The economy may be looking up but most of us still squirm at the mention of job security. In this fast- paced, competitive atmosphere, it’s easy to worry ourselves into a mire and forget the simple steps we can take to become more valuable in the workplace. Here are three ways to get you started.
1.) Invest in Yourself
“People often don’t see themselves as someone worth investing in,” laments Sheegog. “The truth is that as an employee, you’re your manager’s investment. Which house would you buy—the one that’s been refurnished and added onto or the one with the caved-in roof?”
Take active steps to improving their quality as their manager’s investment. “Get certifications, training,” advises Sheegog. “Learn a new language. Your company is likely affected by the international community. If you speak Mandarin Chinese or Spanish, you’re a valuable asset.
2.) Work as a Team
If you want to take learning a new language or attaining certifications to the next level, try sharing your experience and knowledge with your co-workers. “We often think of other departments or sections of co-workers as competitors,” says Sheegog. “Competition can inspire but it can also snuff out ideas by those who shy from competition. It’s a better bet to be a resource for other co-workers and to bring divergent groups together than to race alone to the finish line.”
Little ill can come of your manager overhearing that you’ve been helping your co-workers learn Spanish or that you’ve been brainstorming with them for new product ideas. In addition, James F. Turck of The Real Truth advises helping out the boss. “Make sure your boss is never blind-sided. If you have the slightest inkling about something negative on the horizon, make sure your boss knows about it.” Helping him or her save face makes you a trustworthy (read: valuable) employee.
3.) Think of Yourself as a Leader
Not everyone gets as many figures on the paycheck as does the boss, but it’s when we begin to see ourselves as drones that we cease to be valuable employees. Rowhill Consulting Group representative Patrick Sheegog advises asking yourself in every situation, “What would a responsible leader do?”
“We see many people who simply go through the motions and wonder why they’re not getting promoted. If they’re happy with their current positions, that’s fine, but others have simply grown complacent. The first step to becoming a more valuable employee is thinking of yourself as a leader in every situation.”
Rather than waiting to be told to do something, Sheegog advises taking initiative and finding innovative ways of being productive. “Drones blend in, but innovators are easy to spot in a workplace. They possess energy and enthusiasm and they never stop asking themselves and others how they could make things better. So, be sure to leave time for self-reflection, growth, and learning. Leaders never stop learning.”
Submitted by guest blogger Bridget Sandorford: Bio: Aside from school and working part-time as an Assistant Chef, Bridget Sandorford is the resident Culinary Schools blogger where recently she’s been researching culinary career information as well as Spanish culinary colleges. Her passion for food is only met with her passion for writing. She lives outside of Charleston, South Carolina.