Working from home has become the new norm and it’s common to feel as though your career is no longer advancing without the benefits of going into the office and seeing people face to face on a daily basis. You become more insulated and have fewer opportunities to get outside of your box and show your worth. However, there are a few simple things you can do to continue moving your career forward while working from home.
One thing to consider is how you can use your new found time to improve yourself and your skills. Without the commute to and from the office you probably have some more time on your hands during the work week than you are used to. Why not use that new found time to work on yourself? Learn a new skill pertinent to your position. Get that certification you’ve been putting off that could qualify you for a higher position or better salary. Take an online class, or learn more about a department your team frequently works with.
You can also work on your written communication. Emails and digital chats are becoming more frequent and it’s a good idea to sharpen your skills in that department. Learn to be more clear, concise, and comprehensible. Practice cutting out jargon or any other wording that can be confusing. This will help greatly even after the return to the office.
Another way to continue your career growth is to advocate for yourself much more than before. While you are working from home it is much harder for your superiors to really understand what you are accomplishing on an individual level, you can’t be afraid to speak up and tell them what you did and how you are helping your team. Don’t let your superiors miss an accomplishment just because you didn’t do it in front of them.
Networking is still a major part of moving up the corporate ladder and it’s now much more difficult without the constant face to face interactions you would get in an office. Take some time to reach out to other teams you normally don’t work with. Try and avoid getting insulated with the main people you would see every day. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm with members of other teams and make sure to stay in contact with the people who have helped get you to where you are.
One thing people overlook in their home office set up is how they look and sound in online meetings. Take some time and review your set up. How is the lighting in the room you’re in? Are you too back lit? What’s in the background of your frame? Is it anything distracting? How’s your microphone? Can you be heard clearly? How’s your internet connection? Can you pay a little bit more and improve it? This can go a long way to strengthening your communication during meetings. You can always have a Zoom call with your friends and tell each other how you appear and sound. While this can seem like an afterthought, the way we look and sound in meetings is now our only form of in person communication with our teams. Making sure you have a well-lit distraction free visual and a clear crisp audio can make a world of difference when you are in an all-important digital meeting. The effort you put into this is minimal and can have a big impact and how your superiors and fellow team members take in what you are presenting.
You’re at home, there are some disadvantages, but you can swing all these things in your favor and move forward instead of getting stuck in the inconveniences.
This article was written by Sam Rogal.
Sam Rogal is a writer and professional living in New York City. He has worked in the film and theater industry and graduated top of his class with a degree in Communications.