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The Secret to Becoming Indispensable

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You will be changing jobs, maybe companies or just careers. But which ever field you go, it requires you to make a conscious choice of being indispensable. With increased turnover and less time to prove yourself to higher-ups, how can you make yourself indispensable? That’s one of the topics I’ll be discussing in this presentation. For more such presentation, follow the link - https://vimeo.com/maureeneoconnell

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The Secret to Becoming Indispensable

  1. 1.  Have you ever been passed over for a position you really wanted?  Have you been overlooked when it came to a project you desperately wanted to be involved in?  Wouldn’t you like to become the one who the powers-that-be of your company simply cannot do without?
  2. 2. How to do it?  The simplest way to become indispensable is by increasing your strengths.  Today this term has different connotations: it’s not about just doing what you already know better, but also about cross-training. For instance, an experienced marathon runner may not significantly increase his running speed by doing mundane stretching exercises or running over long distances. Rather, what could help him achieve this goal, is swimming or bicycling.
  3. 3. What to do?  Dabble in complementary skills to make yourself more well-rounded.  Learn more about relative fields and fields interdependent with yours. Gain more knowledge about them. Having in-depth knowledge of only your field is not enough.  If you are result-oriented, then consider building relationships. If you think your integrity is being taken for granted, consider developing assertiveness, it is a great mode of communication. The result will be dramatic.
  4. 4. The BIG Question This question might probably be in your head: How to increase your strengths? Let us look at it step-by-step.
  5. 5. 1) Know Your Strengths  This process starts with identifying what your current strengths are.  Take some time to introspect and make a list of your strengths as succinctly as possible, preferably in simple bullets should help to start.  You could request your immediate bosses and subordinates for specific feedback. Use a qualitative and quantitative questionnaire; the former enables them to point out your strengths and weaknesses, while the latter lets them rank these on a scale.
  6. 6. Don’t try to be a fix-it-all  The secret to being indispensable is not being a jack of all trades but master of a few crucial ones – those that overshadow any weaknesses you may have.  A single outstanding strength could make you an obvious choice when compared to competitors who are good at a variety of tasks but exceptional at none. They are replaceable; you won’t be!
  7. 7. 2) Choose Your Focus Once you have decided that you will master a couple of strengths, the question arises as to which 2 should you choose amongst say, 10 great ones? The answer lies hidden in your responses to these 2 questions: 1. Which do you feel most passionate about? 2. Which is important to your business?
  8. 8. Both questions are equally important.  If your selected focus doesn’t contribute to the growth of your business, it becomes a pursuit of leisure and is of no use to you professionally.  If it is of immense use to the company but doesn’t spark any interest in you, it will turn into a frustrating and energy-depleting chore.  One way to arrive at a convergence is by listing your top 5 desired competencies and your organization’s top 5 priorities. The 1 or 2 that match should become your focus.
  9. 9. 3) Develop Your Complementary Skill  Once you have a complementary skill to focus on, make an action plan to develop it.  For instance, if you want to develop technical proficiency in IT, you must consider undergoing formal training, meet technical experts and read manuals and publications related to the product.
  10. 10. Conclusion  Improvement can be seen if it is done right within the first two months.  Ensure that you are progressing a little more every month.  Your newly gained skills will eventually shine through of their own accord and enhance your existing strengths and you will be well on your way to becoming indispensable!
  11. 11. Maureen O'Connell Maureen O’Connell is Executive VP, CFO and CAO for Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL). Finance and Accounting are her forte. She also excels at Administrative Function such as Strategic Planning & Business Development, Global Operations & IT and Human Resources.