So, do you know how to replace yourself? Do your career plans include promotions? Do you plan on being in the same job that you have been doing ever since you left college? Have you developed, mentored, and trained your replacement?

How to Replace Yourself

Does Job Security Mean You’re Irreplaceable?

No. Often, job security is something you control, not your employer (assuming your employer stays in business and doesn’t make wholesale cutbacks). When it comes to job security, you probably know what tasks will keep you employed. When you do more than expected, you may be considered for a promotion, unless you’ve put yourself in the position of being irreplaceable.

How Do I know If I’m “Irreplaceable?”

If you’re the only person who can resolve an issue, you’re irreplaceable. If you’re off work, sitting at home, or on vacation and aren’t allowed to turn off your smartphone — you’re irreplaceable.

You might be irreplaceable if…

  • Your vacation request has been declined five times.
  • The company provided you with a smartphone, laptop, iPad, and a beeper, (just kidding)
  • The next most tenured employee has been with the company for three weeks
  • You’re the only one who understands your job description
  • You’re reading this blog

It’s possible you’re not the only employee who can help, but you’re the most knowledgeable. In that case, share what you know, teach others, and be sure the company knows they have options, or risk being irreplaceable.

How to Replace Yourself 

How do you avoid becoming irreplaceable? Great question! This really depends on the situation you’re in. In my last full time position, I was the only person with “online marketing” experience.

I needed to teach others what I did and how to do it. Eventually when I was on vacation, I didn’t need to be called to run an update. I prepared others to take up the slack. I gave them the tools necessary to aid me in my position. Doing so showed the business I could be replaced, and that I could move on to other tasks or take a vacation!

I don’t want to sugar coat this. Replacing myself wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. My first obstacle was getting over myself. I didn’t want to let go. And when I did let go I micromanaged. I had to set my ego aside if I wanted to move on.

The first person I mentored left the company just as we were making progress. For a while I couldn’t find anyone available who had the time, willingness, skills, and desire to assist me. But eventually I found the right person.

The bottom line is when you teach others to replace you — you will not be irreplaceable. It’s up to you.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Maxim Tolchinskiy on Unsplash