Making yourself indispensable

Ever wondered how to make yourself indispensable to your employer? We find out how with help from experts at Michael Page and Robert Half

It is always important to be seen as essential to your company as good workers are always in demand. And being viewed as a strong contributor will obviously improve the likelihood of your advancement within the organisation and also give you a better chance of avoiding layoffs should they ever occur.

So what are the ways to get yourself noticed as an indispensable member of your team?

Bottom line

First up, focusing on the bottom line is an excellent way to set yourself apart from other employees. For instance, if your company is looking to upgrade its bookkeeping software program and you are aware of a cheaper option that is just as effective as the replacement being proposed, don't be afraid to make that recommendation.

And if you are familiar with the package, offer to train your colleagues instead of having the organisation paying to bring someone in from outside. Saving your company money makes it more likely you'll be seen as one of its vital employees.

Make life easier

Similarly, if you get into a position where you are making your manager’s job easier or relieving them of responsibilities that allow them to concentrate on their managerial duties, then they are likely to fight to keep you if your tenure was ever in debate.

Managers don’t want problems they want solutions. So if you want to become indispensable at work, you need to find ways to solve problems faced by the business. When you overhear your colleagues complaining about something that isn’t working, figure out how to fix it and you’ll increase your value to your manager and to the company as a whole.

Making connections

Having someone influential on your side at work is very important. Try and find a gap in skills so that there are things you can do that your boss can’t – essentially, you need to make them look good by adding value to the wider team.

Being connected and building relationships with people who matter in the business can not only make you indispensable in your current role, but can take you a long way in your career. If you have exposure to managers on a daily basis, then you might be uppermost in their minds when it comes to promotion time.

Even if you are not a manager, you can still be a leader. Try to become the person colleagues ask for advice on something they are working on. That will show they trust your judgment and respect your abilities, which are two important leadership qualities.


Being reliable is vital too. Work to become being efficient and cooperative when things get tough, and being the person that people in your team turn to when they need to get something done well and quickly. Being reliable should never make you feel that you are being taken advantage of though, so make sure your manager knows who you’re helping and on what projects.

Focus on and prioritise work that is most important and timely, not the work that is easiest or quickest to do. Key projects are likely to give you exposure to the wider business; and volunteering, when other employees don’t, will ensure that you are seen as a dedicated go-getter and a valuable member of the team.

Alex Miller, journalist

"Managers don’t want problems they want solutions. So if you want to become indispensable at work, you need to find ways to solve problems faced by the business"