As some people return to the office and others continue to work remotely, we are returning to some sense of normality and beginning to look ahead once more at our career aspirations and goals, and becoming more mindful about career progression. Those who are back in the office will follow the usual steps in relation to getting noticed and putting themselves forward for career progression opportunities, but what about those of us who are still working remotely?
Not only are we faced with the challenge of being seen and noticed when we are putting in the extra hours and work remotely we may also be facing competition with those who are back in the office and physically visible to the management and leadership teams.
So, what would we suggest for the best chance for career progression while working from home? Here are 8 top tips.
This is one to perfect first as it is so important, especially while communicating online and over video calls. Emails may be interpreted in the wrong way or more negatively than they were intended. In relation to video calls, our expressions don’t always come across as we intend them to and even a neutral expression or an expression of concentration can be portrayed as negative through the recipient’s lens. Be aware of how you communicate, the language (both verbal and physical) that you use to ensure it comes across as confident, optimistic and goal orientated.
Once you have perfected communication, make sure to use it effectively. It can be easy to fall into the trap of only liaising with colleagues who are directly relevant to our work but don’t forget those with whom you had a relationship when you were working in the office every day. Make sure to reach out to colleagues to keep in contact and connect with everyone that you can.
Make New Connections
The next step is to get a little bit uncomfortable and reach out to those who you may not know quite as well, or at all, especially those who operate at senior level. Show interest and curiosity and establish a mutual interest to form a new connection. You may even express a need for assistance or reach out to gain some of their unique knowledge. People love sharing their own knowledge and are often happy to help others if they feel truly appreciated. This is about getting outside your comfort zone because when it is uncomfortable it’s likely that others aren’t doing it and you will stand out!
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Acquire new skills that are useful to your role that will help you excel at your job and show your manager and other leaders in the company that you want more responsibility. When given that responsibility make sure that you are happy with how you carry it out. This may involve asking questions to completely understand but once the result is strong, you will impress!
Don’t Be Forgotten
This involves being more proactive. If you have followed the steps above and feel connected to your colleagues this should make it easier. If there are upcoming projects, launches, brainstorming sessions that people are working on in the office, don’t resign to being left out. Instead you could request to attend via video or read the brief and send in suggestions ahead of time.
Request Feedback and Constructive Criticism
Taking ownership for your own career is crucial! Your manager is no longer seeing you in person everyday so you may need to request feedback more than usual. Please note, that if you don’t handle criticism well, make sure you are prepared to hear it when you ask for it. No point asking and then getting angry when you are given what you asked for!
Track and Monitor Your Progress
Track how you have progressed and take note of any extra tasks or responsibilities that you have taken on to ensure that they don’t go under the radar. Monitor any process improvements that you suggested or implemented, your efficiencies and cost-saving measures and how you add value to the team and company.
Finally, once you have set yourself up, ask for what you want. Be prepared and ensure you are familiar with your performance, how you add value and any objections that you may face when asking. Use the above as evidence that you deserve that promotion!
Without the hustle and bustle of a commute, you’re likely to find yourself with some extra time on your hands when you work from home. Use this time to devote some thought and energy beyond your day-to-day tasks and think strategically about your long-term career goals.