There are great employees, and then there are those who are simply irreplaceable. These are the people a manager could never consider letting go, even if the economy tanked and the company had to do widespread layoffs.
Becoming an irreplaceable employee is the holy grail of the corporate world, so today, I’m going to share the top three actions you need to be taking consistently to reach that status.
Be the one person who knows how to do everyone else’s job.If you’re an amazing employee and have been with the same company for a year or more, it’s likely that this has naturally started to happen. You started in a certain role, and now you’ve probably gotten promoted, but you still know how to do your old job, of course.Be proactive about learning roles you might not be familiar with by simply staying curious. Have lunch with your peers and make a concerted effort to get inside their heads.When you can do everyone’s job – or at least the key components – you instantly become irreplaceable because you can fill in the gaps when an employee is sick, resigns unexpectedly, or simply isn’t pulling their weight.
Maintain a CEO mentality.One of the easiest ways to slip into the mediocre zone is by failing to see the big picture and the details. A CEO is always thinking about what’s best for the company as a whole, and for the organization’s bottom line.Practice stepping into the boss’s shoes by imagining you’re them. Ask yourself on a daily basis, “What would the CEO do?”Whenever you’re given an opportunity, ask your boss questions to help you understand their motives better.Here are a few starter questions…What is most important to you right now?What is your biggest goal for this fiscal year?What is one weak spot you see right now?By keeping the big picture in mind while also paying attention to the daily details of your job, you’ll quickly become irreplaceable – and are much more likely to get a promotion and/or a raise.
Don’t ignore “soft” skills.You might think you need to take another Excel course and become a better writer to reach irreplaceable status, but the truth is that your soft skills – aka social skills – are just as important, or more important. Soft skills are one of the most common reasons many professionals will never make it to the Director level or above in their career.Excel and writing can be taught systematically, but social skills and communication are much more nuanced and therefore harder to teach.You can become irreplaceable by making an effort to connect with your peers on a daily basis. It’s also great to do personal growth work to learn more about your personality type and how you interact with others.If you simply come to work and put your head down and do your job, you’ll never be irreplaceable. The employees who are the most valuable are those who have taken the time to bond with their team members and develop their communication skills – both crucial for the success of any company.
Do you consider yourself irreplaceable? Have you ever been told that you are?If not, which one of these steps will you take this week?
Share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we can’t wait to hear from you.