Although you might be working remotely, you can still grow and strengthen your career. Even though you may not be in front of your team members and manager, if you’re dedicated to developing your leadership skills, you can openly communicate about the projects that you’re working on, how you’re fostering collaboration among your various teams, and how you’re demonstrating leadership to your teams and management. Here are several ways you can grow in your position, leverage new career opportunities, and make your mark at your organization regardless of working from home.
Proactively ask for feedback.
Don’t wait on a structured review to start enlisting feedback from your manager and surrounding teams. 62% of employees feel like their company’s performance review is surface level and incomplete, so get ahead of a structured review process by asking for feedback proactively. Although inquiring about your performance and asking for feedback helps you grow in your position regarding what’s working well and what needs improvement, it also allows you to show your manager that you’re being diligent about evolving in your role. When asking for feedback, be clear about what you would like to know about your work performance, professional development, and projects that you are currently working on. Be sure to provide your manager with time to discuss the feedback presented candidly.
Work collaboratively among teams.
Although you’re working virtually, now is the time to work even more collaboratively with team members. Strive to work cross-functionally with team members to gain different perspectives, skills, and contributions to projects and initiatives. By working collaboratively, this will show your teammates that you value what they bring to the table and honor teamwork to achieve a collective goal for the organization.
Seek ways to provide value actively.
Aim to add value in different departments and teams by contributing your expertise, skills, and opinions, when you weren’t asked or expected to do so. When working on a team project, take one step further by researching or sending talking points before a team meeting or brainstorm beforehand. By accepting these proactive steps, you are showing your team and manager that you’re willing to give more to the organization and your role than what’s expected of you. A little extra work goes a long way, especially when you are trying to position yourself as a leader within an organization and team. Showing your boss and team members that you are willing to go the extra mile, even when working from home, can positively impact your growth in your role and as a leader.
Improve your written communication.
When working remotely and virtually, practicing effectively, clear, and concise digital communication is vital. Getting in the habit of consistently writing excellent emails and messages will improve your communication with your team members and help projects go along smoothly. To improve your written communication, make sure your ask is clear and stay away from jargon to limit misunderstandings.
Expand your contribution holistically.
When a new project isn’t available on your team or practice group, look for roles outside your select team to help you learn and practice new skills and raise your professional capital within your organization. For example, you can partner with a team member to assist them with one of their projects or join your company’s ERG (employee resource group) to strengthen your leadership skills.
Prioritize, being a strategic thought leader.
Take a more strategic approach to the work that you’re producing. Becoming more strategic will help you work smarter and not harder. Developing an impactful strategy is about asking “what” should we be doing differently and figuring out solutions for your work. To hone your strategic skills, spend less time-solving problems and more time defining which problems the group should be solving.
Kathleen Houlihan is a leader in workforce innovation and she is the Founder of an agency that reimagines talent acquisition and optimizes the system for candidates and employers. Her company, Dream2Career, provides human-centric ROI solutions that filter-in candidates who exceed expectations in the workplace.