It’s true that remote work represents more of a meritocracy than other professional scenarios, where office politics, dominant personalities, and favoritism can come into play.
While supervisors may notice good deeds and a job well done, they may not immediately reward employees with an appropriate raise or a role with more responsibility. For the most part, the onus is on the worker to bring these topics up.
But what happens when you can’t casually drop by the boss’s office to chat about your latest success?
Telecommuters who are angling to get a promotion should take note: since most companies would prefer to keep a productive team member than face a long, drawn-out hiring process to replace them, you have a distinct advantage in this situation.
If you’re eager to get a promotion while working from a distance, try out these three tips:
1. Update your highlight reel.
Nobody knows your workload and your process better than you—and it’s much easier to make the case for advancement when you’re able to articulate your own on-the-job wins. It’s time to write down all of the good stuff you’ve brought to the table: the deal you landed with a major partner, your most-read blog post shares, the code you wrote that helped out two company divisions. And don’t forget to calculate how much you’re saving the company by learning new skills or taking on additional tasks in-house.
Having an Evernote or Google doc with this info handy is a wise idea; this way, you won’t have to dig for it when you need it most.
2. Keep your boss informed.
Great bosses don’t micromanage. Because of this, they’re unlikely to know just how much of a rockstar you’ve been unless you take the time to actually tell them. Regularly tooting one’s own horn might not be comfortable, but in the process of securing a promotion, it’s altogether necessary.
So drop your supervisor a quick note about the client presentation that you labored round-the-clock to get ready on a tight deadline; mention the high profile influencer you secured for your next campaign; surprise and delight them with the new website design that’s coded and ready—and under budget.
3. Initiate a performance review conversation.
After you’ve compiled a list of your biggest contributions and have kept your boss in the loop, consider approaching him or her with an invitation to chat. (Video is best for this as it offers the closest experience to an in-person conversation, where visual cues are paramount.) It might not be time for your annual or semi-annual performance review, but you can emphasize that you’re eager to discuss your role and how you fit into the organization.
Making your intentions clear from the beginning is critical so that no one will be blindsided when you start talking salary, title, and responsibility. Be frank and honest; truly listen to what your supervisor has to say. This will likely be the opening conversation, so keep it light and find out what next steps are recommended. Remember: knowledge—especially in the case of your career—is power.