Experts: How To Make Yourself an Invaluable Employee Amid Layoffs

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As layoffs continue hitting companies across the United States left and right, employees may feel uncertain about their fate in the business. Anyone can be impacted, even you.

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Fortunately, there are ways you can set yourself apart if this unfortunate event ever happens to your organization. Follow these tips to make yourself an indispensable employee who is essential to keeping things running smoothly within the business.

Develop and Strengthen Your Transferable Skills

There is a good reason why soft skills are popular in the workforce. These are skills like communication, emotional intelligence, problem solving, critical thinking and the ability to lead, none of which can be replaced by artificial intelligence. 

Dave Fisch, CEO at Ladders, recommends developing and strengthening your transferable soft skills. “Not everyone can communicate well with others or solve problems as quickly and efficiently, so building on those skills will set you apart from the majority of employees and will lower your chances of being laid off,” said Fisch.

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Kimberley Tyler-Smith, executive at Resume Worded, said employees should position themselves to become problem solvers. No matter what role you play in an organization, problems always need solving.

“If you see something that needs improvement, address it. If you know how to fix something, put your skills to use. If you know how to make something better, offer your ideas,” said Tyler-Smith. “When an employee can solve problems for their organization, they become invaluable.”

Another important reason to focus on transferable skills? Fisch said these skills may be used in many different industries. In the event you need to switch career paths, soft skills stick with you.

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Be Curious and Open to Learning

In a constantly changing world, it’s critical for everyone to be ready and willing to adapt to changes. This is especially true of employees who want to turn themselves into invaluable members of their team.

“By learning new skills and adapting them to fit within their organization’s needs, employees can ensure they’re always contributing value,” said Tyler-Smith.

Identify Your Niche and Competitive Advantage

What does your personal brand look like? Fisch recommends identifying your niche to better build out your own personal brand. This enables you to become known as an expert in your industry and helps position you as unique. You can bring new things to the table not many others can, which can help make you irreplaceable to your company.

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“By doing these things, you show your own value and what you add to the company which will help make you ‘layoff proof’ during these hard times,” said Fisch.

Build a Portfolio of Your Work

As you identify your niche and work to build out your personal brand, it’s a good idea to create a portfolio of independent work or projects that are separate from any employers. Doing so, Fisch said, can help you become a go-to person within your field.

“Because company loyalty isn’t as valued as it once was, workers need to be able to prove their abilities without attaching themselves to their job,” said Fisch.

Step Up as a Leader

If you haven’t already received the opportunity to act as a leader, start stepping up to be a leader. Take initiative. Ask coworkers if there’s any way you can assist them with their workloads. Reach out to your boss to see if there are any assignments or projects where you can take the lead.

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“Being a leader means being willing to take on responsibilities and lead others toward success even when there aren’t any guarantees for yourself personally,” said Tyler-Smith. “Leaders inspire others around them because they understand the importance of serving others’ needs before their own. This is just one way employees can turn themselves into invaluable members of their team even if there’s no guarantee about the fate of their specific role within the company.”

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About the Author

Heather Taylor is a senior finance writer for GOBankingRates. She is also the head writer and brand mascot enthusiast for PopIcon, Advertising Week’s blog dedicated to brand mascots. She has been published on HelloGiggles, Business Insider, The Story Exchange, Brit + Co, Thrive Global, and more media outlets. 

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