Want to be the smartest person in your office? Become the person your boss can’t do without. Here’s how to make that happen.

If your boss doesn’t think you’re getting the job done, there are plenty of people who can replace you. Everyone wants to gain an advantage by making themselves irreplaceable. But how do you become so valuable at work your boss won’t want lose you?

Here are five tips on how to become that smart guy your boss can’t do without:

1. Don’t be a know-it-all

Even though you may think you’re bright, don’t get a swelled head. People will always seek out intelligent coworkers, but no one wants to work with a know-it-all. Especially if your know-it-all mentality offends the boss.

Be a leader. Demonstrate your knowledge about the inner workings of your company and your position. Offer assistance to your coworkers, but don’t flaunt your abilities or intelligence lest you draw the resentment of everyone in the office.

2. Continue to learn

Many companies offer incentivized continued learning programs to increase employee value and ensure loyalty. If your office offers such classes, enroll immediately. Not only will you strengthen your skill set and stay current in your industry; your efforts will be noticed and rewarded by your boss.

Don’t be the last to embrace logistical changes in your office. Be the first.

3. Be knowledgeable, not smart

There’s a big difference between being smart and being knowledgeable. (Click here to Tweet this thought.) Knowing a lot about a particular topic may make you sound like a smarty, but it won’t necessarily help in the workplace. A person who can quote Shakespeare may be considered educated, but not smart and indispensable at their job in a real estate agency.

Learn the inner workings of your office. Be speedy and efficient at your job. Don’t slack off, and focus on the task at hand.

4. Get to know your office peeps

Know how to interact effectively and positively with your coworkers. Many people lose their jobs because they can’t get along with their workmates. One way to interact effectively is to be sociable, not social. You’re there to work, not to talk about what happened on the latest episode of Revenge.

Another way is to avoid office politics. A smart employee is one who can get along with many different personality types. Be patient with others. Focus on yourself, get the job get done right and help your coworkers succeed.

5. Learn the lingo

Many careers use terminology or language unique to the industry. Learning the lingo can make or break a career. A person who doesn’t speak the language will never be able to get their ideas across, and might even make a serious mistake.

If you work in a law office and you tell your boss you filed a grievance when in fact you filed a complaint, he won’t know what document you actually filed. What will follow is a conversation questioning how you passed the bar exam, followed by a pink slip.

Be conscientious. Take the time to learn the language and communicate with your coworkers and clients.

Perform well and you’ll be someone others can rely on, which will assuredly further your career.

Savannah Marie is a social media enthusiast and writer from New York. She is the editor of her blog, Mixios, which features content about business, social media, public relations and whatever is trending. Follow her on Twitter @savfmarie.


  1. jrandom421

    Here’s the thing about being irreplaceable:
    If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted

    • savfmarie

      Great point! However, I think there is a difference between being irreplaceable in your position and being irreplaceable to your company. Every employee wants to be seen as a strong asset to the company they work for. Making sure you can transition from position to position is essential!

  2. Barbara Mckinney

    I agree with #2. If you care for yourself,don’t stop exploring or learning new things.Do it for yourself,not just for your company.

    • savfmarie

      I completely agree, Barbara! Continued education is important in every industry. Whether you’re doing it for yourself, or for your company, continuing to learn will only offer benefits.

  3. Gahe

    Very impressive article. I have read each and every point and found it very interesting

  4. Jugar Jugar

    It is really clever tricks, but to do it correctly it sounds a little bit difficult. It’s not as simple as saying they can do exactly the same

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  7. David Hooper

    One more to add… Be so good that you’ll leave a big ass hole if you get fired (or leave). I think your steps have shown ways to do this, but if you can make that your ultimate goal, you’ll never be without work!

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