EMPLOYMENT ADVICE: SIX WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF INDISPENSABLE IN ANY ECONOMY
We are in a competitive market, even in a robust economic environment… It becomes profoundly so in tough economic times. With layoffs in vogue, it is wise to consider your role in the company, the importance it has to the company’s ability to be profitable, and the likelihood of being retained when your company determines who they must keep, and who will go. The real indispensable people are those who consistently deliver win/win solutions for their customers and profits for their businesses. So how do we make ourselves indispensable?
First of all, it would make sense to be the one deciding who stays and who goes, wouldn’t it? Rarely does the person responsible for that decision choose to part with themselves. Naturally, we all answer to someone, whether boss, customer or shareholder, and must perform to be rewarded and retained. Positioning yourself where your contribution to the company’s financial health is overwhelming is essential to indispensability.
The Pareto principle applies here. Known as the 80/20 rule, in this instance, we find that 20% of the people (often closer to 10%) actually do 80% of the work. Now, all of the people are “busy” and working on the duties and responsibilities assigned to them, but regarding the results that truly matter for the company, a minority of employees in the firm will create those results which produce profits. Our best employment advice; you want to make sure you are in this minority.
It is essential to have a relationship in place with your boss where you know what they expect of you and what you are doing to meet these expectations; make sure you are meeting with your boss frequently enough to ensure neither of you has surprises down the line. The importance of this cannot be overlooked; you initiate.
It is also important to be able to outline your accomplishments, to know what you have done that impacts profits measurably and positively. It’s an interesting thing, after seeing many thousands of resumes, that most staff level people, up to the lower side of mid-management have resumes that focus on their duties. While people from the higher side of mid-management up to executive level have resumes that focus almost exclusively on accomplishments. Adding value in specific, measurable, achievements and being able to communicate these effectively, will do more to make you indispensable than merely getting done the list of duties you have been asked to do.
By the way, it is your responsibility to make yourself indispensable. Noone else can do this. Indispensable people will always spend their time working from cause where those “struggling” spend their life in effect. True indispensability transcends employment with one company. You should position yourself within your industry as a “go to” specialist, with earned credibility and respect. You make yourself known through your accomplishments. You get yourself involved.
Finally, an attitude of continuous personal and professional development is vital to becoming indispensable. Those who do the most at work are often those who are doing the most away from work to improve their performance at work. Top Producers in business and any endeavor are continually working to improve their knowledge and skills and thus their performance.
So how do I make myself indispensable in any market? Here are six ways:
- Position yourself where your personal contribution to the company’s financial health is overwhelming.
- Communicate with your boss; outline your objectives clearly.
- Know what it is that you do that produces profits and then produce.
- Be able to outline and communicate your accomplishments.
- Take personal responsibility for your career success—cause vs. effect.
- Develop the attitude of a lifelong learner— the commitment to continuous personal and professional development.
“Keep interested in your career, however humble, for it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.” –Max Ehrmann, Desiderata