Remote technology itself presents opportunities for professional development, as well as a doorway to a wealth of resources.
Remote technologies, hybrid office models, and health and safety concerns are fast-changing the world of work. Nevertheless, online platforms are keeping us connected.
This means that changing times don't have to thwart your professional growth. Read on for some ideas about how to promote and present yourself as a true professional using remote technology.
Working from home comes with learning new rules and norms. One of the biggest changes you may be facing is the switch from meeting face-to-face in conference rooms to meeting virtually through video conferences. An important thing to note if you find yourself using this technology enough is that people will respond to the degree of your engagement with your counterpart(s).
This is why it’s important that you aren’t multitasking during video calls. Nor is it a good idea that other participants see you looking at another monitor while they meet, unless you're researching something pertinent to the discussion.
Moreover, people on video conferences are hoping for your eye contact, which in this case is best achieved by looking directly at your webcam and not at your computer screen.
Where you choose to set up is also an important factor, as it might change where the lighting is in relation to you and the webcam. You'll want a well-lit location with few [preferably, no] distractions. And "Halo effects" around your head can be distracting to the other participants on video calls. So have the light shining on you, not from behind you.
Knowing those things and how to set yourself up for virtual meetings are the technical essentials. However, there are still the trusty old methods you need to continue in order to amplify your efforts.
In many instances, we base our first impressions on visuals. This means the way your present yourself matters. Even though we’re home, we still need to dress for success. Especially if you plan on taking advantage of a video conferencing tool. Building your professional wardrobe only strengthens others’ confidence in you and your ability to deliver.
You might be noticing how comfort has improved your productivity, so this is something to consider while you’re shopping. Finding comfortable but professional clothing will take you from home boss to a standout back in the office.
Clothing designers have taken advantage of the shift to more people working from home by offering fashions that are more comfortable to wear than office attire, yet just as attractive. Uniqlo and Banana Republic are two clothing lines that present well, no matter the age of the worker.
Like many other things, networking is happening online. You might see people advertising their roundtables, coffee chats, and even happy hour events. It may even be an especially good time to put yourself out there, given the generosity of others making their insights freely available right now.
Be sure you’re following your industry role models on social media so you can see if any of these individuals are hosting these kinds of networking events. If you feel comfortable you could even try inspiring someone to set one up. Reach out to someone you’d love to hear from or connect with.
Not only can you learn a lot from others in your industry but you never know who you’ll meet or what potential lies in meeting them. Check in with your alumni organizations as well, as they could be sharing information about these opportunities that have moved to a virtual space. These events can be hard to attend when we’re in the office, so remote technology gives us the opportunity to take advantage of development sessions.
Mentorships tend to improve workplace engagement and open up opportunities for those involved. A mentor may not be someone that is readily available to you in-person, but you can use virtual technology to make meet-ups happen.
Who is someone you have a lot to learn from that you might have access to? If you’re trying to work your way up in your current company, finding a mentor should be simple enough.
Use your company directory to reach out to the person and see if they’d be interested in setting up a time to chat. You can use the opportunity to lay out your interest in them and their work. Be sure to mention the success of mentoring as it can be mutually beneficial. Let them know in an email beforehand the general nature of what you’re hoping to achieve from speaking with them.
Do the work upfront to make sure they support your professional development plan so that you’re able to use your time wisely. Think about what it is that you want to learn from them.
This gives them a chance to prepare themselves as well, if necessary. Be sure to set and stick to any time restrictions to be mindful of their schedule. For ideas on how to meet virtually, check out online meeting platforms to find one that suits your needs or ease of use.
The world of Work is evolving at a rapid pace through the introduction of remote technology platforms and changing company policies. There's never been a time to rev up your professional development. So take advantage of online offerings to achieve your goals at work and possibly in life, too