There are hundreds of thousands of resources out there on how to better at your job and improve your career. A lot of employees wonder what the most successful employees out there do to stand out—the ones who get promotions, raises, and opportunities seemingly handed to them. Well, these are a few things the most successful and indispensable employees do differently. Prepare for amazing things at your current job. Here is how to be an indispensable employee.
1. They develop their skills that can improve how they work. Most people try to be awesome at the skills in the job descriptions, but the most successful employees also focus on what they’ll need to know to succeed and be better at what they do. Not sure what skills you should be developing? Start asking questions, attending conferences and courses, and always working to improve your skill set and learn something new online.
2. They speak up in meetings. Intimidated by the higher-ups in that meeting room. If you don’t know much about what’s going on, it’s easy to sit tight and listen. But the people who get ahead don’t wait for permission or an invitation to speak—they make sure everyone in the room knows they have something significant to contribute. You don’t have a suggestion? Speaking up to advocate for a co-worker’s point of view also counts.
3. Don’t panic when they’re caught in the elevator with a CEO. Instead, they make the most of the opportunity. Chances are, you have not had a conversation with your top chief before. You can start off a conversation by asking how their day is going, comment about a speech he or she made some time ago or admire the bold steps the company is taking to grow the company.
4. They look for leadership opportunities. Whether it’s offering to lead a project team, volunteering to mentor a junior employee, or taking it upon themselves to train the new interns, people who want to (and do!) get promoted don’t wait for leadership opportunities to come from them—they look around, see where a leader is needed, and jump in.
5. They give people their full attention. Listening is one of the top skills employers seek in potential and current employees, and it’s correlated with perceived ability to lead. Giving people undivided attention, helping them feel motivated and energized, and showing them that you care about their thoughts and opinions is more powerful than you know.
6. Show up on time. Not just because it’s the nice thing to do, but because it ensures they get a better seat at the meeting, not one that’s crammed in the back of the room.
7. They think like managers, not employees. Employees wait to be told what to do—managers think strategically about what needs to be done, and then they do it. Employees do their own job well—managers are committed to the team doing well—so they mentor other employees, pitch in when they’re needed, and go that extra mile if it means the works going to be done better.
8. Focus on results, not just activities. Just like you would on a resume, don’t just talk about the to-dos you’ve knocked off your list—talk about the quantitative results of your work. Think: “In last week’s vendor meeting, I was able to negotiate a 5% discount, which will save us $50,000 next year,” versus, “Last week’s vendor meeting went great!”
9. They solve problems. Anyone can drop a complaint into the suggestion box, but the marker of a truly great employee is coming up with solutions to those problems. Becoming a problem solver shows that you care—not only about your own career, but about the long-term health of the business as well.
10. They know how to pitch ideas (the right way). Smart people are full of ideas—but brilliant employees also have the ability to sell those ideas to everyone else, sharing not only why the idea is a great one, but how it will impact the team and business.
11. They always know what they need to work on. Do you know exactly where you need to grow, your boss’ goals for your future, the timing of your next review, the timing of promotions and raises at your company, and who besides your boss you should be impressing?
12. They don’t stop reaching higher. While a promotion is something to (seriously) celebrate, successful employees don’t see it as the end goal. They see it as just one step on a path to a long, fulfilling career.
Originally shared on themuse