John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
If you’re still working from home, you have adjusted to new ways of getting work done. What can be trickier is finding new ways to keep advancing your career.
It’s OK to seek feedback more often when you’re not in the office with the boss. It’s normal to want quick check-ins to help you keep track of your to-do list. If you are concerned that you’re checking in too much—or too little—the simplest solution is to ask. Bosses can be struggling with their own issues, so they’re not necessarily thinking of you. Don’t be offended. Ask to meet to talk about communication expectations. Come to that conversation with your own ideas.
Video adds a new dimension to communication skills. Be sensitive to co-workers who like to chitchat before getting into the discussion and those who want to get straight to business. When it comes to online meetings, you have to be present and visible. If you are sitting around the conference room table, everyone’s eyes are on the speaker. In a virtual meeting, everyone sees all the faces all the time. Lean in a bit to the camera to show you are focused. You don’t have to be the first to talk, but try to develop a smart comment or provocative question.
Find ways to get experience in the area you want to grow into. Maybe there’s an office task force or a volunteer organization outside of work that you can join. Say yes to opportunities. Stretch yourself. Not all of them will help you, but you can’t know which will pay off in advance.
If you want to keep climbing the ladder professionally while working from home, you have to seek feedback, make yourself more visible, and expand your skillset. On the other hand, if you are already up to your eyeballs dealing with children or pandemic details, give yourself a break. Your career will last a long time. Maybe your well-being needs to take priority for now.