There are so many things out of our control. Whether it’s staff changes due to business decisions, or shifts in your role due to customer needs. Whatever the case may be, you still want to feel in control, and you want to feel valued. Everyone does.
But the truth is, sometimes we feel overlooked, undervalued, and replaceable at work. Maybe our bosses overlook our contributions or we just feel like a small fish in a big company pond. On the other hand, when we feel valued and indispensable at work, we enjoy a boost of confidence, improved job satisfaction, and security.
How can we not only grow our own self-worth but also feel that reflected at work? Here are 10 tips:
Help others succeed.
This may sound counterintuitive.
When you’re focused on helping others, your positive presence will be noticed. If you’re worried about losing your job or being replaced, the last thing you want to do is create more work for your boss, become a nuisance to your colleagues, or contribute to a negative company environment. Be a team player. Focus on inclusion and collaboration. A highly-collaborative employee is a valuable employee. You want your company and colleagues to succeed.
Their success is your success too.
Keep your promises.
When you say you’ll do something, do it. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. If you’re in the habit of failing to deliver, start small. Simple promises you know you can deliver on are a good way to flex your integrity muscles. Being true to your word will build your confidence and show others you’re trustworthy and reliable.
The corporate landscape is changing. Technology is changing. Our workplaces are changing. And change can be scary. But if you want to feel valuable, you need to learn to embrace change and add flexibility to your list of qualities and skills. Business can ebb and flow and we have to be able to ride the waves. Things at work may look different than they used to. We can’t turn back the clock. Resisting change doesn’t make it go away. If you can navigate changes with open-mindedness, you can face the challenges presented to you.
Do your best.
Some people just do the minimum to get by. When you put in extra effort and dedicate yourself to having high standards, you instantly stand out. Does it feel like your best isn’t good enough? Maybe you feel a little out of your depth or feel imposter syndrome sneaking up. Sometimes we hold ourselves back with low confidence. I’m a big fan of self-affirmations and positive self-talk. Focus on your strengths and accomplishments. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. When you feel your best, you can do your best.
If you want to be valuable, be of value to others. This one goes hand in hand with #1. Be kind. Be of service. But beyond that, find a space you can contribute to. Is there a need you can meet? Chances are there are opportunities around you that you’re uniquely suited for. Or maybe you’re just the only one willing to step up – that’s unique too.
Nothing is beneath you.
Have you ever had a boss who considers some jobs beneath them? Maybe they even think your job is beneath them. It’s not exactly a morale booster. On the other hand, a great leader doesn’t act too good for anything. They put their ego and title aside. They’re ready to roll up their sleeves and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. If you’re dedicated to your team’s success, everything is your job and you’re ready and willing to help.
Positivity is power.
When things get tough, the last thing your company needs is negative employees. Division, gossip, and complaints all drain energy and create an unhealthy work environment. Positivity is a game changer. Experts continue to find evidence that our thoughts — positive and negative — don’t just have psychological effects, they also have physical effects on our body. Positivity boosts energy, health, success, and happiness. It’s good for you but it will also make a major impact in your workplace dynamic.
Take responsibility when you mess up. Don’t pass blame. Whether it’s a missed deadline, bad call, or a mistake, be honest. We all make mistakes sometimes. It’s better to communicate openly instead of trying to hide things or, even worse, lie about them. Your team will see you as trustworthy and you’ll know you’re contributing to an honest, transparent work culture when you’re honest.
Learn from your mistakes.
Failure is an opportunity for growth.
And when you’re growing, you’re not failing.
Treat your mistakes and missteps as springboards into your success. Admit you made a mistake. Seek to understand why it happened. Studies have actually shown that we have an “error memory”, which reminds us to perform motor tasks differently in the future after making a mistake. This is great news because we can shift our mindset and create a plan to do better next time.
Gratitude feels good.
Everyone wants to know their work is noticed and valued. Expressing and receiving gratitude helps us feel more satisfied. When you show you appreciate your team and company, it’s a win-win. You’ll feel more appreciated and respected. And your team will feel valued too. An article from Forbes says, “While showing gratitude in the workplace is shown to improve individual performance, it also directly impacts team and organizational performance and drives […] sustainable success in the marketplace.”
You don’t need a big ego to feel valuable at work. In fact, the most valuable workers are rarely the ones walking around, saying how important they are. It’s more about others than it is about you.
What tips do you have for growing your own self worth, and feeling valuable and indispensable at work?
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