Like your job? Working for a good organization? Over age 50 and looking over your shoulder? If the answer is yes, maybe you should consider making yourself identifiable. In truth is no one is truly indispensable, but for career growth by working hard at making yourself indispensable, your career will prosper either with your current employer, or you'll be a top candidate for a job with another organization.
First, assess your strengths, weaknesses and your value to your group. What is your competition? Now develop a plan with both long and short-term strategies to boost your value within the operation and improve your career and other skills.
Following are 10 immediate actions you can take to make you more likely to be promoted or make you irreplaceable in the face of downsizing or reorganizing:
1. Take ownership of your responsibilities. View your department as a separate company. Consider your actions as if you were president of your company. Look at the balance sheet on every decision you make. Will the decision be seen as an asset or liability? Try to always see the bigger picture.
2. Take responsibility for your career and personal advancement. Be proactive. What are others in the same position doing in other organizations? What results are they achieving? What can you learn from then? Do you need additional training? Maybe some self-study is appropriate. How can you initiate those actions within your "company?"
3. Maintain a positive attitude. Look for ways, even under stress, to find the positive in everything. Find options to overcome obstacles and do not entertain the thought the situation is impossible. Stay away from the naysayers.
4. Consider outsourcing non-critical functions. Become an expert in this area. Lean organizations become more efficient by outsourcing. Let your management know you can effectively run things with fewer people.
5. Find tasks to do better or something that is not being done. In many organizations, especially those in a downsizing mode, responsibilities slip between the cracks. Propose to your boss that you pick up the slack. If you need extra training see that you are prepared. Do not be bashful about broadcasting the positive results.
6. Let others know what you're doing. As mentioned in # 5 above, if you or your team achieves something important to the organization let others know. Some managers believe if they keep quiet and blend into the background they'll be overlooked when and if the ax falls. Do not believe it. Be wise in spreading the word. It is not bragging if you've done it.
7. Excel in an area your boss is weak in. Look for opportunities in this area. Your boss is a good speaker but weak on material, there's an opportunity. Your boss is great on ideas but weak on financial analysis, there's an opportunity. If your boss is good on people skills but weak on technology, there's an opportunity. You see the trend, keep you eyes open and this is an area in which you …