In today’s complex economy, finding (and keeping) work is increasingly difficult for even very well qualified employees. It’s not enough to do the bare minimum anymore, because with so many talented people looking for an opportunity, you have to go over and above in order to keep your job and progress up the corporate ladder. In other words, you have to make it extremely difficult for your employer to get rid of you by becoming the most valuable asset that you can be for the organization. So, how do you do that? Well, here are five tips for increasing your value at work that will protect your job, and get you promoted sooner rather than later.
Life is about relationships, and nowhere is that more apparent than the workplace. People hire people, companies don’t hire people. It’s important that you work hard and are a competent employee, of course, but you also need to be likable and fit in with the corporate culture. You will find that if you have a good relationship with the people who you work with (and for), you will be far more likely to get chosen for leadership roles or to be part of groups within the workplace.
One of the things that most people take for granted is how easy it is to surprise someone. As an organization, or as an employee, simply doing a tiny bit more than what is expected will go a LONG way in the overall perception of your performance and increasing your value. For example, let's say you are asked to write a blog post for the company website. If you take an extra half an hour and write a second blog post (it’s really not that hard!) the content manager will have a tremendous perception of you. Even if he isn’t your direct manager, those things have a way of making their way back to your superiors.
Going along with the concept of over-delivering, it’s important to gradually expand your responsibilities whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Perhaps someone leaves the organization, and their role needs to be split up while they search for a replacement. Volunteering to take on some of that additional work will position you as a team player, and may also make you more valuable to the organization, as a better rounded employee.
This is a very important one to increasing your value. Becoming an expert at something that is important to the organization will make you an invaluable resource. Participate in industry events, write articles for third party publications, do whatever you can to position yourself within your company and your industry. It will make your company, and in turn, you, look very good!
Finally, making your boss look good will do a great deal for your career and adding to your professional value. That is not to say that you need to be a constant brown-nose, but through your work and your growing responsibility, make your boss look like he/she is running a strong team, and is accomplishing a great deal for the company. When a promotion or a raise becomes available, your boss is likely to look more favorably on you. Also, when your boss moves up the ranks, he/she will probably bring you up the chain as well!