Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
One of the first things to remember is anyone and everyone can be replaced. A key person is not always the boss or the person who makes the big bucks in your place of business. A key person is the one who is sought out for information that may not be documented or is documented but long lost. The key person keeps the information in her head or maybe a copy of the valuable document in her special file. Some things to remember:
Keep your technical skills current to stay on top of your game. If there are in-house workshops and classes check them out. Before you say no to that Power Point workshop because it is not a part of your job description, take a moment to think about possible future use. The more you know, the more valuable you are as an employee.
Continue upgrading your basic skills. That can mean taking classes at work, after work or online. If you are going to pay your for own learning, check with your human resource office to see if they will pay a portion or all of the fee. Some businesses will reimburse monies if you get your certificate of completion or attain a certain average in class. Usually outside learning must pertain to what you do at work or perhaps you can justify taking the class. As long as you work, skills upgrading should remain a priority. Remember, when you leave a company, your skills go with you.
Be honest about your worth to the company. In most cases longevity does not count. If you think it is unfair that you have not been promoted, given a raise or something similar because you are a long-time employee, you are bound to be miserable. If you receive yearly evaluations that are unsatisfactory to you, it may not mean that the boss “has it in for you”, perhaps you are not performing at the level expected and that you are capable of. Discuss the disappointing evaluation with a family member or someone else you trust to tell you the truth. Then, talk to your boss about the evaluation and ask what you can do to eliminate the problem. While you are talking, take this time to do your own covert interviewing to find out what your bosses thoughts and goals are for the office/company. You can use this information to help form your own goals.
Learn to grasp what is not being said. Your boss has told everyone at work that there is an emergency and she may need some help. She comes out and gives several people tasks, she skips you, before you take that sigh of relief ask yourself why you were not chosen to help.
Keep an open and sharp mind Reporting to someone you think (or know) does not like you, or someone you think (or know) is an idiot, you will have to get past that to get where you want to be. Document what you do and say. This does not mean keeping long list of things or a heavily detailed journal. You have handed in your report but you know that she will say she did not get it until… Send a short e-mail, “Good morning, I put my report, The Great Office Debate on your desk yesterday before I left the office, if you have questions or changes, please let me know.” This is important because it shows that you have completed and handed in your report along with the date and time you sent the e-mail. It also shows that you are cooperating. Blind copy your home e-mail. When you get home print the document and put it in your home file.
And finally, don't let perceived prejudices of someone else or your own prejudices hold you back.