Are You Making Yourself Expendable at Work?

by Miranda Marquit · 2 comments

bad employee
Many people feel comfortable in their jobs, especially when the economy, housing prices, and the stock market are all going well. They feel good about their job security, and may not realize they are making themselves expendable at work. Are you falling into this trap?

One of the best things you can do for your career — and your earning power — is to evaluate your current status. The last thing you want is to be one of the first people laid off during the next downturn.

Here are some signs that you might be encouraging the view that you are expendable:

how to stay at your job1. Complacency and a Sense of Entitlement

After a while of being in any line of work, it’s easy to feel a sense of entitlement. You might start thinking that you “deserve” your current career, and you might begin feeling complacent in the job duties. However, the idea that everything is fine just the way it is, and that you are entitled to your job, can be poison for your career.

Instead, you need to show your value by reaching for challenges, and getting out of the same old rut. Show that you are working hard, rather than feeling entitled. “Deserving” a job is about more than just showing up and adhering strictly to the job description. Push yourself to go above and beyond, and you will be seen as more valuable.

2. Poor Attitude

Some of the first people to go when layoffs are announced are those with poor attitudes. During times of economic difficulty, morale is more important than ever. If you are an emotional drain on your colleagues — and even on your bosses — you might find yourself one of the first to be shown the exit. Shape up your attitude, and become the person that people turn to when they need a boost. If you can provide that emotional support, you will be seen as more valuable.

David’s Note: There was a person at my old workplace the boss absolutely despised because he was always complaining about everything and never did anything to help solve the issues he raises. During good times, the boss just let it go because he felt that the person really needed the income. But then the financial crisis hit and everyone was scrambling to make up for losses. The complainer, like everyone else, totally changed but it was too late. The boss let him go. He was still the only person to be let go during the entire crisis. Times may be good now, but you have been warned.

3. Poor Confidence

You want to be seen as confident and competent. This means you need to pay attention to your appearance. While we like to say that the outside doesn’t matter, the truth is that how you look has an impact on how others perceive you. While you don’t want to come across as arrogant, you do want to portray confidence. You can do this by standing up straight, making appropriate eye contact, and practicing good grooming habits.

If you come to work slouching and sloppy, you might be perceived as someone who can’t quite get things done properly. Your image as someone who can handle challenges, and who looks ready to tackle the tough assignments, will help your bosses view you as irreplaceable.

Perception is reality folks!

Bottom Line

During good times, most people don’t really think about job security. The chance of mass layoffs are really low, and those who lose their job can probably quickly find another one. Still, nothing is guaranteed. Companies fall on hard times all the time and there are plenty of firms planning to let people go as we speak. It is vital that you do what you can to show your value to your employer.

And, of course, it never hurts to refresh your network outside of work and brush up your resume. You never know when you might need to look for a new job.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • MrMoneyBanks says:

    Virtually all of us are replacement and you’re absolutely right. We need to try and make ourselves as irreplaceable as possible -> it is what fundamentally drives our value to a business.

  • James Odum says:

    I could use the money 7000 would be nice to have the fall back on and I would pay you back I need the money to complete my house that I have just bought I paid cash for it I had to get a new roof put on it and a couple of other things and I’m getting it already and it should be a very beautiful place thank you

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