Be more valuable at work
Being valuable at work is a great goal to work towards for everybody. For one, being valued at work gives your work meaning and a sense of achievement. In addition, being a valued worker also means greater chances of that coveted promotion and climb up the corporate ladder. You become more important to the organisation that you are in. Your chances of being laid off or let go is drastically reduced.
The question is then, how do you become more valuable at work?
Start by being liked by your boss. Here are some strategies you can use:
Do great work, be indispensable
- This is the most obvious and straightforward strategy. Great work is its own reward. Employees that consistently produce great work are rightfully perceived as capable, dependable and effective. These 3 traits make you a valuable asset at work.
At the same time, great work should be accompanied with visibility. If you can, undertake projects that have high visibility and acquire skillsets that make you stand out from your peers.
- Do not limit yourself to your job description; there will be times whereby you will be asked to do things not directly related to your usual responsibilities. Take up the challenge anyway, and strive to do well. Any opportunities that allow you to stretch yourself and learn is a good thing!
- Be consistent in your delivery of good work. There is no point doing well for a certain set of tasks, then doing badly for the rest of your work. While it may not be possible to accomplish every single project/assignment with perfection, at least deliver a constant stream of decent, useful work. This ties in with a principle by top entrepreneur and life coach Tony Robbins: Raise your standards.
- Another great thing to do is to communicate regularly with your boss, to understand what is important to him/her. Following which, do your best to help your boss achieve his/her business goals.
- Be a team player. More often than not, your job would require you to work and/or interact with other colleagues. Disputes and misunderstandings caused by poor team players give bosses an extra headache. Be a team player instead!
- Following the above points would make you a consistently great, competent worker who is an asset to your organisation, team and boss. Let yourself be a joy to manage!
Do your job, and do it well. Keep to your commitments
- While being a great worker and being indispensable is the ideal we should strive to achieve, many employees do not fulfill the basics of their job responsibilities. Your boss should not have to focus on getting you to accomplish your basic daily tasks. Make sure that you are at least delivering on all aspects of your job responsibilities.
- Keep to your commitments and deadlines. For example, if you tell your boss that your assignment will be completed by Tuesday evening, make sure it is completed by Tuesday evening. Otherwise, be prepared to respectfully take the criticism and negative feedback that your boss might give. Of course, if a project/task requires more time to complete, bring the matter up to your boss a polite and assertive manner.
Take initiative and welcome challenges
- Accept challenges that come by at work, even if it is something you are not used to doing. This is especially true if it is a high-visibility or high-impact project. But even if it isn’t, do it anyway! Essentially, step up to the plate whenever possible.
- Take the initiative. This could mean volunteering to take on projects This also means not waiting around to be assigned duties in a project or assignment; instead, voice your opinions and share solutions, and take charge if absolutely necessary.
- This also means being proactive in investing in yourself. Go for training, classes, seminars and events that will enhance your knowledge and skills for your job.
- All of these will help you develop into a valued member of the organisation that your boss will enjoy working with. Besides, if you do good work, you make him/her look good!
Communicate regularly, effectively and clearly
- Practicing clear and effective communication will do wonders for your work performance. It helps colleagues and your boss understand you better and avoid any misunderstandings that could arise. Share your perspective on things – no one will know what you are thinking unless you voice your thoughts out loud.
- With your boss, regular communication ensures that the both of you are on the same page. Try to find a communication method that matches your boss’ style. Some bosses prefer text messaging, some prefer email, while others prefer face-to-face communication. Find out what works best, and stick to it.
- Once you got that down, make sure that you keep your boss updated and in the loop on any work related issues. This helps your boss understand where you are in terms of an assignment and/or project. This becomes especially true when big changes to your work occur, like a deadline that needs to be changed.
Solve problems and seek help if it really cannot be solved
- Employees with great problem-solving skills are a great plus point to any boss. Problems and issues are part and parcel of working life – so take some initiative and solve problems whenever you can.
- Lamenting about an issue will do nothing to solve it. Instead, try to come up with solutions rather than just highlighting the problem. Attempt to fix the issue yourself, or, if necessary, bring up the problem at a meeting or directly with your boss. Do this only after you have come up with some potential solutions to propose.
- That being said, there might be some problems that you cannot solve no matter what. In this case, never be afraid to seek advice and help from a colleague or even the boss himself. It is better to solve the problem and do the job right with help than to screw it all up without any aid. Don’t be afraid to look stupid!
- Moral of the story: be a proactive problem-solver – and don’t let the boss fix your problems for you!
- That being said, if you do make a mistake (don’t we all), apologise sincerely and make sure you improve from there onwards.
Seek advice and feedback, be grateful
- Psychologist Robert Cialdini told Business Insider that seeking advice from your boss creates a partnership between the both of you, putting them in a more collaborative state of mind. They then become more supportive of your idea, even before they experience it.
- Seeking feedback on your work is also incredibly useful. It gives you a clearer idea of your work performance and progress. This can also be tied together with the above point: ask your boss for advice on how you can improve and do better.
- After doing all these, express sincere gratitude for your boss’s feedback and advice. A boss who receives gratitude and appreciation can feel warmer towards you.
Get to know your boss personally
- Your bosses are human too, with families, hobbies and interests. While your relationship with your boss may be solely a professional one, there is no harm in getting to know your boss on a personal basis and taking interest in his/her hobbies. This increases your likability to the boss.
- Who knows, the two of you might share a common interest! (e.g. golf, jazz music) Use this to build essential rapport.
Support your boss, make his/her life easier, be loyal
- Make the life of your boss easier. Support and assist your boss in his professional goals by consistently doing great work. You can do this by taking the effort to understand your boss’s priorities and goals. Use this knowledge to anticipate any thing your boss might need assistance with, then proactively offer to help your boss with that.
- For instance, there is a big industry event coming up in which your boss is attending. Offer your assistance and ask your boss if there are any preparations you can assist with. The goal is to ensure that your boss has an easier time at work with your support.
- Be dedicated and honest at work. Keep the trust between strong by being loyal and trustworthy. The conversations your boss has with you should stay between the both of you.