It can be really hard to find a job in the current economy, but even those of us who are lucky enough to be in employment rarely have it easy.
In most sectors, there is no such thing as a job for life anymore and that means that we’re all in a precarious position, hoping against hope that we aren’ t the ones whoa re let go when the net round of economizing comes in or the business simply isn’t coping.
The good news is, there are numerous skills that anyone can learn, hone and perfect which will ensure that they’re indispensable in the workplace, and therefore the last people to be considered for layoffs, redundancies, reduced hours and anything else that might lead to financial hardship.
Sound good? Read on…
Impeccable Time Management
Managing our time comes easily to some of us; we’re never late and we can juggle any number of projects without ever getting behind or missing those all important deadlines, whereas others struggle so much just to get into the office by 9 am each morning.
In fact, in one survey, 47 percent of bosses said that time management was one of the most lacking skills in their workforce. This is worrying because you need to be able to show up on time, turn in projects when they’re due and not a second later, and generally be a productive member of the team if you want to be considered indispensable at work.
Luckily, it’s not too difficult to pull yourself together and become better at managing your time if you aren’t one of the lucky ones for whom it comes naturally. Enrol on a time management course, log your appointments on Google calendars, make use of productivity apps and you’ll soon be on your way. It might not be easy at first, but if you want to excel at work and climb the corporate ladder, few things are more important!
There’s a common misconception that if you help anyone at all with anything in the workplace, your colleagues, managers, and bosses will see you as a soft touch and they’ll walk all over you.
It’s true that this could happen if you acquiesce to every single request thrown your way no matter how unreasonable or how much it will eat into your own work schedule BUT actually, if you become one of those people who is always on hand to help out and give assistance when it’s needed and you’re around to do so, it will make you seem like a decent person, someone who can be relied on and someone who the office would be a far worse place without.
So, don’t become a doormat, but do try to help when it is possible to do and you will be one of the last people your bosses ever think about getting rid of when staffing levels need to be cut.
You might think that you don’t have the time to take your cpr certification online or attend a local first aid course, but if I told you that the ability to act quickly in a crisis and help your fellow colleagues with any minor injuries they might sustain in the workplace is an extremely attractive skill to have?
Most bosses are so afraid of being sued and losing a lot of money that they will go out of their way to ensure the health and safety of their employees and if they actually have an employee on the payroll who actually has official first aid skills, well that is going to be very valuable to them, and it could pay off hugely for you.
Not only that but if you have even the most basic first aid training, it could come in very handy in your home life too.
A Caring Demeanor
Again, you might think that having a friendly, caring demeanor in the world of work is a sure-fire way to be bullied and bossed around, but if you have to do any work with the public at all, it is actually a very important skill that almost any employer will value.
Whether you work in a lawyer’s office or a mom and pop store, being able to politely deal with customers and clients, put them at their ease and make them feel like they are dealing with an old friend rather than someone who is only interested in money is so very important.
It costs several times less to attract new customers than it does to obtain repeat business from past customers and clients, so if you’ve nailed this particular skill, you could end up being one of the most valuable people in your company. For some people, being mean does get them to the top, but you can go equally as far being kind and isn’t that a much nicer way to live your life and get ahead?
Whether you know how to repair a laptop that’s sticking, you can build and rebuild a PC in less time than it takes for most people to turn one on or you’re an excellent programmer or web designer, unless you happen to be working in an IT industry where pretty much everyone can do that and more, you are going to very quickly make yourself an essential part of the team because, no one like waiting for the IT guys to show up, losing precious project time and money in the process, and of course, the more strings you have to your bow, the more reasons there will be to keep you around when the cuts come around.
Learn That One Skill No One Has
Spend some time observing your workplace and its practices and see if you can identify that one skill that seems to be in a lot of demand, but which none of your colleagues or the higher-ups seem to be able to deal with without calling in a freelancer or contract expert for an eye-watering rate and master it yourself.
If you have that one skill that is needed even semi-regularly and no one else in the business can say the same, that’s instant indispensability for you.
The companies that do the best and make money by the bucket load are the businesses who have a highly motivated staff.
The more enthused staff are, the harder they will work, the more productive the company will be and the more everyone will benefit.
So, it’s not surprising that bosses are always looking for employees who have strong motivational skills. If you’re great at giving rousing speeches ala Martin Luther King or Winston Churchill, you always know just the right thing to say and your every action serves as inspiration for someone in the workplace, the bosses are going to love you.
If you’re skilled at being diplomatic in the workplace, it’s unlikely that you’ll be dragged into any office politics which can get quite ugly and show everyone involved in a very bad light.
If you can walk the line, while also being honest and sympathetic, no one will ever think bad of you and you will not end up on the scrap heap because you’ve been labeled a troublemaker.
Super Sales Skills
I hardly need to say why being able to sell cheese to the French makes you indispensable. Every business no matter what they do has one aim: to sell as much stuff to as many people as possible.
So, learning how to speak confidently and use body language to persuade clients to part with their money are two skills that you will never waste your time or money learning.
Being trustworthy might not actually be a skill, but it is one of the most important things you can cultivate in your life if you want to do well at work and almost always be thought of as indispensable.
Unfortunately, so many people in the modern workplace simply cannot be trusted to keep confidential information private, to handle cash without being tempted by it or to keep their company’s business in the business.
If you can do those things and if and you can consistently show your employers that you are one to be trusted, you will be a highly valued employee indeed, and no sane boss is going to want to get rid of you as a result – quite the opposite in fact and you might find that a promotion is on the cards much sooner than you may have expected.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a skill, more of bribe, but if you bring your colleagues delicious donuts and pastries on a very regular basis, they might add a few pounds to their waists, but they’ll definitely appreciate the gesture and they’re certainly not going to want to lose you, and they probably won’t.
Start cultivating as many of these skills as you can now and your career will undoubtedly flourish and bloom in the future.