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in·dis·pen·sa·ble [ˌindəˈspensəb(ə)l]

Definition: Absolutely necessary, essential, or requisite:

Being indispensable at work means that your supervisors count on you so much that without you, the productivity of your department might suffer, or at least that’s the perception. Please do not mistake indispensable for irreplaceable! As they say, everyone can be replaced (even Beyonce sang about it!)

But to be indispensable means that you are so good and efficient at your job, that your boss and co-workers don’t want to imagine replacing you.

Why should you strive to be indispensable? Well…

  1. It really is a good feeling to have. Being indispensable means you give that task your best shot and sit back to marvel at the contribution to something greater than yourself. This boosts your morale at your work place.
  2. Being indispensable also puts you in a good position when it comes to job security. Sure things may go south and the company may have to lay off some people in order to down size but you will probably be the very last to go- if you do! Since you are very valuable to your company.
  3. Let’s not forget about that promotion or a raise. Being indispensable puts you in a somewhat powerful position as an employee since your good work shows and can be rewarded in a raise or a promotion! Put it like this, all you have to do is show your boss your numbers and achievements instead of long stories about why you deserve a raise.

So then HOW can we be indispensable?

 Be a DOER.

Apply yourself to doing something the company really needs. Something of importance. Be the first to realize and act on this and establish yourself as a resource to your employer.

Identify your unique skill.

What is that one thing everyone at your office knows only you can do? Is it pitching proposals to client in a way no one else can? Is it establishing very good relations with clients on behalf of the company? Do you have crisis management skills that you are always called upon to cool down an angry client and still retain them even after damage is done? Identify that skill and constantly act on them so that in time the company always turns to you and only you when it needs the help.

Go the extra mile.

I don’t mean sucking up to the bosses here and kissing their tush. I mean, if you’ve got a bit more time and energy, then give it. Many of us just do what our job descriptions say instead of also diving deeper and even exploring other skills we may have and strengthening them in order to be versatile at the office. You could be the office administrator but have great ideas you can share with the creative department. Why not do it? Before long, they will think you are one of them and constantly ask you for your advice. Before you know it, someone else will be brought in to take your place and you will be promoted to the creative department!

In a way, working on yourself to become indispensable helps you grow and discover your strengths and also benefits the company you work in by making it successful. Therefore it’s a win-win situation!

The opportunities for us to become indispensable are all around us. We just need to look, and act.

Now, go out there and be indispensable.

Love. Live. Learn.

Mwalimu Rachel.

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Comments (3)

  1. So True Rae,i feel that what most employees fail to realize is the unique prowess that we all posses,if we discover that one thing & always perfect it at the work place then no one would ever want to dispose us.

    Great piece,I never even knew that you write as well as you speak 😉