About a year and a half ago, I was sitting on the tour bus of the band I was hired to play guitar for. The band, the crew, and I were talking about the recent shows and how we each thought things were going. When it came to our job performance, each of us got mostly positive feedback mixed with some constructive criticism here and there.
I received some of the best advice of my life that night from the monitor tech. I applied it not only to that job but to every position of work that I’ve found myself in. It is a simple but important philosophy to live by.
Mindset Is Everything
I am primarily a contractor these days, but that mindset has stuck with me ever since I heard it as a working musician. When I got the opportunity of my life to play music professionally for a respectable band, it was surreal. I felt as if my years of hard work had finally paid off. I constantly reminded myself that success does not just stop there though. It only comes to those who continue to apply themselves to the best of their abilities at every stage of their careers. It’s perfectly okay to celebrate milestones, but it is important to not let success corrupt your mindset and cause you to slack off.
There are plenty of people out there who are just as qualified as me to do what I do. In my line of work, more often than not, there is no shortage of talent. There is always someone out there hungry for work and advancement.
With that said, talent can be hard to beat. However, there is one variable that everyone has total control over — good ol’ fashioned hard work.
Work Smarter AND Harder
We all know the saying “work smarter, not harder.” But I say, why not both? There are several ways to up your work ethic and separate yourself from the rest.
Take the Initiative
The little things you do to show initiative will make you a valuable asset that will impress your boss and clients. Being the first one in the office and the last one out the door will let them know that your standards are unmatched and valuable to your career. Be the first to offer your services for tasks big and small when opportunities arise. Go even further and seek out meaningful work that will help the company grow. Clients and employers love an individual with a can-do attitude who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and meet the needs of the company and its clients.
Go the Extra Mile
Anyone can complete a task, but the quality and care put into it will influence the end result that matters most. Double-checking your work for errors is a simple but effective way to ensure careful attention to detail on assignments. Trying to solve problems rather than pass them on to others is another great way to improve critical thinking and show that you can overcome challenges. Go beyond your job description!
Be the Best at What You Do
Hard work is hard to beat – combining it with talent is even more valuable. Actively work toward educating yourself. Stay up to date with procedures and processes related to your job. This will give you an edge and help ensure no one else can do what you do. You can’t be replaced if there’s no one to replace you!
Be Trustworthy and Easy to Work With
It is important to have trust and dependability between your coworkers and clients. Fulfilling promises helps prove that you are more than just talk. Actions will always speak louder than words.
Developing strong communication skills will make you a team player who works extremely well with others. Also, do not be afraid to take the time to get to know your clients and coworkers. If you do not care about them, then there is a good chance they do not care about you either. Make some meaningful small talk here and there to help strengthen relationships within your team! It will help them feel at ease and open in their work conversations with you.
Everyone on a team brings something different and unique to the table. It is a scary reality knowing that people can be replaced. Nevertheless, we all have the ability to prove our worth and then some. Putting in an unparalleled work ethic combined with the tips above will make you an indispensable worker for your company and clients.
Your turn! What are some ways you make yourself irreplaceable at your job?