How to navigate your career while working from home
Whether you want to grow in your current role, get that big promotion, or explore completely new opportunities, planning your career while working from home can be a major challenge. Without the typical face-to-face interactions you get in an office environment, it can be easy to fall into complacency and let your career ambitions sit on the back burner. With these kinds of challenges in mind, we’ve put together some helpful tips designed to provide guidance on navigating your career while working remotely.
1. Schedule time with your mentor
Communication is the key to any successful relationship. And while it’s not always easy to lock down time with managers, executives, and mentors, scheduling some time to discuss your performance and aspirations with these people can go a long way in climbing the ladder. In these sessions you might want to discuss the work you’re currently doing, the work you would like to be doing more of, and where you see yourself down the road.
2. Shed some light on your extra efforts
We all know that working remotely often leads to longer hours than in a traditional office environment. But much of this work can be rendered invisible because there is no one present to witness it. While it will require some tact, there are ways to keep your team aware of the extra effort you’ve been putting in at home. You might ask team members to review some extra tasks you’ve taken on, or send out emails that keep your managers in the loop. Taking notes along the way for your yearly review is also a great way to get the message across when it matters most.
3. Make your intentions known
We often assume that the people around us know our plans – that we’re gunning for that big promotion or looking to lead a major project. But while it may seem obvious to us, our teammates are often so busy with their own day to day tasks that they probably haven’t stopped to think about your goals. That’s why it’s so key to communicate – both verbally and in writing – your immediate and long-term goals.
4. Continue networking
Networking certainly isn’t for everyone, but it is a key component to any long-term career strategy. While in an office environment it’s easy to ask someone to join you for lunch or a coffee to get to know them a bit better, working remotely does not offer this kind of convenience. Instead, you will need to be more direct about what you’re hoping to get out of a meeting with the person. For instance, you might reach out to someone within your company and tell them you’d like to learn more about what they do, and that you’re interested gaining skills in their specialized area.
5. Grow your skillset
Working from home doesn’t mean you have to stop gaining new skills. In fact, with shortened commute times, there are more hours in the day to dedicate to learning. And with more online classes available than ever, finding the right course has never been easier. When you do finish one of your courses or achieve a certification, be sure to update your LinkedIn profile and share the news on your other social media channels as well.
Working remotely certainly has its pros and cons, but there are many ways to make the most of it and continue growing in your career. The key is to clearly define your goals, create a strategy, and follow through.