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5 ways to make yourself invaluable at work

By Todd Pheifer, Contributing writer
Published On: Dec 28 2011 07:09:29 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 18 2013 01:00:00 AM CST
Layoffs, pink slip, fired

iStock / YinYang

In tough economic times, even the most secure employees can be worried about their jobs. After all, large and seemingly successful companies have let go of thousands of quality workers due to an inability to maintain financial momentum.

Is anyone safe? How do people make sure that they are left with a chair when the music stops?

Some people are fairly safe due to the particular type of work that they do or their position within an organization. However, others may need to be a bit more proactive so that they solidify their relative value to the company.

Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to work and some people need to keep working on their marketability even though they have a job. With that in mind, here are a few ways to make yourself invaluable at work.

Job Interview, Business Meeting, Resume

No. 5: Production quality

It may seem like an obvious statement, but people need to do good work if they are going to maintain a solid reputation in the workplace.

Companies like production, and if a person continues to bring in revenue, save costs and display a notable amount of production, it may be hard to get rid of him or her.

When organizations start to look at employee cuts, they try to figure out which employees will be missed the least. If people are working hard and producing, a company may be more hesitant to kick their stars to the curb.

Of course, some jobs are not specific revenue generators and certain individuals may not have the authority to cut costs or produce obvious outcomes for the company. In those cases, the employee may need to pursue some quick self-education and learn some new skills ...

Business presentation

No. 4: Become an 'expert'

Being an "expert" on something can be a great way to maintain some level of job security.

In order to keep a job, people do not necessarily have to know absolutely everything about a particular area. They may simply need to know more than everyone else in the office.

Expertise may apply to company software, policies and procedures, manufacturing logistics and data location. The savvy employee will recognize those areas of expertise that are crucial to company operations, and they will make sure that they are aware of what is going on.

In some cases, people may even want to teach themselves new software programs or other technological solutions so that they can showcase their value to the company.

Of course, a person can also make sure that they keep work flowing their way ...

office workers in business meeting

No. 3: Volunteer for tasks

Certain tasks are undesirable, which is why some people avoid particular types of work.

There are times when a supervisor will ask for volunteers to work on a project or task. Rather than look at the floor, enterprising employees should make sure they volunteers as quickly as possible.

Not only does it provide you with work, but it also has the potential to impress your supervisor. Never underestimate the sentimental attachments employers may have formed with the go-to people in the department when it comes time to make employee cuts or reassign certain staff.

The tasks may be undesirable, but they may be more desirable than looking for a new job.

Granted, work is also about connections so that there is the potential for other opportunities should a need arise ...

business woman smiling with colleagues in background

No. 2: Develop professional relationships

Networking may be an overemphasized principle in certain situations, but there is no denying the power of professional relationships.

If you want to make yourself valuable at work, you should do your best to be a known quantity. This may be accomplished by seeking out work situations that involve other people and various departments. Or it may be as simple as making the rounds every so often in order to connect with people.

This doesn't mean that people should spend their days roaming the halls and chit-chatting instead of working. However, networking may create a situation where the employee is well liked, which can again lead to some level of sentimental attachment if several people are making decisions about staff changes.

Still, the reality is that none of this will work unless the person displays a particular personality ...

Office workers laughing in meeting

No. 1: Have a good attitude

The reality of work is that attitude matters. Some people may respect the skilled person with the strong or difficult personality. However, they will not necessarily enjoy working with him on a daily basis.

People have enough drama in their lives and they do not necessarily want to deal with co-workers who regularly create conflict or tense work situations.

While it may be difficult to manufacture a "nice" personality, that doesn't mean that people shouldn't try.

If a company is trying to decide between two people of equal skills and vocational worth, chances are they are going to make a gut decision based on personality.

Therefore, you should do your best to have a positive attitude so that you can build quality relationships with other people and continue to be perceived as a valuable asset in the organization.

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