There is more to life than advancement in career. My husband works in the tech industry. He goes to work, does his job, does it WELL, and leaves. He has no interest in moving up in his company. He is a highly valued employee, and rightly so. He works hard and then he comes home and lives his life with his family. I am proud of him.
I work at a pizza place, and the majority of employees are teenagers who haven't figured out the whole "do your job well" concept. They're still working on the concept of "show up to work, when you're scheduled". There are too many cases of people not showing up to work, without any warning. I know, because whenever two other drivers don't show up, they call me to come in and help pick up the slack. I've also seen one teenagers throw fits and leave in the middle of a shift, because someone at school said something mean about them, and they can't function right now.
Another part of the job that some other employees have a problem with is the uniform. Yeah, the uniform isn't the greatest costume ever, but you still have to wear it. The boss gets annoyed when people don't wear the hat, when they wear coats to hide the uniform, etc. It's really hard to get away with not wearing the uniform correctly, since it's so visible. I'm not sure why people keep trying to get away with not having the right uniform.
So I'm doing my job well, just by showing up and wearing the right uniform. That should be the bare minimum, but it's enough to put me in the top 50% of performers.
What I think makes me a GOOD employee is the fact that I do more than just my job. Like, I'm a delivery driver. But I can also do the other jobs, like make pizzas, clean the restaurant and work the front desk. Some employees, they have the mindset of "Whoa, I'm a driver. I don't work in the kitchen." But I'm willing to work in the kitchen whenever they need help. In fact, it's in my best interest to do so, because if there's a backup in the kitchen, it's going to be a lot longer before the next delivery is up. Help the company by doing what needs to be done, instead of just flailing around when your particular task is done for the moment.
I don't know if this is a company secret or not, but they don't really make pizzas in the order they're received. I'm not sure why. When I'm the only one in the kitchen, and I've got three orders, I start with the oldest order first.