5 smart ways to make yourself irreplaceable at work

Assimilating industry nomenclature (not jargon) and navigating the company culture — without getting mired in office politics — will help you gain and retain solid footing in your workplace.

If your boss doesn’t think you’re getting the job done, there are plenty of people who can replace you.

Everyone wants to gain an advantage by making themselves irreplaceable. But how do you become so valuable at work your boss won’t want to lose you?

Here are five tips on how to become that smart person your boss can’t do without:

1. Don’t be a know-it-all.

Even though you may think you’re bright, don’t get a swelled head. People seek out intelligent co-workers, but no one wants to work with a know-it-all — especially if your know-it-all mentality offends the boss.

Be a leader. Demonstrate your knowledge about the inner workings of your company and your position. Offer assistance to your co-workers, but don’t flaunt your abilities or intelligence lest you draw the resentment of everyone in the office.

2. Continue to learn.

Many companies offer education programs to increase employee value and ensure loyalty. If your office offers such classes, enroll immediately. Not only will you strengthen your skill set and stay current in your industry, but your efforts will be noticed and rewarded by your boss.

Don’t be the last to embrace logistical changes in your office; be the first.

3. Be knowledgeable, not smart.

There’s a big difference between being smart and being knowledgeable. Knowing a lot about a particular topic may make you sound like a smarty, but it won’t necessarily help in the workplace. A person who can quote Shakespeare might be considered educated, but not smart and indispensable at their job in a real estate agency.

Learn the inner workings of your office. Be speedy and efficient at your job. Don’t slack off, and focus on the task at hand.

4. Get to know your office peeps.

Know how to interact effectively and positively with your co-workers. Many people lose their jobs because they can’t get along with their workmates. One way to interact effectively is to be sociable, not social. You’re there to work, not to talk about what happened on the latest episode of “Revenge.”

Another way is to avoid office politics. A smart employee is one who can get along with many different personality types. Be patient with others. Focus on yourself, get the job get done right, and help your co-workers succeed.

5. Learn the lingo.

Many careers use terminology or language unique to the industry. Learning the lingo can make or break a career. A person who doesn’t speak the language will never be able to get their ideas across — and might even make a serious mistake.

If you work in a law office and you tell your boss you filed a grievance when in fact you filed a complaint, he won’t know what document you actually filed. What will follow is a conversation questioning how you passed the bar exam, followed by a pink slip.

Be conscientious. Take the time to learn the language and communicate with your co-workers and clients.

Perform well, and you’ll be someone others can rely on, which will assuredly further your career.

Savannah Marie is a social media enthusiast and writer from New York. She is the editor of her blog, Mixios, which features content about business, social media, public relations, and whatever is trending. Follow her on Twitter @savfmarie. A version of this article first appeared on Brazen Careerist.


Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.