With unemployment rates at record lows, job security is a welcome reality for many employees. While employers may struggle now to fill open positions with competent workers, that won’t always be the case. History shows that markets will fluctuate and leaner times will come. Regardless of current employment trends, there is never a better time than the present to demonstrate how valuable your knowledge and skills are in the workplace. Establishing yourself as an invaluable resource to the organization will provide you with job security for the future and open doors for opportunities and promotions.
We all have worked with someone who always seemed to be one step ahead of the game. They came in early and often left late. Their work was exceptional, and they never seemed to be caught off guard when asked for a status report. Everyone on the team knew them, and everyone knew they could count on them, including your boss. These people stand out, even in a large corporate setting, because they work differently than many others. By adopting the same traits and behaviors these valuable employees possess can help you stand out as an asset to your employer as well.
1. Do More
At its root, employment is a simple contract between you and your employer. They promise to compensate you for your time and efforts in performing certain duties. While failing to hold up your end of the bargain will likely cost you your job, simply doing what you are asked will only earn you the compensation promised. If you want your employer to see you as an invaluable part of the team, you need to do more.
Rather than simply meeting expectations, do your best work, even if that requires working longer hours or going beyond the project’s scope. Show you are motivated to solve problems and help the company succeed by taking the initiative to fix problems or streamline processes to save time and money in the long run without expecting anything in return.
2. Continue Learning
The more you know, the more you can contribute to projects and conversations. Being content with the knowledge that got you the job will eventually cause your value to decrease as technology and innovation make your skills outdated. Keep current on new developments in your industry by reading, attending conferences, networking with others, and researching topics on your own. Strive to become an expert in your field so that others will turn to you for your unique insights and expertise.
Look for opportunities to learn new skills that would help you do your job better or learn how your work integrates with other departments in the office. Knowing how the puzzle pieces fit can help you improve the workflow and project outcomes.
3. Embrace Feedback
Constructive criticism. For many, just hearing the words is enough to put them on edge. However, positive and negative feedback is a vital part of learning. Listening to what others think of our work and acting on what we hear can help us improve and grow in our roles.
Likewise, when you make a mistake, own it. We all make mistakes, and they are great opportunities to learn how to do things better the next time. Most mistakes are minor, and the consequences are few unless you try to hide them, ignore them, or blame them on the shortcomings of others. Your employer will appreciate your willingness to take responsibility for the mistakes you make and for the solutions to those problems.
4. Be a Contributor
Your employer hired you because they wanted your opinions and perspectives on projects. Speaking up and voicing your opinions, especially when they differ from those of your coworkers, can bring a fresh perspective to the conversation. Remaining silent because you don’t want to disagree can cause the team to overlook critical components of a project. Presenting your view properly can help others see the problem in a new light without becoming defensive.
5. Provide Help to Others
Climbing the corporate ladder may be your goal, but that does not mean climbing over your coworkers in the process. Let your hard work, talents, and accomplishments speak for themselves. You will stand out in the workplace for your valuable contributions, work ethic, and unique perspectives. Taking the time to assist others and treating them with respect will build you a network of staunch supporters who will work with you to be successful.
Seasoned business owners know the value of a great employee and are often willing to go to great lengths to keep them in their organizations. Increasing compensation and offering promotions are just two options to improve organizational talent retention. A Salt Lake City recruiting firm with experience hiring top talent is an invaluable resource for filling open positions. However, a knowledgeable employee who knows the company well is hard to replace. Demonstrating your value to your team and the company can set you apart and make you an essential resource your boss won’t want to lose.