Becoming Indispensable at Work


By Nikki Hutchison

The thought of being redundant – no longer needed within an organization – can create a feeling of uncertainly and emotional distress. Employers have always looked to reduce costs and headcounts wherever possible – not just in times of trouble. So, what’s the best way to go about securing your future and avoid the risk of becoming dispensable at work?

1. Identify where you can add value. Why should an employer pay you a salary with added benefits if you can’t identify what your transferable skills include? Start thinking about how an employer receives a return on their investment (ROI) by employing you. If it’s difficult to recognize where you add value then ask co-workers – you might be surprised by their response.

2. Recognize transferable skills. Your transferable skills are what make you indispensable. It’s essential to career success to develop, add to and speak about them confidently. Some of us take skill sets for granted without recognizing they are what make us unique.

3. Know your personal brand. What does your name say about you? If you were to put your name into a Google search, what information could your employer find out about you? If you are a user of Facebook, ensure that you switch on your settings so that only those you are connected to you can see your posts, and don’t allow anyone to ‘tag’ pictures of you on their page if they could be seen as inappropriate.

4. Prepare for redeployment. It’s common for employers to request employees apply for their existing role. If this was to happen, do you have an up-to-date resume? Many internal applicants pay less attention to the content and presentation of their resume and fail to update it on a regular basis.

5. Build rapport. Building a good rapport with a manager and work colleagues is a big step towards advancement. Ask yourself: “What do people really think about me when they meet me for the first time?” Then ask your partner, friends and colleagues.

6. Who knows you exist? Building your network means speaking with strangers, people who don’t even know you within the organization. Utilize existing contacts to help build new relationships and always show enthusiasm and willingness to help as you never know who might notice!

7. Become an information sponge. Speak to peer in other departments to help you to develop a wider knowledge of the organization. Having a familiarity with the various products and services provided by the company can only help you become more indispensable.

Nikki Hutchison is the founder of Chilli Pepper Global, providing expert support to job seekers through coaching and assistance with promotion, CVs, applications and more.

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