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Make Yourself More Valuable At Work

Updated on January 23, 2015

US Army Engineers

US Army engineers building a school in Haiti.
US Army engineers building a school in Haiti. | Source

I hate my job, I don't get paid enough, I'm asked to do too much, etc. These are frequent complaints from people in a variety of industries but there are plenty of cases where it is perfectly within the complainer's powers to make themselves and their employers happier. Those with jobs tend to forget that there is likely someone else who wants their job...even if it's a horrible one in their opinion.

The greener grass begins to grow when we choose to apply for and accept the wrong jobs for us and when we allow ourselves to get too comfortable. Humans tend to take the path of least resistance and many also work this way as well. When we don't challenge ourselves, a variety of our specialties begin to slip, we get bored, and we can self destruct. At any given time many people are seeking jobs and if you aren't making yourself valuable to your employer, you could find your job is no longer yours.


Biologists studying fish population.
Biologists studying fish population. | Source

Be A Rainmaker Or Find Ways To Save Your Employer Money

Being a rainmaker means that you bring in clients. It doesn't hurt if those clients give you good reviews or mention that you referred them. Being a rainmaker is a positive sign to most employers whether or not you are actually in a sales position. It shows that you are taking ownership as an employee of the company and is a highly valued trait. Some people call in favors such as a window company employee asking his architect friend to use his company's windows for a new project. Another example could be a college student working at a clothing store recommending that a friend come in to try out some new pieces that just came in.

Where you can't make it rain, find ways to save the company money and don't be afraid to politely mention that it was your idea. Polite assertion is key. For instance, if you can take a step that costs the company money out of the company processes, you can save money. Saving the company money is often like making them money. Most higher ups will be pleasantly surprised that you took the initiative and will have a good reason to remember your face and name. If you want to move up in the company, these are two very important things that can keep you head and shoulders above the crowd of competitors for the positions you will be attempting to land.

Teamwork on the raceway

Fun and work on the track.
Fun and work on the track. | Source

Be Genuinely Interested In Making Customers Happy

This one can only come from within. Fakes are often easily spotted and some customers will try avoiding fakes like the plague, even if it means never doing business with you or your employer again. Many people hate car and other types of purchases or shopping. It's easy to see that insincere or pushy staff are often a good reason why.

Making customers happy is easier when you truly think of how you would like to be treated and by doing the same. Just one of many signs of poor customer service is when the customer is being called names such as sweetheart, baby, girl, or boy. Regardless of age, economic status, or education level, these "nicknames" do not reflect that you respect the customer. Some customers will correct you, others will not. Nicknames such as these are disrespectful or insulting to many people no matter what their age or background is. If you are unsure, asking the customer how they would like to be addressed is the best approach.

Those who have a genuine interest in making customers happy and show it will keep customers coming back and referring their friends and family in for business. Particularly for those in sales, this can be very, very rewarding. When a customer receives outstanding service on every interaction, that customer is more likely to recommend the company to others.

Doing things such as double checking to make sure the order is correct, offering products or services that complement the ones being purchased, and following up after the sale can go a long way to make customers happy. Being able to recommend other highly skilled professionals or companies that perform services that your company currently doesn't offer can also make customers very happy. There are a number of ways that you can make customers happy and all it requires is that you be respectful, listen carefully, and attempt to meet or exceed their needs and expectations.

Creating Art

Art is beautiful work.
Art is beautiful work. | Source

Be Open To Doing More Than "Your" Job

"That's not my job" is a common refrain from people around the world. However, it doesn't show your employers or colleagues that you are a team player and can create negative feelings within those that you work with. When something is outside the immediate realm of your job duties and you are asked to help contribute, think of the larger picture. You could be gaining more experience outside your skill set and job duties and could be getting on the radar with higher ups in a positive way. When you decline, particularly repeatedly, you will more than likely get on the radar in a negative way for being selfish or not being a team player. The ensuing consequences could affect your career in the short and long term.

Taking The Initiative

Taking the initiative to get things done is important in your personal life as well as in your career as an employee. If you dream of being an employer, this trait is even more important. While you are an employee, show your employer that you are taking the initiative to get more education, be a rainmaker, contribute ideas that save the company money, shorten the length of various processes, etc. Taking the initiative is seen through a variety of ways whether it be verbal or non-verbal and can put you on the positive radar within the company. Be respectfully assertive of your efforts and do not allow others to take credit for them.

You never know who is watching, whether you are meeting or exceeding expectations or laying low at work because you're not really doing your all. It's best to give them something positive to remember. When you take the initiative to get things done or to contribute new solutions or ideas that the company and/or customers can benefit from, you are effectively raising your value within the company. Raising your value can mean that you get perks, bonuses, or promotions that validate your efforts and can make your life as an employee more enjoyable.

Have you increased revenues or saved your employer money?

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    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 2 years ago from East Coast

      I'm certain there are more but these can be helpful for some. Thanks so much for reading.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great tips for secure and gainful employment.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 3 years ago from East Coast

      It's never too late to put these ideas to use for the benefit of both you and your employer or yourself if you're self employed. It's so easy to get into a rut and just do things out of habit and without effort or improvement but that can put you in jeopardy especially in today's job market. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading PeachPurple.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      it had been 20 years since i started to work, maybe this advice would have work out.

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 3 years ago from Australia

      Invaluable advice!

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 3 years ago from East Coast

      I agree. People can also find ways to increase revenue or reduce costs. But we just can't forget the reality that some people don't care or feel that other things are where their best efforts are well spent.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I agree with your sentiments here. It gets tiring as an employer to hear folks whine that they "need" more money. Who doesn't? The question is, how have you gone above and beyond your regular job duties to earn a raise?

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      That's where things like taking the initiative, being a rainmaker, and saving the company money come in. So many people don't have a take charge attitude at work, they have that take orders attitude and it shows in their work and approach to it. Thanks so much for reading.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      One other suggestion: think like the boss or the owner rather than just like an employee. You'll automatically find ways to improve the business and may receive promotions because of your take-charge attittude. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      I could not agree more. Strength of character is a good phrase to remember and so is knowing that we can benefit by working on that even when it's challenging to do so.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      These are good things to think about! Having the integrity to go the extra mile in a job position can indeed bring benefits that we may not see coming, but more than that, it increases our own strength of character and that will be reflected in all aspects of our lives.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      So many people believe they should get a pat on the back for showing up at work and seemingly just for breathing. I was appalled by the responses to one of my questions along this line a few months back. There are a few times to whine but most frequently there just isn't any place for it. You said it best, "In a tough economy, every employee should do more than is required....everyone benefits when they do."

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      I can tell you that I've had jobs that I've hated that even successors agreed they also hated for the same reasons. However, while there, we should try to make the best of it because it's the right thing to do and it may help us get to our ultimate goal(s) elsewhere. Thanks so much for reading.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      I like the way this hub fills the drive in you a great message and actually a great idea for a hub bravo...:)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the message here my friend. I have grown very tired of the whining I hear, as if people think they are entitled to great things just by showing up for work. In a tough economy, every employee should do more than is required....everyone benefits when they do.


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