Dependability refers to the traits of consistency, reliability, and trustworthiness. In the workplace and on job postings, it tends to refer to the capacity to reliably fulfill assigned tasks and responsibilities.
Being dependable means that employers can count on you to be at your job on time and perform your duties to the best of your capacity without supervision.
It involves a combination of traits and behaviors such as punctuality, responsiveness, accountability, and commitment to achieving the organization’s objectives.
Highlighting dependability in job postings indicates an employer’s emphasis on these attributes, a cue to potential candidates to emphasize these skills in their job applications.
1. Meeting deadlines consistently
If you can demonstrate that you have met deadlines consistently, it is a sign that your employer will be able to depend on you to do this in the future.
This attribute demonstrates a strong sense of responsibility. It involves not just completing tasks, but having the organizational and time-management skills to do so within a given time frame, every time.
Employers highly value this trait as it leads to efficient workflow and productivity.
2. Arriving on time for work and meetings
Showing up promptly for work or meetings is always perceived as a key indicator of dependability.
It underlines your respect for others’ time, showing that you value teamwork and efficiency. It establishes how reliable you are, reflecting a work ethic that prioritizes punctuality.
Employers appreciate such qualities in potential employees as timely attendance can directly affect productivity and team dynamics.
3. Always completing tasks as assigned
Completing the tasks that have been assigned to you is fundamental for demonstrating your dependability at the workplace.
This doesn’t just mean meeting deadlines. It also means doing the tasks in the manner expected of you every single time.
Such behavior ensures that projects move forward without unnecessary complications, contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of the team.
If you can demonstrate a track record of this, or can obtain a reference letter that suggests that you do so, you’ll have a leg-up for that job or promotion you’re after.
4. Keeping promises and commitments
Being a person of your word, or what we might call trustworthiness is a cornerstone of demonstrating dependability.
When you keep promises and commitments, you enhance the trust others place in you. It reassures your colleagues and superiors that they can rely on you to follow through on tasks or responsibilities
This quality is crucial for maintaining a straightforward, efficient, and productive work environment. Employers, therefore, highly appreciate candidates and employees who possess this trait.
5. Being prepared for meetings and presentations
Your preparation for meetings and presentations reflects your level of commitment and dependability.
Compare two employees: one who turns up having thoroughly researched the topics to be covered, and another who turns up not sure what’s going on. The first employee will be seen as the dependable one while the second would not be trusted nearly as much. Who do you think will get the promotion?
This doesn’t just show that you’re dependable. It also shows that you can anticipate and prepare for your workplace responsibilities, ensuring that you contribute meaningfully to the team’s objectives. That’s what the employer is after!
6. Handling confidential information with care
Handling confidential information with care is an absolute requirement for anyone who wants to be seen as dependable.
Take the opposite – if someone shares confidential information with competing companies. This person would be seen as thoroughly undependable.
So, your ability to keep information confidential signifies not just your dependability as a good team member, but also your professionalism and respect for the privacy of others.
7. Communicating effectively about progress and challenges
Open, transparent, and timely communication demonstrates that you can be relied upon for keeping your team members well-informed.
When you’re able to effectively communicate your progress and challenges, you’re keeping relevant parties informed about the status of work, ensuring no surprise negatives that could affect project timelines or outcomes.
In case of challenges, early communication allows for timely execution of contingency plans, which can maintain the flow of work.
Essentially, your ability to communicate effectively is a sign that you can be trusted to keep everyone on the same page and ensure seamless synergy within the team.
8. Always turning up
Dependable people don’t just turn up on time. They turn up every time, unless they have valid reason not to (and even then, they would likely inform people early on).
To further drive your dependability home, try to show that you’re not just turning up to be physically present, but also mentally and emotionally engaged in the tasks at hand. It means showing up for work every day, contributing to meetings, and being actively involved in team activities.
Your consistency in “turning up” ensures that you are seen as a reliable and integral part of the team. And employers greatly value this consistency in employees because it supports the stability and functionality of the team.
9. Being a go-to person for help or advice
Becoming a “go-to” person for advice or help is a clear testament to your dependability.
It means you have developed enough proficiency in your role that others see you as a reliable source of help. These could be questions about how to handle a difficult task or advice on how to expedite processes.
Your willingness to assist others also reflects your commitment to contributing to a team’s overall success, which employers find highly valuable.
Being reliable, knowledgeable, and helpful can solidify your position as a dependable team member and potentially open up opportunities for career advancement.
10. Maintaining a positive attitude, even under pressure
Powering through difficult situations with a positive attitude and tenacity can show that you’re not going to give up or fail when times get tough – you’re a dependable team member!
Staying positive doesn’t mean you’re always happy or that you never experience stress. It means, however, that you handle problems proactively, aim to overcome them, and refrain from allowing them to affect your ability to help pull your weight in the team.
This quality leads to a more resilient and productive work environment.
11. Staying loyal through hardship
This is a powerful way to prove your dependability, indicating that you stick around and remain committed even when the going gets tough.
Loyalty through hardship might include staying with a company during a downturn, or staying positive and productive during a particularly stressful project. It’s about weathering storms without jumping ship.
A loyal employee who stands by the company during tough times is a highly dependable asset. Their dependability provides stability, which is critical for maintaining morale and productivity among teams.
12. Consistently producing high-quality work
The ability to produce high-quality work consistently, regardless of varying conditions or fluctuating workloads, implies an excellent level of dependability.
This not only indicates that you’re proficient, but also suggests you are disciplined, committed, and reliable. It means you do your best every time, not just when conditions are favorable.
Dependability in this aspect gives employers confidence to delegate responsibilities to you, knowing that the outcome will meet or even surpass expectations. This consistency can advance your reputation and open up opportunities for growth within the company.
13. Keeping clear and accurate financial accounts
Having the discipline to record financial information accurately and update these records regularly means that you can be trusted to manage financial resources responsibly.
Discrepancies or errors in financial accounts might lead to serious legal and reputational consequences for the company. A strong track record of managing accounts accurately cements your dependability and is highly valued in any role involving the handling of finance.
Your adherence to maintaining accurate accounts also reflects a highly professional attitude that facilitates financial transparency and accountability within your team and the company.
I’ll leave you with three final tips on how to prove your dependability to potential employers:
- Firstly, feature your track record clearly in your CV or resume that highlight instances where you’ve demonstrated a high level of dependability. Provide specific examples, such as projects completed on time or roles in which you took on responsibility and delivered consistently good results.
- Secondly, prepare for interviews by reflecting on concrete examples of your dependability which align with the responsibilities of the job you’re applying for. Use these when answering dependability questions in an interview (I recommend preparing a STAR method answer on dependability).
- Finally, use references from previous employers or colleagues who can testify to your dependability, as these can provide powerful third-party validation.
Remember, being dependable isn’t just about telling others that you are, it’s about showing it in your actions.
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]