THE BLOG
04/15/2013 04:08 pm ET | Updated Jun 15, 2013

How to Become Indispensable at Work

Even in times when the job market seems to be at its peak, it is still essential that you put your best foot forward and be a great contributor to the company that you're working for. This assures you that no matter what, you will keep that job because your employer sees you as someone he can never afford to lose -- a huge asset. So if you are determined to walk your way up the ladder of success, aim to be indispensable. Read on to find out how.

1) Aim for excellence.

To be indispensable means to do your work excellently. If you aim to be better each day that you go to work, people will take notice of your effort. You don't have to work extended hours and become very stressed out. It means intelligent use of your time to achieve the best work output that you can give and, if and when necessary, give extra effort just to get the work done. Try your best to be consistent with the quality and promptness of your work. Build this kind of reputation, and you will eventually get ahead of the pack.

2) Keep your promises and commitments.

You must honor your promises and commitments. Be there when you said so. Submit the report as you promised. Be efficient and clear in communicating with your boss, clients, and co-workers. If you think you cannot deliver as you have committed, make sure that you let the concerned parties know about it. Learn to assume accountability for even the most undesirable of outcomes. What is important is to earn people's trust.

3) Stay informed with current trends.

Do not just sit back because you are doing quite well in your own corner. Stay up-to-date with current events and trends not just in your industry, but the economy and other sectors as well. There is connectivity among industries and sectors that may not be visible but is vital nonetheless. If you can situate your company's place within the industry's current trends, you will be able to contribute more on its improvement. And this means you will have better chances of achieving career growth. So, continue to study your craft and that of your company.

Similarly, understanding the market and how your company performs against competitors is critical for an employee who seeks to be indispensable. You would be in a better position to contribute in strategic business discussions if you are well-informed about industry and market trends. Make effort to read the broadsheets, blogs, industry publications, and other such articles. Subscribe to newsletters that can be emailed to you automatically to keep you updated with the latest events and products in the market. Keep on learning; attend different seminars and forums on your line of work. If you can, enroll in online courses that can help you obtain more relevant skills.

4) Initiate and be innovative.

An indispensable employee does not wait for assignments to arrive on his desk. If you seek good impression, volunteer and take initiative. If you have brilliant ideas, make them heard. But remember, do not volunteer just for the sake of getting good attention, do it genuinely to make a difference. Give suggestions and do not be afraid to innovate. Make an effort to actively participate in what you have suggested. People will see that you are not just a talker but a doer.

5) Be optimistic.

People usually hang out with those that have positive vibe. To be on top and to stay up there is all about attitude. So stay positive and extend a helping hand whenever it is needed. There is a reason why this piece of advice keeps on popping up in any endeavor, grand or minuscule. It is optimism that motivates a person to strive harder despite of failures.

6) Foster internal rapport.

To succeed, it's not just about the things you know or bright ideas that you have but the people whom you have built relationships with. So make sure you help in other units and be known by executives in other departments as well. Your chances of moving forward in the career ladder are greater if you have worked with other units and have built strong rapport with them. If you maintain excellent work habits, these departments will take note of your ability, and they will remember you as an excellent employee worthy of promotion.

7) Go the extra mile.

If you are given a task that you think is not within your job description, would you do it? The indispensable worker will do it with the same efficiency and dedication. Even if it is quite obvious that it is way beyond what you have signed for, never say that it is not your job. As long as it is not illegal or inappropriate, do the work happily. You are doing your boss or whoever asks you to do it a favor, and this will surely be something to your advantage. Take note that everything you do, whether it is your job or not, is valuable to your organization. This is how a valued worker thinks.

8) Take the lead.

Do not be afraid to demonstrate your leadership ability. This entails you to become a sociable person. So, you must volunteer to lead an effort or project, even if it is small. Do the best you can to come up with excellent outputs on time and within the budget allotted for you. Illustrate your rapport with your team and make an effort to bring the best in them. Through this, you are not just building a good reputation for yourself but also for those of your teammates. These are the qualities of an effective worker.

To be indispensable, you have to go beyond what the rest of the employees are doing. Be punctual and stay true to your words. If necessary and for the company's sake, stay up late, and exert extra effort. Do not be content with doing mediocre work. Interact with others and don't say no to extra tasks. In short, you have to be the best that you can be, so no employer will ever want to let you go.