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8 ways to ensure your boss always needs you

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Yesterday we wrote about the types of people who will never succeed at work, and we’re pretty certain you don’t ever want to become one of them.

Many workplaces have people within them who are indispensable – that is, people who are so valuable that work actually decreases or stops when they are not around – and being that person not only ensures you’ll always be needed, but it also means you’re more likely to earn a number of well-deserved promotions.

Whether you are a junior executive, a mid-level professional or a C-suite manager, these tips to acquiring knowledge that is unique to you, or honing a skill that is unique to you, will help you remain relevant to your business – and also make you happier and more engaged in the process.

1. Do things before you are asked

Finding staff who can use their initiative to get on with work without needing to be directed at all times is a godsend for busy bosses.

If you can start projects and begin planning for things you know your manager will be asking you about in a couple of weeks, you will always stay in your boss’s good books.

2. Prove your influence

Whether you managed to flip a client from a competitor, convince a valued colleague to re-think about why they want to leave the company, or even prove to the boss why you and your team really, really need that new coffee machine, showing you have influence in your position will keep you on your manager’s radar as someone who has the authority and control to rise up the ranks.

3. Be trustworthy. Don’t engage in office gossip

You need to know the rumblings of what’s going on in your office, particularly if you are a manager, but engaging in office gossip and getting sucked into it is a big no-no. Your boss wants to see that he or she can trust you to remain loyal to them and to the business.

4. Continually learn new skills

Proving you have the ability to adapt and learn new things is essential to remaining vital in your organisation and industry as a whole.

Managers and HR departments are increasingly focused on being able to up-skill certain employees, and if you are able to do this on your own time – like learn a new language to help your company in a new market, or staying on top of new technology and other tech trends – you will be seen as a very valuable resource.

5. Hone at least one skill you are great at

While being great at many things is a definite advantage, focusing on and sharpening up one key skill will also keep you in the forefront of your  boss’s mind. Particularly if you’re the only person in your department who can be relied upon for that expertise.

6. Become known for being happy and professional

It may sound obvious, but ensuring you have a good attitude at work and remaining happy to be there is so important to your boss. Everyone likes working with people who are happy to be doing their jobs, and it’s somuch easier to get rid of the grumpy, negative people.

7. Build relationships with key people

If you are the only person an important client or customer wants to deal with in your organisation, then you are well on your way to becoming indispensable.

8. Become efficient and accurate in your work

In my experience, I have found most people are one or the other. Either they’re able to get the job done quickly, but it often needs someone else’s eyes run over it to ensure there are no mistakes, or they are constantly missing deadlines but producing excellent, accurate work.

If you can work fast and produce top quality work at the same time, your boss will be hard-pressed to ever get rid of you.

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Rebecca Lewis
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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