Do you know how to replace yourself, do your career plans include promotion, or do you plan on being in the same job you’ve held ever since leaving 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. And when you do more than expected, you may be considered for promotion unless you’ve put yourself in the position of being irreplaceable.
How Do I know If I’m “Irreplaceable?”
You’re 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 Might be Irreplaceable if…
- Management declined your vacation request five times.
- The company provided you with a smartphone, laptop, iPad, and a beeper (a what?)
- 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, mentor others, and be sure the company knows they have options or risk being irreplaceable.
How Do I Avoid Becoming Irreplaceable?
Great question! This really depends on the situation you’re in. In a previous position, I was the only person with “online marketing” experience. If I wanted to do more, I needed to teach others what I did, how to do it, and why. That’s what I did.
You shouldn’t need to be called to run an update when you’re on vacation. You should have others prepared to take up the slack. Giving others the tools necessary to complete tasks usually assigned to you shows you’re not irreplaceable. And it shows you’re not willing to let the company down. It shows leadership. Teach others to become self-sufficient. If you teach others to replace you — you will not be irreplaceable.
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.
Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.