Are you working from home? Are you investing in your future by showing you’re serious about your career progression? Are you concerned about how to advance whilst working from home?
As the post-pandemic world emerges, more people are likely to work from home as a permanent arrangement.
With home working so prevalent during the Covid-related lockdown restrictions, many employees and employers alike have experienced the benefits of home working – whether through cost savings, time efficiencies and better use of technology. One key concern has emerged about whether there will be a unfair divide between those people working in offices/on site and those people working from home, especially for career development. Many forward thinking employers are addressing inclusive practices for managing careers, whilst the rest of us will need to become much more focused on managing our own careers in the post-pandemic world.
Whether you are working a hybrid arrangement, or fully working from home, here’s our 5 ways to show you’re serious about your career progression whilst you are working from home:
1. Be visible
Being noticed as a competent and confident person ready to handle the responsibilities of positions senior to your present one – is essential for career progression. Keeping your head down and doing quality work will not move you up.
Ramp up your visibility! Use every work-related interaction, such as email, whatsapp, phone, or video, to present yourself as a person with presence, competence and warmth.
Keep senior leaders up to date with your activities and accomplishments – perhaps by a regular email summarizing what you are doing to your supervisors or perhaps just reporting on the completion of projects together with an assessment of your contribution.
Bypass any insecurities or fears you may have about stating your achievements – ensure you take credit for your personal accomplishments (or else others will!)
Be sure everyone with influence over your career is periodically aware of your hard work, commitment and accomplishments.
2. Network regularly
You should invest regular time to expand your network regardless of whether you in the office or not.
LinkedIn is one of the most effective ways to do this. Regularly updated your profile, join groups you find interesting and comment on other people’s posts. Attempt to connect with people you may not know but whose work you admire or who hold positions you would like to have one day. Write a thoughtful message of admiration and ask for career advice – you might be surprised at how well your efforts are received. After all, many of these people are also working from home and may welcome the opportunity for some social interaction.
Take the opportunity to network and connect with people within your organisation, profession, industry, sector and/or areas of interest. Consider networking with people in your local community who are also working from home so that you can build your own local working support community.
If networking is an activity that you shy away from or put to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list, we suggest setting weekly targets networking activity.
3. Be engaged
Now more than ever you need to be raising your hand. Volunteer for new projects and assignments and seek out career-advancing opportunities.
Without in-person interactions and easy access to informal office networks, it can be difficult to know when new projects and opportunities become available. This means you need to regularly let your managers know of your availability, interest in new challenges, and desire to expand your skill set so that you are top of mind.
4. Find a mentor
Having mentors to help open doors to your future career is a proven strategy for career progression. Whilst they won’t be opening the literal door for you in your home working environment, mentoring relationships can unlock the key to career success.
If your employer or professional association run formal mentoring programmes, take the opportunity to get involved, otherwise seek out informal mentoring relationships by approaching people you admire – perhaps a senior leader or technical expert in your field – to be your mentor at this stage in your career. Set up a short meeting for your mentoring conversation and get yourself prepared with some areas you’d like to ask their input on or seek their counsel or experience.
And don’t limit yourself to just one mentor – reach out to different people who can help you progress in your career.
5. Develop your own career plan
Know your purpose, values and desired career direction to develop your own career plan. Regularly review and develop your plan so that it evolves in line with changing circumstances and aspirations. Take responsibility and put yourself firmly in charge of your own career progression.
If you’re unsure of how to do this, work with a career coach.
Work with a Career-Mums coach as your career coach – our Spotlight on your Career coaching provides cost-effective, high quality coaching enabling you to focus on how you can achieve your future aspirations. Book a discovery call now to find out more.
Remember, success doesn’t come and find you – you have to go and find it (… even if it’s from the comfort of your own home)
Career-Mums is proud to be a social enterprise