While it is always important to keep yourself at the helm of your industry to remain successful, this becomes more vital in this age of AI and automation. Since organizations are looking ways to cut costs and streamline their tasks through automation tools, the brunt of this exercise often lies on unsuspecting employees who, due to their lackadaisical attitude and comfort zones are caught in the line of fire, like literally.
However, this can also be an opportunity for you to come out of your comfort zone, skill up yourself and make yourself so important that the HR manager will have second thoughts about replacing you with any AI code or automation tool. You can, if you want to, make yourself irreplaceable. So, if you are looking for job security and securing your future, read on.
What makes a person irreplaceable at work? Is it his attitude, or punctuality, or the ability to keep his bosses happy? The truth is all irreplaceable employees understand this fact that showing up at work daily and doing your daily tasks is just not enough. The company places a high value on employees who are always looking out for more, dabbling in things that do not form a part of their key responsibility areas, just out of their curiosity and determination. The manager understands that one such employee is worth more than two average, hardworking employees. Here are some tips to become indispensable:
Ideas are what drives innovation. Most employers who value innovation and have evolved with time place greater value on employees who regularly come up with new ideas. Whether your role is that of a manager or that of an intern, it doesn’t matter where the idea is coming from. If you want to increase your visibility and make yourself irreplaceable at work, one of the best possible ways of doing the same is to come up with actionable ideas and big-picture ideas.
You may also want to read: The Art of Brainstorming to Generate Good Ideas.
No idea is too small or big. Whether you want the team to try a different direction of doing things or want your company to start a new vertical, offer up your ideas to the right person. You only must have the confidence in yourself, and nothing else is required. Do not think whether your idea will be acted upon or not, as this might serve as a demotivator even before you start. You do your part, and leave the rest to the concerned person. An employee, who consistently comes up with new ideas is one of the most valuable business assets of the organization.
Everyone is doing the tasks assigned to them by the manager. These key responsibility areas are what the employees were hired for at the first place. But is there something that you can do, which is not related to your role and will add value to the company? Such tasks are a great opportunity to prove to your manager and company that you are always willing to go out of your way to ensure the benefit of the organization more than anything else. This gives the manager a feeling that you are willing to take on new responsibilities along with the tasks that are on your pate right now. Such hunger for work and responsibilities is a positive sign and keeps you at the top of the bracket when it comes to rating employees during performance reviews. It also keeps you immune from any potential pink slips. If you want to keep yourself irreplaceable wherever you go to work, offer to take on things that nobody has their eyes on.
Read also: Delegation Skills Every Manager Should Have.
Being a great asset to a company is not always about doing your work best. It also means that you recognize yourself with the vision of the company and are ready to share your ideas and visions for expansion of the business. If you can use your presentation skills to bring in new business or propose a new business plan to the CEO, your place in the organization will be a few notches higher than what it is right now. Being a good presenter is a skill that you can teach yourself through practice. Not many employees can boast of being a good presenter and therefore if you want to become hard to replace, it’s essential to learn this skill.
Every new day at the office may not bring a new challenge or opportunity, but there are times when you are stuck and feel tested. These occasions are an opportunity to display an out of the box thinking and willingness to take challenges head on. When a problem arises, instead of joining the group of complainants, be one of the few, who can offer a thoughtful solution. However, make sure you have done enough research and diligence to come up with a great alternative. This way, not only boss will appreciate your problem solving and out of the box thinking, but it will also make you the go-to person whenever such issues are encountered, making you indispensable effectively.
If your boss thinks positively about you, half of the problem is already solved. You know your boss will have your back even during the lean times. To ensure this happens, spend some time to knowing your manager on a personal level. While people might label as you a sycophant, but being irreplaceable at work starts with loyalty. If your boss has confidence in you as a person, it will also reflect in his behavior towards you at work and will boost your confidence ultimately.
Grapevine is the single most productivity destroyer at workplaces. Instead of wasting your time at water coolers gossiping about your colleagues, spend that time to learn new skills or read news about your industry. Achieving goals require focus, hard work, smartness, and talent. If you indulge in grapevine, your focus will be distributed, and it will also make your image as someone who talks behind the back. This is not a desirable trait. If you come to know about any gossip and if it affects you personally or professionally, your boss is the right person to talk to.
The most successful employees are those who make the work of their managers easy. Bosses love to keep such employees around for the longest time and always give them top preference while making tough choices.