Increasing Your Value to the Company
In these difficult and competitive economic times companies are always surveying their work
force looking for somebody's butt to kick out the door to save labor costs. What will they
see when they point the company elimination gun site at you? Will they see an expendable body,
or will they see an employee who is too valuable to let go?
This article reveals five attributes that companies value, and having one or more of these traits
gives you much higher job security than other employees who are just doing a good job.
Knowing Other Areas of the Company
Many workers just stick to their one little area of the company and if some work comes up
that is outside that area or outside their job description they sing the old phrase "not
my job". Successful employees are always scouting out other areas of the company, trying
to figure out what they do, how they fit into the big picture.
Who do think is going to get laid off first, an employee that only knows their own little
job, or an employee that the company can use flexibly and shift to other areas of the
company if the need arises? When a company is trying to operate a minimal labor force,
flexible employees that can be moved around the company are like gold. They are far too
valuable to the company to let go.
To learn about other areas of the company requires you make friends in other parts of the
company and learn how they operate. If the work load in a different area of the company
becomes too heavy, you can volunteer to give them a hand, either during your normal working
hours, or for overtime pay.
Staying in one part of the company for your entire career can make you an expendable
employee. Keep a watch on the company job board and if you see an interesting opportunity
in another part of the company that would add to your knowledge of how the company operates,
apply for that position. An employee who understand the company big picture are far too
valuable to the company to let go.
Having Industry Knowledge
Today companies operate in a globally competitive market. If they don't keep up with what's
going on in their market, what new technologies are coming online that might affect their
business, they won't be in business long. That's why an employee with industry knowledge
is too valuable to the company to let go.
How do you get industry knowledge? The first step is to read business magazines and/or
business websites. Then there are trade magazines and trade websites. Most trade magazines
require you to have purchasing influence or authority in order to subscribe to their
publication. If you don't have purchasing influence or authority in your company, see if
you can find someone who does and ask if you can borrow their trade magazines when they've
finished reading them.
Most trade websites require you to be a member. Often membership is free, but you need
to provide information about your purchasing influence or authority within your company.
Hey, everybody has some "purchasing influence". For example if you tell your boss a certain
tool would make your job easier, that's "purchasing influence".
Industry trade shows are another great way to learn about your company's industry. You
don't have to be a big shot to get a free ticket to a trade show, most shows like to see
as many bodies attend as possible. The problem is, if the trade show is not directly
related to your job, you'll need to take off work and pay your own travel expenses.
However, since employees with industry knowledge are so valuable to companies, you
might as your boss if the company will sponsor your attendance. It can't heart to ask,
and the answer might be yes!
The holly grail of industry knowledge is actually having a friend who is either a customer
of the industry or works for a competitor. This puts you right in the thick of industry
news and gossip. In this case you might frequently have the company president coming down
to chit chat with you.