You hear plenty of companies talking about employee engagement, but what does it actually mean? Engaged team members have bought in to their jobs and companies. They speak highly of what they do and whom they work for and will go above and beyond what’s asked of them.
If asked today, nearly half of employed Americans would consider themselves disengaged from their work. The first step in counteracting this? If you’re a job seeker, finding the right company and career is key.
Here are five ways to tell you’re doing the right job and with the right company.
- You genuinely enjoy the work. Plenty of people chase paychecks. Don’t be one of them. If your work satisfaction is based solely on money, you’ll be miserable in two years if you aren’t already now. Choose a career that revolves around work that you truly enjoy. We spend most of our waking hours on the job. Make sure it’s something you’re interested in doing.
- You’re confident. Confidently making decisions and feeling the freedom to take risks is a sign that you’re comfortable in your current position. Team members are happier in an environment where they’re encouraged to take chances, develop professionally, and try new things without fear of repercussion. This confidence means you’re eager to contribute toward company goals and are invested in its success.
- You don’t sweat the off days. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, your job outlook won’t hinge on one bad day. Likewise, every task won’t always be exciting and wonderful. Those content in their careers view these mundane tasks as a bridge towards a greater company or professional goal. The positive outlook makes the workday go quicker and gives it new meaning.
- You’ve got a good team. Life is too short to be surrounded by negative people at work. We feed off each others’ energy, so those in a job or company they love are usually surrounded by coworkers who challenge them, share their vision, and are enjoyable to be around. Teamwork is a huge part of any job and going to bat with a bad team will make you burn out or lose interest quickly.
- You’re eager to grow. Engaged workers are driven to succeed at their current company. Is there a career path that you’re excited about? Are there opportunities to develop professionally? Team members that are invested in these options are more likely to take on new projects, challenge themselves, and ultimately invest more time and energy into the company.
Choosing a career path is one of the most important decisions you can make, because life’s too short to be miserable at your job. Employees: look for companies that align with your interests, abilities, and sensibilities. And employers: create companies that people want to work for.
This article originally appeared on AllBusiness.