Give a little extra...
Use building blocks to become a cornerstone at work.
It's called "value added" in the marketing world but in the working world it is being the "valuable additive." What that means is no matter what job you have, do a little extra, more than what is required, grease the wheel to make it stop squeaking without being asked. Even more importantly don't be the squeaky wheel that always needs to be oiled to get you to do the basic job. Do quality work. Be friendly and amiable to everyone, which doesn't mean you have to like them or be overly nice, people see right through that. Sometimes you won't feel like it and have bad days. If you are consistently congenial, then when occasionally grumpy or not having a good day, it is the exception and not the rule. When you make a mistake, own up to it, fix it and learn from it, apologizing goes a long way.
There is nothing wrong with being helpful to your supervisor, if they want it or you see they need someone to lend a hand. Be respectful to them, even if sometimes they don't always return the favor, you might be surprised to find that one day they will in an unexpected way. It's not being a bootlicker but common decency, at the same time don't be an apple-polisher either. It's not hard to be a regular person who offers an element of value without working too hard at it. When you offer something additional to what is required you're becoming a cornerstone of the place where you work. A cornerstone is part of the foundation that makes you vital to the operation of your workplace and difficult to replace in tangible and intangible ways.
The reasons are twofold. The first is it will improve your job satisfaction, no matter how ordinary that job might seem to the larger world, work will be a challenge not a chore. The second is it will also make you more beneficial to your boss and employer in a way they may not quite fully understand until something happens you can resolve. They're likely to realize that you're offering something that others don't and that alone is enough to keep you. If the time should come when choices have to be made regarding who stays and who goes, you will be one of those that stay and the person who does the minimum required, squeaks a lot and when given an inch takes a mile, will be gone.
In this world of high unemployment, companies need people who not only can do the work but also add to that work. There are two skills involved in any type of employment: the skills of doing the actual work itself and more, plus the skills of getting along with other people. In that sense, no matter your line of work, everyone is in customer service.
"No employer ever wants to see an employee with his hands in his pockets." Mike's father.
Mike, who blogs at rock and confusion and video blogs on his YouTube 7anby channel, in this video offers a great perspective on this topic. His thoughts were inspiration for this blog.