Liv McConnell
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Pie > cake.

Visibility is often touted as a key condition of getting your promotion potential recognized. But what does that mean in today’s world, when COVID has made so much of the work we do, day in and day out, feel less-than totally visible?

It’s a question people who work from home have been navigating since long before the pandemic. And many have answered it successfully, too. According to research from Ultimate Software, remote workers were 40% more likely than their in-office counterparts to earn promotions in 2018.

Below, here are five pieces of advice that strategic remote workers follow to keep racking up promotions and maintaining career momentum, without stepping foot in an office.

1. They follow through.

Beyond simply working hard, developing a reputation for follow-through and for keeping your promises is one of the biggest services you can do for yourself, especially in a virtual environment.

2. They invest in their own learning. 

Participating in any internal trainings that your company may offer is great, but investing in outside training is what can really cement you as a subject matter expert. There are all kinds of classes you can take and accreditations you can earn online, and it’s worth asking whether your company will reimburse you for these. But even if they don’t, it’s still your own professional development that you’re investing in, and it’s also a worthwhile use of time at home.

3. They’re proactive about identifying opportunities.

A good worker reliably does what they’re told. A good worker with noticeable promotion potential doesn’t wait to be told. In your 1:1s with management while working remotely, make a point of coming to the meetings with ideas and opportunities that you’ve taken the initiative to identify. 

4. They track their progress — and actively communicate it.

Rather than waiting for a performance review to rattle off everything they’ve accomplished, strategic remote workers continually remind their managers of what they’ve done and how they’ve contributed. Stephanie McDonald, an FGB VIP and a recruiter, recommends the following:

“Managers can't recognize and celebrate what they can't see! To combat this, I suggest writing a short Friday update to your manager with your top priority that you've been working on that week and what you did against it and the same for the next week, listing your priority and what you plan on doing. You can also share wins and lessons learned. While you can call it 'just making sure you're up to speed' it also shares that you're working hard on the things that she feels are a priority to the organization, and you’ll have updates ready should anyone ask about your projects. A win/win!”

5. They stay invested in their colleagues, on a personal level, too.

It’s hard to set yourself up for a promotion if you’ve become an ivory tower at work. Given how besieged by screens most of us feel, it’s tempting to skip out on that virtual happy hour, especially after a long work day. But it’s even more critical now, as siloed off from one another as we are, that we make a point of staying connected. Scheduling those virtual coffees will help build camaraderie and trust, and it’ll show that you’re a good steward of the company’s culture. Plus, it just makes the work day better. And that’s worth investing in, too.

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