You’ve worked hard to get where you are today. Let’s acknowledge that and take a second to congratulate ourselves. Seriously. I honestly think it's a good idea to be our own best cheerleader, especially if we also have the opposite habit of being our own worst critic.
You set career goals and reached them, or most of them anyway. You really like where you are today! You’ve got a comfortable job in a pleasant environment.
I probably don’t need to tell you that a good job is worth holding on to.
Here are three simple questions you should ask the boss to begin a discussion that best ensures you become an indispensable and prized employee.
Could you describe to me your vision of where - ideally, the company will be in 10 years?
If your personal goal is to keep your job, you want to know EXACTLY what they’re thinking about the future. You’re not just along for the ride; you are meshing your life goals with theirs. You can’t just assume, and you need more details than they’re willing to put on the “About Us” page of the company website.
This is something you could even bring up in somewhat casual conversation and turn into a whole discussion. You’ll probably learn so much it’ll blow your mind.
Remember, the boss spends his days thinking about and working on this vision. Evaluating this vision, comparing it to reality, and deciding how to hone the details and delegate the tasks to raise the chances of success. This consumes his waking moments!
If you can share in this experience, that alone is going to boost your relationship. You’ll understand both the company and the boss better. Listen carefully.
How do you see me and my position best fitting into those goals?
The basic contract between an employer and an employee is that you need a job, and they need workers. You both agree to swap time for money.
As an individual worker, you quite naturally focus on what you need, a job. An income. Something to do with certain responsibilities and adequate compensation.
To become a prized employee, you need to align your goals with the goals of the larger organization. You need to demonstrate that your focus is the company, not yourself.
This does not mean you have to make the company the master of your life, but rather, don’t be shy about the fact that the company's well-being is important to you. Your destinies are obviously intertwined, so mutually beneficial goals that create a clear win-win will be respected and trusted.
The company’s well-being is, of course, dependent on your personal health so no, sorry, working 25-hours a day is not an option but short of extremes, you want what’s best for the team.
After you ask these first two important questions, the next step is to stand back and mull it all over. Think long and hard about how you want to fit into that vision.
Ask yourself the same basic questions if you haven’t already.
Don’t ask the boss question 3 until you know the answer to all of your own questions.
“After thinking about everything you’ve told me about where we’re headed, I tend to think I can help out best by…” and then lay out your plan that cleverly meshes your goals and theirs followed with a genuine; “What do you think?”
Hopefully, your boss will be absolutely amazed and quite impressed with your conclusions. Since your vision and his vision mesh in such a complementary way, why not grant your wishes and let you enact your plan?
You’ve created a win-win!
With this simple three-question series, you accomplished several positive things.
Even if you end up not getting exactly what you’ve laid out, you have done a lot to raise your stature and put the odds in your favor of being one of the people management considers indispensable.
Suggesting something like SAP training to boost productivity is a specific thing you can do to show that you want to improve yourself and positively affect the company culture.
Maybe SAP training is something you could do yourself, and not necessarily try to bring the whole office along for the ride.
If your goal is to be an office stand out, maybe you don’t want the competition :)
Better SAP skills can certainly lead to more efficiency in so many ways. You’ll get things done faster and more accurately. You could even become the office software guru and help other people when they get confused with complex SAP computer issues.
Perhaps it’d even be a good idea to go the distance and get an SAP certification, which can boost you into the realm of indispensable.
Take a look at our online SAP programs.
So, in the end, perhaps the most important question to ask your boss is: “Once I become indispensable, will I take over your position?”
On second thought, don’t bring that idea up just yet.