Don't Forget, You're Replaceable!
I feel rather harsh saying that and using the term “replaceable”, but it's a little bit of tough love that might do you well. Although you surely have your unique traits and outstanding skills that set you apart from the rest, most of us are replaceable in the workplace. Often times, the people who can replace us are younger, even more tech savvy, and may even work for a lesser salary. So, what can we do about it? Well, for starters, we can tread carefully! We can also follow these stellar tips below on how to be a great employee.
1. Work hard!
No, but really. Work. Hard. You have a job, and when you appear to be leisurely just watching the time pass at work, people notice. There is undoubtedly work for you to do, and part of being a great employee is having the work ethic that enables you to meet and beat deadlines. If you're not willing to work, then trust me, someone else will be.
2. Get to know your boss!
I'm not talking about becoming friends, unless you do, and then that's great. I'm talking about taking the time to understand what your boss needs. How does your boss prefer things are done? Maybe your boss really appreciates emails or text updates, or perhaps they prefer you pop into their office once a week and give them the low-down on project progress. Learn what your boss expects from you, and figure out how to best deliver that. When you make their life easier, they will make your life easier. It's all about give and take!
3. Be a solution, not a problem!Inevitably you will encounter problems at work. We all do. The difference between a great employee and a not-so-great employee is how they handle challenges. Nobody wants an employee who brings issues, problems, and concerns to the table, without any suggestions for a solution. Your job involves being proactive and finding solutions to problems that affect your work and productivity. This being said, sometimes problems are outside of our control. You can still be proactive without being able to solve a problem. For example, if you are having issues with a specific department at work, you can first try to work with the department and work through any communication issues you have. If that doesn't work, you can then go to your boss and explain the steps you have already taken to try and rectify the situation at hand. Everyone loves a problem-solver.
4. Keep your word!
We realize you aren't married to your boss, but trust that your word means a lot. If you say you're going to do something, do it. If you have a deadline, meet it. If your boss has asked you to do something, do it. Everyone wants an employee they can count on. Accountability is one of the greatest assets you can bring to a company. Of course there will be times where you may need an extension or things don't turn out exactly as you planned, but if you communicate well and remain honest and upfront, that should not be a problem. Keep your word, and you're more likely to keep your job!