Remote work opens a world of possibilities for people who live busy lives, prefer the flexibility of a remote job, or live in an area where their industry doesn’t have a lot of positions available. Being able to work in a dream position without the expense or stress of relocating away from an area you love is a wonderful opportunity. However, some people fear the difficulty of effectively seeking promotions as remote workers.
So, how can remote workers effectively seek promotions? Take a look at this list of the top 10 tips on earning a promotion in a remote workplace compiled by a group of hiring managers and leaders within a variety of organizations.
Identify the Difference
The idea of promotion within a workplace that’s remote or hybrid can be discouraging. This all stems from the traditional idea of networking and forming the most valuable connections possible so you have better references and an improved reputation for helping you seek a promotion. While, historically, employers have tended to hire people based on in-person interaction, things have changed rather rapidly over the past few years, which has made it a bit easier to earn a promotion when working remotely.
“Understanding the differences within the remote work promotion process and the process you may have seen when working in person can help you understand what’s important to prioritize,” says Brianna Bitton, Co-Founder of O POSITIV. “For example, your remote workplace may not have a dress code, but putting in extra effort to dress professionally can help you make a good impression, while an in-person position may have considered that a basic requirement. On the other hand, it’s easier to showcase your professionalism through actions and conversation when you’re in a physical workplace.”
Network and Make Friends
Building relationships is a great way to make sure you’re seen, heard, and noticed by people in your remote place. Remote workers can very easily get lost in the shuffle in comparison to staff that works in person. However, networking and making connections with people you work with isn’t something you’re limited to doing in person.
“Networking on sites like LinkedIn and initiating conversation with your remote coworkers about professional topics can help you establish yourself as a professional in your field,” says Kirin Sinha, CEO of Illumix. “Making these connections is important if you plan to seek promotion because you’ll need to know these people long before the promotion is on the table. If the new position is about to be posted as a potential promotion opportunity, it’sprobably too late to start facilitating these connections and relationships without it feeling disingenuous.”
Maintain Warm Connections
Building on the idea of networking, as you gain more connections and start facilitating these new relationships, it’s essential to maintain the connections you already have as well. Networking is an ongoing process that requires intentionality and a genuine interest in maintaining the connections that you have.
“There’s an old saying, ‘you don’t know who you’ll need to know until you need to know them,’” says Brian Munce, Managing Director of Gestalt Brand Lab. “This is so true for remote workers who are looking to seek promotions. You don’t want to burn bridges because you don’t think a relationship will be important in the future. That can bring on a bad reputation and also be detrimental to future networking needs. Instead, make it a point to interact with people on a regular basis through professional networking websites, events, and other interaction opportunities.”
Lead and Volunteer
Taking advantage of leadership opportunities can help you make a good impression and stand out from the crowd regardless of your workplace format. However, this can be a bit more difficult to do if you work in a remote workplace. That’s because leadership opportunities often present themselves during brainstorming or conversations, which are a bit less common in the remote workplace.
“Leadership opportunities are a great thing to keep an eye out for if you’re a remote worker seeking a promotion,” says Ian Heyman, Founder of Male Drip Protection. “Take initiative, even if that means you’re doing something just because nobody else wants to do it. Making yourself stand out by volunteering for leadership positions and other opportunities can help you seem more like a go-getter who would do well in a higher-up position.”
5. Professional Development
Pursuing professional development means actively looking for opportunities to grow in critical skill areas that are essential for your industry or career path. “If the next step in your career path is a promotion, look for professional development opportunities that can point you in that direction and help catch the attention of your employers,” says Ryan Rottman, CEO and Co-Founder of OSDB Sports.
“Professional development can take on a few different meanings,” says Max Ade, CEO of Pickleheads. “Continuing education, professional certifications, seminars, conferences, job shadowing, and many other opportunities can be considered professional development. Volunteer work is a great opportunity to explore skill strengthening in areas like leadership, teamwork, and working with different types of people through communication skills.”
Taking the initiative to explore continuing education can help you qualify for promotion more efficiently in the remote workplace. There are plenty of online and in-person education options for you to explore to earn certifications, degrees, or licenses to be proactive and hold qualifications that would be required for the promotion.
“Take a look at what degree or other requirements would be necessary to hold in order to be promoted to the position you’d like to hold,” says Susan K. Shaffer, President of Pneuma Nitric Oxide. “If your workplace offers compensation for you to take these additional courses, that’sa great opportunity! If they don’t, it’s still a good idea to explore your options and do your best to continue your education to work toward the promotional requirements.”
Keep Track of Accomplishments
Often, it’s hard to remember your accomplishments over the years when you’ve been in a position for a length of time. That’s why it’s helpful to keep track of your accomplishments and update your resume as you go. This can help you when you apply for a promotion or even as you update things like your LinkedIn profile.
“If you have a hard time keeping track of your accomplishments, imagine how hard it is for your employer to track those things for all of their employees,” says Dr. Minhas, Founder and CEO of GerdLi. “Keep a record of specific examples, including numbers, statistics, and data, whenever possible to help your chances at a promotion. In a remote workplace where the employer doesn’t see you in person on a regular basis, it can be hard to keep track of who’s done what and when that happened.”
This can seem like an obvious thing if you’re looking to earn a promotion, but simply being on time and meeting deadlines might not cut it if you’re looking for a promotion. Going above and beyond is the name of the game if you’re looking for a promotion, so putting in some extra effort to be more productive and stay well ahead of deadlines can help you stand out.
“Timeliness has such an effect on the perception that others have of you as a professional,” says Lilian Chen, Co-Founder and COO of Bar None Games. “Show that you’re ready to handle more responsibilities by meeting deadlines early, showing up on time, and being as efficient as possible. If you’re consistently rushing to meet deadlines or having a difficult time functioning efficiently, you’re not going to seem like a great option at the time of a promotion.”
Act Like You’ve Been Promoted
While you don’t want to actually start moving into someone’s office or taking over their tasks, it’s a good idea to start acting more responsibly and taking the initiative whenever possible to show your employer what you’d be capable of in the position. Remote workers can effectively seek promotions by actively taking on more responsibilities and showing their talent.
“If you want the part, act the part,” says Alexandre Robicquet, Co-Founder and CEO of Crossing Minds. “From how you speak to clients or coworkers to your initiative and productivity, you should go into your work mindset each day with the intention of showing how you’re the best option for the promotion. This isn’t something that can happen overnight; you’ll need to establish this reputation over months or even years.”
Remote workers can effectively seek promotions from their current positions even if their communication is limited with coworkers and team leaders. The list of tips and tricks provided above is just the tip of the iceberg. Look at your company and determine what qualifies people for promotions in your workplace and use that to identify which of these tips are the most applicable. Hopefully, you’re now well-equipped to work toward that goal of a promotion in your remote workplace.
Bondy, H. (2022, August 11). How to get a promotion while working remotely. Career Tool Belt. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.careertoolbelt.com/how-to-get-a-promotion-while-working-remotely/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CBeing%20proactive%20with%20your%20communication,skills%20at%20the%20next%20meeting.
Lufkin, B. (2022, July 13). Is it up to employees to fix the remote-work promotion gap? BBC Worklife. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20220713-is-it-up-to-employees-to-fix-the-remote-work-promotion-gap