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Your career growth has always been assured by recognition of your hard work . But things have changed over recent months. You’ve put in the hours at your bedroom desk, or toiled at your kitchen table for months and months. There’s no doubt that you’ve been productive. But have you been able to move your career on while you’ve been at home? Here, we run through some tactics to help you boost your at-home job success.
In a physical workplace it’s easy for management to notice your achievements, but how do you make sure you’re seen and heard if people can’t physically see what you’re doing? Is career growth even possible when working from home?
Working remotely can carry a risk of being ‘out of sight, out of mind’ . To keep progressing professionally the trick is to keep reminding your employers that you’re still there, and still doing great work.
In a nutshell, you have to become your own cheerleader. Bigging yourself up might not come naturally but it’s crucial if you want career growth. Our suggestion is to keep a note of things you’ve done well and are proud of. Then send your line manager a weekly email keeping them up to date on what’s been happening.
If you have time, taking the initiative and volunteering for tasks that aren’t strictly in your remit (but that play to your strengths) may get you noticed by decision makers.
Look for opportunities to help another team with an urgent deadline, or offer to give new starters an introduction to what your department does. Even making it known that you’ve figured out some Zoom productivity hacks or a new tricky feature - then doing a remote ‘show and tell’ to people outside of your team - can get the spotlight on you.
Doing that bit extra means you’ll also be arming yourself with brand-new skills and knowledge, too.
Working from a different space as your manager means it’s OK to ask for actionable feedback more often than you might have done before. These needn’t be formally arranged feedback sessions. In a virtual workplace, quick check-ins do just as well. If you’re seen as keen to make upward progress, it speaks volumes if you proactively ask for ways you can improve.
Counterintuitively, asking for, and accepting help can also have surprisingly positive workplace consequences. When done in the right way you'll develop closer bonds with co-workers, increase job satisfaction due to feeling more of a team, and boost productivity. In this article by author, speaker and CEO, Jeffrey Davis: Why we need to learn to ask for (and accept) help, you'll find the best ways to ask for help that won't leave you feeling awkward and powerless.
One of the plus points of your employer sending everyone home to work is that those in positions of influence will also be at home - and more available to you than ever. So make a list of the power players you’d like to know - and figure out how you can get on their radar.
Many people who now work from home can grab a bit of time back from what used to be hours commuting. If that’s you, it’s a chance to deepen your existing skills - or gain new ones.
There are excellent online courses - many of them free - on crucial workplace skills. Keep on your manager’s radar - and get noticed as someone who’s keen to improve - by asking them which skills they feel it would be worth you focusing on.
Pushing your career forward from home not only means staying visible, but showing you’re keen to get even better at your job.
If you’ve started a new job remotely, we’ve written more on how to feel connected with your colleagues.