4 Ways to Become Indispensable at Work

We all want job security, but in 2015 it can be pretty hard thing to come by. Of course, no one is totally indispensable; the reality is that we can all be replaced. We all know this. However, there are certain things that you can do to achieve near-indispensability, which should provide that feeling of safety we all crave. Here are some ideas for making yourself essential.


(Photo Credit: itia4u/Flickr)

1. Attitude is everything.

A good attitude is contagious, just like a negative one. We’re all familiar with that miserable, grumpy, emotionally needy co-worker who brings everyone down – the one who compels you to duck down a hallway when you see them coming. The attitude you’re aiming for is just the opposite. You want folks around the office to welcome time with you. Make them laugh, make them smile, listen to their stories, and ask about their lives. Find the humor in burdensome work situations and help everyone rise to tough challenges with a little more ease. Soon, you’ll have people wondering how they’d ever get by without you.

2. Be a team builder, not just a team player.

It’s essential that we work well with others, collaborate, compromise, and share ideas with our teams. Without the ability to connect with your co-workers in a respectful and beneficial way, you will never find that job security you crave. However, what will bring you from simply meeting the mark to rising to indispensability status is working to build teams, not just play on them. Be a person who connects others, one who helps people find common ground. Be reliably courteous and insightful with your contributions.

3. Be a keeper of institutional knowledge.

Institutional knowledge is wildly important, and it’s one of the things companies miss most when someone leaves. This key knowledge about the organization, and its history, generally isn’t formatted to be passed down to newer folks – it’s something that can only be earned through longevity. And, you have to pay good attention. Show your employers that you have an abundance of the stuff. Connect dots, fill in gaps, and offer suggestions that only someone of your experience can.

4. Think big picture, and plan ahead.

The most valuable employees are ones who not only solve problems when they come up, they’re people who anticipate problems before they even arise, and offer solutions. Thinking more than a step or two ahead, in general, is a great idea. Look at the forest, as well as the trees, and share the wisdom your unique and mindful approach brings. Your vision and ability will impress and delight your superiors, and you’ll find yourself coming awfully close to indispensability in no time.

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