Although the specific job skills that are crucial to running a successful company may vary from one field to another, indispensable employees share qualities that transcend business type. If you are looking to hire employees who will boost your company, or if you want to be someone who is highly in demand as an employee, keep reading.
The indispensable employee is a hard worker, of course, but she is far more than that. She has that quality that some describe as a fire in the belly, or a determination to succeed. While this quality can be toxic in the workplace when it is self-centered, ambition on behalf of the larger group and a desire to see the company succeed is a priceless ingredient in an employee. This often manifests as a desire on the employee's part to improve her knowledge and skills. The indispensable employee is always seeking to learn more, to get more training and to find ways to use that training on the job.
The indispensable employee is smart. Plenty of employees are aware of problems in the workplace, but all too often, their response is simply to whine a bit about how nothing can be done. The smart employee, in contrast, sees problems on the job and digs a little deeper. She is honest about how to approach difficult situations and works hard to figure out ways to solve workplace problems. Often, she comes up with solutions others would not have thought of. Because of her first indispensable quality of determination, her solutions are always aimed at improving the workplace rather than self-promotion or the destruction of others on the team.
The indispensable employee fits in to the company culture and works well with everyone there. She treats her coworkers well, finding a sense of empathy for them as people. Rather than keeping her connections and inside knowledge close to the vest, she is willing to share her network, her knowledge and her skills for the purpose of meeting the company's goals. This is someone who is always willing to train the new person and who is generous in helping coworkers who are caught in a bind. She does not hog credit for her great ideas because her sense of teamwork combines with her other indispensable qualities of intelligence and determination to have a "one for all, all for one" attitude that makes everyone around her look good.
Some workers fear becoming indispensable because they see it as a trap: If no one else can do their job, they will never get promoted. The good news is that the qualities of an indispensable employee are highly transferable from one company and field to another. Show your determination, smarts and teamwork in play, and watch to see how valuable you become not only in your own workplace but to recruiters as well.
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