How To Excel At Work: Tools and Tips to Become Irreplaceable

Thara Nair

Here are 6 tips to help you excel at work and become irreplaceable.

Joining any workplace is a scary and alien experience. Will my boss like me? Will I hate my job? Can I handle the pressure? There can be so many things to worry about. Knowing this, it's no wonder people jump from job to job. In fact, it is said people change jobs at least 12 times in their career. Interestingly, a millennial survey by Deloitte states millennials are the most likely to switch jobs frequently. But, this doesn't come voluntarily. Several studies show people are forced to look for new jobs due to issues such as poor performance or misalignment between values. With this in mind it got us wondering, how do you become irreplaceable and excel at work?

What do bosses think?

"People who are genuinely enjoying their job and who are inspired to continue to be better every day. These are the people who actively help others grow, they share their learnings (including their mistakes), and they are incredibly dependable. These people, while they use the word “we” rather than “I”, they themselves still stand out as individuals." - Becci Reid, Founder at Notiv

Putting it into practice

1. Be a half-full kinda person


Every office has one. That one employee who is constantly happy and positive (even if they're crying on the inside). Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny that their positivity is contagious. That's what every company needs. Entrepreneurship is difficult because of its up and down nature. In times of stress, that positive attitude can help motivate and inspire teams to persevere. Leaders also tend to trust these types of people with tasks because they appear confident in their abilities. These are the individuals that truly excel at work.

But how do you do this? It's not as easy as flipping a switch. Luckily, there are some practices that you can adopt to 'fake it till you make it'. These include avoiding the blame game, providing support to others, taking an interest in your colleagues and being grateful for and respecting your team. After all, you're all there for a reason.

2. Commit yourself


Deadlines can be tough, especially when it comes to choosing between quitting time and overtime. However, the willingness to go above and beyond shows your boss that you're passionate about what you're doing. Do the due diligence so that you too can rest easy, knowing that you've done your best. Dedicate yourself to high standards, but don't compare yourself to others. This also involves knowing what you can and cannot do. It can be easy to say "yes" to everything, but over committing yourself is the best way to fall short.

3. "There's always gonna be another mountain, you're always gonna wanna make it move"


While the process is important, in the end, we all want results. Chase those results by bringing new ideas to the table. Everyone experiences road blocks, even if it's just writer's block. But before you admit defeat or run to your boss, look at what you can do to unblock yourself. Come up with potential solutions and then see if your boss can help you achieve them.

4. Diversify


While you don't want to over commit yourself or overstep boundaries, it's always a good idea to try to be involved in a variety of things at work. Instead, try offering your colleagues help or expertise. It will not only help you build strong relationships outside of your immediate team, but it'll give you exposure. These opportunities to network are especially crucial if you work in a large organization. Most of us are skilled, but it's only the ones who showcase their skills who get noticed. Just don't volunteer for something that you can't do, and if you suddenly realize that you can't handle your tasks, bow out early.

5. Sharing is caring, but also learning


As the workforce changes, employers also look for different things in their employees. Lifelong learning is important for your career and mental health. The good thing is that everyone has something to learn and something to impart. That's the true mark of teamwork. Take the time to talk to your colleagues, bosses and even trainees. You never know what experiences and knowledge someone might have until you start to share.

6. Aim to make other lives easier


Let's go back to the basics. Why would your employer keep you around? Probably because you make their lives better, or easier. Surveys have shown that top performers understand their leadership's shifting priorities and adapt to help drive the end goals. Of course, this means that employers will need to communicate these end goals, but building trust and credibility is a good place for an employee to start. While you should always stand up for your rights, it's important to nix bad habits like, shifting blame, becoming overly emotional, being apathetic or embracing the solitary lone-wolf life.

No matter what your role is, everyone can strive to excel at work and become irreplaceable to their company, colleagues and their clients. Be invaluable to anyone who spends time with you, because you're giving up just as much of your time. An invaluable boss can make a world of difference in an employee's work life and considering that we spend most of our time at work, you could even change lives.‍

Need extra resources to help you excel at work? Check out these hacks to be more productive at work!

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