Advancing your career while working from home requires the same dedication and ambition it does when working in an office. That said, you also have unique challenges to overcome in the process, including but not limited to:
- Communication hurdles
- Increased need for self-discipline
- Lack of visibility to upper management
- Mental health struggles
Remote professionals can move through the challenges seamlessly and grow their careers while working from home by implementing the following tips.
Visualize What’s Next in Your Career
The first step in growing your career while working from home is visualizing the next steps in your career. You need to define what you’re striving for in your career and why. Ask yourself career questions like:
- What are your career goals?
- What industries can you see yourself in?
- What is meaningful work for you?
- Do you have potential companies to work for in mind?
- What skills do you have now and which do you want to develop?
- Do you want to continue working remotely, or would in-office or hybrid work suit you better?
Don’t settle for less in your career just because you’re working from home. It’s still possible to visualize advancement, whatever that may look like for you. Achieving the next step in your career is much easier when you know where you’re going.
Be Diligent About Your Mental Health
Although working from home offers more flexibility, it also has its drawbacks, like the negative impact it can have on your mental health. Remote work can be lonely and anxiety-provoking at times.
You must be diligent about your mental health to ensure your mind and emotional well-being are in a good space. It’s also crucial to feel good about yourself and have a clear mind to make effective decisions about how to grow your career.
Participate in activities that help you keep your mind clear and encourage you to take care of yourself first. Mind-mapping tools can be powerful in helping you identify why you’re feeling the way you do and how to move forward in a better way. Therapy, meditation, intentional self-care, nature walks, and regular socializing can also help you maintain a healthy mind.
Extraneous factors can affect your mental health while working from home. Be sure you protect your well-being at all costs, even if that means setting boundaries with family during work hours. That way, you can make the best decisions about how to advance your career.
Build Your Professional Network
Despite what many people think, it’s difficult to advance professionally alone. You typically need people around you that believe in you and can point you toward opportunities that help you get to the next level.
Building your professional network is integral to career growth. However, it will look different when doing it remotely. Joining professional networking groups in your industry and participating in virtual events on social media can be hugely impactful.
Building great relationships with those you work with on your immediate team is also essential. Take it a step further and connect with employees in different departments to expand your network at work even more. Fast track your career growth while working from home by surrounding yourself with a supportive professional network.
To grow professionally, you must continue to learn and grow your skill set so that you have more to offer companies. Informal learning happens all the time through your job responsibilities, but it’s important to take on educational opportunities outside of work, too. Make a list of the skills you want to master and start tackling them individually.
For example, let’s say you’re interested in different areas of marketing. Taking a digital marketing class is a great first step, considering how digitally-focused the world is today. You could also take courses in web design, graphic design, and analytics to gain additional certifications that can help you advance your career in marketing. Keep learning to continue growing.
Lean on Your Boss for Support
Many people can honestly say that a former manager played a significant role in them moving forward in their careers. Whether this was through a promotion, ongoing training, or simply believing in them, the support of their boss helped them grow in their careers.
When you work from home, you must put in a lot more effort to develop a great relationship with your boss but it’s worth it. You’ll be top of mind when opportunities arise. It’s easier to ask your boss for more responsibility to grow your skill set, and you can learn from how they’ve advanced their career.
Check-in with your boss weekly. Get to know who they are and allow them to do the same with you. Have conversations about professional development and put the idea in their ear when you see a need you can fill. Your boss can be a bridge to the next step in your career. Take advantage of it.
Work on Passion Projects
When you do things you’re passionate about outside of work, there’s a good chance that enthusiasm and passion will spill over into your career choices. Passion projects balance you out so you can show up whole in your career. You could also find that there are roles out there that allow you to turn your personal passions into a career path.
Make time for your passion projects. Take them seriously. See if there’s a way to take them from hobbies to actual careers while maintaining that high level of enjoyment. Working on your passions outside of work can inspire you to make life-changing shifts in your career.
Growing your career while working from home is a unique experience. You’ll need to do things a bit differently than you would as an in-office employee. But with the tips above, you can approach the journey with the right intention and strategy to continually land dream positions or even start your dream business.
This article was written by Dan Matthews.
Dan Matthews is a writer, content consultant, and conservationist. While Dan writes on a variety of topics, he loves to focus on the topics that look inward to help develop one’s self, in turn developing mankind to make the surrounding world a better place to reside. When Dan isn’t working on new content, you can find him with a coffee cup in one hand and searching for new music in the other.