If you want to make yourself indispensable at work, you need to develop a strategic perspective on your organization's business, regardless of which functional area you work in now. Here's how to cultivate that big picture mindset.
- A lot of people in the corporate world know their job and do their job, and that's it. But that is a terrible strategic mistake. If you want to make yourself truly indispensable at work, to create the kind of career insurance for yourself, you need to develop a strategic view of your company's business. Not just what you do or what your coworkers do, but the trends, and pressures, and competition, and opportunities facing your company and your industry, because when you understand that, you'll understand which activities you can do that add the most value and make you truly stand out.
Here's how to cultivate that big picture mindset. A simple first step is to ask your boss. You can talk to her about her perspective on the company and where it stands in the marketplace. Where does she think the future of your company lies? Are there certain divisions or initiatives that are likely to grow dramatically in the coming years? Maybe that's where you want to be. What competitors is your boss most worried about, and why? That knowledge can be enormously useful in shaping your perspective on the work that you do. Next, it's not a bad idea to start reading your company's corporate marketing materials, and if your company's public, the materials it shares with investors.
Admittedly, they're often boring. You don't have to read every word, but getting a sense of what initiatives the leadership is touting can be helpful. That's where internal resources are likely to flow in the coming years. And it's important to understand which company activities are actually the most profitable. The areas of the company that bring in the most money are often the ones with the most promise and job security. Finally, don't confine yourself to learning about your own company. You'll get a far more nuanced perspective if you look more broadly at your industry and business trends as a whole.
Ask your boss and colleagues you respect for book and blog recommendations. Who do they read? What, from their perspective, are the foundational texts that everyone should know? Another great resource is books by journalists about your industry. They'll often provide a broad framework for understanding trends and changes over time, and because of their training, it'll usually, hopefully, be written in a pretty lively accessible style. That can give you a great foundational knowledge, which helps put everything else into perspective. Anyone can just sit back and do their job, but you can set yourself apart by understanding why you're doing your job, and how it contributes to the overall enterprise.
The more you understand about your company and your industry, the better and more targeted your ideas and suggestions and innovations will be, and the more likely you are to get noticed for your initiative.
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.