Remote work has amazing benefits – you are in charge of your own schedule, have more time for yourself, have more energy to learn new skills, you’re able to balance work and family, etc. But what does it take to grow and build a successful career while working remotely?
There are some challenges that people face while trying to advance their careers while working away from the office. For example, not being in front of your team members or boss might make you feel left out and excluded from important discussions. Your inability to socialize with your co-workers may lead to a feeling of isolation and loneliness. These factors act as a deterrent when you are trying to get ahead in your career while working remotely. But with a few practices, you can overcome these challenges and build a remote career that’s right for you.
We’ve identified 7 keys to your career development that address the unique challenges posed by remote working.
7 KEYS TO BUILDING A REMOTE CAREER THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU
The lack of face time with co-workers can make it incredibly hard for a remote worker to communicate effectively. As jobs and processes become more automated, it is vital that communication is clear and structured no avoid any confusion or mishap.
This skill is fundamental to remote work success and career advancement. Hone your written communication skills and get in the habit of writing clear, concise emails and messages. This will help greatly in communicating with your team members, minimize misunderstandings, and help projects run smoothly. Tools such as Grammarly helps you write clearly and effectively and even has suggestions for grammar and vocabulary.
While collaboration is the backbone of any successful project, it is even more important for someone who works virtually. Collaborating with members shows your team members that you value their opinion and also helps you gain perspective and attain a collective goal for your organization.
Stay up to date with remote working tools that’ll help you work in robust collaborative spaces, find and share knowledge and expertise.
Upskilling while working remotely must naturally be done digitally. Some ideas to upskill are attending online training, reading top business books, going to virtual events and webinars, finding a mentor to talk about your vision, listen to podcasts, etc.
Upskilling is an overlooked aspect of career development. One of the perks of working remotely is that you have the freedom to take some time for yourself to learn new skills and invest back into developing yourself and your career. Always look for opportunities to educate yourself, get involved with different projects with different people.
You cannot rely on physical proximity to make yourself visible to your managers and co-workers. This means that you have to develop some other way to increase your visibility among your team.
Your visibility is critical to your career growth. Check what internal mechanisms and practices your remote company has that support employees showcase their expertise and skills. Take part in company-wide initiatives and make yourself seen as an effective thinker and leader. Boost the perception that you are valuable to the company and get tapped for better opportunities.
Always think of adding value to different departments and teams by using your skills and experience. Take an extra interest in a project and go one step further by researching thoroughly beforehand. When you are trying to position yourself as a leader, a little extra work goes a long way. Showing your manager or boss that you are willing to go the extra mile and have a flexible schedule while working from home, can positively impact your career growth.
Every employee gets a structured review of their performance, but over 60 percent of them feel that it is incomplete and does not directly reflect their performance. Stand out from the rest by proactively asking your manager for feedback. This will help you grow in your position and help you understand truly what’s working well and what needs improvement. It also shows that you are taking extra interest in understanding your performance and being diligent about evolving in your role.
WORK FOR A REMOTE-FIRST COMPANY
If you want to build and grow a remote career, then one of the first things you should be looking at is whether your company is a remote-first company. A remote-first company empowers people to work remotely, not just allows them to. Their processes and tools are designed to include remote employees equally. They conduct meetings online to ensure all relevant employees are included while making key decisions. Also, a remote-first company offers equal promotion opportunities for both office and remote workers.
If you envision yourself in a leadership position working remotely, then finding a remote-first company is vital. The company should be able to appreciate and help you grow your remote career while embracing the flexibility of remote work.
If you want to advance your remote career, you need to have a view of your future. You must have a vision. Having clear goals, knowing which direction to take, and understanding how to get there is important for career growth. Network with like-minded professionals to see what steps they are taking for their career growth. This will shine a light on opportunities that you may have never considered.
Compile a diverse set of examples from career paths of other remote workers to see if something interests you. Also, understand that designing your future remote career takes time and work. Work on your creativity, strategic and analytical thinking, communication skills, etc. to communicate your vision effectively.
Remote work is the future. If you are already working remotely, then it is important to understand how to advance your career in this remote-work framework. These 7 key points will not only help you future-proof your remote job but also build a strong and long-lasting remote career.