There are 5 vital tips for a highly successful remote job career that can significantly change your outlook in that space. Before we get into this topic proper, let us explore some key benefits that working in a remote setting offers.
Depending on what your goals are, getting a remote job and building a career in one avail you the opportunity to learn new skills. Remote jobs could also give one good flexibility with time. Other benefits include helping you to be physically present for your loved ones, building a personal brand and earning money in the process.
To enjoy a successful remote job career, one should consider salient factors and circumstances. For instance, if you are bound to change location occasionally due to personal reasons, or you wish to be a stay-at-home mum to raise your children. Both situations put anyone wishing to build a career to consider having a very flexible work schedule. Therefore, working remotely becomes the best (if not the only) option available.
This article is focused on advancing your career after you have successfully secured your remote work. That said, here are 5 vital tips for a successful remote job career.
Tip #1 For A Successful Remote Job Career: Get Organized
The first critical step to take to have a successful remote job career is to get yourself organized and ready to go! This will help you to build on a good foundation and enhance your productivity for optimum performance. Have all the necessary apps, devices and equipment you will need in one place – set up a workstation. If the only hardware that you will be needing is a laptop, then get your work apps, files and folders organized. Notwithstanding, ensure there is a space or place that is conducive for you to concentrate and be effective.
Also, ensure that you have a functioning data device (mobile or Wi-Fi) and a reliable internet service provider. You also have the duty of ensuring that your employer knows any challenge you have staying connected to the team, including hardware or software issues that may hamper your performance. For instance, do you have access to your team’s interactive platforms like Slack or Trello? Can you access shared folders in your team’s cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive? Are your devices optimized to perform the required tasks?
Read More: You may be interested in our article on Best Remote Jobs for 2022.
Tip #2 For A Successful Remote Job Career: Develop Communication Skills
Effective communication is an indispensable aspect of remote work. To a very large extent, being able to master effective communication would determine if you will have a successful remote job career or not. There are communications peculiarities in remote work settings that should be well-understood in order to enjoy productivity and good performance. This is why we would be paying a lot of attention to communication skills.
In most cases, companies that work remotely use asynchronous channels of communication (for example, emails). As a result of differences in time zones, environmental and cultural diversities, employees may receive and interpret asynchronous communications differently. If you are employed by a company that is heavily dependent on this mode of communication, you will need to build very strong communication skills to make up for the communication deficiencies. Other major challenges with asynchronous communication channels include; a feeling of isolation due to minimal connections with colleagues, misinterpreting tasks, poor or delayed feedback etc.
Ideally, when handling sensitive projects and complex matters, ideas and information should be passed across in real-time (synchronous communication) within a team. Therefore, face-to-face collaborations are usually better suited for these types of tasks or projects because communication would likely be more effective this way. So, how can we achieve this in a remote job setting?
For a successful remote job career, one needs to learn how to navigate through the complex challenges that would arise due to the absence of in-person interactions. Although there are tools used to achieve synchronous communications (for example, Microsoft Teams or Zoom) in a remote work setting, these platforms are still not as effective as in-person communication. One of the major reasons for this is the near absence of a non-verbal mode of communication. You may want to check out this article and learn how to maximize some of these tools.
Some of the requisite skills for effective communication for a successful remote job career have been outlined below. These skills can help you navigate through the communication challenges inherent in remote collaborations.
People want to know you understand what and how they feel. Empathy is important whether in a physical workplace or remote environment, where there is a tendency to feel disconnected. Empathy is the route to go if you desire to connect with colleagues effectively and do well within a team – strong determinants for a successful remote job career.
Due to enormous work stress and pressures, people tend to express themselves impolitely or be defensive. If you do not learn to recognize this, your responses may cause harm to your relationships with colleagues. However, by showing empathy, you would foster trust, build confidence in others, and reduce conflict. Your ability to show empathy will help you build solid relationships at the workplace and hence a successful remote job career.
The natural human inclination is to focus on expressing oneself instead of seeking to understand the other party through effective listening. This tendency is greater during virtual communication when passing across your points seems like the highest priority. Taking time to listen and understand what is being communicated from the other end helps with processing information, problem-solving and quality decision making.
Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication
This is another important aspect of communication that is very relevant for one to have a successful remote job career. Your ability to communicate with the right words, tone, and correct manners goes a long way in building interpersonal relationships and having a high performing team. It is not always about the words used, the tone and manner are a huge part of what you are communicating. Working remotely means you have to rely heavily on digital communication. The challenge in using this channel is that tones can be inferred.
There is a higher chance of being misinterpreted in a virtual conversion than in a physical interaction. Technology tends to distort our expressions, gestures, tones and even manners. It is possible that subtle unintended cues let out during a virtual interaction can be used in interpreting our mood and become the means by which our engagement is defined.
Research shows that over 90% of our communication is based on non-verbal cues. People understand, and interpret the message we seek to convey based on our facial expressions, tones, gesture, pauses, and many other cues we give away. How effective your communication skills are will determine the quality of the network of people around you. Are you giving out the right non-verbal cues?
Tip #3 For A Successful Remote Job Career: Build a Thriving Network
Get surrounded by the right people. Besides helping you have a successful remote job career; networking would also help you on a personal level. You cannot achieve much of your goals without the right network of people around you. You will need to leverage the wealth of resources available with other people.
To build a strong network consider the following:
- Social media provides a great avenue to connect with people in your field. Stay updated with relevant information pertaining to your field and interact with people within your professional community.
- Offer your support when you meet the right people. Be available to help others achieve their goals. The focus is not to use people but to connect with them. Be ready to give in order to build a network of the right people. Others can benefit from information, ideas, skills and other inputs at your disposal. The key is to offer help first.
- Be ready to connect people together. Introducing others to someone they need to meet in order to achieve their goals will help strengthen your network also. To build a successful remote job career, you will need to build a network of the right people.
Tip #4 For A Successful Remote Job Career: Keep Raising Your Standards
You are influenced to make choices based on your standards. These choices affect your chances of having a successful remote job career. Keep raising your standards. Raising the bar higher will make you stand out. Hence, the need to always evaluate the standard and goals you have set for yourself. Be keen on being excellent and exceeding your company’s set targets, and do not settle for anything less.
There is a temptation to be mediocre when direct supervision is minimal, as seen in a remote work setup. This is the more reason to ensure that you maintain a high standard for yourself to mitigate this tendency. Refuse to be complacent or give excuses. Set that bar high!
Tip #5 For A Successful Remote Job Career: Develop Yourself
Read books on self-development, interpersonal relationships, communications, team building (and bonding) and any book that will help you have a successful remote job career. Stay informed about last updates, news and other relevant information in your field. This gives you an edge and expands your mind. It also keeps you open to new ideas, possibilities and opportunities.
In conclusion, you need to put a lot of deliberate effort to enjoy a highly successful remote job career if you are convinced that you want to go on this career path. Initially, you may feel that it is tedious and unproductive, however, if you keep at it, you would find that your commitment will yield results.