Become indispensable at work by getting known for “one special thing.”
It’s a jungle out there. The workplace can be brutally competitive, even in times of full employment. Your boss may be too busy to know you exist. Your colleagues can at times seem more like adversaries than allies.
So if you’re looking for ways to assure your continued gainful employment, here’s an idea: Get yourself known for “one special thing.”
You know, a thing that makes you indispensable.
For example, consistently turning in outstanding work is an obvious option. Happily, it’s not always as difficult as it seems. All you may need to do is out-perform your slacker co-workers. You can also try identifying one area in which others are falling short and then excel at that. This can be as simple as being punctual in a workplace full of latecomers. Or it may require a bit of effort, such as becoming the sole person who knows how to get the Wi-Fi working again.
Another technique is to lay claim to a task that others simply hate. Make sure this is something you can do well and also honestly enjoy doing, or at least don’t mind doing. For example, perhaps your boss dreads speaking in front of a group but must regularly update the staff or address clients. You can win his or her undying gratitude by volunteering to take on those presentations yourself.
Or you can spot an unmet need, something no one has even thought of, and meet it. Extra points if it also grows your skill set. You can make yourself more employable and less disposable at the very same time just for the price of taking a class, reading up on a subject, or putting in some extra hours. Once you’ve become a pro, make sure everyone knows that you are the go-to person for whatever this responsibility is.
Finally, don’t forget to consider that you may already possess qualities and abilities that set you apart. Perhaps you speak a foreign language. Or you have expertise from a hobby or passion that you can leverage at work. The ability to code, a facility for creating images for flyers, brochures or websites, and a gift for clear prose come in handy at many workplaces.
You’re already special. Just make sure people know it.