So You Still Have a Job: How Do You Make Yourself Indispensable?
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — With some economists estimating the “real unemployment” rate now at more than 17.1 percent, many employees lucky enough to still have their jobs are now trying to do everything they can to hold onto them.
These workers are asking themselves: “How do I keep my job? How can I make myself indispensable at work?”
Author and Yale MBA Ingrid Stabb may have the answers. In her well-received book, “The Career Within You,” Stabb says that playing to career strengths that are natural to personality type makes employees invaluable in the workplace.
“The Career Within You,” co-authored with personality-type expert Elizabeth Wagele, uses an innovative strengths assessment questionnaire to help readers determine what intangible internal assets can be capitalized on for job security.
Jennifer Borchardt’s top career strength, according to the Stabb/Wagele assessment, is problem solving. Borchardt, a user-experience designer at Wells Fargo Bank, has extensive on-the-job experience tackling complex information architecture problems. However, she noticed that the most indispensable people in her specialized field hold advanced degrees. She decided to sharpen her already strong problem solving skills by pursuing a graduate degree in information design. She found the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois that caters to working professionals with its convenient class schedule. Borchardt is holding on to her full-time job while pursuing a degree online.
“I believe what makes me so valuable are my analytical skills, quick-thinking, flexible work style, creativity and ability to work with all different types of people,” Borchardt said of her personality type. “I possess a constant curiosity and energy which drives me to always learn new skills, meet new people and take on new challenges.”
Chris Kung’s top career strength, according to the assessment, is social networking. Working in product management at a major health plan company, he has learned how to drive unwieldy interdepartmental projects through the bureaucracy more quickly by investing time into building relationships with his internal partners. Kung started making a concerted effort to invite coworkers in other departments to lunch or happy hour in order to get to know them better and win them over with his charm. His social investment ultimately built more job security. Being popular at work actually helps him hang onto his job, as his superiors believe that it would hurt team morale to let someone so well-liked leave — even though his role as “a maverick” makes waves in a conservative work environment.
“So the executive management team couldn’t get rid of me,” he said. “There would have been a revolt.”
Stabb is a sought-after speaker and a national media source on the topic of careers. Stabb writes a column for “TALK,” a trade journal for career coaches and psychologists, chairs the Career Management Committee of the Yale School of Management Alumni Association and is a prominent social marketer in San Francisco.
Stabb has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and an MBA from Yale. Her multi-sector management career spans Fortune 500 companies, international startups, non-profit work and the U.S. government. She became a leader in the field of personalization with innovations that were applied to product management, loyalty marketing and career management at global Fortune 500 companies and international startups.
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SOURCE Ingrid Stabb