How to become an irreplaceable employee

Be the type of employee a company would hate to let go

It’s often said in business that everyone is replaceable – but that’s true only to a certain degree. Each person brings a unique set of skills, attributes and experience to the job. What helps make them an irreplaceable employee is ensuring all those qualities remain relevant – and continue adding value – to the business.

Even if you feel confident your company truly needs you, it doesn’t hurt to assess whether you’re doing enough to ensure you’re the type of worker your employer would go the distance to retain. However, this doesn’t mean you suddenly have to double your workload, try to lead every project or work longer hours than all of your colleagues.

There are many ways you can increase your value to an employer without completely upturning your routine or stepping on others’ toes. Here are some ideas.

Improve your ‘soft’ skills

Effective communication skills, strong interpersonal and leadership skills are the most valuable for finance and accounting professionals in today’s business environment. They are often expected to interact with a wide range of people, both within and outside their organisation. Strategies for increasing your abilities include taking a public speaking course and volunteering to take the lead on an important project.

Update your technical skills and qualifications

You obviously met your employer’s criteria when you were hired, but would that be true if you applied for your job now? Look at current job postings to find out what companies look for today. Use your professional network to find out what skills and qualifications your peers with similar responsibilities possess. Professional associations are also useful resources for staying apprised of industry trends and providing access to learning opportunities.

Find ways to increase efficiencies

Improving your productivity is an important contribution to any business. Don’t hesitate to suggest a different way of doing things if you sense it will lead to positive returns. For instance, have you thought of a way to streamline the monthly reporting process? Do you think the firm could benefit by engaging temporary staff on certain projects? Do you know of a cloud solution for sharing large files that could save time and reduce the burden on IT resources?

Help others enhance their value

One way leading employers retain their best talent is by offering mentoring and learning opportunities. If you’re a seasoned finance professional, offer to take an up-and-coming colleague under your wing. If you recently attended a professional conference or completed a relevant educational course, ask your boss if you could formally share the knowledge you gained with your colleagues.

There’s no guarantee an employer will always require your skills or abilities – or even the position you now hold. Businesses, and economic factors, are always changing. However, there’s much you can do to make yourself the type of employee a company would regret having to let go.

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