12 Simple Steps for Making Yourself Indispensable

Indispensable at Work

Becoming indispensable is not about power or position. It’s about taking charge of who you are, what you do, and how you show up.

Original article click here.

Feeling indispensable to your organization is a great combination of exhilaration and security. But in today’s workplace, where more and more of us feel disposable, what does it take to make yourself indispensable?

It starts with making a great name for yourself–communicating to those around you that you have the attributes of a successful person.

But more important, it requires that you visibly commit yourself to making a difference to your company, your team, your business–even your family and friends. It always turns out to be bigger than just you. But it always begins with you.

Here are some ways to position yourself as an indispensable member of any team:

1. Help others without expecting much in return. Learn to take pleasure in watching others succeed.

2. Dedicate yourself to high standards. Bring your best to everything you do, and constantly raise the bar for yourself.

3. Do what you say you will do. Don’t make commitments you cannot keep. Do what you say you will do and sometimes do more.

4. Be of value to others. Be the one people reach out to — the one from whom people seek mentorship and coaching, information, and solutions.

5. Be open and adaptable. Learn to embrace change and help others see the benefits of moving with the tides.

6. Be honest. Whether it’s a mistake, a missed deadline, or a bad judgment call, communicate openly and work hard to find good solutions to any problems you may have caused. Never engage in blame-placing.

7. Work hard and go the extra mile. People who are indispensable usually expand their role by going beyond their scope. Whatever their job is, they make a point of helping others and reaching out.

8. Learn more by being more. Do everything you can to make more of yourself. Volunteer for tasks outside your usual role; be eager to step up and take on more than your share. Do it with openness and effectiveness and a willing heart and mind, and it will make you invaluable.

9. Learn from every failure and every mistake. However bad the experience, learn to look at it and grow from it.

10. Focus on inclusion and collaboration. Learn to become the person who thrives on working with others.

11. Acknowledge and appreciate those around you. There’s no surer way to gain respect then to acknowledge and appreciate those around you.

12. Stay positive. It’s easy to become so focused on the finish line that you fail to enjoy the journey. Be positive and a joy to be around as you’re building your success.

Remember, the people who go around saying they’re indispensable never really are. Being indispensable doesn’t come from ego but from what others think of you as you help them succeed.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

5 tips for a successful career change

Successful career change advice

Career changes happen and we want to make sure we are doing our part to help our audience stay informed and prepared for the inevitable.  This is a great article that offers some practical advice for how to successfully manage your career change.

Original article by Karen Burns click here.

Things to think about before you take the leap — or get pushed — into a new profession.

Many times career change happens to us. Our industry starts to fade, our employer goes bankrupt, or we personally are downsized, fired, laid off, demoted or otherwise find ourselves at a crossroads.

But occasionally we choose to change careers of our own free will. It’s exciting, a little scary, and getting more common. If you can, take the opportunity to think it through.

First, know why you want to change careers. If it’s because you simply hate your current job, make a list of those things you don’t like so you don’t inadvertently land on a career that’s too similar. (It happens.) If money is the reason, figure out how much more money you’re looking for. You should also list what you liked about your old job, so you can try to replicate those good things in your new one.

Identify the areas of overlap between your old and new careers. If nothing else, important job skills such as organization, thoroughness and communication are easily transferable. Leverage everything that be leveraged.

Recognize that it may take time. You probably won’t end your old career on a Friday and start the new one on the following Monday. Chances are you’ll need to acquire new skills or certifications, build up your savings and/or reduce your debt and create a new network. You may even need to work at an interim job while easing into — or working up to — the job you really want.

Get clear on what you want to keep and what you’re willing to give up. It can help tremendously to make a list of what you must have (a flexible schedule, a certain salary, etc.) and what you’re willing to compromise on (Are you willing to relocate? Would you be happy with a lesser level of power and authority?).

Finally, you need to believe in the possibility of change. After we’ve done the same kind of work for a few years, we start to think of ourselves in a certain way — as a tech worker, say, or a teacher or an attorney. It becomes part of who we are. Changing careers means changing identities, and that can be a challenge, even threatening. So be prepared for setbacks and always keep working toward your goal.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Operations Management: Definition, Principles, Activities, Trends

Operations Management Career

We write for a lot of Operations Management professionals. We mean A LOT. Hundreds each year, across all industries and verticals. This article was particularly insightful to us as Power Writers USA continues to provide world class support to it’s clientele.

