Indispensable at work?

In May 2011, I had lunch with my uncle who was and still is a senior manager in a Tier I bank in Kenya. Why is this relevant you may ask? My uncle had helped me get a job back then so I wanted to thank him for that but also get some advice from him on a future in a finance career. At lunch my uncle told me the story of how he got to be where he was at that bank.He used to work at a rival Tier I bank when one day he got a call from the HR director at the bank he now works at requesting him to meet her for lunch. He obliged and while at the lunch the lady explained to him how he was a well known fellow in the banking sector for what he does. She went on to shout his praises on his achievements and then finally she told him that they would like him to go work for that bank. He said he would consider the offer and, eventually, he took the job.

He didn’t look for the job. The job came to him. He didn’t have to do anything besides avail himself for a lunch. The bank offered him a job!

In all this, one point he was trying to get across is that he feels indispensable. When a company goes to the extent of looking for a senior level employee and offering him a handsome package, chances are that the company needs the person more than he needs them. I say this because my uncle was a senior level manager already, raking in large sums of money and was already had other revenue generating investments like real estate. He was already happy where he was! Not that he’s not happier where he is but I think you get the point.

This amazed me. About a year after this I got a job in the financial services sector. After about a month of working, through a twist of fate or what was a gross fraud on an employee’s part, I was given a lot more responsibility for a junior level employee barely learning the art of the trade.

I’m a diligent worker and fast learner or at least I think I am and soon enough, due to this and also due to the nature of what I was doing, I became the go-to-guy for my then boss for a number of things. I slowly started to feel that I was an integral part of the company and without me the company would be severely hurt. What is this feeling you may ask yourself? I was feeling indispensable.

To test my theory, I once threatened to quit and sure enough I was offered a better deal including a change in job description to better suit what I wanted to do and a raise, though a small one.

I can truly say that while I was giving my best, given more pressure, I could have done a lot more, pushed myself harder were it not for the feeling of indispensability.

If in your current job you think that your leaving would seriously hurt the company, you feel that maybe you aren’t seeing your full potential then maybe its time for you to quit.

Its hard to leave a job but think about the fact that as a person, working in that kind of job you may not be reaching 100% of your potential. I don’t know about you but I like to achieve my full potential or at least try to. Evolution is the survival of the fittest. Make yourself the fittest and you will survive!


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