Career Advice

6 Ways to Become Invaluable at Work

We all have those colleagues, who no matter the circumstances, consistently see growth, receive opportunities at a faster rate than others and hold a permanent spot in their boss’s good graces. Love them or hate them, their ability to thrive in almost every situation makes them invaluable to those around them.

While it may look like their achievements are effortless, there are obvious lessons to be learned from their success. Let’s examine six behaviors they often demonstrate in the workplace.

1. Contagious Positivity and Attitude

A top performer on any team will set the tone for the rest of the pack with their “go-getter” attitude and contagious positivity. In the face of adversity, they are able to move forward and influence their team to follow suit. They seek out feedback and receive constructive criticism without it leaving a sour taste in their mouth. They have an even temperament, and never allow themselves to get too high, or sink too low. Their resilience allows their leaders to trust their ability to handle anything thrown their way.

Some behaviors to put into practice and increase your positive impact include avoiding blame, providing support, showing interest in your colleagues and treating your teammates with gratitude and respect. These practices alone can increase your performance!

2. Commitment to Their Roles

Committing to deadlines and a willingness to work above and beyond are sure-fire ways to land in your boss’ good books. Too often, people expect to find shortcuts to results without putting in the needed legwork.

Invaluable employees put the same integrity and devotion for the parts of the work they don’t like as the ones that they do. They earn the respect of leaders by demonstrating their diligence in everything they do and their willingness to go the extra mile.

3. Focus on Results and Ideas

When faced with a challenge, our immediate reaction can be to run to the person with answers rather than challenging ourselves to find solutions on our own. Your bosses are there to support you, but they won’t appreciate solving all your problems before you’ve tried to solve them for yourself.

When experiencing roadblocks, top performers only go to their bosses once they’ve tried out a few solutions. Rather than asking for answers, they ask their boss for perspective or seek guidance on solutions they’ve been working through. They drive results by asking meaningful questions and are not afraid to bring new ideas to the table.

4. Their Hands Are in Many Pots

Invaluable team members are often involved with many initiatives, as people are constantly looking to them as a go-to person.

Achieving this can be tricky as you don’t want to forcefully insert yourself into other people’s work. However, by offering support and expertise to your colleagues and building strong relationships with people outside of your team, you increase your chances of being considered for new projects and experiences. Building strong relationships is a huge part of succeeding in a large organization, as your network in a company can be almost as valuable as your skill set or ability to execute on tasks.

5. Adopting a Learning and Sharing Mentality

Adopting a lifelong learning attitude is another way to always elevate your team and your leaders, as this demonstrates your agility and openness to change. Top players will show that they are able to share their knowledge rather than horde information… a sign of a true team-player!

A great way to do this at work is to share articles, best practices or industry insights with your colleagues and leaders. Take the time to learn what your team is doing, and make sure to share any tools, programs or information that may benefit their workflow.

6. Make Your Boss’s Job Easier

The best way to become invaluable is to always make sure you are making your boss’s job and life easier. By taking the time to understand their pressures, you can work towards alleviating some of their stress. Top performers will understand their supervisor’s shifting priorities, and act in a way that always helps drive the end goals.

Conversely, there are some sure-fire ways to erode any trust or credibility you’ve built with your boss. Some of these behaviors include blaming others for problems, working in silos rather than partnering with your team, letting your emotion rule at work, being unresponsive with your stakeholders and getting too complacent in your role.

By taking all these points into consideration and removing your ego from the picture, you’ll show your boss that you really understand and align with the mission of your organization. If you want to be considered as invaluable, remember that talk is cheap, but results will always speak for themselves!

Stacy Pollack is a Learning Specialist with an MA in educational technology. She is passionate about building leadership programs that engage and contribute to the success of her organization. She loves to share her perspective on job hunting, career building, and networking for success. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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