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How to gain a promotion while working from home

Over the past few years, remote working has become increasingly popular amongst professionals seeking a more flexible approach to the traditional 9-5. Recently, with the global pandemic resulting in little other choice, it has become a necessity for many of us. Research suggests that this has been a positive step in a lot of cases, even increasing productivity as we adapt to working from home.

But this change has also brought uncertainty when it comes to particular areas of employment, such as getting a promotion.  

The challenge: distance vs visibility

Zoom meetings, whilst a great tool for remote workers, aren’t quite the same as an in-person interaction. And whilst we’re all trying hard to stay connected, it can feel as though your managers are less accessible when communicating on camera. 

Then there’s the issue of perception. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, 38% of managers believe that remote workers usually perform worse than those who work in an office. Demonstrating your competence from afar can be a struggle. 

Visibility is an important tool when it comes to establishing worth. Promotions don’t usually happen as the result of just one meeting; it’s an ongoing conversation sustained by regular accomplishments. Schedule a weekly remote catch up with your manager to communicate a trend of success.  

The build up

A promotion doesn’t just mean more in terms of remuneration. If your position is advanced, you’ll usually be taking on more work, responsibility and accountability. Often, getting a promotion means demonstrating an ability to assume the role before being recognised for it. 

Actions you can take:

  • Ensure the work you’re already doing is completed to a high standard
  • Ask for more work or responsibility than you would usually have assigned to you
  • Get involved in tasks outside of your usual remit, even if just as an observer
  • Take more interest in the company as a whole
  • Engage with colleagues at all levels and make connections
  • Gather evidence of the ways in which you are surpassing expectations

The documents

Being able to tangibly demonstrate your success is an effective device when asking for a promotion. If you can show your manager objective evidence, the discussion will be based on facts rather than opinion. It’s much easier to have a conversation about your accomplishments if you have proof of them in front of you.

Some things you could include:

  • Relevant data such as growth or engagement statistics
  • Evidence of tasks and responsibilities you have taken on in addition to your role
  • Client testimonials
  • Feedback from colleagues
  • Examples of work that have been particularly successful 

The approach

We’ve all heard the saying ‘honesty is the best policy’, and it’s just as true in this case. If you believe you deserve a promotion, ask for it. Try introducing the topic during your weekly Zoom meeting; you’ll be able to assess your manager’s reaction and then schedule a separate session to discuss in more depth.

Keep in mind:

  • Confidence in your own capability is key
  • Dress for success (even in a remote meeting, it matters)
  • Stick to the facts and try to be concise
  • Present your supporting documentation
  • Be candid about what you want, but don’t expect to get it all
  • Ask questions

The conclusion: remote vs in office

Though our working environment has certainly changed significantly in recent times, there’s no reason why that should stop you from getting the promotion you deserve. Earning an advancement, whether you’re remote or working in the office, is still based on a similar plan of action. The same rules apply; demonstrate that you can do the job, ask for what you want and secure it all with tangible evidence. 

William Rose Associates is an expert in recruitment, working with organisations and individuals across the financial services sector. For professional career advice, or to discuss any of your recruitment needs, contact our team today.

If you’re interested in learning more about what we can do for you, please get in touch.

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