Today’s post is by guest author Leslie Collins – feel free to leave her a comment at the end. Thanks!
Conventional wisdom tells us that the best path to job security is to make yourself indispensable to your employers.
That’s easy enough to say, but how do you actually go about it?
Here are a few steps you can take to stand out from the crowd and rise above your peers at the workplace.
Find a Mentor
A mentor can be a great gateway to bigger and better things. Try to connect with someone in the workplace who knows the little details of its daily operation. This not only shows drive and ambition, but a willingness to learn and a desire to become more valuable to your employers.
Having a mentor can also raise your visibility with the company, especially if you gain a reputation for being invested in the company’s success. Impress your mentor, and word will get around that you’re someone on the way up the corporate ladder. Tread with caution, though — there’s a fine line between being ambitious and being a sycophant.
Build a Personal Network
When it comes to developing personal connections, there’s no need to stop with just a mentor, or even within your own company. Build an extensive network of people in your chosen industry or field.
Building relationships with clients, vendors, and associates not only creates new opportunities that benefit you and your company, but also provide a valuable knowledge base you can draw from when the need arises.
Having a personal network also increases your visibility with the company, especially if you’re the employee who “knows a guy” who can solve a company problem.
Learn a Language
Looking for a new skill that will give you an edge over the competition? How about learning another language?
A second language can broaden your professional horizons in a number of ways. Not only does it increase the scope of where you can do business (and with whom), it can be valuable in setting you apart from the crowd.
Imagine being the only person on staff who can deal with that German supplier in his or her native language. You impress the supplier, you increase relationships with the company, and you’ve taken a big step toward making yourself irreplaceable.
Become an Expert
“Be good at what you do” is one of the most basic pieces of advice on how to do well in the workplace — but if you truly want to go above and beyond, you’ll have to take your skill set one step further.
Strive to become not just an expert, but the expert — the go-to person that the company truly needs.
Ruthlessly practice and hone the skills in your chosen field, so you can outperform your colleagues and impress your employers. Learn the obscure bits of knowledge that no one else knows. Don’t just be good at your job — learn how to do other people’s jobs as well.
If they’re smart, employers will take notice.
Become a Role Model
Being an expert will make you valuable to your employers, but being a role model could make you valuable to everyone at the company.
Strive to remain positive in your daily interactions at work. Don’t backbite, gossip, or get involved with needless office politics. Be someone that your co-workers appreciate and enjoy working alongside.
It won’t always be easy, but nothing raises visibility and appreciation of your skills more. Be the kind of worker your employer wishes he had ten of — before long, you could be the one doing the mentoring.
Like any worthwhile advice, these steps won’t always be easy. Working hard and staying positive can be a challenge to even the most devoted employee. But put yourself in your employer’s shoes, and see if you’d consider yourself invaluable from their perspective.
If the answer is “no,” then take another look at this list and step up your game!
About the Author: Leslie Collins is a long time writer for Pimsleur Approach. She has learned to speak Spanish through the program and enjoys traveling, coffee, discovering new cultures, and hiking with her golden retriever.
Image courtesy of Kristina D. C. Hoeppner.