You may need your job but does your job need you? Does your boss need you? Does your company need you? During these challenging economic times, and really any time, it's important that you can answer "yes" to all of these questions. Here's how:
1. Know your job: This may seem obvious but it's the first step to making yourself indispensable. If there are others in the company that do them same job as you, make sure you are the best.
2. Know more than your job: Talk to others at your company and learn what they do. You don't have to know every detail, but you should know the basics about what most people at your company do. This will enable you to contribute intelligently to almost any conversation within the company.
3. Take on every new assignment you can: Just because a project sounds overwhelming doesn't mean that it is. The internet is a vast resource with videos, articles, images and message boards that will provide you with answers to solve just about any problem. Take advantage and look like a champ to your co-workers and boss.
4. Show interest: The CEO's main goal is to make the company better each and every day. Don't hesitate to march into his/her office with an idea about a new technology or process that could make the company more productive, more efficient or more profitable. Even if he/she is not a fan of the idea, it will make you look like someone that has a genuine interest in contributing to the success of the company.
5. Be reliable: Finish projects when promised. Be at work on time. Don't disappear on 2 hour lunches. Be someone that your boss and co-workers can rely on.
6. Toot your horn: There is a fine balance between self-promotion and outright arrogance. The best way to self-promote is to communicate new ideas, accomplishments, solutions directly to your boss. While its certainly okay to bounce ideas off co-workers, be sure to discuss them with your boss so he/she knows they are yours.
7. Promote others: Complement others in meetings and around the water cooler. Besides the positive vibe it creates, people love someone that is positive and constructive at work.