10 ways to be indispensable at work

Once in a while, I will try to dish out to you guys some topics on career success. I had the opportunity to speak on a platform which it’s main focus was on raising new career giants, and it birthed this post.

The place that we work play a major role in our lives, it goes a long way in determining how our lives will be shaped. For the career individual, the best way to help yourself is to create a good working environment for yourself, it’s one thing to work in a suitable environment, it’s another thing to make the work place suitable. To be dispensable in your work place is not an easy job, as the work place is considered an organism, every part working in synchronization to get the whole organism moving.

Nevertheless, follow these simple procedures and you will be on your way to becoming indispensable.

1. Familiarize yourself with the ethics and culture of your work place – This advice is especially for newbies. Once you get on board, it becomes necessary to acclimatize yourself with the way things are handled, you wouldn’t want to be part of the organism and instead of improving the quality of work, you are working against the body. Do what is required of you and blend in. For instance, in your work place, there might be a tacit cooperation among the young and older staff, do all you can to imbibe that work culture. Don’t segregate yourself or become a lone ranger. Mix with the others, and bond. If you are not a people person, and you enjoy being on your own, find time, usually break time, to engage in discussions once in a while with them. If your colleagues love to eat at their desks but you like to eat in the kitchen, you can eat up your food quickly and join them few minutes before the end of break. Remember that team playing is all about being part of the team.

2. Seek to gain more knowledge on your role – The only way to remain irrelevant in your field is to simply refuse to add to your knowledge. So many people start work on a good foot but after a while, they become irrelevant because they fail to increase their knowledge on the job. The quality of experience is more important than the number of years used in an organization. They fail to go for courses to improve on their knowledge and obtain higher qualifications. Complacency is often the reason some people stay in an organization for more than ten years and remain in their positions, they do not clamour for promotion or improvement so long as their salary isn’t delayed. To become relevant in your work place and in your field generally, you must improve yourself daily, take up classes, attend trainings and seminars, go for lectures and obtain degrees. You never can tell when you’ll get a better opportunity.

3. Stay mentally sharp and have a positive attitude – Exercise your brain as much as you exercise your muscles, read books in your field and read on general subjects, books will improve the quality of your mind. Games can also help improve your mental alertness and sharpen your brain. Play games that increase brain power. A positive attitude will also help you get more things done. For instance, if you have been given a task that seem impossible or difficult, don’t complain or grumble, show a positive attitude. If all what you need to complete an assignment is unavailable or incomplete, don’t murmur or grumble, attack work with positivity everyday and you’ll achieve more.

4. Always go the extra mile needed to do your work – Do not always display the “it’s not my job” attitude. Every organ of the body work together for the good of the organism. Do your job and if you have enough time take on work of other people, assist them, doing other people’s work will make you understand how other organs of the body work, it will make you versatile and improves your skill. Don’t run away from tasks assigned to you, don’t be afraid to take the lead. Take responsibility of your actions, put in extra effort, you don’t have to take up more than you can do. Remember, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the ‘extra’.

5. Seek to add value to the organization – Every organization employs staff with the hope that each of will add value to their organization. As an employee, seek new ways by which you can add value, that should be your aim. Don’t just sit there and take from your company, instead give back to them and the only way you can do that is by going the extra mile to get things done. Vacancies exist because an organization is in need of a valuable individual to fill a space and not because they wish to pay salaries. Look for ways by which you can create value in your organization. Resume work few minutes early and don’t always be in a hurry to leave. Know the company’s objectives and take deliberate steps that will allow you meet the goals. Also, never forget to aim for excellence in every piece of work that you do, derive and offer solutions to problems and be the “go-to” person.

6. Embrace change – Changes occur in organizations every time. They occur because things have to run smoothly. Don’t rebel against any kind of change that happens in your work place. Hold the mindset that change provides opportunities, change is inevitable and it is seen as an opportunity to improve on what they’ve been doing and to do better. Refusing to accept or embrace changes shows that you are lazy and uninspired and you lack the motivation to do well.

7. Network and build connections – in a corporate organization, there is enough space and a lot of people to network with. Build connections with other people and network with as many people as you can. As I stated early, segregation is never a good option. Seclusion or isolation will get you nowhere twice as fast as networking would. Connection is all about knowing someone who knows someone who knows someone who is friends with someone important. Meet people and be friendly. Don’t limit yourself.

8. Avoid every form of distractions – Distractions are anything that prevent you from doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and at the end of the day nothing tangible is derived from it. Long talks and gossips during work hours are a major distractions for employees, so stay away from it. Ignore any other thing that will distract you. I find it really surprising to see people chatting on their phones during work hours. Phones should only be used after close of the day, your work time is not yours, it has been paid for by your employer. The only thing you should be doing at that time is doing your job. During break, most employees chat away idly and waste time allotted for eating to gossip. Chatting idly when there’s a lot of work to be done is simply doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Remember our first rule, always go the extra mile needed to do the work you are paid to do. Distractions will prevent you from doing that.

9. Take the initiative – An indispensable employee doesn’t wait until they are assigned they task, they offer themselves to do work and they give it their best. Waiting for an assignment to land on your desk makes you an ordinary employee like everyone else. To be dispensable, you must be proactive and take the bull by the horn.

10. Move into territories belonging to others – I have seen an accountant that only knows how to reconcile cheques. She is clueless about what other accountants do just because cheque reconciliation is the only task she’s given to do at work. Don’t limit yourself to knowing only what you do, go into other departments and find out how they carry out their jobs. Work like you depend on the knowledge you get at that job to start your own business, of which you actually do. Remember that they way you handle other people’s business is the way you will handle yours.

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