Original article click here.

WHAT IS OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT?

 

Operations management involves planning, organizing, and supervising processes, and make necessary improvements for higher profitability. The adjustments in the everyday operations have to support the company’s strategic goals, so they are preceded by deep analysis and measurement of the current processes.

 

Historical background

Operations management was previously called production management, clearly showing its origins in manufacturing. Historically, it all began with the division of production, starting as early as the times of ancient craftsmen, but spreading more widely only by adding the concept of interchangeability of parts in the eighteenth century, ultimately sparking the industrial revolution.

 

Still, it was not until Henry Ford took a twist on manufacturing with his famous assembly line concept, otherwise known as “bring work to men,” that the management of production for improving productivity became a hot topic. From the 1950’s and 1960’s, it formed a separate discipline, besides bringing other concepts, such as Taylorism, production planning, or inventory control, to life.

 

As the economies in the developed world were gradually shifting to be service-based, all the corporate functions, including product management, started to integrate them. The service side also began its approach by applying product management principles to the planning and organizing of processes, to the point where it made more sense to call it operations management.

 

Multidisciplinary nature

Operations management is now a multidisciplinary functional area in a company, along with finance and marketing. It makes sure the materials and labor, or any other input, is used in the most effective and efficient way possible within an organization – thus maximizing the output.

Operations management requires being familiar with a wide range of disciplines. It incorporates general management, factory- and equipment maintenance management by tradition. The operations manager has to know about the common strategic policies, basic material planning, manufacturing and production systems, and their analysis. Production and cost control principles are also of importance. And last, but not least, it has to be someone’s who is able to navigate industrial labor relations.

Interested in a deep dive into operations maangement? Read the following slides.

 

Required skills

The skills required to perform such work are as diverse as the function itself. The most important skills are:

 

Organizational abilities. Organizing processes in an organization requires a set of skills from planning and prioritizing through execution to monitoring. These abilities together help the manager achieve productivity and efficiency.

Analytic capabilities/understanding of process. The capability to understand processes in your area often includes a broad understanding of other functions, too. An attention to detail is often helpful to go deeper in the analysis.

Coordination of processes. Once processes are analyzed and understood, they can be optimized for maximum efficiency. Quick decision-making is a real advantage here, as well as a clear focus problem-solving.

People skills. Flaws in the interactions with employees or member of senior management can seriously harm productivity, so an operation manager has to have people skills to properly navigate the fine lines with their colleagues. Furthermore, clear communication of the tasks and goals serves as great motivation and to give a purpose for everyone.

Creativity. Again, problem-solving skills are essential for a creative approach if things don’t go in the right direction. When they do, creativity helps find new ways to improve corporate performance.

Tech-savviness. In order to understand and design processes in a time when operations are getting increasingly technology-dependent, affinity for technology is a skill that can’t be underestimated. Operations managers have to be familiar with the most common technologies used in their industries, and have an even deeper understanding of the specific operation technology at their organizations.

 

THE MAJOR PRINCIPLES OF OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

Some of the fundamentals of the everyday work in operations management worth expanding a little more. Below you will find two major approaches that are important to understand the driving forces behind the decisions about planning, designing and organizing processes.

They are both embracing the idea of focusing on the delivery: supporting the organization to deliver better results, by an optimized input of materials, equipment, technology, and human resources.

 

The Ten Principles of OM by Randall Schaeffer

 

Randall Schaeffer is an experienced manufacturing and operations management professional, an industrial philosopher, and regular speaker at conferences organized by APICS, the leading US association of supply chain and operations management. He presented his list of 10 principles of operations management at an APICS conference in 2007, saying the violation of these principles had caused the struggle US manufacturing companies were experiencing.

 

Reality. Operations management should focus on the problem, instead of the techniques, because no tool in itself would present a universal solution.

