Whether you’re normally working remotely or just getting used to it because of COVID-19, it can be challenging to stand out and get noticed when you’re not physically in an office.
I myself am based in Chicago and currently work at a global tech company on a team where my manager lives and works in New York City and my other colleagues are scattered across the East and West coasts. Over the last few years, while I’ve still gone into the office a few times a week, I’ve learned to adapt to being the only member of my team in Chicago. While I haven’t technically been a full-time remote employee, I’ve learned the implications that come with not being in the office with people you work with and the steps you need to take to ensure you’re still getting recognition, promoted, and growing in your career.
Now more than ever, it’s important to know how you can virtually present yourself in a way that still impresses your colleagues, your manager, and other leaders. Read on for six ways of how you can successfully show up remotely at your company and raise your profile in the process.
Know & Own Your Personal Brand
One of the most crucial aspects of building a personal brand as a remote employee is not just being visible and turning on your webcam, but showing up consistently and professionally to make a strong positive impression. Jeff Bezos of Amazon has said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Get a sense of what your personal brand is in the workplace. You can get an understanding by seeing how others introduce you on calls or in-person and through the feedback you receive from your manager, colleagues, and clients. If you’re feeling bold, you can even ask people outright how they would describe you, both professionally and personally.
Once you know how others perceive you, you can work to amplify the positives and work on the more constructive items noted. Ensure that you’re actively defining and reinforcing what your brand is and what you stand for. This will ultimately allow you to build your influence in the workplace, even as a remote employee.
Choose Video Over Only Audio
As a remote employee, it’s critical to turn on your camera when you have meetings. It’s important that people get to know you beyond your voice. Having your camera off actually can leave you at a disadvantage, especially if you work at a big company where there are employees going into an office environment and are able to have that face to face interaction. Going on webcam is really how you “show up” and people are able to see you and put a face to a name. This can also foster a deeper connection and allow others to get to know you on a more personal level.
Pay Attention to How You Present Yourself
Be in tune with how you present yourself as a remote employee. You should treat every meeting you have like you are going into a conference room at an office. Look presentable and professional when you are joining calls and turning on your camera. When working from home, all you really need to worry about is your top half too. Dress the part on top and feel free to wear more comfy bottoms (no one can see them anyway!)
It’s also important to note to be mindful of your body language, facial expressions, and eye contact. Make sure you’re staying actively engaged on the calls. Avoid getting distracted or multitasking so you can stay present and focused. This will only help in building that positive personal brand of yours.
Be Aware of Your Environment
In addition to paying attention to how you present yourself, make sure you’re also aware of your environment. Try your best to have steady internet and/or a phone connection to avoid disruptions.
When you’re on calls and on webcam, make sure to not be in a place with a noisy background (when you can help it), as it’s distracting for others on the call. Use your mute button when you need to. With COVID-19, there is definitely more of a sense of leniency with this point so don’t be afraid to show your humanity if something goes awry. Stuff happens and most people are understanding of that. This YouTube video from 2014 goes to show all the mishaps that come with conference calls – watch for a laugh!
Master the Art of Self-Promotion
One way to raise your profile as a remote employee is to master the art of self-promotion. Promoting yourself at work is critical to excelling in your career, especially if you’re not in a physical office alongside leadership or your manager who can see the work that you are doing. Self-promotion is a key piece of career growth and recognition. It’s a surefire way to show up at work in a positive way.
When you receive positive feedback from a client or a co-worker, make sure you’re documenting that and sharing it with your manager and team when it makes sense. Utilize emails and chat forums to share your wins and any learnings you’ve had recently so you can gain visibility and boost your personal brand in the workplace. This will ultimately help when it comes time for promotion conversations too.
Proactively Connect with Teammates, Peers & Leaders
It’s incredibly important as a remote employee to get to know your colleagues on a more personal level. Make the effort to proactively connect with them and learn more about who they are outside of work. This will help you develop deeper relationships beyond the surface level work conversations despite the fact that you’re a remote employee.
Originally published on Lipstick & Ink.