Working remotely all year? Don’t let a promotion pass you by.
Diana had been working toward a promotion for several years when the pandemic hit and everything else got lost in the shuffle. Since then, she hasn’t found the right time to bring it up again with her boss. But nearly a year later, she doesn’t want to delay her career growth any longer.
LinkedIn research from September 2020 showed that promotions in the first six months of the pandemic were down 40% from the previous year. While the data isn’t in for the remainder of the year, the recovery trend is slow.
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to make up for lost ground in your career, you aren’t alone. But experts say you can take actionable steps toward making that promotion happen as soon as possible. A few ideas:
State Your Goal (again)
It’s your responsibility to keep your career growth on track. If your boss hasn’t mentioned the promotion for a long time, it’s OK to remind them that it’s still your top goal. Then enlist their help in creating a plan to get there, and schedule a time to check in on your progress.
Getting your manager invested in your professional development will raise your chances of getting the promotion you deserve.
Up Your Visibility
After you have the initial conversation, you need to show your face—a lot. When you don’t pass your boss in the hallway, they don’t always know what you’re up to. Set frequent one-on-one video meetings to update your boss on your accomplishments before they wonder. “Come prepared with an agenda and check progress against your goals,” says Stacey Perkins, a career coach at Korn Ferry Advance.
Even brief, informal calls to ask a question or get clarification can go a long way toward keeping you top of mind.
Use Your Voice
To get promoted while working remotely, you need to stand out even more than usual. Unfortunately, your work alone won’t speak for you, no matter how excellent. Contribute to every conference call you attend—don’t just sit back and listen. Ask questions. Share ideas. Let your voice be heard.
You can also take on more of a leadership role on your team without being asked. “Set up team social hours where everyone can share what they’re doing,” Perkins says. “And be a regular voice on team chat channels—share team wins and celebrate your colleagues.”
Make New Connections Without an Agenda
It can be tricky to get on influential people’s radars without any face time. People are looking for signs that you want to build a genuine relationship, so only reaching out when you need something sends the wrong message.
Instead, Perkins recommends that you ask for informational meetings to learn more about them. “Ask how you can help them; perhaps there are projects you can assist with,” she says. Prove that you’re willing to work hard and make yourself indispensable.
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