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Six Tips for Becoming Indispensable at Work


When considering what’s most important at work, employees often rank job security at the top of their lists. While sometimes job security is completely out of your control– for instance, if your company closes its doors entirely– many times, you have much more control over your job security than you might realize. Simply put: some employees are considered indispensable, while others are the first on the chopping block when cuts are necessary. So, how can you help ensure that you’re the type of employee that employers don’t want to let go of? Consider the following tips for becoming indispensable at work:

Be open to change.

Many people are resistant to change; after all, familiarity provides a certain measure of comfort. However, in order to stay competitive, businesses are constantly changing and evolving. If you’re viewed as an employee who’s stuck in his ways, you’re not likely to be an indispensable member of the team. Instead of resisting change– which is inevitable– look at it as an opportunity for growth. In order to be viewed as indispensable, you need to also be viewed as a flexible employee who can roll with the punches.

Be respectful to everyone.

It’s a simple enough concept: to gain respect, you must first be respectful. However, it’s often overlooked in competitive workplaces. Don’t be fooled, though: how you treat other people– from the receptionist at the front desk to clients to senior management– matters. After all, you never know who might eventually play an important role in your professional future, so don’t burn any bridges.

Hold yourself to high standards.

You might hold others to high standards, but do you consistently hold yourself to those same standards? For many people, the answer is no. But if you want to be an indispensable part of your team at work, expecting the best from yourself– and then following through– is critical. When you make mistakes, own up to them instead of placing blame elsewhere. Then work hard to find a solution.

Be a doer, not a talker.

Every office has one: the employee who talks a big game, but never follows through. It’s wonderful to come up with creative new ideas and solutions, but if you never execute them, they’re essentially irrelevant. In order to make yourself indispensable, you have to be a doer, not just someone who makes plans that never come to fruition. Be the person in the office that management can turn to when they need the job done right.

Know how to build relationships.

At the end of the day, businesses– regardless of industry– are about relationships. Whether you have a high profile job where you regularly interact with the public or a back office job where you interact primarily with numbers, your relationships– or lack thereof– matter. Have you ever heard the phrase, It’s not what you know, it’s who you know? Like it or not, successful businesses are built on the ability to network. Likewise, indispensable employees understand the importance of building relationships with key decision makers in the company.

Be a team player.

The most valuable employees are the ones who know how to collaborate. Even if you’re not naturally a social butterfly, it’s important to be a team player at work. That means that, not only do you celebrate your own successes, but you openly praise others for their hard work as well. After all, it takes a village to build a truly successful organization.

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