How to be indispensable at work
In reality it may be impossible, but here's what you can do to ensure security in your job
It's a fact that no one is indispensable. Enterprises and individuals will always find a way to survive and thrive if your services are no longer available. However, if you provide immense value to an organisation, along with the security of being available, there is little motivation to replace you and you are perceived to be indispensable. The secret to being successful and secure in a job is to be the person whose approach and contribution to the team and employer exceed their expectations. Here's how to do so.
Make friends to maximise your contribution to your employer. Learn to build meaningful connections with team mates, clients and supervisers. Build a reputation as a team player or one who places team interests and goals above his own. Know that the first to get fired is not the least competent, but the one who can't work with others in a team. Your ability to contribute to a colleague's work or a client's interests increases your value to the organisation above and beyond your personal work output.
MAKE AN IMPACT
Volunteer for projects or choose roles that make a substantial difference to the business. This means you need to move away from mundane, dead-end tasks that can be done by anyone else and seek unsolved challenges that can substantially alter your company's economics. The impact of your work should be measurable in terms of the difference it makes to either the revenue or the costs of the company. This is possible only where creativity is required to solve problems that do not have easy or well-defined answers.
MONOPOLISE A SKILL
Develop deep knowledge about a subject that matters to your firm.As you become an expert in a critical skill that no one else in the firm has, your immediate value to the firm increases manifold. When times are tough, the sole accountant in the firm is less likely to be fired than one of the many salesmen. Get trained to expand your capabilities so that when that task comes up, you are the only person who can be consistently relied upon to do well (see Top 10 skills).At the same time, stay humble so that your firm does not fear losing you and de-risk itself by hiring a back-up or a cheaper replacement.
OWN A RELATIONSHIP
Are you the person who has brought in and grown a key paying client for your employer? If so, then you are far more valuable to your firm than your designation suggests. To become such a person, invest in your relationship with the client, contribute to his success and interests beyond your brief. Suggest solutions to his problems, be his confidant for the business challenges he is dealing with and invest in seeing him succeed.Do not be in a hurry to monetise the time you invest in building and owning the relationship. Similarly, create and invest in relationships with key decision-makers, including your boss. When you invest in your manager's success and in making him look good, you increase your indispensability to him and the firm.
BE A SOLUTION PERSON
You can choose to be a problem creator, a problem finder or a problem solver for a team. If you fall in the latter category, then you are someone who approaches every challenge with a can-do attitude.To make yourself indispensable, try finding new ways to solve problems faced by your team, manager or business. While others whine about what is not working, you are focused on creating solutions, fixing stuff and increasing your value to the firm.
BE AN INSPIRATION
As you gain expertise at work, be a mentor to your team and take pleasure in observing them succeed. Along with a reputation for sharing knowledge, you become the go-to person for advice, coaching and solutions. Work on your written and verbal communication skills to become more appreciative and acknowledging of your coworkers. Set high standards for the work you turn in, deliver more than you had committed, and by the timelines you had promised.Build a reputation for reliability and honesty. Volunteer for the most challenging tasks and be a magnet for people to join a project simply because you are on board.The more you are an inspiration for the people in your team and organisation, the greater is your indispensability.