Oftentimes, change is dictated by adversity. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to change our behaviors in our professional lives as well as our personal lives. While disruptive, there are also opportunities. As both how and where we work has changed, considering how you can add value in new ways can help you become indispensable at work.
The desire to be proactive and go above and beyond has always been a way to stand out at the office. One of the best ways to do this is by following through. Working remotely, especially at home, includes more distractions and can make it harder to always do everything you had planned to do. Continually following through in these uncertain times can help you stand out in leadership’s eyes.
Paying attention to and understanding how communication styles is also a way to become indispensable. As you realize how different leaders communicate, you can better communicate with them. “Is your boss someone who emails only once a day, but calls no fewer than 10 times before noon? Or one who is silent for a week, but every Friday is in your office at 9 a.m. sharp asking for updates, status reports, and new client leads?” By being in an open and proactive mindset, you can better meet the unspoken expectations.
The pandemic has changed companies for the foreseeable future. This means revenue streams may have changed, the industry as a whole may be shifting, or a renewed focus on innovation could be impacting the company. Keeping an eye on the trends can help you reposition your role to help support the changes. Showing lateral thinking and adaptability can keep you top of mind with leadership and demonstrate how you can help the business during a period of uncertainty.
Another way to grow your influence at work and show leadership, is to support others. This builds trust with your peers and if you are a manager, with your employees. Managers who actively support their employees and help them achieve the next level of success are seen by leadership as indispensable for not only their own abilities, but also their ability to bring out the best in others.
Additionally, those who collaborate with their peers and look for solutions that benefit the company, not just their team, are also highly valued. This means sometimes saying no. Being supportive and collaborative doesn’t mean you have to be a “yes-man”. What it means is a willingness to work together openly and honestly. Good leaders are not looking for people who agree with everything they say. They are looking for people who have original ideas and a willingness to work with others to find the best solutions.
Of course, you can’t neglect your current responsibilities. Doing your job well should always be your first priority. If you neglect your job in lieu of finding other ways to become indispensable at work, you’re “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Make sure you are meeting expectations before you start to look for new ways to demonstrate how you can contribute. And if you have examples of how you demonstrated your indispensability at work, let us know.