What makes someone a great employee? It’s not that complicated and really comes down to the answer to a simple question – If you left your job today, how much would your employer really miss you?
I know what you’re thinking: Of course they would miss me – I’m great.
You may be great, and your personality or presence might be missed, but are you truly irreplaceable?
If I could give job seekers one piece of advice as they start out in their careers, it’s to aim at being an employee who is genuinely valuable, who is indispensable to their colleagues and employers. How do you do this?
4 steps to becoming an irreplaceable employee:
1. Work for the job you want, not just the one you have: Everyone has to start somewhere, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are destined to stay where you are. If you want a better career then act like it – demonstrate it in the way you dress, your attitude and how you present yourself. It may be a cliché but the idea of ‘dressing for the job you want’ is one that will never go out of style and the same goes for your entire work persona. From your body language to small talk with coworkers, you’re making an impression, so make it a good one. They say ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’. That’s true, but I’d go one step further and suggest that every impression makes a difference so choose wisely.
2. Be willing to learn: Admitting you don’t know something is hard, but it’s the best way to grow as a person and in your career. Nobody can have all of the answers. The most successful people I know are the ones that have never stopped learning. You never know what skills will be helpful down the road in your career, so take advantage of work mentors and moments of on-the-job learning when you can. Believe me, your future-self will thank you for it.
3. Be positive: No one wants to work with someone who is a complainer or has a negative attitude. Do you know someone like that? Even if you’re not at your dream job, putting forth a positive attitude can have a great affect on your work environment – not just for you, but also for your coworkers. Leadership will notice the difference between people who have a positive impact on the workplace and ones that makes the company a more negative environment.
4. Be the best you can be: Whether you’re working at the front desk at the office, driving a forklift or working construction, put forth your best effort. It doesn’t matter what level of responsibility or skill set your job requires, be the best you can possibly be. A little extra effort goes a long way. Hard work speaks for itself and the extra diligence you demonstrate now is an investment in your future career.
Striving to do these things will make you a true asset to your team. What do you think makes someone irreplaceable? Tell us in the comments.