No one is indispensable, so the saying goes, and it’s true. While losing a really key member of staff might change a function or a process within the firm, if a company has enough traction, it will go on without much trouble.
It’s a lesson we all have to learn. No matter how much we put into a job, are respected and yes, needed, by everyone around us, when we leave life in the company goes on without us. We might be missed for a nano-second but it’s very levelling to realise how quickly everyone gets over it.
Make yourself indispensable
There are ways we can try and make ourselves indispensable, and here are what I would consider to be the strongest:
- Own a skill. Find something that no one else can do and make it yours
- Own a relationship with a big client, preferably the biggest client
- Be helpful, be the ‘go-to-guy’ for solutions
I learned this lesson the hard way, and what a swipe to my ego it was.
During my time at one company I was the one everyone called on for presentations, information, advice and all kinds of everything. I worked like a dog, supported the junior staff, made my boss look fantastic and over-delivered on every task. I was committed and driven and had a good attitude to boot. I decided to leave and thought “how will they get on without me?” Very well as it happened.
They employed someone in my place who worked at half the rate I did and was less than helpful. Was I missed? You bet – for 5 minutes. Then everyone adjusted and I was forgotten.
Someone once told me that when you leave a company it’s like taking your hand out of water. And so it is.
Do your best but don’t ever bet on your being indispensable. No-one is, and nor should they be.