Tips for becoming indispensable

Well, you’ve done it!  You have FINALLY landed in your dream job.  You know the one – you can’t wait to get to work in the morning and Sunday evening means you begin to look FORWARD to Monday morning.  Congratulations!  Now, the search is over, but the work is just beginning.

Many of you, young and seasoned alike will breathe a sigh of relief when you’ve started a great new position, been through your onboarding and initial training. Time to relax and enjoy your success – right?  WRONG!  Now it’s time to make yourself indispensable – not in the “I’ll keep my job, my information and my knowledge to myself so that they can’t get rid of me,” kind of indispensable; rather the “I love working with her, the energy, the skill, the daily impact – I can’t live without her,” sort of indispensable.  Let’s explore:

  1. Never stop learning. If you are a professional – a true professional – then you can’t get enough of your chosen pursuit.  You read about trends, listen to podcasts, watch training videos and research what your competition is up to.  You understand that it’s your responsibility to stay current and relevant – after all, these are your skills forever!
  2. Actively engage in the professional community. Getting to know local and global experts in your chosen profession is a great way to grow your network and establish yourself as a thought leader.  Why wouldn’t you want to connect with these great minds and hope that some of that brilliance rubs off on you?
  3. Ask for feedback. OK, so you LOVE your job – that’s great!  Everything is good as far as you are concerned.  But, have you asked for feedback from your team members and your manager?  Don’t assume that your manager or your peers will be open and transparent about your performance.  Ask for feedback.  “I’ve been on the ground for a month now and I am really enjoying the work.  I’d love to grab 30 minutes with you this week to review my progress and get your thoughts.”  I would make this a periodic event – maybe quarterly – so that you stay on track and can share some of the cool insight you are gaining from your off-hours learning. Hint: review #1 and #2 above.
  4. Become a valuable resource. This doesn’t mean becoming a dumping place for everything that others on the team don’t want to do – but offer to help, pitch in or shadow a senior team member in order to speed your learning curve.
  5. Share the love. Don’t keep all that positive energy to yourself.  Let others know how much you enjoy your work.  Show gratitude regularly by saying “thank you,” in public or in private.  Who knows, you might infect some of your team members with your positivity.  Finally, happy people are more successful in their careers and make more money.

Finding work that makes you happy, is professionally satisfying and intellectually stimulating is a gift – not an entitlement. Why not do whatever you can to make it last?  For more ideas on strategic career management, visit us here!