite, or to ensure that customer service is outstanding.
10.) Become an expert.
Individuals who become indispensable in carrying out a certain aspect of the team’s function will usually be promoted, even if a new title has to be created for the position. At your current job, are you developing expertise on a particular skill?If so, make your supervisors aware of your special knowledge and the extent to which people depend on you to provide that knowledge. Or, if there is an area in which you feel that your team is sorely lacking – why not be the one to fill the gap and reap the rewards of becoming a team leader or captain?
Now, make it happen. Most employees work hard, do a good job and want to get promoted but most do not understand what bosses really want from those they would promote. You now know what it takes to make yourself indispensable to your boss and your organization. Now it is up to you to make it happen.
Tips on keeping your job
Here are some tips to make yourself as indispensable as possible:
- Establish credibility. Your credibility is extremely important. Establish yourself as an honest, hardworking, and responsible employee. Show that you can act independently yet wisely and can work well with a team. Earn management’s trust and your job will be that much more safe.
- Be flexible. Can you adapt to new and different situations quickly? If not, work on being more flexible. Take a course or participate in any outside or company sponsored activity that will add to your expertise. Also, be open to new projects and additional responsibilities.
- Be even more productive. Get your job done better and faster than ever before! Exceed expectations. Hard work is fine, but only results will impress your boss. Take initiative: establish some goals for yourself. This will help you get better results.
- Stay optimistic. Just as smiles are contagious, so too is optimism. Nobody, especially bosses, likes a pessimist; they detract from office morale. Remember, good morale is essential to a successful working environment. If you positively influence those around you, chances are you’re a valuable employee.
- Become a team player. Demonstrate that you’re committed to the company, not just to your own personal goals. Remember, if you can work well with others, your boss will recognize that you can compromise and cooperate as part of a team. Market yourself. What kind of image do you project? Is it one that exudes success and motivation, or does it indicate that you’re merely going through the motions until 5:00 PM rolls around? Make an effort to dress appropriately and smartly for work. This will imprint a lasting and positive impression on your boss.
- Speak clearly. Communication is the key to success. Clear speech is important for successful communication; poor speech takes away from the message being delivered.
Source 1-9: Jeff Davidson is “The Work-Life Balance Expert®,” and the premier thought leader on work-life balance issues. He has written 59 mainstream books, is a preeminent authority on time management, and is an electrifying professional speaker, making 806 presentations since 1985 to clients such as Kaiser Permanente, IBM, Novo Nordisk, American Express, Lufthansa, Swissotel, Re/Max, USAA, Worthington Steel, and the World Bank. He is the author of “Breathing Space,” and “Simpler Living,” which reached #1 on Amazon in February 2012 for how-to & home Improvement books. His 60 Second Series with Adams Media, including the 60-Second Organizer, 60-Second Self-Starter, and 60-Second Innovator, are popular titles in China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Poland, Spain, France, and Brazil. Jeff has been widely quoted in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, and USA Today. Cited by Sharing Ideas Magazine as a “Consummate Speaker,” Jeff believes that career professionals today in all industries have a responsibility to achieve their own sense of work-life balance, and he supports that quest through his website and through 24 iPhone Apps at: www.itunes.com/apps/BreathingSpaceInstitute