How to become the indispensable employee

Times are tough. The economy is suffering, businesses have lost confidence and the future looks uncertain. Companies are making less money, and less money means more cutbacks. And unfortunately the most common cutback tends to be of the currently employed. So it’s at times like these when people start to worry about their job. We ask ourselves: are you indispensible to the company, or are you just another employee? Of course a lot of this will depend on the size of your organization, amongst other things, but in an economic situation such as the one we find ourselves in at the moment no one is safe. Or are they? Are there things that you can do to make yourself indispensible?

Well, as with most things in life, there are no 100% guarantees but there are some things which you can do to make yourself as indispensible as possible.

First of all it is clear that someone within a company who has a strong presence is a lot less likely to get the boot. By this I mean an employee who is constantly visible to their boss, their boss’s boss and so on. This is often assessed in terms of results, but it is also true that being seen and being heard in the office is much more beneficial than hiding away and hoping they don’t notice you. This applies to both professional and personal situations. If you can develop a positive relationship with “higher ups” within your company, perhaps via networking events such as conferences, conventions or after work drinks, then you are much less likely to be let go. After all, it’s a lot harder for the people doing the firing to get rid of someone if they know them well.

Of course if you are going to be maintain a strong presence you have to make sure you are at the top of your game. It’s no use being a visible but poor employee at the same time. You have to be someone who actually adds value to the company. People who show up to work on time, who work hard, get results and ultimately benefit the company are very difficult to let go of. It’s also important to remember that there’s nothing wrong with getting people to recognize your achievements. You should remind your superiors of the great work you’ve been doing, just make sure not to appear overly arrogant. Someone who takes pride in their work and in their accomplishments will keep the job over someone who fades into the background.

One way to make sure you add value to your company is by increasing your skill set. You become a better employee by learning new things, growing your knowledge and therefore becoming a strategic asset. Perhaps you can take a course in computing, go to a convention or learn a completely new skill. When it comes to the final decision it will be much more difficult for your boss to get rid of you if you have a wide and unique skill set. Also it is unlikely your company will risk letting you go to a competitor if they know what you can do.

Finally, your attitude is one of the key points when it comes becoming an indispensible employee. Of course periods of economic difficulty cause stress and anxiety, but if you can remain positive throughout then you stand a much better chance of keeping your job. It is imperative that you don’t let the situation around you affect your work performance. Not only does remaining positive during tough times show you work well under pressure, it’s also undoubtedly true that people like people who are positive.

So there are a few things that can help you become the indispensible employee. However, as I have said, there are no guarantees. Therefore my advice to you, if you hear rumours about future layoffs, would be to get prepared. There’s no harm in some networking and seeking out opportunities just in case the company can’t take the hit and has to let you go.  And even if you do get laid off you should always stay positive and believe in yourself because you never know what’s around the corner. So be the best that you can be and everything will be alright in the end.

Good luck!

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1 Comment

  1. How to look for a job when you’re employed « TM International

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