How to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work

Karen Mosier, Research Coordinator and Navigator, University of Saskatchewan


Do you wait for your boss to give you something to do, or do you see tasks that need to be done, take action and start on them on your own?  Being indispensable at work is all about taking charge of who you are, what you do, and how you do it. It is not only about making a good name for yourself, but it involves commitment and doing everything in your power to make a difference to your company and your team.

Here are some ways to make yourself indispensable at work:

Be committed

- Take pride in your work and dedicate yourself to high standards

- Demonstrate a die hard work ethic and commitment to quality

- Be consistently dependable, trustworthy and do what you will say you will do

- Having a reliable team member makes a big difference to a manager

Embrace change

- Look at change as an opportunity to grow and learn something new

- Be open and adaptable and learn from your mistakes

Go the extra mile

- Go above and beyond your role to help others

- Add value to every interaction and ask yourself if you did the best that you could do

- Learn more by doing more

Offer solutions

- If something isn’t working, figure out how to fix it and increase your value to your manager

- Coming up with new ideas is an easy way to make yourself stand out

Be the ‘go to person’ for the skills you are good at

- Figure out what your strengths are

- Be the one others go to for help in this area

- Find a task that you are the only one that knows how to do it, then teach someone else

Seek out professional development opportunities

- Keep up to date with advances in your field

- Stay current with technology and industry trends

- Continually improve your soft skills and communication skills

Ignore distractions

- Decide if the situation warrants your attention or is it just a distraction?

- Choose to focus on meeting your objectives

Have a positive attitude

- Everyone likes working with someone who is pleasant

- If two employees are equally good at their job and if job cuts need to be made, a manager will likely get rid of the one who is negative and grumpy

Do work that matters to the organization

- Don’t just find work that passes the time so that you look busy

- Focus on projects that matter to the organization and its success

- Make your manager’s job easier and volunteer for key projects

- Taking on new responsibilities is a fast way to get noticed by your boss

 Share your knowledge

- Focus on inclusion and collaboration and be the one who thrives when working with others

- Prove to your colleagues that you are there to help when there is a problem

- Mentoring your colleagues can improve your relationships with others

- Help others without expecting anything in return

Although no one is really irreplaceable, being truly indispensable is not just getting the job done but helping others to succeed. When you make yourself a team player and mentor others, you get noticed by the right people and then and only then can you expect good things to happen and promotions to come your way.  


  1. Kaitlyn Russell. The Muse. 20 Simple Ways You Can Make Yourself Irreplaceable at Work.
  2. Jacquelyn Smith. Forbes. Sept. 5, 2013. 17 Ways To Be Indispensable at Work.
  3. Michael Page. Seven tips to make yourself indispensable at work.
  4. Lolly Daskal. Inc. 12 Simple Steps for Making Yourself Indispensable.