Organization. Processes in manufacturing are interconnected. All elements have to be predictable and consistent, in order to achieve a similar outcome in profits.

Fundamentals. The Pareto rule is also applicable to operations: 80% of success comes from a strict adherence to precisely maintaining records and disciplines, and only 20% comes from applying new techniques to the processes.

Accountability. Managers are expected to set the rules and the metrics, and define responsibilities of their subordinates, as well as regularly check if the goals are met. Only this way would the workers put in the necessary efforts.

Variance. Variance of processes has to be encouraged, because if managed well, they can be sources of creativity.

Causality. Problems are symptoms: effects of underlying causes. Unless the causes are attacked, the same problems will appear again.

Managed passion. The passion of employees can be a major driver of company growth, and it can be instilled by the managers if not coming naturally.

Humility. Instead of a costly trial and error process, managers should acknowledge their limitations, “get help, and move on.”

Success. What is considered success will change over time, but always consider the interest of the customer. In order to keep them, all the other principles have to be revised occasionally.

Change. There will always be new theories and solutions, so you should not stick to one or the other, but embrace the change, and manage for stability in the long term.

 

The 16 principles of operations management by Dr. Richard Schonberger

 

Dr. Richard J. Schonberger, renowned researcher of American manufacturing and author of the book “World Class Manufacturing: The Next Decade,” has become widely known in operations management by his set of 16 customer-focused principles.

Team up with customers. Know what they buy and use, and organize product families accordingly.

Continual, rapid improvement. Aim for non-stop improvement to always deliver the best quality, aim for a quicker response to customer demand, and always offer maximum flexibility. Thus, it gives more value, in a more flexible way.

Unified purpose. Involve frontline employees in strategic discussions to make sure they understand the purpose of their work and have their say in what to change.

Know the competition. Know their customers, their best practices, and their competitive edges.

Focus. Allow no variations that the customers don’t buy or demand.

Organize resources. Set priorities in organizing resources in a way the operations are close to the customer rate of use or demand.

Invest in HR. Offer cross-training options, job rotation, and improvements in work safety and health. Also offer more rewards and recognitions.

Maintain equipment. Always think of improvement of current assets first, instead of a new purchase.

Simple “best” equipment. Keep the equipment as simple and flexible as possible, at a reasonable cost.

Minimize human error. Improve the equipment and keep frontline workers accountable.

Cut times. Shorten product path to customer by making processes and delivery faster.

Cut setup. Be prepared to support different processes and get all information and tools ready for on-demand production.

Pull system. Improve the workflow and cut the waste by producing on demand.

Total quality control. Use only the best materials, processes, and partners.

Fix causes. Focus on controlling the root causes that really affect cost and performance.

Visibility management. Promote corporate achievements, let the market know about your improvements in competence or productivity.

 

 

The activities of operations management

There are three major groups of activities performed by operations management, deriving from its planning or designing, organizing, and supervising functions. All activities involve considering assets, costs, and human resources, and are preceded by a thorough analysis of processes.

 

Design

Before planning processes or designing products, operations management should be busy analyzing the market to test the demands. If it delivers promising results, e.g. a niche to target or a new product or service to develop, you can start planning.

 

In most cases, planning involves designing a new product, from the initial concept to the actual launch, with several testing phases involved. During planning, you will have to consider both technical and business requirements.

 

Sometimes the processes need to be updated: designing a new supply chain or other logistics processes. If your product is a service, process design aims for a variety of requirements and customer contact levels.

 

Again in other cases, it’s about a new facility: your company decides to expand its operations, and you will have to decide on the location of the facility, its capacity, and its layout.

 

Plans should always support the business objectives: they are in focus when considering the costs and finding the best matching quality and capacity, or calculating inventory and human labor needs.

 

Therefore, it is important to set proper measures in the planning phase, to know if the actual performance meets them, or there is need for adjustments. Capacity is one of these measures, as is product quality, or delivery times. The initial figures are usually estimates based on the market analysis conducted beforehand.

Bonus tip!  If you are thinking about operations management as a career, make it a point to reach out to industry professionals and conduct some informational interviews to learn more about what’s to be expected of you in that role.  It can be very insightful!

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!