NOBODY IS INDISPENSABLE!
In the IT world where we all get to compete with so many talents in the industry around the globe, the only leverage you can have to land a good job and keep that good job of yours is on specializing in a certain field and be the best among everyone else for that job. You need to create a brand for yourself without to be different and put a heavy demand on it.
To keep your job long, you basically have to protect your position in the food chain by keeping all your skills and knowledge away from people who wants to learn about it so you can let them all depend on you. Now you begin to hate knowledge-sharing and documentation which are both part of the very core of Information Technology which is making information available! Thus, you become MR. INDISPENSABLE!
This is how professionals are able to keep their jobs nowadays. They create a need and keep organizations deeply dependent on them. With no one else around to do the job, they gain a controlling power to bargain and dictate how they will do their jobs without providing an answer to the question – who will do the job if you get sick or decide to go on vacation?
This is quite hard! Almost 9 years ago, my uncle who was a businessman had an arguement with me because he wanted to have a backup for me so his company’s IT needs could be addressed while I am away and in school. Obviously, I feared that he could just hire someone fulltime to do the job and therefore I would lose the chance to earn money. I was 21 and I am a star… then!
Well, my uncle was able to decide in the end since he wanted me then to focus more on my studies than earning money. He hired someone and I got a little offended. I quit the job and never taught the new hire any single thing that I knew. They had to start from scratch and it was quite expensive for them. I never felt any guilt until many years later that I got into the same position as my uncle.
I was indispensable! Amidst the new hire, I got the task to do 300 interactive video CV and earned a huge sum. I was able to prove that I was indeed indispensable that time but I have hurt my uncle so much that day that until now I get all the guilt for being shrewd and immature almost a decade ago. Thus, from there I started building an improved character based from that story.
Having been a part of a management team, I believe that nobody should be indispensable. In comparison, a project plan has to have a contingency plan. A pilot needs a co-pilot to do his job best. If you are into a long drive, you rather tag along someone who can replace you on the wheels when you are tired and sleepy. Even servers should have a their own fail-overs and that files has to be backed up too.
To mitigate possible point of failures due to heavy dependency on a single resource, we need to put backups. In a business where continuity is crucial, we cannot just put the fate of the operation solely on one person or machine. It is quite hard to elaborate but this is something that is obvious, basic and elementary. Nobody is and should be indispensable! No more. No less!