As you may already know, the majority of American households have less than $500 in savings – six in ten, in fact.
And for all of these people, real financial strife is only an emergency spend away. It’s a serious issue – most people in this country are on an unstable financial footing, and these issues are compounded even more by the fact that many of them are also in unstable jobs.
According to some economists, insecurity in almost every area – jobs, family life, retirement and health care – is pervasive throughout the 50 states.
But make no mistake about it, the employment issue is one of the major factors causing problems. Without a secure job, many people will struggle to lead a fruitful life, and also build up their finances to protect their families and give themselves a happy future. The big question is, how can you make your job safer? In this guide, we are going to go through a few of the things you need to think about if you want to make yourself indispensable at work – and get all the rewards associated with it.
Remember That No One Is Indispensable
OK, so before we begin, it’s important to remember that although you are trying to be indispensable, the reality is that the company will survive well enough without you.
And if you keep yourself mindful of that fact, it will do you a lot more favors than thinking the opposite. Once you start to believe in your own hype, there is a good chance you may start overstepping the mark – which will end up having consequences.
The idea is to be perceived as indispensable – not think it yourself. The following ideas will give you a good chance of achieving this goal.
Be ‘The Man/Woman That Can’
Once you are comfortable in a new role, it’s important to establish the things you do that no one else can. If there is a task that needs doing and you have made sure you’re the only one that can, it puts you in an incredibly strong position.
If you aren’t sure what type of task this could be in your job, take a look around your colleagues. Look for the ones that have unique skills, and when they eventually leave, it’s your chance to step into the breach.
Alternatively, try and keep your ears to the ground about new initiatives or ideas that are floating around the company. If there is something new about to happen, you have the chance to put yourself in the right position – as an expert – before anyone else.
Make Sure You Matter
Following on from the first idea, make sure you are doing tasks that are important and add value – don’t settle for a position that you find easy.
The truth is that most people can find all manner of things to do at work, simply to look busy. But these people tend to go unnoticed, and if you want to be truly indispensable, you need to offer a little more.
So, have a good think about the work you do and the tasks that really matter. Always tackle these projects first and you should start to get noticed.
Put Yourself Out
Again, not every employee will be willing to go the extra mile for their employer. Most clock in, clock out and think little of it.
You can easily put yourself on a higher pedestal than the average worker simply by giving a little more than is usually expected. If you finish your tasks, why not ask your manager if they need help?
The chances are they will and it won’t go unnoticed if it’s a regular occurrence. The reality is that you can’t just execute – you need to bring new ideas to the table, offer help in other areas, and volunteer for projects or tasks that other people won’t touch.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
We shouldn’t have to go through this, but the truth is that employers like to hire people that they trust – weird, right?
So, don’t be the guy or girl who is dishonest, talks trash in the canteen or by the water cooler, and puts your boss through far too many incidents of feeling let down by you.
Reliability is also important, and once you let things slip, it can often be a slippery slope.
Develop Other Skills
Don’t just focus on improving your talents and skills for work-related tasks. You should also look into other things that can help you forge a great career with the company you work for.
Is there a health and safety position that you could take on, for example? Similarly, think about taking BLS certification online courses – could you take one and become an emergency contact for your company?
Some businesses even pay extra for roles like this, so it’s well worth taking on the responsibility. Another area to consider is your communication skills.
If you can work on your oral and written skills, it’s a fantastic advantage – and who knows, maybe you will even get some public speaking gigs, talking on behalf of your business? Again, it’s all about going the extra mile, but there is a multitude of ways of doing it.
Stop Complaining, Start Solving
It’s easy to be the person at work that always sees the bad side of things. There are plenty of these characters – the people that tend to say that something won’t work, or that a system is inefficient.
To mark yourself out from these types, start coming up with solutions to problems instead. If you have a poorly designed website, for example, don’t just criticize it but suggest some ideas on how it can be improved.
And the reality is you don’t even need to solve issues – just come up with clever ways of working with them, but also around them. Give it a try – you will be surprised at how effective this is for getting noticed.
We’re currently in the midst of a huge technological change in the workplace. And we’re already seeing that some people have suffered from not keeping up.
20 years ago, you may not have got a job if you couldn’t use a word processor. 10 years ago, you might not have got a job if you didn’t have a basic understanding of the Internet.
It’s important that you don’t end up on the job scrapheap like all those people did in the past, and to ensure you remain current it will take some work. Keep yourself on top of trends and technologies in your industry, keep learning, and carry on being invaluable.
Not only will this protect your future employment, but it will also ensure your knowledge and skills are sought after for years to come.
Always Be Positive
Having a positive attitude can take you a long way in your career, no matter what industry you are working in. You can have all the skills and natural talent in the world, but if your attitude stinks you will find your pathway is, more often than not, blocked.
And although it sounds incredibly obvious, there are thousands – possibly millions – of people that don’t appreciate the fact they have a job at all. And if you are the type of person that is friendly, approachable, hardworking and a good soul in the office, it will not go unnoticed.
Team Player, Thought Leader
If you really want to be indispensable, it’s not just the boss you need to impress. It’s your coworkers and colleagues. Put yourself in their shoes.
If they see you sucking up to the boss and treating everyone else poorly, what do you think will happen? Be a good person to everyone, and people will be a lot more receptive to the skills and knowledge you bring to the table.
Do the opposite, however, and they will see you as a threat and an annoyance, and it could work against you, in a big way.
Make More Money For The Business
Ultimately, business is all about making – or saving – money. And the more you do for your employers, the better it will be for you, your boss, your colleagues, and everyone else.
So, always think about what value you can bring to your tasks. Even if you see yourself as someone working in a low-level position, you can still come up with some great ideas for cutting costs – so why not see what you come up with!
Remember The Point Of A Job
Finally, always remember that whatever job you do, it all boils down to one simple task – making the working life of your supervisor or manager easier.
It’s really that simple. Your supervisor will be under pressure from their boss, and what you do at work will have a direct impact on that. And over time, you will build up trust and respect with each other.
Pretty soon, you will realize that you are becoming indispensable to your team leader, who will count on you more and more as time goes by. Good luck – and don’t forget, if you want financial security for many years to come, it will all start with a secure job!
What are you doing to increase your financial security?