As companies figure out how to best adjust to hybrid workspaces, employees are trying to learn how to navigate virtual office environments while still maintaining the same visibility they had in-person.
In this new work environment, how do you get noticed by your manager, and attract sponsors and mentors to help you move up the corporate ladder? With some people physically in the conference room and others working from home, how do you make sure your voice is heard and acknowledged in hybrid meetings?
Here are three tips to help you find ways to make a virtual workplace work for you!
1. Lean in by raising your hand for opportunities!
Visibility at work is essential, but it gets tricky when you aren’t in the office, working face-to-face with colleagues. Although working remotely can create challenges for attracting attention from your manager, there are still ways to cultivate visibility from your home.
If you are attending meetings remotely, be sure to prepare some questions beforehand to ask the group that prompt critical thinking and open new perspectives. Doing so will not only help facilitate discussion, but also keep you visible.
Furthermore, social media is an excellent tool to strengthen your relationships with coworkers. Consider taking advantage of it to connect with your colleagues. Use this moment to think big and reach out widely to those who matter to you. Think about who knows you, your work, or people who have heard from others about you.
Additionally, try attending more virtual events, participating in discussions, or offering to take on “stretch assignments.” Stretch assignments are projects or tasks that are beyond your skill level or expertise. The purpose of these assignments is to help “stretch” your development and unlock your potential.
Increasing your participation in work events and projects will help show off your skills and talents to your boss, as well as help you build stronger connections with your coworkers.
2. Attract a mentor or sponsor.
Mentoring or peer networks are good sources of inspiration and support. In some companies, you may be paired with executives who can help develop your skillset. Mentors help by sharing their experiences and providing advice.
Another way to improve your visibility is by attracting sponsors who can advance your career in a way that mentors can’t. They can talk you up for promotions or help place you on important work projects. Sponsors can get you noticed both inside and outside of your company, create opportunities that help you progress more quickly, and boost your confidence and encourage you to take risks.
Develop a short list of one to three leaders in your organization that you would like to attract as a sponsor. Try identifying opportunities to speak or work with a possible sponsor directly, such as participating in events they’ll be attending or working on a team they may be leading. Then, research and learn about any common interests and values you may share with them.
3. Follow up and keep relationships top of mind.
Don’t forget to follow up with those you meet and develop your new relationships. Set up some regular meetings for every other week or each month.
If you attract a mentor or sponsor, note that your success is this person’s legacy. It’s your responsibility to make your sponsor look good and nurture the relationship by doing your best work. And don’t forget to toot your own horn.
Once you have a stretch assignment, a promotion, or a chance to lead a team, be inclusive in your relationships by asking for feedback. Use the information you receive to develop your listening and appreciation skills. If your relationship with a mentor or sponsor helped you achieve visibility and opportunities, make sure you keep them apprised of how it’s going.