Article

Andrey Gidaspov
Andrey Gidaspov 17 February 2016

How To Become Indispensable: Pour Your Soul Into Whatever You Do

“Use what talents you possess, the woods will be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” Henry van Dyke Times are tough. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs in 2015. And it’s not just the oil and gas sector – HP, Microsoft, Caterpillar, Radioshack, JP Morgan have sent thousands people home. Last month analysts reported that this year IBM may lay off a record number in its workforce.

We all know there’s no permanency in the job market. There aren’t decades-long careers with large multi-national companies anymore. Career paths have become much more fluid.

“It’s a giant transformation that happened just in the last five or 10 years,”says Seth Godin, a bestselling author of Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?“As we have an economy that used to make money by leveraging a factory, a system, a process, to an economy where the people who win are the ones who do stuff we didn’t expect and we didn’t ask for.”

What can help us to stay relevant? What skills can keep us afloat? How do we become indispensable?

“My super power is not being one thing, but many things,” says Annie Conn, Experience Designer at ThoughtWorks, in her insightful post My Path to a Fluid Career. “I am an example of the new fluid careerist. What’s a fluid career? It’s a way through life that leverages a collection of experiences, expertise, roles/titles and spans multiple industries. Fluid careerists navigate ambiguity and are nimble. We’re restlessly driven by curiosity, have a passionate need for excellence and aspire to self-awareness.”

What Annie says makes perfect sense to me – I know this from my own experience. When I graduated with a major in Chinese language and history back in 1993, I thought that I’d be working in a China-focused international organization. Yet, my career took a completely non-linear path. I have worked in five countries in the hospitality business, government consulting, technology business development, non-profit program management and finally, non-profit fundraising.

What I’ve learned from all these life experiences is that to succeed today, you need to be flexible, continuously hone your skills, and discover new opportunities through creative thinking and entrepreneurial drive. Most of all, you should be prepared to embrace uncertainty, adapt to unusual circumstances and apply your skillset to the particular career in which you find yourself at any given time. Be a catalyst of new creative ideas and try to stay positive, because your success is in your attitude.

Quoting Godin, to be successful, you will need to become a “linchpin,” someone who can “invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos.” Linchpins are the people who can work with “no rule book,” people who are happy to always make their best effort to transform even mundane tasks into something remarkable.

It all comes down to simple truth – pour your soul into whatever you do. Represent your nonprofit, start-up or business in such a way that the whole world knows that you own it.

Want to test if you’re indispensable? Lolly Dascal, President and CEO of Lead from Within, gives us a hint: “Remember, the people who go around saying they’re indispensable never really are. Being indispensable doesn’t come from ego but from what others think of you as you help them succeed.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
The New '4Ps of Marketing'

The New '4Ps of Marketing'

Neil H. Borden, in 1964, gifted the world with the 4Ps of the Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. This concept has been a cornerstone of business marketing. However, there are new 4Ps of Marketing – just as powerful and just as game changing as Neil Borden’s.

Daisy Kent
Daisy Kent 18 May 2017
Read more
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
How To Calculate Marketing ROI

How To Calculate Marketing ROI

Calculating marketing ROI is an exercise in patience and accuracy. The formula to calculate basic, short-term marketing ROI is simple: ROI = (Incremental Profit – Campaign Cost) / Campaign Cost. But marketers know that the formula—while accurate—is far too often misapplied to their efforts.

James Loomstein
James Loomstein 16 May 2017
Read more
Forget SWOT, The Pareto Rule Holds The Secret To Your Online Success

Forget SWOT, The Pareto Rule Holds The Secret To Your Online Success

One of the most important principles I've learned is the so-called Pareto Rule. This principle holds particular importance for aspiring online entrepreneurs. If you are a Blogger, Digital Marketer, Amazon Seller, AdSense expert, then Pareto’s Rule applies to your business. Understanding it is vital to your success.

Alex Papaconstantinou
Alex Papaconstantinou 17 May 2017
Read more