Linchpin

So, I read that you should dedicate at least five hours a week to learning, which means I usually bring an ebook or an audiobook with me everywhere I go. Today I had four meetings and in-between each one I skimmed Seth Godin’s book Linchpin. The key takeaway I got from the text is that you can find your passion in just about any job. For example, I love to write, I can find ways to apply creative writing to just about any job I have now and in the future to distinguish myself.

So, why is this important? Yes, historically a labor force has been able to operate at minimal levels of effort. They would come into work, have a specific job description, meet their daily goals, clock out, and go home to live their life.

Unfortunately, with a rise in automation and gig economy, job security is not what it used to be. If you are not making yourself irreplaceable to some degree there is a chance your job may eventually be at risk.

So, how does one make themselves irreplaceable? Well, this is where the fun begins because ultimately Godin’s argument was a person could incorporate their passion into the work they’re doing and that will help them stand out. For example, imagine a barista who genuinely loves meeting new people and getting to know them. Will a local Starbucks consider replacing an employee who knows all the regulars and their orders, and also makes newcomers feel welcome? I know that’s a pretty basic example but think about a job you had in the past and think about a way you could’ve incorporated one of your passions into it to make it a more enjoyable experience.

Being a linchpin is all about standing out in a positive light. It’s all about making yourself irreplaceable in the company’s eyes by doing something a machine or a temporary employee can’t do. If all you’re doing is helping turn the cogs of the machine then you become a cost that an employer will cut the first chance a more affordable alternative comes around. However, if you can stand out and incorporate the things you love most into your day to day work you will not only stand out but gain leverage to further control your own destiny at your company.

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