Those of us that have been working remotely have questions about how our careers are affected by not working in an office. The answer is a mixed bag. What kind of boss to you have? What’s the demand for your expertise in today’s marketplace? Are your skill sets transferable or difficult to replicate?
One good point about remote jobs is that your opportunities are nation-wide rather than just local. Even if your job is hybrid, with a periodic office meeting, companies may pay for your travel in order for you to attend periodic meetings. If you’re located in Florida and the job site is San Francisco, it’s unusual for the company to pay for a move, especially if you have a family and own a home. Financially it makes sense for the company to work out a travel schedule for you to meet with key players. This is where your relationship and value to the company comes into play.
What about my career prospects if I remain working remotely? I just worked with an individual who has spent their whole career working remotely and has accepted an offer with an international company managing three remote work groups, working out of the mid-west, with a compensation of $180,000.
So, what are the criteria that would need to be met? A history of successfully managing remote work groups. Certifications that demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skill. Compatibility with the product or services of the new company along with their management styles. However, this kind of move has its challenges. Here are three: You’ll need to create a well-functioning team(s) that will achieve the results expected. With the high turnover of staff, continue to find, hire and retain qualified employees. Re-train, upgrade and motivate staff as the technology improves, client requirements change and senior management requests modify over time.
Some downsides to working remotely? You’re “out of sight, out of mind”, unless you map out a strategy to remain visible and available for greater responsibility. Volunteer for projects within the company to keep connected. Make sure you keep a high profile through virtual meetings with the boss and team members individually. Stay connected to past bosses, coworkers, attend association meetings, along with training sessions, conferences, and webinars while gaining new certifications to enhance your expertise.
While some say that remote work is here to stay, others counter that it’s “back to the office” once the pandemic is under control. I see a middle ground, but remote work is projected to be 30% of the work force by the end of 2021. Companies have seen the economic and productivity value of remote teams. However, there are some jobs that cannot be successful working remotely. My advice is to stay flexible and be able to adapt to either one, plus a hybrid model.
Those professionals that can work successfully in any model is in the best position to optimize their career goals. But it takes a plan and determination.
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