No matter how much traditional managers wish it wasn’t so – remote work is here to stay. Gone are the days where jobseekers have to live in the highest cost of living areas in order to have the best paying jobs. This new paradigm not only benefits workers who want to insert themselves into a great company from the comfort of their own home, but also the businesses themselves. It allows for employers to cast a much larger hiring net further than ever before, and having a more diverse workforce has been proven to benefit the company’s bottom line.
As a worker, the benefits are obvious – more job opportunities, lower gas spending, better work/life balance, etc., but there are also downsides. Namely, there is often less of the valuable face to face time with managers and coworkers that helps bolster chances to network and move up in the company. Here are some tips for standing out as a remote worker and inserting yourself higher up in your career.
Keep Your Camera On
Whether your organization mandates this or not, you should get in the habit of inserting yourself by keeping your camera on in all meetings where it is appropriate. Back before remote work became normalized, one of the tips I always used to give new employees was to stay visible in the workplace, both to your coworkers and to your manager. One of the best ways to stay at the top of someone’s mind is to simply be seen, often. You can choose to simply blend in, but if your goal is to move up in the workplace, then you should do your best to put yourself in front of others, especially your boss.
Not only will this increase your chances of being noticed by management, it also has benefits for your team to be visible. As someone who facilitates meetings frequently, I can tell you that I like to know that people in the meeting are paying attention. If your coworkers can see you during meetings, it helps to reassure them that they are indeed speaking to a real person and not into an empty room. Keep your camera on in your remote work.
Engage in the Conversation
Along with being visible in your remote work, you also need to insert yourself into the conversation wherever possible. Even if you don’t feel that you have anything of value to say on a topic, you can train yourself to ask good questions to keep the conversation going. Engaging in the discussion proves that you are attentively listening, helps you to understand topics better by acting on a thought rather than just allowing it to come and go, and allows you to be better able to communicate about subjects even if you are not the subject matter expert.
Just like being seen keeps you in their thoughts, being heard by others will also keep your voice in their heads. If you actively engage in and help the flow of the conversation at every chance you get, others will come to respect an expect the things that you have to say. Good communication is one of the best skills to have if you want to move up in an organization.
Even if you are not the best at your job, and there are others who have been there much longer than you, you will still have picked up on some important information for being successful that can be shared. By inserting yourself and taking a vested interest in the success of new employees in your department, you will show everyone that you have highly promotable leadership skills.
Take the time to help others in any way you can. Meet with them one-on-one to discuss their learning – it’s even easier to do this in a remote work environment. Everyone does better in their careers if they have a mentor, no matter what level of their career they are on. Even presidents and CEOs often have mentors. When you mentor someone else, you will find that you will elevate both of you in the process.
Invest in your Manager’s Success
This may seem like an obvious one, but it isn’t as common of a thought as one might think. Whenever you get the opportunity to help make your boss’s life easier, you should take that bull by the horns. Reach out to your manager and ask them if there is any work you can assist them with. Insert yourself into success of your manager and you will find it will pay dividends most of the time.
Even if your boss is not one that likes to delegate work, simply asking them once in a while how you can help will give them a positive view of you. You may do your own work with a degree of excellence, but that is what you are paid to do, and that is what they already expect. Reaching out to do more is the mark of somebody who wants to move up in the company.
Some of the best advice I’ve ever received in life was given to me from my favorite professor in college. He told me that the life we want to live is not going to come and get us. As proof, I’ve seen it many times in my career where brilliant, hard-working people were passed up on promotions in favor of other candidates who were more personable and less skilled. The sad truth is that hard work alone alone will not win you the same victories in work and in life as will being in the right place at the right time.
In the world of remote work, the right place is in the eyes and ears of your boss and coworkers, and the right time is every chance you get to put yourself there. Insert yourself.
If you are someone who was not blessed with high charisma, I highly recommend you watch CHARISMA ON COMMAND on YouTube. They have outstanding tips and tricks for being charismatic at every occasion, and it turns out that charisma can be trained like any other skill.