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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.

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