Most workers spend a lot of time thinking about themselves. That makes sense given that in most companies, whether you are promoted, get a raise, or otherwise get ahead, it requires taking an active interest in promoting yourself.

Just worrying about you, however, ignores a vital part of the work experience: your co-workers. In many cases, the difference between liking and hating a job comes down to the people you work with. If you nurture and build those relationships, your work experience will be better. And that might help you with some of the matters of self-interest mentioned above.

Workers gather around a computer.

Be considerate about how your actions impact your fellow workers. Image source: Getty Images.

1. Be thoughtful

Think about the things that have negatively impacted you, and try to make sure nobody else faces the same fate. That might mean helping a new person get comfortable or inviting someone to dinner on a work trip. It could even be as simple as helping someone learn the secrets of the communal coffee pot or which bathroom is the clean one.

2. Be the person who helps

It can be uncomfortable when someone asks for help (or needs it and doesn't ask) and nobody steps in. Don't wait to be asked. Be the person who pitches in and lends a helping hand simply because you see someone in need.

3. Do the unexpected

Know the mood in your office. When it's less than positive, do something to change that. Bring in doughnuts, organize a work lunch, or do something else to cheer people up. Try to surprise people with kindness and be a source of positive energy even when times are difficult.

4. Share credit

People rarely see their part in a project as minor even when it actually was. Don't think much about who did what. Celebrate wins as a team and share credit liberally. Say "thank you" often, and when the spotlight shines on you, make sure you redirect it to the people who helped you achieve success.

Think about more than yourself

The most important aspect of being a good co-worker is remembering that the world does not revolve around you. Make an active effort to think about how your actions not only impact other people but how they might make their lives better (or worse). Be thoughtful and mindful and remember that your actions impact other people. It's easy to be a good co-worker. It just takes a bit of vigilance and a dose of compassion.

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