Growing Your Career While Working Remotely is Possible—Here’s How to Start

Whether your company has gone fully remote or hybrid, or you took the plunge into gig work or self-employment in the height of the pandemic, working from home is not out of the ordinary anymore. Part of our NimblyWise Real-Time Learning Program is group cohort sessions that allow individuals at various stages in their career to voice concerns, ask questions, and brainstorm about workplace challenges. With the increasing popularity of remote work in these scenarios, one question we’ve been hearing a lot is, “How can I advance my career while working remotely?”

When you work remotely, there are no more lunch breaks with the team or impromptu coffee chats to build relationships with colleagues. Nor is there spontaneous facetime with C-suite management team members in the office. Despite that, there are still ways you can grow your career at your current role, and prepare for your next, all from your home office.

Here are a few tips to get you started on the right trajectory!

Seek Out Networking Opportunities at Your Company & Locally

As we mentioned, the serendipitous meetings in the coffee line or in the office won’t happen anymore when you work remotely. You can’t have one-on-one conversations at the virtual Zoom happy hour. Proactively seeking networking opportunities that will allow you to grow your network, even if you’re not meeting new people on a daily basis, is key for growing your career. A few ways you can do this are:
  • Ask a management team member to have a 15-minute coffee chat and ask them your top career questions. Don’t feel awkward and don’t hold back! Think about it as a meeting you’d have in the office by chance. They’ll respect you for taking that initiative.
  • Join an employee resource group on a topic that you connect with, maybe it’s wellness or diversity. Through this, you’ll set yourself up to be a leader in your company, while also cultivating connections with colleagues outside your direct team. If employee resource groups don’t exist, raise this idea with HR and start one!
  • Find local networking opportunities close to home. Working with a remote team, you could be spread out across the globe! Join your local chamber of commerce or find a remote worker meet up to create connections across different companies and industries. You never know where a new opportunity may come from!

Document Your Wins & Set Strategic Goals

Especially if you’re not collaborating with your team on a daily basis, or having weekly meetings with your boss, it’s easy to complete a task and just move on to the next thing. It’s easy to lose motivation that way. When you have a win, document it! Save it in a place where you can look for inspiration on those lonely and tough days and bring them out for your performance reviews. In addition, always set strategic goals for yourself to reach. While your company may do this for your contribution to the company, think about it in terms of what you personally want to achieve. It’s easy to log off and forget about your career when Netflix is calling downstairs. But sign up for courses like a new language to build personal skills, photography to apply to your marketing job to build your professional skills, or other classes just for fun! Set goals around what you want to get out of those experiences and maybe how many you’ll complete each year. This way, you’re always working on achieving something greater, and that will only help you grow.

Invest in Learning & Development Opportunities

The effort you put into building yourself, your skills, and your career will directly correlate with how successful you become, regardless of where you work. Part of this is investing in learning and development opportunities. It can be hard to know where to start with this. Our top tip is to analyze your goals and where you want to be. Then, look at where you are now. What skills are you lacking that you need to get to that next level and achieve your goals? Start there and seek out programs that will help you fill in those skills gaps!

Don’t Get Too Comfortable

Don’t start wearing your pajamas to every Zoom call or taking every phone call flying down the highway to your next destination. It’s tempting to be ultra-casual when you’re working steps away from your bedroom, but in order to grow your career you must place a high value on professionalism. Think about it as you would going into the office, get ready and look polished Monday through Thursday with calls in your home office with a professional setting. Maybe have a casual Friday where you don your company sweatshirt and take a call on the road. The way you present yourself virtually is just as important as how you present yourself in person, remember that!

Want Help Growing Your Career Virtually? Let NimblyWise Help.

Transitioning to remote work and learning how to grow professionally isn’t easy! There are so many unique factors you may not have encountered during your in-person work experiences. And it’s easy to lose motivation to keep yourself on a path toward success. But armed with the right tools, habits, and skills, you’ll inevitably succeed! Our NimblyWise Real-Time Learning program is ideal for remote workers who are learning how to navigate building their career in a new way. Let’s chat about how we can help you reach the next level in your remote work journey!

P.S. Are you a manager wanting to help grow your team with qualified remote workers? Download our recent e-book for expertise and actionable tips.