both is yes, maybe you should consider making yourself indispensable.
In truth is no one is truly indispensable, but for career growth by
working hard at making yourself indispensable, your career will prosper
either with your current employer, or you’ll be a top candidate for a
job with another organization.
First, assess your strengths, weaknesses and your value to your
group. What is your competition? Now develop a plan with both long and
short term strategies to boost your value within the operation.
Following are 10 immediate actions you can take to make you
more promoteable or make you irreplaceable in the face of downsizing or
1. Take ownership of your responsibilities. View your
department as a separate company. Consider your actions as if you were
president of your company. Look at the balance sheet on every decision
you make. Will the decision be seen as an asset or liability? Try to
always see the bigger picture.
2. Take responsibility for your career and personal
advancement. Be proactive. What are others in the same position doing
in other organizations? What results are they achieving? What can you
learn from then? How can you initiate those actions within your
3. Maintain a positive attitude. Look for ways, even under
stress, to find the positive in everything. Find options to overcome
obstacles and don’t entertain the thought the situation is impossible.
Stay away from the naysayers.
4. Consider outsourcing non-critical functions. Become an
expert in this area. Lean organizations become more efficient by
outsourcing. Let your management know you can effectively run things
with fewer people.
5. Find tasks to do better or something that is not being done.
In many organizations, especially those in a downsizing mode,
responsibilities slip between the cracks. Propose to your boss that you
pick up the slack. If you need extra training see that you are
prepared. Don’t be bashful about broadcasting the positive results.
6. Let others know what you’re doing. As mentioned in #5 above,
if you or your team achieves something important to the organization
let others know. Some managers believe if they keep quiet and blend
into the background they’ll be overlooked when and if the axe falls.
Don’t believe it. Be wise in spreading the word. It isn’t bragging if
you’ve done it.
7. Excel in an area your boss is weak in. Look for
opportunities in this area. Your boss is a good speaker but weak on
material, there’s an opportunity. Your boss is great on ideas but weak
on financial analysis, there’s an opportunity. If your boss is good on
people skills but weak on technology, there’s an opportunity. You see
the trend, keep you eyes open and this is an area in which you can be
truly be indispensable.
8. Leverage outside contacts. Look for opportunities to be a
company spokesperson at professional and community events. Get approval
in advance and let your boss know what you’re doing. Be sure to brief
management on issues or information you learn in your outside contacts.
9. Be a team player. Always support your boss and your team.
Don’t get involved in petty jurisdictional fights that could derail the
overall success of a program or the organization. However, remain as
independent as possible in choosing your role on the team or what part
of the project you’ll be responsible for.
10. Invest in yourself and your career. Stay current in your
field by taking training and development courses and seminars. Read
inspirational and motivational books, listen to CD’s in your car on
your commute, and keep up to date on the economy and business in
Now since you’re acting like you are running your own business,
you need to keep yourself informed and motivated. Seize any opportunity
to sell yourself and show what you can do. Be sure to share information
and build up your department by becoming an outstanding contributor.
You’ll find that in becoming indispensable you’ll be elevating your
career-and isn’t developing you career the real goal?
John Groth is a former HR executive and career coach. At Career
Network Plus, you will find great resources, valuable articles, links
and more about career development and recruitment. Career selection and
development can be a big ongoing project. For a wealth of help and up
to date career and recruitment information go to http://careernetworkplus.com/