Financial TimesFinancial Times

Don’t be indispensable at work — it’s a terrible trap

By Miranda Green

12 Sep 2022 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

Making your boss and colleagues dependent on you may seem like a smart way to advance your career. But a writer for FT argues that it creates big problems for everyone involved.

What wouldn’t many of us give to have the unshakeable confidence of a Harrison Ford? Asked about the future of the Indiana Jones movies, maybe with someone else in the title role, the grizzled film actor reacted badly: “Don’t you get it? I’m Indiana Jones. When I’m gone, he’s gone. It’s easy.” The line offers a nice mix of menace and derision — it’s very Indy, in fact. But just as it’s a really bad idea for ordinary mortals to try our hero’s onscreen stunts at home, nor should we adopt the screen star’s apr_è_s moi le d_é_luge schtick in the office.

Because making yourself, or seeing yourself as, indispensable is a terrible trap.

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