How to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work

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Executives who are committed to career growth know that even while planning the next step, they must be top performers in their current jobs. This post offers advice on becoming the go-to person at work, which not only can help you earn a promotion, but can also help you obtain a lucrative position elsewhere if you decide it’s time to shake up your career.

It goes without saying that in order to be indispensable at work, you should perform your job to the best of your ability. However, the following character traits – which you can hone and develop over time – will truly help you become the MVP of your office.

  • Flexibility: Management will appreciate an employee who can easily adapt to changing demands and conditions. If you are the employee in the office who graciously accepts a completely unexpected project, or even a last-minute business trip, then it is likely that management will remember and reward that flexibility in the future. How can you hone and develop your flexibility? Develop a contingency plan in your life that will allow you to be more responsive to your employer’s needs in the event of an emergency or a last-minute project.
  • Integrity: Many workplaces are competitive environments, and it can be tempting to prize coming out ahead of your co-workers above all other considerations. After a period of time, many executives find themselves burned out not only because of this overly competitive attitude, but because they have abandoned their own values in the drive to get ahead. Even worse, some executives refuse to acknowledge, or even conceal, their workplace mistakes in order to avoid losing stature in the office. Safeguarding your sense of personal integrity can not only make you feel better about your career, but it can help make sure your workplace operates in an ethical way. How can you hone and develop your integrity? When faced with a difficult decision, consider how making either choice would cause you perceive yourself. If you do not believe that you would feel good about yourself after making a certain decision – even if it would allow you to be more competitive in the workplace – it would be wise to consider that warning sign carefully.
  • Humility: Many executives believe that the more they show off their abilities to management, the faster they will get ahead. Sometimes, however, management will not value an employee who is too transparently competitive. Management may perceive that overly competitive workers value themselves more than the team and are more likely to take self-serving actions than others. How can you hone and develop your humility? Recognize that your job is about the team, and not just yourself.
  • Leadership: Leadership is about more than simply distributing projects and evaluating the results. An effective leader is someone who employees trust to have their best interests in mind, who will motivate them perform to the best of their abilities, and who will provide assertive, yet compassionate, direction. Management will appreciate a leader who not only generates good results from his or her employees, but who is also perceived as approachable, generous, and understanding. Becoming that leader can greatly increase your chances for promotion. How can you hone and develop your leadership skills? If an employee comes to you for support, try to place yourself in his or her position and try and think of what you would find helpful for a leader or mentor. This change in reference can spur you to make wiser and more effective decisions when managing others.

Despite your best efforts to become an indispensable employee, sometimes the employment relationship still breaks down. If you are concerned that your employer has violated your rights in any way, you may want to consult with an experienced employment lawyer.