How I Made MySelf Indispensable

This past December I started working at JCPenny as a Seasonal Warehouse Temp. I worked with a new crew of around ten people, and out of those ten, I was the only one who is still employed at JCPenny after the seasonal rush. This got me thinking why keep me?

Every year thousands of new hires come into retail during the holiday season and evener fewer are still employed after the holidays. If you are looking to improve your chances of staying in your job or to begin your climb into better positions, then this is for you!

Here are my top five tips to keeping your job and moving up!

Show Up On Time

No one likes the guy who is always late or just does not show up for work. Your co-workers will grumble for having to take on your responsibilities and your manager won’t be happy if your duties go unfinished. My advice is to arrive early at the least 15 minutes. By doing this, you are showing management that you take your job seriously.  If you do end up getting delayed by traffic or for any other reason during your commute, you will still be on time anyway!

During my first month of working at JCPenny, most of the crew would fail to come in on time or would not show up at all. I always arrived approximately 15 minutes early and got to work right away. My managers took note of this and were grateful for having a good employee. However, no one is perfect and I was forced to miss a few days of work due to illness. I made myself accountable by notifying my manager in advance that I was unable to come into work.

However even I had to miss work sometimes. Mainly because of illness. I made sure to give a call ahead of time to inform them I would not be coming in.


Take On Tasks No One Wants To Do

Often times when people move up the management ladder they trade the entry-level tasks for higher responsibilities. These entry-level tasks still need to be accomplished and for opportunists, this is a great place to start.  The person who always volunteers to take on additional work that no one else was willing to do. By showing your willingness to work your manager will be more likely to retain you because they can count on you.

For me, this was cleaning up the rodent traps in the warehouse and making sure they were all armed. I understand people’s disgust of little critters, but I was not bothered by this since I grew up on a farm. Now whenever a trap goes off, I am the go-to guy to clean up and rearm. My manager has also started to teach me how to complete more duties while improving quality in my work.

Take Initiative

Don’t be the guy standing around with his hands in his pockets. Just because you’re waiting for instruction does not mean you cannot go and finish up a misc task.

In my case, every morning when I clocked in I would go around the store picking up hangers and ink tags from the cashiers. I sort them into their boxes and put back into storage for when they are needed.


Get Enough Sleep

Eight hours. That is the least amount of sleep you need to tackle your day. Being fully rested and ready for your day can significantly change how you look at your work and how employers see you.

During my first month lack of sleep was a significant problem among new hires because they would stay up way too late partying or playing video games. I was not like them I made sure to hit the hay at 7pm and wake up at 3:30 to get ready for work. Not only was I fully awake but I kept myself on a schedule, and I followed through with it.


Don’t Do Drugs

This just seems like common sense. Don’t go out drinking or smoking right before work. Surprisingly people still make this mistake and they pay the price for it.

I had one coworker show up stoned to work. He was unfit to complete his duties because he was moving too slow and could not focus. When we were unboxing packages, I refused to give him a knife for fear that he may cut himself or harm me. Luckily, he went home early and I never heard from him again.



Seems so simple right? Show up on time, do odd jobs no one wants, stay productive, get eight hours of sleep, and don’t do drugs. However, many people fail to keep on top of their habits or lack initiative. You need to be different and set yourself apart from the crowd; otherwise, how can you hope to compete with the millions looking for work.


Do you have advice on how to stand up in the job market? Then please share in the comments below!

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