One of the more advanced statistics used to quantify and rank baseball players is “wins above replacement” (WAR), which essentially measures how valuable a particular individual is to their team compared to the league-average player. While this metric was developed for baseball, it can also be a useful framework for understanding how you can advance in your career through the intentional cultivation of irreplaceable qualities.
Just as a shortstop would aim to be have a positive WAR, so you should strive to make yourself a linchpin of your organization. Implement these four steps into your career planning, and you can become one of the most respected and valuable members of your office.
1. Start Small
Are you the person everyone in the office comes to when they need help resetting their passwords? Do people generally accept your advice about getting the printer to cooperate as gospel? Even if these seem like little things, they’re big steps toward making yourself invaluable to your organization. By mastering something small, you show both yourself and others that you can take ownership of larger processes too.
2. Be Helpful
Everyone loves a team player, and helping out around the office can be a low-lift way to demonstrate your value. This could mean pitching in to keep common areas tidy, lending a hand when one of your colleagues is overwhelmed with work, or simply making yourself available when coworkers need advice or assistance. By bringing a positive attitude and a willingness to help out, you are contributing to a better-functioning, happier workplace environment.
3. Make Others Better
By bringing out the best in those you work with, you can exponentially increase your impact and value. Like a batter advancing his teammate into scoring position, you should strive to facilitate successes for your coworkers. Positively impacting those around you adds value to your organization and makes you an exceptionally important team member as well.
4. Be Flexible
While you may come into an organization with a specific idea of what your role and responsibilities will be, you should be ready to adapt if the team requires it. Showing that you can play different roles is a great way to demonstrate your value, and it prepares you to help your coworkers out in various capacities.
Whether your goal is to advance your career or contribute to your organization at the highest level possible, these tips will help you become an effective, valuable employee. Ultimately, the degree to which you impact your organization is up to you, so be the employee that you want to be.