Working from home has most likely got you worried that your career progression will stall because your hard work might not catch your supervisor’s eye. But if there is a silver lining to the ongoing lockdown, it has to be the fact that you now have more time within your workday to surf the internet. You can make new professional connections online and, through online short courses, grab multiple career progression opportunities.
Here are three methods you can employ for your professional growth when working from home:
1. Virtual networking
When you are working from home, it can be difficult for you to maintain connections given that you don’t meet with people regularly for coffee or happy hours after work. So, how do you ensure that you keep your networks alive? You can make time to have virtual coffee and lunches with people in your professional circle. The way to achieve this is to have a virtual conference set up during a coffee or lunch break where you chat with your colleagues or your other connections while having your meal. Try to keep your talks casual to ensure that conversations are not intense. For instance, you can start by talking about a stressful situation at work. However, it is important to share what you have learnt so you all can keep learning from each other.
You could also leverage technology to network by participating in group chats on various platforms such as Slack, Discord, Google Chat, or Mattermost. Through these platforms, you can find people with similar interests who can help you grow professionally. Additionally, you can attend relevant virtual conferences to form networks. While attending these forums, you need to make yourself stand out by sharing insightful comments and participating in virtual games during the conference. These efforts will get you noticed by the people you wish to engage with.
2. Expand your skill set through online training
There are many training courses that you can take online to advance your career. One reliable source that you can leverage for this is Job Training Courses. Here you can find courses ranging from web development, programming, computer science, design, communication, digital marketing, data science, languages, to artificial intelligence among others. Choose a course based on the direction that you want to take your career to or the field that you want to become an expert in. You can also enroll in postgraduate studies as you work from home given that there are many reputable universities that partner with this platform to offer online learning. The advantage of taking these professional development courses online as you work remotely is that you can continue to work and study in your spare time such as in the evenings or during the weekends.
3. Promote yourself
When you practice tactful self-promotion, you earn yourself better visibility, richer relationships, more recognition, and interesting assignments at work. But how do you do this? You can use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter to share your thoughts publicly. When you put yourself out there, you get to build credibility and make yourself visible to potential connections. Some of these social apps such as LinkedIn also allow you to create your professional profile and connect you to people who share similar interests as you. Through such connections, you can meet people that can contribute immensely to your career growth.
Another way to promote yourself is by writing direct messages (DM) to other professionals that you look up to. Given that you now have more time on your phone or laptop, you can take advantage of it to start writing direct professional messages to professionals of your interest. In this case, start familiarizing yourself with the art of writing professional pitches. Make sure that whatever you write aligns perfectly with the interests of the person that you are writing to. However, remember not to do it in a manner that appears harassing or annoying. In as much as possible, limit the times that you follow up with them.
Despite being away from the office, you can still advance professionally when you use the right strategies such as virtual networking, leveraging, online training to expand your skill set, and mastering the art of promoting yourself. The trick to growing your career is by thinking like a public relations expert where you utilize all available platforms to make new connections and sustain them. As a remote worker, make use of digital platforms and you will be surprised at how much you will develop yourself.
–By Nora Price