So many of us go to work, do what we're paid to do, punch out, and go home. But are we happy? Take a look at these eight things content employees do, and see how you measure up.
1. Go the Extra Mile Without Being Asked
People who love their jobs don't have to be asked to do something – for several reasons. One is that their overall sense of satisfaction makes them more efficient; they breeze through tasks because they don't view them as chores. They appreciate that what they put off today will have to be done tomorrow, and that will throw everything off. They also recognize that good things come to good employees who go above and beyond. Some might call those kind of people suck-ups, but eventually you'll be calling them boss.
2. Put in Extra Hours to Get Things Done on Time
I know plenty of people who, as soon as that clock strikes 5, bolt for the parking lot. That doesn't help their coworkers (who are still in the office working) view them favorably (especially if they're stuck picking up the slack), and it's certainly not helping their chances of getting a raise or promotion anytime soon. Yet, you can be the kind of employee who puts in the extra time to get things done correctly – and by deadline – and still manage to enjoy a decent work/life balance. These two concepts aren't mutually exclusive. Perhaps better time-management skills are necessary, and you'd be keen to improve them if you want to advance in your career.
3. Encourage and Recognize the Work of Others
You know the old saying "There's no 'I' in team," and that's important to remember when whatever you're doing is a group effort. Encouragement and praise helps keep everybody motivated – and if you're in charge of a project, that's part of your job. Furthermore, if this culture doesn't currently exist at your job, create it. Let people know that you appreciate them and all the hard work they do. When people feel like they're being positively recognized for their efforts, it'll show. Co-workers will be happier, tasks will run smoother, and going to work in the morning won't be such a drag.
4. Share Credit for the Work They Do Themselves
People who love their jobs realize that it takes a village to keep all the parts moving and that nothing is the result of a single person. Even when you're working alone on a project, there are bound to be at least a few people who helped along the way – a secretary, assistant, HR, co-worker, or intern. It's important to share credit for a particular success if there were helping hands involved, however insignificant. Say thanks when the time comes to solidify your status as a team player.
5. Speak Positively About Their Job Outside The Office
People who love their jobs never badmouth it – or any aspect of it (coworkers, boss, etc.) – and instead find positive solutions to conflicts that arise. When they're in corporate company, they sing the praises of their work environment because they genuinely enjoy it.
Outside of work, they talk to their friends, families and strangers about the work they're doing and even say that they "love" their jobs. They become great brand ambassadors for your company. Also, reading articles and books relevant to their position, or attending industry events and seminars aren't chores, but areas of enjoyment and learning.
6. Steer Co-workers Toward a Path of Success
If you're successful at what you do, you should want other people to be successful too; there's room for everybody at the party. People who love their jobs are eager to help their co-workers get a leg up by mentoring them, offering assistance if they have time, helping them catch up after a few days out of the office, checking in occasionally to make sure everything is on track personally and professionally, and speaking positively about them to superiors. They understand that when the team as a whole is successful, so are the individual players – not the other way around.
7. Learn New Skills to Enhance Their Performance
When I worked in a corporate office, I seized any chance I could to learn new skills that would enhance my on-the-job performance. It's a good practice to adopt for two reasons: First is that you'll learn something new that will make you better at what you do. Secondly, your superiors will take notice of your initiative. Proactively seeking to advance the company's cause through your own continued education sends a message that you care about your company's progress and growth, and that you want to be a catalyst for that by using the best resources available to you – yourself.
8. Exhibit Passion to Inspire Others to Perform Better
People who love their jobs are passionate about their jobs. They come to work with a great attitude that inspires others around them. When people are passionate about their jobs, it shows in the quality of their work. Outside of work, they still embody their work culture because it aligns with their own. When people are passionate and content with their professional life, it flows into their personal life as well. You owe it to yourself and your co-workers to be 100 percent vested in a positive company culture in order to facilitate the best working environment you can.