Be Indispensible

Be Indispensable

Happiness at Work – Becoming Indispensable

Be Indispensable – say you find a new role.  You start work and you think you are doing OK.  Then something happens. Perhaps, the market changes.  And all of sudden, your employer needs to think about the future and who is going to be around long term. And who might not be.  How do you make sure that you are on the “staying around” list? You too can learn to be indispensable at work!

Do your job well!

Number one on the list! Learn as much as you can about your work.  Then use what you have learned to help you do your job well. Learn to do it well! Be consistent; do it well every day. There is no room for off days or days when you just don’t hit the mark. Work on delivering good quality work consistently and reliably.

Generate ideas

People who regularly come up with ideas and suggestions are always valuable.  Not all of your ideas may be the right ones. But aim for a good hit rate. If you can, offer plenty of new ideas and new ways of looking at your own work. What about the organization overall? New ideas certainly mark you out. Employers aren’t just looking for people to carry out tasks. They want someone who can show independent thinking and find new ways to do things better, more efficiently or at less cost.

Make your manager and your organization look good

If you can, help your manager shine. You will surprised how much of the reflected glory you will receive in return.  Managers are usually very grateful and most of them will show it.  They will begin to see you as valuable.  It can help as well if you know of tasks your boss dislikes or finds difficult. Are you prepared to take them on? If there is an opportunity to promote the interests of the organization as a whole, then take it. You are a stakeholder.

Be Positive

No one is perfect and your boss, like the rest of us, will have some weaknesses.  It rarely, if ever, helps to highlight them to senior management.  Unless you have a really good reason, avoid complaining at work.  People who moan and complain routinely are usually not well liked.  Unless you can suggest positive ways to improve things, it’s better to keep quiet.  Stay positive.  Nobody likes someone who sucks-up all the time. But if your boss or team mate has done a good job, there’s nothing wrong in celebrating them. People who get results usually do it with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. They are the ones employers want to keep around.

Set some boundaries

If you want to stay positive and upbeat, keep up a good work/life balance. As much as you want to be indispensable, you need some boundaries. Think very carefully before you let anyone, including your boss, think you really are available 24/7.  If you don’t establish some boundaries, you are setting yourself up to burn out.  This doesn’t need to cause problems. You just need to explain, with courtesy, that there are times when you are not available.  But you need to make clear how willing you are to help at other times. You need to have a life outside work, if you really want to excel and be creative when you are at work.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips and that you will find them useful. I  work with many clients to raise their profile at work. I would be very happy to talk to you about how I can help you to succeed.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link


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