How to Be a High Potential Employee

The workplace is experiencing multiple changes and impactful dynamics. It is not uncommon for employees to get lost in the shuffle and on the focus to meet goals. There are challenges working in silos or virtually that may cause some employees to get lost in the norm of business. Some are so focused on doing the work and collecting a paycheck that time escapes them and they become disgruntled with their career progress. However, if you are a high potential employee or want to be one who’s making a major impact and moving up the career ladder, the time could not be better.

There is a major shift in talent transition as the baby boomers retire, and Generation Xers not able to fill the voids. The eager, largest workforce population of millennials have the greatest chance of progressing in the ranks or creating new ventures.  For those looking to advance, these changes and dynamics will help their career advancemens. High potential individuals can position themselves to succeed and should have three important characteristics.


Having expertise in your field is not a new phenomenon to career advancement. However, getting the expertise has its challenges. High potential individuals, especially millennials, are ready to get the knowledge and want it fast. In many ways, the organizations need them to gain knowledge quickly and bring new skills.

Determine your skill gaps. Look for ways internally and externally to bridge the gaps. An often-overlooked way is reading books on innovation, leading, and driving change. No matter your field, these subjects are sure to make you more successful. There is a need for strong influencers and leaders. Building your abilities in these areas while growing your skills in your specific industry will increase your impact.

Forward Thinking

A great way to approach forward thinking is to be an excellent problem solver; anticipate needs and requests before others realize there is a need.  High potential individuals help solve current challenges, design the future as they anticipate the needs, and build on the current successes.

Being forward thinking should be partnered with growing your critical-thinking skills. Many claim to have them but not enough people exercise this skill. Focus on looking for opportunities to build and not recreate or copy what has already been done.

Be Indispensable

Being indispensable is not just going the extra mile. It is about creating value in your role and the service you provide. This is often confused with not being able to take time off because no one can do that particular job like you or you don’t want anyone to be able to do the job.

Providing real value is meeting the goals and needs of the organization in such a way that the service you provide increases the importance and benefits of having you. It is not linked to a position but to how you operate. High potential individuals bring a unique service proposition.

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