7 Easy Ways to Make Yourself Irreplaceable at Work
If you want to feel more secure in your job, here are seven helpful steps you can take to guarantee your employer will find you irreplaceable at work.
Many of us grow up with the idea that we need to work hard, fit in, and fly under the radar. It’s a safe mentality, and it works for most things.
If you’re trying to be invaluable, though, you have to be different. Stand out. Make a name for yourself.
Yes, you have to adjust that old way of thinking and go against the grain. To be irreplaceable at work — you can’t be like everyone else.
When you want to be a team player, but also ensure that you’re a valuable asset, try these seven tips. You’ll gradually make yourself priceless without creating waves along the way!
1. Be Reliable
In many studies of small businesses, a consistent problem that appears in the top ten list is finding reliable employees.
Many managers say they’d rather have a worker they can depend on than one who knows all the skills. You can always gain more knowledge; dependability is an innate trait.
It’s not that difficult to stand out from the vast majority of other employees. You just have to use the skills ingrained in us as we were growing up that many of us lost in our teenage years: manners.
Many small business owners lament the decline of basic manners as a skill that’s becoming obsolete over time.
But for you — that’s a good thing. It means your basic reliability makes you one step closer to being irreplaceable at work!
Show off your dependability by going to work every day, being on time, and making your deadlines. This consistency will pay off in the long run!
2. Step Up to the Plate
Another skill that employers look for in their employees is the ability to take initiative. Those with this character trait tend to be the ones who climb the proverbial office ladder quickly.
As you think back over your past experiences, you’ll be able to see what this means.
Who were the people who did the bare minimum, enough to get by and keep their job? And who were the people who always wanted to do more?
Those who found productive ways to stay busy were the ladder-climbers. They took proactive measures to make themselves valuable, and that’s what you need to do.
When you have downtime, don’t wait until someone gives you something else to do. Step up to the plate and show off your willingness to learn.
Go to your superiors and ask them if you can help them with anything. Chances are, they’ve got a lot on their plate they’ll willingly — and appreciatively — give up.
By doing this, you’re exhibiting qualities that not everyone has. The soft skill of taking initiative is a highly covetable one in employees.
3. Avoid Rumor-Mongering
Gossip is a dangerous part of human nature, but you don’t have to be the one spreading it.
Don’t underestimate the power of words. How you speak will come back to you when it’s least expected. If your goal is to be irreplaceable, use your words mindfully.
A powerful quote to remember is this one by Henry Thomas Buckle: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Your employer likely knows this in their own way and is looking for great minds.
Sharing a rumor you heard can be perilous to the work environment and your job. Gossips are superficially necessary only when they have information that interests you. Beyond that, no one likes them.
If there’s a problem in the company, offer solutions or pitch in to help fix it. Otherwise, stay silent.
4. Never Stop Learning New Things
The more you know, the better your chances of becoming irreplaceable. If you’re the only one with the knowledge of how to do a crucial task, your skillset now becomes mandatory.
Never stop learning new things because you don’t know when that specific knowledge will come in handy.
A foreign language, for example, is a great place to start. There are lots of free sites that can help you master this bilingual ability.
Choose a language that many people use in your area or one that no one else knows. Either way, you’ll be indispensable when they need that language!
5. Have Integrity
Manners are one thing; morals are a completely different ballgame.
When you demonstrate your integrity consistently, it becomes part of your reputation. Your employers see that you not only talk the talk, but you walk the walk.
There are a few easy ways to add this trait to your character. Keep your word, don’t gossip or talk badly about others, and do the right thing, every time.
This constant morality will eventually become synonymous with your name. Reputable employers look for workers they can trust to fill positions of authority.
6. Be a Team Player
You’ve probably heard warnings about mixing business with friendship. And, indeed, getting too close to your fellow employees isn’t always a good idea.
When things are working out, there’s nothing better than passing the workday with people you get along with swimmingly. But if one of you upsets the other — your day goes downhill fast.
You don’t have to be best friends with your coworkers, but you should contribute to the positive atmosphere. Get along, but avoid outside engagements that aren’t work-related.
Get to know your boss, too. What makes them tick? What stresses do they have that you can help with?
When you’re a team player, no one has anything negative to say about you. This reputation will stick with you when promotions and layoffs are on the table and will tend to make you irreplaceable at work.
7. Get the Job Done Right
If you’re going to stand out in a good way, you have to follow the rule that everything needs doing right — the first time.
Take the time necessary to make sure your work is accurate and high-quality before you submit it. Keep these tips in mind as you do the job:
- Read everything, particularly instructions, over carefully
- Don’t rush through the task just to cross it off your list
- Pay attention to the deadline and attempt to reach it early
- Ask someone else to look over the finished work if possible
These tips will prevent rushing due to procrastination, and ensure you don’t turn in sloppy work, helping make you irreplaceable at work.
No one is entirely irreplaceable at work, but there are things you can do to make yourself valuable. The fact that you’re interested in bettering yourself means you’re off to a great start!
Use these tips to improve your character and reputation. You can’t go wrong by increasing your disposition.
When you have these soft skills, if one job replaces you, another company will jump at the opportunity to appreciate you!
About the Author
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Summit at San Marcos with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Summit at San Marcos the place to call home.