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How to Become Indispensable at Work

It’s not just the health concerns, the coronavirus lockdown is a serious setback for the economy and various small and medium scale industries across India and around the world. According to the IMF, the COVID-19 crisis will be worse for the economy after the great depression of the 1930s. Experts are warning that in the worst-case scenario 100 million jobs in India will be at risk during and after the lockdown. 

In these deeply unsettling times, when it’s easy to slip back into depression and negativity, regarding your job, it is important that you take a step back and evaluate your importance in your current position. Being indispensable does not mean you’re irreplaceable. Everyone can be replaced in an organization. However, even in the worse situations, indispensable, key contributors in critical positions are valued at their workplace and have less fear of losing their jobs. Companies go to inordinate lengths to retain employees who are considered valuable, from giving promotions to providing huge increments. In this article, we look at the tips to become indispensable at work.

How to Increase Your Value at Work

Show Initiative

It’s not just about showing up for work and mechanically completing all your assigned tasks. It’s about showing your boss and your colleagues that you’re willing to go that extra mile and add value to the organization by taking on tasks without being told by others to do so. As Stephen Covey says, “Employers and business leaders need people who can think for themselves – who can take initiative and be the solution to problems.”

Taking initiative does not mean you need to dive into a big project immediately. You can start small by looking for opportunities in small problems, observing and taking notes from your motivated colleagues, helping your co-workers, and actively taking on extra responsibilities. Take on tasks that give you greater visibility and exposure.

Engage in Meetings

Speak up in meetings and offer ideas and suggestions that are valuable to the organization. Not all of your ideas will be applauded or accepted. However, sitting quietly staring into space or texting during a meeting shows the organization and management that you’re easily distracted and disengaged. After all, the organization is paying you for your time and attention and it’s important that you speak up in a meeting or a brainstorming session, even if it’s just to ask a question or chime in with your opinion.

Support Your Colleagues

While you may be doing exceptional work yourself, by helping your co-workers when they are absent, overburdened or struggling, you are displaying your ability to be a team player. Moreover, taking on extra tasks helps you build strong work relations. This may not necessarily benefit you immediately. However, in the long run, when you’re stuck in a rut, you will have people who would be willing to help you out.

Be a Problem Solver

Be the person who displays a dedication to fix problems rather than just complaining about them. If you take the load of your boss’s shoulder instead of contributing to it, he/she will start trusting and relying on you more. Communicate and form a strong relationship with your boss so that you’re his/her expectations, priorities and goals are aligned with yours.

Demonstrate Integrity and Dedication

Every organization, large or small, wants employees who are honest and dedicated to their work. Avoid the negativity and backstabbing and instead, focus on the grind of tasks and getting results. Take ownership of your work and treat others with kindness and respect, the way you would like to be treated.

Develop Critical Skills and Abilities

Learn skills that are crucial to your organization. Whether it’s honing your communication skills or a new technical skill, learning new and relevant skills can make you crucial to the organization. To become the go-to person in the organization, you need to hone your skills through online learning solutions and classroom courses. Invest in yourself and commit yourself to constant learning.

Being a valuable member of the team comes with its fair share of worry and anxiety. You need to go beyond your comfort zone to become a multi-faceted, positive employee who is willing to take up challenges and is committed to providing the best work possible. However, considering the situation we are in, with companies worldwide making difficult decisions about downsizing and layoffs, it’s more important than ever for you to keep the job you have and make yourself invaluable to your organization. 


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