No one is indispensable. Once you feel like you are, You’re probably in the next round of lay-offs. Remember General MacArthur thought that he was indispensable and he was laid off by President Truman.
In order to protect yourself from the next round of layoffs, you need to convince your employers that you’re valuable and that your existence alone benefits the company. Remember the saying W.I.F.M (What is in it for me). So you want to always show your employer the advantage it has by keeping you as an employee.
Today’s business environment doesn’t allow for satisfaction with the status quo. It requires constant growth and change.
Being indispensable means that you are adaptable, learning and growing with your organization as it changes and evolves…at the end of the day, you have two choices either make yourself indispensable or make yourself obsolete.
1. Never take the shortcut. Taking short cuts will cause you to make mistakes and cause friction at your job. In order to be truly irreplaceable, you have to work hard. You can’t take shortcuts and still expect tremendous respect. Remember if you want to be irreplaceable you need to set an example. And if your boss sees you taking short cuts he may very well place you on the next set of layoffs.
2. Be adaptable, not rigid. Career Counselors advise against being rigid. Which is the fastest way to losing your job. In an age where technology, workplace environment and strategy techniques are constantly changing, the worst thing you can do for your career is to cling on to something from the past and refuse to change.
“The good news about rigidity is that it gives you a sense of control — it is predictable. You understand it, know it, can explain it, and can even teach it to others, The bad news is that a false and temporally sense of control . So be careful of the way you communicate, for example don’t undermine current change by lack of cooperation. Also, quit talking about the good “Ol’ days”. It will not be long before that attitude’ rubs’ on your co-workers and comes to the attention of your boss.
3. Being a perfectionist will be your downfall. Most people think that being a perfectionist is what they need for success, but, in actuality, it prevents it.
“Perfectionism fosters inaction — waiting until we can guarantee success before we take action. And this negates accountability and prevents success. We wait for the perfect plan, the perfect decision, and the perfect action that won’t fail. The perfect plan never happens. So my advice is to get started. And take a calculated risk with your plan. If you do make a mistake learn from the mistake and own up to it. The phrase ‘I’m sorry”. “It won’t happen again,” goes a long way.
4. Be of service to others without expecting anything in return. Most of us only do things for other people if we get something in return, but a truly irreplaceable employee is someone who makes decisions and solves problems for the good of their team and other departments in the organization. Remember from my last article, the boss is watching. While it is true that he/she is watching for the bad things. they are also looking for the good things that you do. Your boss will remember it when the two of you meet for the next performance review.
Remember the more you become “we-centered” rather than “me-centered” the more indispensable you become. If General MacArthur would have followed that advice he would not have been fired. There is a possibility that he could have become President instead of Eisenhower. If you remember prior to world war two, MacArthur was Eisenhower’s supervisor. So Eisenhower probably followed these set of rules.