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Top 5 Ways to be Irreplaceable and Why to Avoid Them

Becoming irreplaceable at your job is a great way to secure your job, right? On the surface, it seems entirely logical that if you are the only one who can do a job, then your company HAS to keep you for that job. Sure. While there indeed are positives to being indispensable, there are some very real pitfalls as well. For those of you who buy into the irreplaceable=security formula, here are five ways to become indispensable. Use them at your own risk!



Don’t share your knowledge and skills with anyone

If you share what you know, then someone else may be able to do your job, and you could become obsolete. They may even try to help you do your job. Don’t fall for it! On the other hand, you aren’t precisely promotable, are you? If no one can do your job, then there’s very little chance that you could move up. Well played, sir.



Don’t mentor other employees in your company culture

If you make everyone else look good, then you may not look so good yourself. If word gets out that you’re some mentor that makes other employees better, you run the risk of someone noticing and trying to get you to take on more responsibility. And pay you more money. It’s probably best to avoid spreading all those goals and company values because you could end up in a different tax bracket or something. Don’t fall into this trap!



Don’t promote a team atmosphere

Your little league baseball coach was right. There is no “I” in “team.” So if “I” were you, I would just stay out of it. The more you are seen as a “team” member, the less “special” you may seem to the boss. This could weaken the illusion that you are irreplaceable. Don’t do it. Not to mention the genuine risk of again being promotable and earning a higher income because of your team-building skills. Who wants that grief?



Don’t learn new skills or think about better ways to do your job

Again, this could weaken the commonly held belief that you are the “one.” I’m sure you’re doing just fine. Maybe even adequate. Adding new skills makes the fundamental skills not so unique after all. Start talking about new and better ways to perform your job and suddenly you are in danger AGAIN of being promoted. Not to mention the fact that you might as well insult the boss to his face because he is probably the one who came up with the job description. Unless you already practice tip #1. Then you’re ok.


Don’t ask for a raise. Ever.

Nothing says indispensable like cheap labor. If I can get a “B” player for “C” pay, then I’m all in. If you ask for a raise, you could be seen as a dissatisfied employee that only cares about themselves. Could you be any less grateful? Or you could finally start getting paid what you really deserve. Do you really want to take that risk? Oh, and employees that stand up for themselves run the risk of getting noticed. Maybe you should just keep your mouth shut.