Calculating your value – making yourself indispensable

The concepts of value and indispensability are inextricably linked to each other. As many have observed in the past, truly indispensable people are those who contribute far more to the organisations that they work for than the amount they receive in salaries and bonuses.

As Seth Godin wrote in his book “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable”, “The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.” 

So it’s not purely about the revenue that you generate, it’s far more complex and is as much about your attitude and approach. Here are five key ways that you can put up your stock in an organisation – and help safeguard your future.


Think like an owner, not an employee

Every employer wants to believe that the people working for them have a real stake in the business. But you can go one better by turning on that mental switch that inextricably links the fortunes of the company with your own. Linked to this is working out what the biggest issues your bosses face and working towards the solutions that will resolve them. Problem solvers are invaluable to any business because, without them, that business will never thrive.


Disagree with your boss

It may sound crazy and a high-risk strategy, but if you’ve got what it takes to become indispensable then this will be a key strand in achieving it. It may seem like those who go along with received wisdom, and the orders of superiors are the ones that succeed. But if you have genuine reservations and good reasons for suggesting an alternative course of action, don’t hold back. Even if your opinions aren’t acted upon at least the fact that you’ve thought deeply about alternative solutions will have been duly noted.


Recognise the difference between being busy and productive

To be valued it’s also important to put a value on the different parts of the work we do. Naturally, some aspects of any job are more challenging than others, and the inclination can be to avoid these and busy ourselves on easier tasks. But being productive means tackling the tougher parts head on. 

In his book “The Four Hour Work Week” Tim Ferris makes this observation very succinctly when he says, “Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.” 

So if you are able to take on the critical tasks while others are merely busy, you’ll be putting yourself at an immediate advantage over them.


Go beyond your job description

While you don’t want to tread on others’ feet always be looking for other areas in which you can become involved. It may be that specialist committees are being established with representatives from different departments – make sure you’re the person from yours that gets the place. Or if you see others struggling with the workload see how you can help. One word of caution, though – never neglect your own core duties which must always take priority.


Always be learning

Seize all opportunities to learn more about the field in which you’re working, from requesting specific training to attending industry seminars and events. Your enthusiasm will soon be noted, and it will even allow you to become a more authoritative voice within your organisation.

So do all these effectively, and your standing in any organisation is due to increase exponentially. Then it just becomes a question of calculating his simple equation to derive your true value:

Your Compensation + The Additional Value You Offer = Your True Worth.