Make Yourself Redundant

There’s a lot of career advice out there that implores you to make yourself indispensable.  Taken the right way, this is clearly good advice.  But I’ve seen this misinterpreted any number of times.  Making yourself indispensable or irreplaceable in terms of the one specific task you perform isn’t a great plan.  Yes, it may work out well sometimes.  But other times, you get replaced by three workers for half the price oversees, or a robot, or a new system, or…

The best way to make yourself indispensable is to learn how to make yourself redundant.  Figure out how to optimize whatever it is you do so that the job that used to take you all day now takes half as much time, or a quarter as much time, or none of your time at all.  Think about how indispensable that person becomes.  Who’s going to fire the guy who just figured out how to save someone 25 or 50 or 100 thousand dollars a year?  The person with that skill will have a job for life.  Even if you actually do streamline your way out of a job, how hard is it going to be to find a job when you can show someone exactly how valuable you were to your old company?  Not very.

For some great stories about a guy who did just this, head over to Rob Ousbey’s site.


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